On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite Games by Gary Belsky & Neil Fine

On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite GamesOn the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite Games by Gary Belsky & Neil Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun, and oddly informative book! The research it must have taken to find the earliest rules sets for such a variety of sports, including nontraditional “sports”… labor of love…

With each sport, the authors introduce it with a little history, details on how the first rules were set down, and then in sidenotes, talk about how things have changed and the current rules.

The commentary weaves in acute observations (on American football: “The incremental, often-obtuse rule changes that have redefined the game for each succeeding generation of players and fans echo the complexities of the U.S. legal system.”), humor (“…pickle ball can best be described as table tennis with a Wiffle ball played on a badminton court.”), snark (on the rule of no hitting or kicking in wrestling: “Then there’s the third form of ‘wrestling’ that wouldn’t be anything at all if hitting and kicking weren’t allowed – pro wrestling.”), and trivia (“And today, while baseball mints its billions, Wiffle balls are still made in the Mullanys’ tiny fifteen-person factory in Shelton, Connecticut.”)

In between chapters, the authors describe the various incarnations of sports items…helmets, balls, sticks, field/court sizes…nice pieces of trivia. There’s bit on the “sport” of Poker (chuckling still), and even one on Rock-Paper-Scissors variations. Yes, the authors do talk about the variation popularized on The Big Bang Theory! Well, as attributed to Sam Kass, it is Rock-Paper-Scissors-Spock-Lizard.

A fun read.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s