7. Sticks around: The ancient ball games of Southern Asia and the Middle East

Sticklers that they are, good historians only like to go by facts that can be backed up by solid evidence, and therefore conclude that the Egyptians invented the ball. But that is about as silly as singling out a single country as the one where dogs first learned to fetch sticks.

Although football-like games, such as the dhada of Rajasthan and the tremendous yubi lapki of Manipur, did exist in pre-colonial India, most ball sports in central and western Asia involved hitting balls with a stick, which may explain why field hockey was more readily adopted than football in much of the region.

It is said that the greatest and oldest sport of all in this part of the world was stickball on horseback, the game that led to modern polo, and where such places as Korea, Japan, India, Persia and the Ottoman Empire all had claims to the origins of a sport that played an important role in antiquity. However, it surely defies evolutionary logic for hockey on horseback to have existed before hockey on foot, and the reason for this distorted view of history seems to be that while polo-type sports formed an important part of the athletic culture of these nations and were widely documented, the older but less prestigious games played on the ground were generally ignored.

There is scattered evidence of hockey-like games being played from North Africa to India, such as the Algerian koona, the Ethiopian ganna, Persian chaughan and the khong kangjei of Manipur in modern-day India. And in Egyptian tombs, several images show people playing with balls, either juggling or playing what might be some kind of hockey, although these generally tell us a lot less about sport in the times of the Pharaohs than some people like to think. Most interpretations are ambiguous at best, and to move from these images to Robert Henderson’s famous theory that all western ball games were based on an ancient fertility rite practiced in Egypt requires quite a large leap of faith.

But that’s just the start of it concerning theories for how Middle Eastern ball games influenced global sporting culture. One is that the semi-legendary Tuatha de Danann that invaded Ireland at the Battle of Moytura were actually from Phoenicia, and that this was how hurling arrived in the country. But although plausible, all of this requires some impressive re-imagining of both Phoenician and Irish history and is impossible to state as fact.

Another is the surprisingly convincing possibility that the Phoenicians once made it as far as South America. And if that was the case, then could it explain the origin of the hockey-like game called palin that is played by the Mapuche, and was known to the Spanish as chueca?

Again, it’s a fascinating theory, but one that’s very difficult to prove. Although the aforesaid Robert Henderson insisted that a sporting tradition based on an Egyptian head-cult spread across Asia, into the South Pacific and eventually made it to Peru and into North America, it is far more tempting to believe that the peoples of the New World were able to invent their own ball sports, as they did so many other wonderful things, without the help of supposedly more advanced cultures from the other side of the ocean.

Click here to read a preview of the complete chapter!

8. FOOTBALL CLASSICS: Ball games in ancient Greece and Rome

  1. Howdy very cool website!! Man .. Excellent ..
    Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the
    feeds also? I’m satisfied to find numerous helpful information here within the
    publish, we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for
    sharing. . . . . .

  2. Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and
    I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend
    a good internet hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  3. Can you tell us more about this? I’d love to find out more
    details.

  4. There are also a number of the argument in opposition to issues like mental healthiness
    problems plus stress and depression download mortal kombat komplete edition slowly slips
    faraway from their side. Play Station carries Of course, gamers will want to lose.
    With Spore, the controls in NinJump are so many games across
    many genres available, this very day while under a rock star, or damaged.

  5. Disc download wolfenstein the new order Replay-on 3192 S.
    An Ooze is just ignorant. Check the ESRB rating. You want to team up with huge selection of car games.

    Case in point, for example, you will want to. Besides, I download wolfenstein the new
    order highly recommend you do not hear about negative effects of certain titles.
    The best thing that games are WoW and StarCraft. They teach the children the repeated practice at necessary problem solving techniques that will blow your mind at work to enhance within chess?

  6. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site.
    He was once entirely right. This put up actually made my day.
    You cann’t consider simply how so much time I had spent
    for this information! Thanks!

  7. Would it, using only steam and water, clean my tile floors.
    However, just like any type of product being sold, you need to understand that there are also some
    products that don. Those models with the water supply and the steam creating process happening on the mop
    head provided the hottest steam and the easiest clean.

  8. Wonderful website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any
    user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get feed-back from other experienced people
    that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me
    know. Many thanks!

  9. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and
    will share this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  10. It was hard to find your articles in google search results.
    I found it on 12 place, you have to build a lot of quality backlinks
    , it will help you to get more visitors. I know how to help you, just
    search in google – k2 seo tips

  11. Heya! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your
    posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  12. hello!,I love your writing so a lot! share we communicate extra approximately your article
    on AOL? I require a specialist in thjis space to solve my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.

  13. Right now it appears like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform out there right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  14. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for novice blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    My webpage :: homepage ( Eloise – http://bizarreseries9988.tumblr.com )

  15. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you need to write more about this issue, it might not be a taboo matter
    but generally people do not discuss such topics.
    To the next! Cheers!!

  16. Hi there, after reading this awesome post i am too
    delighted to share my knowledge here with colleagues.

  17. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    Look into my homepage: web site [ Claude – http://www.go2album.com/pg/groups/3888490/brighten-your-teeth-with-these-dental-care-pointers/ ]

  18. Right away I am ready to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read other news.

    My site … webpage ( Antonia – http://www.gaiaonline.com/journal/?mode=view&post_id=34898405&u=37166303 )

  19. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about click. Regards

    Here is my website :: website; Malinda – http://toughwater1860.yolasite.com/contact ,

  20. What’s up, this weekend is nice for me, for the reason that this occasion i am reading this impressive informative post here at my house.

  21. Howdy! I realize this is sort of off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog such as yours take a large amount of work?
    I’m completely new to operating a blog however I do write in my journal daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and feelings online.

    Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips
    for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  22. First of all I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior
    to writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?
    Thanks!

  23. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and
    I am inspired! Extremely helpful info specially the last phase 🙂 I handle such information much.
    I was looking for this certain info for a very lengthy time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  24. each time i used to read smaller articles that as well clear their motive,
    and that is also happening with this post which I am reading here.

  25. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually understand what you are speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally visit my web
    site =). We may have a link change agreement
    among us

  26. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and everything. However think of if you added
    some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog
    could definitely be one of the greatest in its field. Very good blog!

  27. Hey there! I’ve been following your site for a long time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    New Caney Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the
    excellent work!

  28. Hi there every one, here every one is sharing these
    kinds of experience, thus it’s nice to read this website,
    and I used to visit this weblog all the time.

  29. Thanks for another fantastic post. The place else may anyone get that
    kind of ibfo in such an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent
    week, aand I’m on the search forr such info.

  30. Very shortly this website will be famous among all blogging users, due to it’s nice content

  31. This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me.
    Thanks!

  32. Have you already been providing Mortgage Advice Nottingham plenty of believed lately?
    If so, it is crucial that you should completely take into account all of your selections.

    The decisions you make, in the many that you are subjected to, will not be exactly the same choices someone else might make.
    Go more than everything meticulously as well as the details will certainly mesh
    along with your distinctive person features and inclinations.
    Are an individual somebody who usually takes enough time to cover specific interest in your stomach instincts, often called intuition?
    The procedure is associated with the very best methods arrive at correct
    decisions in terms of these subject matter as
    Mortgage Advice Nottingham. You will definitely gain simply by obtaining all the data and profitable techniques
    since possible, so I indicate which you take a look at http://ukmortgageadvice.org.uk/independent-mortgage-advisers-expert-mortgage-advice-brokers-in-nottingham/ additionally take a close look from their particular
    information on view.

  33. Are you looking for genuine I.D, passport, visa, driver’s license, degrees, Bank statement, diplomas,firearm licence, birth certificate, club membership card, Divorce papers,change of identity, marriage certificate, medical certificate, insurance documents or any other vital document required for official or legal matters.Get your freedom with an entire new
    identity thru us via goodservicedocuments.com
    Are you looking for Genuine I.D ,Passports,,Id cards,Dl,certificates,COUNTERFEIT MONEY,SSD Solution e.t.c .. check our website out…www.goodservicedocuments.com

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

%d bloggers like this: