Sports have been around for centuries, and throughout that time many sports have come and gone. While some sports have been able to stand the test of time, others unfortunately have become extinct. Here are 10 sports that are now extinct.
10- Pall Mall
Throughout history, there have been many sports that have gone extinct. One of the most famous of these is Pall Mall, which was an English ball game that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Pall Mall was a cross between croquet and golf, and it was played on a long alley, or ‘pall-mall court’. The alley was usually bordered by a wall, and at the end of the alley was a raised ring, which was the goal. The players had to use mallets to hit a wooden ball towards the goal, and the first person to get the ball through the ring won.
The game of Pall Mall had many variants, and it was popular among the upper classes in England. It was often played in the courtyards of large houses and estates, and the game was considered a mark of sophistication.
The game of Pall Mall eventually died out in the 19th century, as it was replaced by more popular sports such as tennis and cricket. However, it is still remembered today as a classic example of an extinct sport.
Fox tossing, also known as fox throwing, is a sport that has been extinct since the 19th century. It was popular among the upper classes in Europe and even had its own dedicated clubs in Germany. The sport involved throwing a live fox into the air and was often played as a form of gambling.
Fox tossing was first documented in the 16th century in France. It was popular among the upper classes and was seen as a way of displaying wealth and status. The foxes were usually obtained from the wild and were kept in cages. They were then released into an open area, usually a large field, where two teams would compete to see who could throw the fox the farthest. The team with the furthest throw was the winner.
Fox tossing was eventually outlawed in the 19th century due to animal cruelty concerns. The sport had become so popular that it was seen as a way of exploiting animals for entertainment. The banning of fox tossing in Germany was the first step in what would eventually become a worldwide ban on animal cruelty.
Fox tossing has since faded into obscurity, with very few people even knowing that it ever existed. It remains a fascinating piece of history, however, and a reminder of our society’s evolution in regards to animal rights and welfare.
8- La Soule
Photo Credit: Radio Laser
La soule, also known as choule, is an ancient ball game that dates back to the Middle Ages. It originated in the northern regions of France and is believed to have been played by the Celts. La soule was a popular sport among peasants, but it was also enjoyed by the aristocracy. The game was a combination of football, rugby and hockey and was played on an open field. The goal was to score points by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
La soule was an incredibly physical game, with teams of up to 500 players. It was a rough sport and injuries were common. The ball was usually made of leather and filled with hay or wool, and it could be kicked or thrown. The most common form of the game was played by two teams of 30-50 players each. It is believed that the game was played for over 700 years, until it was eventually banned in the 18th century due to its violent nature.
Photo Credit: Short History
Pankration, which translated literally means ‘all powers’, was an intense form of martial art that combined boxing, wrestling and kickboxing. It is believed that the sport was invented by Hercules himself, and was an extremely popular form of entertainment in Ancient Greece.
The rules of pankration were simple: competitors were allowed to use any technique to defeat their opponents, with the exception of biting and eye-gouging. As for clothing, participants were expected to fight in the nude. This was likely to prevent any kind of unfair advantage, as clothes could be used to grab and pull. It’s also thought that the nudity was a show of bravery and courage, as it exposed participants to the risk of injury.
Despite its violent nature, pankration was a highly respected sport in Ancient Greece and Rome. Victors were awarded with crowns of olive leaves and often praised as heroes. In fact, the sport was so popular that it was included in the Olympic Games in 648 BC, only to be removed in 393 AD.
Photo Credit: Historiemedievali
The ancient sport of knattleikr, often referred to as the Viking game, is a game that has been lost to history and is now extinct. Invented in the Viking Age and played in Scandinavia, the rules of knattleikr are unknown, though some guesses have been made based on historical sources, such as the Icelandic sagas.
Knattleikr was an intense and combative team sport, featuring a large ball and two teams of players. The game was played on an open field, and each team’s goal was to score points by throwing the ball into the opposing team’s goal. The game also featured physical contact, such as pushing and wrestling, and some sources suggest that it was a violent sport.
The rules of knattleikr are hard to reconstruct, but some historical sources suggest that the game was played with two teams of 16 players each. The teams were divided into two lines, with eight players in each line. The players were allowed to use their hands, arms and legs to move the ball, and each team had a designated goal-keeper. The game was played in two halves, with the teams switching sides and goals at halftime. The team with the most points at the end of the game was the victor.
Knattleikr has a long and fascinating history, but unfortunately it is now extinct. Despite some attempts to revive the game, the rules and techniques of the game are now largely forgotten. Nevertheless, the legacy of knattleikr lives on in modern sports, such as handball, soccer and rugby, which have their roots in this ancient Viking game.
Naumachia was an ancient form of naval warfare. It was first recorded in the 1st century BC by Julius Caesar, and was popular during the Roman Empire. The term “naumachia” is derived from the Greek words for “naval battle”. It was a spectacle in which warships and their crews were pitted against each other in a staged battle, with the outcome determined by the audience.
The naumachia was an elaborate event that required extensive preparation and resources. The ships had to be built, crewed, and outfitted with weapons and armor. The battles were carried out on large bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and even the Mediterranean Sea. The Roman emperors would often fund the construction of special stadiums or arenas made to hold the naumachia, with seating for thousands of spectators.
The battles could be quite spectacular. The ships were often equipped with catapults, ballistae, and other weapons to unleash on the opponent. The ships would also be outfitted with protective armor and ramming prows to attack the other ships. Crews were trained in the art of naval warfare and the use of these weapons. The battles could last for hours and were often quite bloody.
While naumachia was popular during the Roman Empire, it eventually went out of fashion. The spectacle was expensive to stage and the participants were often slaves or criminals. As technology and warfare evolved, the naumachia lost its appeal, and eventually faded away. It was one of the many sports that were popular in ancient times, but have since been lost to the pages of history.
4- Board Track Racing
Photo Credit: Throttlesopmuseum
Board track racing was one of the earliest forms of motorsport and was hugely popular in the early twentieth century. This fast-paced and thrilling form of racing involved motorcycles and cars racing on a circular track made of wooden planks. The tracks were usually banked at a steep angle and had a loose surface, making for some exciting and unpredictable racing. It drew large crowds who enjoyed watching the daredevil riders and drivers as they raced around the track at breakneck speeds. The races were often very competitive and the crowds were more than willing to cheer on their favorite racers.
The sport experienced a rapid decline in popularity after the 1920s due to changes in the way car and motorcycle racing was organised. The wooden tracks were expensive to maintain and were considered too dangerous for the high speeds that cars and motorcycles were now capable of. The sport completely died out by the end of the 1930s.
Today, board track racing is remembered as an exciting and thrilling form of motorsport that provided some of the earliest thrills for race fans. Its legacy lives on in the high-speed motor racing of today, where drivers and riders still push their vehicles to the limit in pursuit of victory.
Photo Credit: Fox5dc
Jousting is a sport that has been practiced since the Middle Ages, making it one of the oldest sports known to man. It was a popular spectator sport throughout Europe, with knights from all over the continent competing in tournaments. The goal was to knock your opponent off of their horse with a lance or other weapon. Jousting was seen as an art form, and knights had to adhere to a strict code of chivalry during their matches.
Unfortunately, jousting eventually began to decline in popularity in the 17th century, and by the 19th century the sport had become almost nonexistent. This was due to a variety of factors, ranging from the introduction of new weapons and warfare tactics, to the fact that jousting was seen as a dangerous activity that had a high risk of injury or death. Despite its decline, jousting has had a lasting legacy, as it is still referenced in popular culture today.
2- Club Swinging
Club swinging, also known as Indian club swinging, is an ancient form of physical exercise that has its roots in India, but has been practiced in many parts of the world. It is a form of swinging a weighted club in circular, figure-eight, and other patterns using one or two hands. The practitioner of this exercise swings a club through various patterns and rhythms.
Club swinging is thought to have originated in India, but it is also believed to have been practiced in ancient Greece, Egypt, Persia and China. It is thought to have been brought to the West by British soldiers in the 19th century, and it was popularized in the United States by the physical culturist Dudley Sargent in the early 20th century. Where the last championship was held in 1953.
There are a few benefits to club swinging. It is a great way to build strength and improve coordination. It can also be used to improve flexibility and agility, as well as increase physical endurance and stamina. Additionally, club swinging can be used to improve posture and balance, and it can even help improve mental focus and concentration.
1- Chariot Racing
Chariot racing was one of the most popular sports in the ancient world. It dates back to the earliest days of civilization, with evidence of the sport being found in Greek and Roman artifacts. It was also popular in Egypt, Babylon, and Assyria. The sport was an integral part of the culture of the ancient world, with chariot races taking place on a regular basis in stadiums.
At its peak, chariot racing was a fiercely competitive sport, with chariots competing against each other in a race around a track. The chariots were driven by two horses and a charioteer, who would steer the chariot while using a whip to drive the horses forward. The charioteers had to be incredibly skilled and agile, as the chariots could reach speeds of up to 60 mph.
The sport was also incredibly dangerous, with chariots often crashing into each other or overturning in the heat of the race. Injuries were common, and death was not unheard of. Despite this, chariot racing was a popular spectator sport, with large crowds of people gathering to watch the races.
By the 5th century AD, chariot racing had become less popular, and by the Middle Ages it had all but died out. Today, it is considered an extinct sport, though some enthusiasts still practice it in a more modern form.