America is considered to be a “melting pot” for culture and ethnic groups. It also applies to sports and games as well. We immerse ourselves in sports and exciting activities. Most American sports have evolved from other countries’ past times. We have made up most of our own rules and renditions of the games to fit our life styles. Some of our sports we adopted and adapted came from England, or our “Mother Land” like baseball, golf, and football.
America’s “favorite past time” is baseball. Baseball was officially started by Alexander Cartwright in 1845, when he published the first widely excepted version of rules in New York (Bellis). Before this publication people would just get together and play what was called “stick ball” (Bellis). in 1871, the first pro-baseball league, The National Association of Professional Baseball Players, was established and brought to the public eye as an official organizational group. It offered money and fame if a player could play well. Cartwright’s rules are similar to the ones we use today. His rules were simpler than ours today though: hit the ball; run to first, if it is caught in air, or a ball gets to a base before you do, you are out. The rules we use today are more complex, but follow the base line of Cartwright’s original publication. We added the foul ball rule, the three strikes you’re out rule, and the batter walks after five bad pitches rule. Reggie Jackson, a famous Yankee baseball player, once said, “A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that,” meaning that the passion for the game is a repeating melody (Baseball). He plus countless others abide by the rules of the game, and give thanks to the founding of their passion as an American.
The second sport we kind of adopted is golf. Golf originated in Scotland in the mid fifteenth century. The Scots would take a stick and swing to hit a large sized pebble. They would see how far it went, and whose ever pebble went the farthest is the person who won the game. The game was revised, however, in England by King James I when he got bored of just hitting a ball with no specific goal as to where it should land. Thus, the whole is created, and with it, the rules. The term caddie comes from Queen Mary of Scotts who called her helpers “caddies”, who were the French Militia known as “cadets”. The golf course got its origin from King Charles I in the seventeenth century. The first golf club was in 1744, called the Gentleman Golfers of Leith. They made the standard rules of golf that we mainly use today. The rules were simpler then in comparison with today: hit the ball as close to the hole as possible, cannot hit opponents ball, and first ball in the hole wins that point.
Last but not least of all, we adopted and majorly twisted what we know as football. Football began in 1879, by the head athletic director of Yale University, Walter Camp. He wrote the rules for football based on, but differentiated from, Europe’s sport of rugby. He kept evolving the rules away from rugby and into its own set of original rules. He made the following changes: eleven on a team instead of fifteen, created quarter-back and center positions, standardized scoring system, tackling as low as the knee, and touchdowns equal six points, while field goals equal three points.
America has many sports that other countries inspired. We started out with some of the same rules as foreign sports and slowly evolved them into what we know today. Only a couple of sports remain with some of the same rules as the original inspiration. We adapted baseball, golf, and football from European sports into our unique popularized games of today.