Sports are a great way to stay fit, make friends and learn teamwork. Whether you like the personal responsibility of golf or tennis, or want to be part of a team, like with soccer or football, there are lessons to be learned and a lot of fun to be had on any of these popular playing fields.
Baseball is the "All-American" sport. It's very popular in Central America, South America and Asia. We get a lot of expressions from baseball, like "home run," "three strikes and you're out" and "batting for the fences." Baseball games are a great way to experience the summer while enjoying some Cracker Jack and a hot dog.
Unlike most ancient sports, basketball was invented quite recently, in 1891, by a PE teacher at Springfield College. He wanted a tough sport to keep his students fit during long New England winters. The first game was played on January 20th, 1892 and used a peach basket as the hoop. That is where the name came from: "Basket ball."
One of America's favorite sports, Football was actually played for the first time in ancient China. From there, the tackling and exciting pile-ups evolved in the Middle Ages as "mob ball," where loosely organized people would fight for a ball. If you think American football is intense and exciting, you should check out an English rugby match.
The first game of golf was played in Scotland in 1456. A golf course has place for the players to start, or "tee off," and the hole - the rest is up to the field. When a lucky golfer hits the ball in the hole on the first try, we get the common expression for success, a "hole in one!"
Lacrosse players throw and pass a rubber ball with a netted stick. This sport is as American as they come. It was invented by Native North Americans and witnessed by explorers for the first time in 1640. It's even more popular with America's neighbor to the North, as lacrosse is the national sport of Canada.
Soccer is considered the most popular sport in the world. Players kick and pass the ball and the aim is to land it into the net. First started in England in 1863, Soccer teams train every four years to compete in the World Cup tournament. In countries outside of America, Soccer is better known as "football."
Tennis has remained virtually unchanged since its European invention in the 19th century. The only change to the rules of tennis was the addition of the tie-breaker in the 1970's. With large tournaments like Wimbledon and the Grand Slam, tennis has fans the world over. Did you know that a score of zero in tennis is called "love"?
Volleyball is another sport invented in America. In fact, the inventor of volleyball, who called it "Mintonette" at first, lived just ten miles away from the man who invented Basketball. Volleyball took to the court for the first time in 1895, three years after basketball had its first game.