Sunday, August 5, 2012

Track Cycling

First Olympic Year:
Ever since the start 1896. There was a gap in 1912, the Swedes don't like banked roads. Women started in 1988.

Almost immediately after the popularity of bikes. People decided to race bikes. People wanted to see biking. This means that someone wanted to make money on people wanting to watch the people racing on bikes.

Track cycling allowed an easy way to put a lot of people in a stadium and charge prices. Plus, banked tracks!

There are many different events that have come in and out of the sport. The Olympic events in track cycling have not even been consistent throughout the years. Just know, usually the fastest is the best.


First Olympic Year:
1964, every Olympics since 1972.

The martial art started around 1882 and the sport of throwing dudes to ground by their Judogis1 was in 1884. These were tournaments started by schools teaching Judo. Kodokan Monthly Tournament and the Red and White tournament started in 1884 and still exist today. It's old.

The first formal rules showed up around 1889. I imagine this made the original contests similar to the Kickboxer movies and Lionheart, or any Jean Claude van Dam movie that does not include a stopping a penalty shot in the Stanley Cup finals.2 For the unfamiliar that means TO THE DEATH.3 Around World War Uno they decided choking and locks around the neck weren't the best idea so those were outlawed. Also there was a demonstration of Judo in the 1932 games but the creator Kano didn't really care.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


First Olympic Year:
At the first Olympics 1896. Women started in 1924.

Swordplay of course. It shows who would be the best in the battle. This of course became a way to show other men that you can kill them. You disrespected my honor, I challenge you to a duel!

The first book on fencing was written between 1458 and 1471.1 It wasn't really used for modern fencing, but it was founded in Spain and it made its way to Italy and France, because during that time Spain was kind of a dick and liked to invade things. I mean this is Spanish Armada type Spain, the Spain who would send dudes to the New World to destroy a native population. Right after 1471 the Royals decided they didn't like people slapping each other with white gloves and outlawed dueling.

Italy had the first school of fencing, then bettered by the French school of fencing, and Spain didn't become popular until the 19th century. All three are important in modern fencing.

After the Gran Guerra, dueling became pretty unpopular. After experiencing mustard gas and trench warfare stabbing one another was less appetizing. This changed on how people trained because you could take multiple shots to the neck in the sport and win the match.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


First Olympic Year:
Demonstrated at the 1972 Olympics, it was not a regular event until Barcelona 1992.

The game was created as an off shoot of Battledore and SHUTTLECOCK!1 Basically this was just using paddles to keep the SHUTTLECOCK in the air. So when British were ruling India in the 18th century they decided to put a net between two people. Simple enough, some say it was still created in Great Britain because they called it Badminton Battledore. This is the only place people could find why the sport is called Badminton.

The soldiers came back from their duty of being jerks to local Indian population and created Badminton clubs back in the Jolly Ol. The game was played with those crazy Indian rules until the Brits wanted to play by more civilized rules. Before this they were allowed to play during tea time.

The International Badminton Federation was created in 1934 and they didn't include India. Someone mentioned something about being brown. In 2007 the name was changed to the Badminton World Federation.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Water Polo

First Olympic Year:
1900 for men and 2000 for women. What's a century difference?

So like all sports, Water Polo was invented to separate the men from the boys. There were a bunch of fairs and festivals around 1870 where towns wanted to show off what they could do.1 Eventually rules were penned by a guy in a bathhouse.2 It was originally thought of as water rugby and became water polo because English speakers don't like other languages and ball in Balti sounds like Polo.3

The first games were a little more brutal then they are now. It doesn't seem like there were any rules. A player could wrestle, push, or drown people to get a ball. Could you imagine just getting to the ball and some giant dude just puts your head under the water.

By the 1880s, they got rid of all the fun things. I mean if I can't attempt to murder some one in a game what is the point? The rules structured a game that passing, swimming and scoring. Players could still tackle on another, but only if he had the ball. The game kept evolving through 1900 where Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Hungary, and Italy created competitive teams.

In the US the game was a little different. It was rougher, it had a ball you could take underwater that created a game where players would dive underwater. As a result, no European teams came to compete in the 1904 Olympics. After that the US decided to conform to the rest of the world. One can tell this is the US before the second World War.

It took until 1928 for players to start throwing the ball to one another without the ball hitting the water. Before the Hungarian coach suggested such a tactic they would let the ball drop and then pick it up out of the water. I am unsure why it took so long to decide, to catch the ball, it is mind bending.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Field Hockey

First Olympic Year:
1908, Every Olympics since 1928

This game is pretty new. It has origins around the Irish game of hurling that started around 1272 B.C. That is only 500 years before the Greeks started the original Ancient Olympic games somewhere around 700 B.C. Those city states were pretty poor at stick games so they stuck with the naked wrestling thing.

The modern version of the game was popularized in England, oddly enough on the east side of London where many of the new Olympic buildings stand.1 Basically, Cricket clubs were inventing a new game to do during the winter. Apparently you can't play Cricket when it is colder out because it will stain those all white outfits they love so much. A couple of different games were created, one with a cricket ball that was all nancy and had rules like keep the stick below your waist, the other was a game that was rugby with a thing you could hit people with that was played with a rubber cube.

Clubs would begin to play each other but it never really became a huge game because clubs would argue about the rules calling each other tossers, wankers, and gits trying to get away with cheeky bullocks. Eventually, because lads would join the army the sport got more popular and international rules were created in 1895 so people would stop taking the piss out of one another.

The first international match was between in England and Wales. I don't think it really counts, if it does than I have no issue we Yanks calling it the World Series and the NBA the World Champions. The International Hockey Federation was created in 1924.2

After Double U Double U Two a Belgian helped keep the game structured and made it popular up until 1970s.3

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Team Handball

First Olympic Year:
1936, After the Nazi's won they didn't play regularly until 1972. Women's Handball appeared at the next Olympics in 1976.

Handball, like many sports, has no real clear origin. It has characteristics of similar handball games from Medieval France, a game played by Inuits in Greenland in the middle ages, and the 18th century had something similar in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Germany.

Wikipedia mentions something about Uruguay. I don't quite understand how mostly cold weather nations have this game and then Uruguay has a variation as well. It was a colony of Portugal with some Spanish influence, which doesn't have much notoriety in the Handball world.

Anyway, a Danish Lieutenant (read Left-tenant, it's more fun that way) wrote down the rules in 1906. He was gym teacher so I suppose he had to write down the game in case he was sick one day. After that “modern” rules were written up by a trio of Germans because the Dane must have not been efficient enough in his rules.

Rumor is that Archduke Ferdinand played by a different set of Handball rules and the Yugoslavians took it as an attack. That's why they had their poorly planned assassination attempt. Big rivalry to this day between Austria and former Yugoslavia.1

Eventually the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) created a committee so everyone could agree on some international rules.2 A couple years later an Amateur Federation was created and in 1946 the International Handball Federation was created.