Curling (sport)

The game of curling, played on ice and somewhat akin to bowls or shuffleboard, varies little from country to country. The maximum permitted weight of the curling stones is 44 lb (19.96 kg). The top international men’s competition was instituted in 1959 (called the Scotch Whisky Cup from 1959 to 1967; the Silver Broom from […]

Cricket (sport)

Cricket is one of the national sports of England, and consequently it is played in nearly all the countries with which England has been associated. The world governing body is the International Cricket Council (ICC; founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909). The most important international cricket matches are the Test matches, which have […]

Chess (sport)

Wilhelm Steinitz is generally recognized as the first official chess world champion, although dates for his 19th-century reign vary. With a few notable exceptions, each successive champion defeated his predecessor in match play. The first exception followed the death of the incumbent Alexander Alekhine in 1946. The Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE; founded 1924) stepped […]

Football (sport)

Many types of games are known as football, among them association football (also called soccer), gridiron football (also called American football and known in the United States as, simply, football), Canadian football (also called rugby football), Australian Rules Football (also called footy), and rugby union and rugby league football (also known as rugby, or rugger). […]

Golf (sport)

In individual events, three of the four major men’s golf championships, the British and US Open tournaments and the Professional Golfers’ Association Championship, are played annually at a variety of golf courses in their respective countries. Each is played over 72 holes, and each is preceded by qualifying rounds. The fourth major, the invitational Masters […]

Ice Hockey (sport)

The National Hockey League (NHL), which was organized in Canada in 1917 with five professional teams, welcomed the first US team, the Boston Bruins, in 1924. Since 1926 the symbol of supremacy in professional hockey has been the Stanley Cup, which is awarded to the winner of a play-off that concludes the NHL season. The […]

Horse Racing (sport)

In the oldest type of horse racing, the rider sits astride the horse; in the other type of race, best known as harness racing, the driver sits in a sulky— a two-wheeled vehicle attached by shafts and traces to the horse. In the former type, a Thoroughbred horse is raced over either a track or […]

Skiing (sport)

Although most of the events had been contested at the regional level since the mid-19th century, the first internationally organized skiing championships did not take place until 1924. From 1924 to 1931 only Nordic competition was involved; Alpine championship events were added to world competition in 1931 and to the Olympics in 1936. Except in […]

Rodeo (sport)

A uniquely North American competition, the rodeo has been held on a more-or-less formal basis since the late 1920s. From 1929 to 1944 the men’s world all-around rodeo champion was named by the Rodeo Association of America. Since 1944 the all-around champion has been the leading money winner of the year—with the exception of the […]

Marathon (sport)

The marathon is a long-distance footrace first held at the revival of the Olympic Games at Athens in 1896. It commemorates the legendary feat of a Greek soldier who, in 490 BC, is supposed to have run from Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 km (25 mi), to bring news of the Athenian […]