This course is designed to give students a historical perspective to the sports that they have grown up playing. This class will look at sports such as baseball, basketball, football, and soccer and see how these sports developed and changed over time. Students will get a better appreciation for the sports that they play today by learning about the history of the sport and then play an earlier version of the sport. They will also get a better understanding of other cultures by playing sports that are popular in other countries. These sports include cricket, Gaelic football, rugby, and stoolball. Students will see how the sports changed, evolved, and in many cases mirror other games. This class will meet in the classroom and in the gym and is designed to bring history to life.
After this cycle we will discuss the difficulties of playing the games and how the sport has developed and changed. We will also make connection to other games we have played. After two or three cycles they will have an essay comparing sports.
Sample Writing Assignment
Please compare and contract the NY Game and the Massachusetts Game. List several similarities and at least 6 differences between the two styles of baseball. (Keep in mind the rules, field set, and styles of play) From looking at what was happening in the United States in the 1850’s and 1860’s what were some of the factors that might explain why and how the NY style spread throughout the country.
I would also like you to write a paragraph describing your experiences playing the games. What style did you prefer? What were some of the struggles of playing by those rules (be specific about which style you are referring too)? Would you want to play this game again?
Read primary sources about the origins of the game