Interesting Sports History Facts

Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 when he was looking for ways to keep his gym class busy.

Boxing became a legal sport in 1901

More than 100 million ppl hold hunting licenses

The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef.

Volleyball was invented by William George Morgan of Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895.

Sixty-seven percent of boys and 47 percent of girls are already on teams by age 6.

The very first poll to determine a college football national champion was conducted in 1869. Princeton won the championship with a 1-1 record. At that time, the playing field was 120 yards long and 75 yards wide. Now it is 100 x 531/3. All goals were worth one point each and each team had 25 players on the field. Not exactly what we’re used to today, huh?

Oklahoma won 47 games in a row from 1953 to 1957. It is still the longest Division 1 winning streak of all time.

The Harlem Globetrotters are the only coed professional basketball team. In 1985 the team picked Olympian Lynette Woodward as its first female member.

In 2012, Pat Summitt, the University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach, retired with more wins than any other collegiate coach in any sport.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) began in 1997 and has been extremely successful. The Houston Comets, led by superstars Cynthia Cooper and Sheryl Swoopes, won the league championship four times from 1997-2000.


The first World Series was played between Pittsburgh and Boston in 1903 and was a nine-game series. Boston won the series 5-3.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. didn’t miss a game in 16 years. He played in 2,632 consecutive games from April 30, 1982 to Sept. 19, 1998.

Jeff Gordon- NASCAR Rookie of the Year (1993); 4-time Winston Cup champion (1995,97,98,2001); won inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994; in 1997, at 25 became youngest winner of the Daytona 500; in 1998 he tied Richard Petty for the modern-era record for wins in a single season with 13; NASCAR’s all-time leading money winner.

Kobe Bryant- guard/forward for the LA Lakers; graduated from Lower Merion (Penn.) HS and made the jump directly to the NBA; youngest player (18 yrs., 2 mos., 11 days) ever to appear in an NBA game; became the youngest all-star in NBA history in 1998 and scored a team-high 18 points; won 3 consecutive titles with the Lakers (2000,01,02); scored 81 points in game against Toronto in Jan. 2006—second highest in NBA history.

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