Sports in Great Britain

Many of the worlds most famous sports began in Britain, including cricket and rugby. Also some British football clubs are the most famous in the world for example, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.


The Manchester United club logo.


There is no specific inventor of the sport Cricket. The sport is already being played since 1600.


Cricket is England's national sport. Cricket is played with teams of 11 players each. They play with a ball similar a baseball and a bat shaped like a paddle. Two players with bats (batters) stand in front of wickets, set about 20 metres apart. Each wicket consists of three wooden rods (stumps) pushed into the ground, with two small pieces of wood (bails) balanced on top. A member of the opposing team throws the ball towards one of the batters, who must hit the ball so that it does not knock a bail off the wicket. If the ball travels far enough, the two batters run back and forth between the wickets while the fielders on the opposing team try to catch the ball. The game is scored according to the number of runs, which is the number of times the batters exchange places. The team with the most runs wins.


A game of cricket.



Rugby was invented in 1823, in a small English town called Rugby. The boy William Webb Ellis, truely hated football. On one day during a football match he picked up the ball from the field, ran with it to the goal and 'scored' by pushing the ball over the line of the goal. This is how rugby came to existence.


Rugby is played with two teams of 15 players each. A game of rugby takes 80 minutes. At half time, after 40 minutes, the players switch sides. At rugby you can score by pushing the egg-formed ball over the so called 'tryline'. A try is worth 5 points. As a bonus after a try the team that just scored can try to kick the ball between the two big poles. This is called a conversion, which is worth 2 points.

When one of the teams does something which is not allowed, for example: kicking or walking with the ball, the opposing team gets a penalty kick. That team will have to kick the ball between the two poles. A penalty kick is worth 3 points.

The team that in the end has most points, wins.


A rugby field. You can see the two sides of the field with on both ends the big poles.



Polo is perhaps the oldest team sport, although where the game exactly comes from is unknown.  It was probably first played by nomadic warriors over two thousand years ago but the first recorded tournament was in 600 B.C. The name is supposed to have originated from the Tibetan “pholo” meaning “ball” or “ballgame”.  It is since these origins in Persia that the game has often been associated with rich people, because the game was played by Kings, Princes and Queens in Persia.


A full game of Polo consists of 4, 6 or 8 “chukkas”.  Each chukka involves seven minutes of play, after which a bell is rung and play continues for either another 30 seconds or until the ball (now, a white plastic or wooden ball, originally made of willow) goes out of play.  The chukka is ended where the ball finishes.  A three minute break is given between each chukka and a five minute break at half time.  Between each chukka, each player will dismount and change horses. Sometimes a fresh horse will be ridden in each chukka or two horses will be on rotation, but horses will usually play not more than two chukkas. Sides are changed after each goal is scored. The fact that the players are mounted on horseback allows high speeds to be reached and ensures fast paced passing of the ball between players. The ball is hit with a stick or mallet, which is much alike a stick used in croquet, wielded by each mounted player towards the goals at each end.  The game is played right handed for safety reasons, in 1975, left handed play was prohibited.


A game of polo.