Sports have been an integral part of human civilization and it is one of the key things that determine who we are and what we like. The evolution of sports over the years has consistently matched our own evolution. This explains why lethal sports like gladiator games have now been replaced by harmless ones such as rugby, football, etc.
Similarly, there are various others sports that have become extinct. They have been replaced with new ones that are more in line with our evolving moral and ethical fabric. To get an experience of sports that earlier generations liked to play, here’s a quick look at games that are no longer played or have become extinct.
Auto Polo – This was similar to equestrian polo, however, instead of horses, the players used automobiles. Auto Polo was popular in the United States and Europe and was played until late 1920s. The game was eventually discontinued due to the risk of injury to players and the high cost of replacing damaged vehicles.
Austus – This was played during the second World War between army personnel of Australia and United States. The name ‘Austus’ is derived from the combination of ‘Aust’ from Australia and ‘US’, the initials of United States. Austus was based on a set of common rules that were derived from Australian football and American football. This ensured that the game did not favor players of a particular country. Austus was discontinued when American soldiers left Australia.
Bando – Similar to Hockey, the game of Bando can be traced back to eighteenth century in Wales. The game was played in a large field and each team comprised a total of up to thirty players. ‘Bando’ was a curved stick that was used to strike the ball. Instead of goalposts, the game had two marks at either ends of the field. A goal was counted when the ball was driven in between the two marks. The game became extinct in ninetieth century even though some communities in Wales still play it at local level.
Bladderball – This was popular during 1950s to 1980s among students who studied at Yale University. The game involved the capturing of a large, six-foot inflatable ball that was rolled on the field. Teams were allowed to use any means to capture the ball. It was a hugely controversial sport and usually multiple teams claimed victory. Bladderball was discontinued after it was banned by the University administration.
Board track racing – A type of motorsport, Board track racing was popular during 1910s and 1920s in United States. The main feature of the sport was the use of oval race courses that had their surfaces constructed from wooden planks. Interest in Board track racing started to diminish with the onset of the Great Depression. It eventually led to its discontinuation.
Sports will continue to evolve with the progress of human civilization. Already, we are seeing a mega shift to computer and mobile games, something that was incomprehensible a hundred years back. It is possible that the games you like today may not be there for your great grandchildren to play. Only time will tell.