Sport in the United Kingdom

Sport in the United Kingdom plays an important role in British culture. The United Kingdom has given birth to a large majority of the team sports including association football, badminton, billiards, bowls, boxing, British baseball, rounders, cricket, croquet, curling, darts, golf, fives, field hockey, netball, rugby (union and league), tennis, table tennis, snooker, Motorcycle Speedway, squash,[1] water polo, and shinty. Moreover, the standardisation of various sports, such as in rowing, dancesports and motorsports occurred in the United Kingdom.

This has meant that in the infancy of many sports, the home nations England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland formed among the earliest separate governing bodies, national teams and domestic league competitions. After 1922 some sports formed separate bodies for Northern Ireland though some continued to be organised on an all-Ireland basis.

In a small number of sports, these teams are supplemented by high-profile events featuring a combined team representing one or more nations.

Overall, association football attracts the most viewers and money though the nation is notable for the diversity of its sporting interests, especially at the elite level. Major individual sports include athletics, cycling, motorsport, and horse racing. Tennis is the highest profile sport for the two weeks of the Wimbledon Championships, but otherwise struggles to hold its own in the country of its birth. Snooker and darts, too, enjoy period profile boosts in line with the holding of their largest events. Many other sports are also played and followed to a lesser degree. There is much debate over which sport has the most active participants with swimming, athletics, and cycling all found to have wider active participation than association football in the 2010 Sport England Active People survey.[2]

  1. ^ Nauright, John; Parrish, Charles, eds. (2012). Sports around the world history, culture, and practice. ABC-CLIO. p. 169. ISBN 9781598843019.
  2. ^ "Sports Council for England". Sport England. 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2011-06-21.

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