How did "love" get into tennis and the "bull's eye" into archery? Why the names "birdie" and "squash"? What sport was credited with halting the declining British marriage rate? What is the only major sport invented in America?
This book takes a playful look at the origins of sports and their traditions, jargon and rules. From hockey to hunting, pacing to polo, it reveals when and how forty-eight different sports were first played and follows their development and evolution into their present-day forms. WIth chapters on the Olympic Games and the beginning of sport in Australia, as well as a fascinating range of illustrations, this book is an informing and entertaining read for players and armchair enthusiasts alike.