What better way to keep your body fit and healthy than to do so whilst enjoying a team sport with a group of peers that share the same interest. Perhaps this is the main reason why there are so many popular team sports that compete together on a worldwide basis.
It’s not just today’s societies though that recognises the health benefits and fun that can be gained from participating in team sports. Evidence indicates that the appeal of playing team sports goes back further than 1200 BC.
So where and how did the different types of sports begin? Let’s have a brief look:
Stick-and-ball sports: Stick-and-ball games date back as far as 1300 BC, with 4000 year old Egyptian carvings depicting team ball sports games, Irish games of ‘hurling’ dating back to 1272 BC and depictions of a game believed to be called ‘keretizein’ being played in Ancient Greece in approximately 600 BC. It wasn’t until the the 19th century that these various sports began to merge and become the modern day sports we play today.
Football: Soccer or Football games date back to 408 BC, with the earliest recorded being a game called ‘Phaininda’, played in ancient Greece. Slight variations such as ‘Episkyros’, ‘Mob Football’ and ‘Cuju’ soon developed throughout Europe and Asia.
Hand Ball Sports: Evidence indicates that games similar to the modern game of ‘handball’ were played by woman in Rome, dating back as far as into BC. By the 19th century similar games had spread out through Europe including: ‘hadzana’ in Slovakia, ‘torball’ in Germany, ‘gandbol’ in Ukraine and ‘hazena’ in the Czech Republic. The first rules for the modern game we play today were written up in 1917 and were then improved upon in 1919 by German man, Karl Schelenz.
The games basket ball and then eventually netball were first created by a Canadian man, Dr James Naismith in 1891 as a means of keeping his football team in peak physical conditions during the wet and freezing months of winter.
Team Rowing: Records of rowing as a sport date back to 1430 BC in both Egypt and in Venice, Italy. As a team sport, rowing first became popular in England in the 1700’s, with the first ever public rowing club, The Leander, being built in Berkshire.
Ball-and-racket sports: The first type of ball and racket sport actually originated in the 12 century in France with a game called ‘jeu de paume’, or game of the palm, where the ball was struck with the palm of the hand. It wasn’t until the 16th century that rackets were introduced and from there all other forms of ball and racket sports came about.
Since they originated, team sports have evolved to be played on land, ice and water, using balls, pucks, shuttlecock, frisbees or even boats. With so many different team sports available, you are bound to find something that interests you.
Some of the different team sports played today include:
- Ice hockey
- Water polo
- Ultimate Frisbee
Team sports were first incorporated into the Summer Olympic games in 1900 with Water Polo, Rugby Union and Football. Field hockey was introduced in 1908, Basketball and Handball were introduced in 1936 and in Tokyo they included Volleyball in 1964. For the Winter Olympics, both Ice Hockey and Curling were originally introduced in 1924.
Because of the wide range of different team sports that are available to participate in, the specific health benefits vary greatly, however all sports activities have a positive impact on both physical and mental health.
Different sports can incorporate both aerobic and strength building exercises, whilst offering a wide range of health benefits, some of which include:
- Reduces body fat
- Increases lean muscle
- Strengthens bones, joints and tendons
- Increases flexibility and agility
- Strengthens all the systems of the body, including cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
- Improves stamina and concentration
The numerous health benefits that can be gained are not the only benefit though. Each sport also gets you out and about, mixing with other people, cooperating and working together as a team!
Why not join in with the Team Sports conversation in our 66fit LinkedIn group? You can also find us on Facebook as 66fit Australia, 66fit UK and 66fit Deutschland along with Twitter and G+. Come and meet us in person at the NEC Birmingham for either Leisure Industry Week (LIW), 22nd and 23rd September 2015, Stand No: Hall 4/C29 or the Occupational Therapy Show on the 25th and 26th November 2015. Also at the Sonnwendlauf in Seelbach, Germany 19th June 2015 and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia 2nd to 4th July 2015.