Some of the earliest sports played were in ancient Egypt and in Mesoamerica and those included The Fishermen’s Joust and Ullamaliztli around 2700 B.C and 1400 B.C. As time went on, the four Panhellenic Games were created, the first being the Olympics in 776 B.C. To continue on, around 70 A.D. the Roman Colosseum was built and that created an area for Romans to watch Naumachia, animal hunts, gladiator battles, and much more. Modern day sports started to take their shape around the 1800s. The importance of sports over time has changed. In the past most sports were very violent and hand little rules compared to the sports we play today. Over the past 3,500 years sports have tremendously developed. However, the sports played in early civilization to the modern day sports we play today still have the same ability to bring together and keep spectators and fans entertained.To start off, one of the first sports played was The Fishermen’s Joust in ancient Egypt. The Fishermen’s Joust was a very popular aquatic combat sport in ancient Egypt around 2700 B.C. Two teams on their respective boats would venture into the crocodile infested water of the Nile and attempt to knock off their opponents from their boats using paddles or long poles. When a competitor got knocked off by their opponent there was a small chance of living because they would either get eaten by hippos, crocodiles, or other beastly creatures in the water. Another sport played around that time was Ullamaliztli. Ullamaliztli was played around 1400 B.C. by the pre-Columbian inhabitants of ancient Mesoamerica. The game was played on a I-shaped court known as tlachtli with a 9-pound rubber ball. The object of the game was to get the ball through the stone hoop. However, this was extremely difficult, and if it happened the game would end. The ball was not allowed to touch the ground and players couldn’t hold or touch the ball with their hands. Only the elbows, knees, hips and head were used. It was a brutal game that often resulted in injuries, especially when the players, were only protected by deerskin gears and had to throw themselves on the ground to prevent the ball from touching the ground. This sport required the human sacrifice of the losing team and the decapitation of the members, particularly the captain. The game transformed into a spectator sport that attracted kings, nobles, and groups of commoners. The sport put city-states against each other and that usually took a political turn. The popularity of Ullamaliztli lead to gambling businesses on the side where one could sell his featherworks, belongings, and even himself (as a slave) to work off his debts. In conclusion, some of the earliest sports played were The Fishermen’s Joust and Ullamaliztli. As time went on, The Greeks created the four Panhellenic Games that consisted of the Olympics, The Pythian Games, The Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games, and the Romans built The Colosseum to provide a space for mass entertainment. The first Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C. The inception date of 776 B.C. became the basis for the Greek’s earliest calendar, where time was marked in four-year increments called olympiads. The first 13 games only featured the two hundred yard dash. The Pentathlon was then added to the Olympics. The Pentathlon consisted of discus, javelin, jumping, running, and wrestling. The ancient Greeks considered the rhythm and precision of an athlete throwing the discus as important as his strength. The discus was made of stone, iron, bronze, or lead, and was shaped like a flying saucer. Sizes of the discuss varied since the boys’ division was not expected to throw the same weight as the mens’. The javelin was a man-high length of wood, with either a sharpened end or an attached metal point. It had a thong for a hurler’s fingers attached to its center of gravity, which increased the precision and distance of a javelin’s flight. Athletes used lead or stone jump weights (halteres) shaped like telephone receivers to increase the length of their jump. The halteres were held in front of the athlete during his ascent, and forcibly thrust behind his back and dropped during his descent to help propel his body further. There were 4 types of running events in the Olympics. The stadion was the oldest event of the Games. During the stadion runners sprinted for 1 stade (192 m.), or the length of the stadium. The other races were a 2-stade race and a long-distance run which ranged from 7 to 24 stades. There was also a 2 to 4-stade race by athletes in armor. The armour (helmet, shield, and greaves) weighed about 50-60 lbs. For wrestling, an athlete needed to throw his opponent on the ground, landing on a hip, shoulder, or back for a fair fall. 3 throws were necessary to win a match. Biting was not allowed, and genital holds were also illegal. However, attacks such as breaking your opponent’s fingers were permitted. Other events included boxing, equestrian events such as chariot racing and riding, and pankration. Pankration had fewer rules than the modern sport. The competitors fought without rounds until one man was knocked out, or admitted he had been beaten. Unlike the modern sport, there is no rule against hitting an opponent when he was down. There was no weight classes within the mens’ and boys’ divisions. The Greeks also participated in both 2-horse chariot and 4-horse chariot races, with separate races for chariots drawn by foals. The Romans invaded Olympia in 146 B.C. however, The Games continued under Roman rule, but were disrupted by a Germanic invasion around 300 A.D. The Games became part of a pagan festival until the Christian emperor Theodosius I ordered the closure of all pagan events in 393 A.D. Another one of the four Panhellenic Games was the Nemean Games. The ancient Nemean Games were a series of athletic festivals held in honor of Zeus. This festival was hosted at three different cities throughout its history: Klonai, Argos, and Corinth. The Nemean Games took place every two years, separated by an alternation of the Olympics and the Pythian Games. The Nemean Games were established during the 51st Olympiad in 573 B.C. The city of Cleonae had control of the games until about 460 B.C., after that Argos took control. Only Greek-born men could participate in the athletic events at the Nemean Games. Much like the other Panhellenic games, it is likely Roman men were allowed to participate in the festival beginning in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. The Games included: Stadion, Diaulos (2 stadia race), Hippos (4 stadia race), Dolichos (18-24 laps on the stadion), Hoplitodromos (foot race with armour), Pentathlon, Pale (greek wrestling), Pygmachia (greek boxing), Pankration, and Harmatodroia (chariot racing). The ancient Pythian Games, another one of the four Panhellenic Games, were a series of athletic festivals at Delphi held in honor of Apollo. The Pythian Games took place every four years, two years before and after the Olympic Games. Like the other Panhellenic Games, the events at the Pythian Games were introduced gradually over time. By the time it was fully developed it featured the same athletic events as the Olympic Games. Victors were awarded a wreath of bay laurel, and were sometimes given poems or songs written in their honor. The earliest record of the Pythian Games was in 582 BC. Greek legend states that Apollo established the games as reparation for killing Python, the serpent of Delphi. All the games in the Nemean Games were played in the Pythian games. The Isthmian Games were held on the Isthmus of Corinth, in a grove of pine trees sacred to Poseidons. From 589 B.C. they were held in the first month of spring, in the second and fourth years of each Olympiad. According to legend, the Isthmian Games were originally funeral games in memory of Melicertes. The Corinthians had the control over the games, which was transferred to the Sicyonians after the destruction of Corinth (146 B.C.), but after the rebuilding of Corinth (46 B.C.) it was restored to that city. The games long continued to be held, even under the Roman Empire. The victor’s’ prize, originally a crown of dry wild celery, was changed to a pine wreath in Roman. A little bit before the Olympics ended The Colosseum in Rome was built. The Colosseum was commissioned around 70-72 A.D. by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty. In 80 A.D., Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. Inside, the Colosseum had seating for more than 50,000 spectators, who were arranged according to social ranking. The Romans watched gladiatorial combats, hunts, wild animal fights, and larger combats such as mock naval engagements. The vast majority of the combatants who fought in front of Colosseum audiences in Ancient Rome were men. Gladiators were generally slaves, condemned criminals or prisoners of war. The games often lasted from dawn till nightfall and the gladiators usually kicked-off the show with a chariot procession accompanied by trumpets. The gladiators then dismounted and circled the arena, each saluting the emperor with the famous line: Ave, imperator, morituri te salutant! (Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you!). Blood sports between various classes of gladiators included weapons such as swords, lances, tridents, and nets. There was an animal hunt with the bestiarii or the professional beast killers. The animals had no chance in these contests and were often killed at a distance using spears or arrows. There were animals such as lions, tigers, bears, elephants, leopards, hippopotamuses, and bulls, but there were also events with defenceless animals such as deer, ostriches, giraffes and even whales. Hundreds, sometimes even thousands of animals, were butchered in a single day’s event and often brutality was deliberate in order to achieve crudeliter. Naumachia was an ancient Roman sport that was played around 46 B.C. Naumachia was the staging of naval battles in which the objective of the contestants involved is to destroy the opponent’s fleet of ships and kill all of its crew, which were made up of prisoners. The competition did not take place in the sea, but it was held in specially-designed man-made basins that in some cases included various sea creatures. The earliest recorded events of Naumachia was organized by Julius Caesar in in 46 B.C. in celebration of his military accomplishments. The largest recorded event was arranged by Emperor Claudius in 52 AD. This naval battle involved the participation of 100 vessels and around 19,000 men. In summary, the Olympics and the sports played in the Roman Colosseum provide entertainment to its spectators. The modern day sports we watch and play such as football and basketball today began to take shape around the 1800s. Football began to evolve to the sport is today in the 1820s. In the 1820’s, Princeton and Harvard, along with Dartmouth in the 1830’s, were each playing different variations of football. At this point football games were still mob-style, with huge numbers of players and very little rules. This free-for-all version of football was violent and, resulted in serious injuries that led to the banning of the game first in Yale (1860) and then Harvard (1861). The birthdate of football in the United States is generally regarded as November 6, 1869, when teams from Rutgers and Princeton Universities met for the first intercollegiate football game. In these early games, there were 20 players to a team and football still more closely resembled rugby than modern football. In 1873, representatives from Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale Universities met in New York City to form the first intercollegiate football rules. These four teams established the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA) and set 15 as the number of players allowed on each team. However, Walter Camp, the coach at Yale had the desire for an eleven man team. He helped begin the final step in the evolution from rugby-style play to the modern game of American football. The IFA’s rules committee soon cut the number of players from fifteen to eleven, and also instituted the size of the playing field to a hundred ten yards. In 1882 Camp introduced the system of downs. After first allowing three attempts to advance the ball five yards, in 1906 the distance was changed to ten yards. The fourth down was added in 1912. At one meeting, attended by more than sixty schools, they appointed a seven member Rules Committee and set up what would later become known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association. From this committee came the legalization of the forward pass, which resulted in a redesign of the ball and a more open style of play on the field. The rough mass plays were made prohibited by the committee. Also prohibited was the locking of arms by teammates in an effort to clear the way for their ball carriers. The length of the game was shortened, from seventy to sixty minutes, and the neutral zone, which separates the teams by the length of the ball before each play begins, was also established. The next step to modern day football was the founding of the NFL in 1920. The NFL was founded in Canton, Ohio, as the American Professional Football Association. The present name of the NFL was adopted in 1922. The league began play in 1920 and involved five teams from Ohio (Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Tigers, Columbus Panhandlers, and Dayton Triangles), four teams from Illinois (Chicago Tigers, Decatur Staleys, Racine Cardinals, and Rock Island Independents), two from Indiana (Hammond Pros and Muncie Flyers), two from New York (Buffalo All-Americans and Rochester Jeffersons), and the Detroit Heralds from Michigan. Of these original franchises, only two remain. The NFL survived many years of instability and competition from rival organizations to become the strongest American professional football league. The most serious challenge to its leading role came from the American Football League (AFL) in the 1960s. The NFL and AFL completed a merger in 1970, creating a 26-team circuit under the name of the older NFL. Since then the league has expanded four times, adding six new franchises. To continue on basketball was invented by James Naismith in 1891. In Springfield, Naismith was faced with the problem of finding a sport that was suitable for play inside during the Massachusetts winter for the students at the School for Christian Workers. Naismith wanted to create a game of skill for the students instead of one that relied solely on strength. He needed a game that could be played indoors in a relatively small space. The first game was played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets used as goals. There was 13 original rules of the game. In the early years the number of players on a team varied according to the number in the class and the size of the playing area. In 1894 teams began to play with five on a side when the playing area was less than 1,800 square feet, the number rose to seven when the gymnasium measured from 1,800 to 3,600 square feet, and up to nine when the playing area exceeded that. In 1897, the rule was created that there was only 5 players per team. In 1895–96 the points for making a basket were reduced from three to two, and the points for making a free throw were reduced from three to one. A football was used for the first two years of basketball, but in 1894 the first basketball was marketed. It was laced, larger than a soccer ball, and weighed less than 20 ounces. The first college basketball game was played on January 18, 1896. The game was played between the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, and The University of Chicago won 15-12. On August 3 1949, after a three-year battle to win both players and fans, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). The BAA in 1946, challenged the predominance of the nine-year old NBL. The BAA had more teams from bigger cities than the NBL did. The NBL only existed in small Midwestern cities. While the NBL held its games in small gymnasiums, the BAA played its games in large major-market arenas such as the Boston Garden and New York City’s Madison Square Garden. By the 1948-49 season, the BAA had begun to attract some of the country’s best players, and four NBL franchises–Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Rochester–moved to the BAA, bringing their star players with them. On August 3, 1949, representatives from the two leagues met at the BAA offices in New York’s Empire State Building to finalize the merger. The new NBA was made up of 17 teams that represented both small and large cities across the country. Through the 1950s, though, the number of teams dwindled, along with fan support, and by the 1954-55 season, only eight teams remained. That year, the league transformed the game with the creation of the 24-second clock, making play faster-paced and more fun to watch. Fans returned, and the league expanded throughout the 1960s and 70s. Today, the NBA has 30 franchises and attracts players—and millions of fan—from countries around the world. All in all, the modern day sports we watch and play such as football and basketball today began to take shape around the 1800s. The importance of sports has changed over the last 3,500 years, but it still have one main purpose, and that is to keep spectators entertained. During early civilization sports were used not only to entertain the people watching, but to train the competitors for war. The philosopher Philostratus claimed the athletes made war a training for sports, and sports a training for war. Some ancient athletes even became leaders of their cities in battle, including the Olympic wrestler Milo of Croton, who apparently led his troops against a rival city. The role of sports as training for war can be illustrated by the two major Greek powers, Sparta and Athens. In Sparta, after the reforms of Lycurgus, a large part of the educational system included sports as a direct preparation for war. Both cities produced a relatively high number of victories at the Olympic games. It should be stressed, however, that both Athens and Sparta depended on sports as a training for battle, and citizens were expected to keep themselves physically fit for war. Sports during early civilization were also very violent and that provided entertainment for the spectators. Blood sports and death were the real purpose of The Colosseum. In most ancient civilizations the people in the crowd got to pick the punishments for the losing team. Today sports are less violent, are more rule based, and have a deeper importance. Sports today provides opportunities to get exercise and spend time with others in a healthy environment along. Sports also provide relief and a sense of relaxation in a person’s life that involves hardships. Sports today are essential to maintain health and physical fitness. Participating in sports lead to lower obesity, diabetes, and blood pressure rates. Sports also lead to better heart and lung function. Sports also create healthy socializing, academic success, and better character values. People who play sports in school are less likely to use drugs and smoke and become pregnant. Sports also give you the opportunity to create friendships. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report that student athletes earn higher grades and earn higher test scores on standardized tests and have lower dropout rates and a better chance of getting into college. Sports teach athletes good sportsmanship, teamwork, confidence, dedication, hard work, leadership, and so much more. Today, sports still have the ability to bring people together and keep them entertained. Sports connect people because it is an conversation topic and it helps you create a bond that makes you feel closer to people. Also, when you go to sporting events you often talk with strangers and connect with them. To summarize, the importance of sports has changed over the last 3,500 years, but it still has one main purpose, and that is to keep spectators entertained. In conclusion, over the past 3,500 years sports have tremendously developed. Yet, the sports played in early civilization to the modern day sports we play today still have the same ability to bring together and keep spectators and fans entertained. Some of the earliest sports played were in ancient Egypt and in Mesoamerica around 2700 B.C and 1400 B.C. Then, the four Panhellenic Games were created and around 70 A.D. the Roman Colosseum was built. The Roman Colosseum created an area for Romans to watch Naumachia, animal hunts, gladiator battles, and much more. In time, modern day sports started to take their shape around the 1800s. The importance of sports over time has changed because in the past most sports were very violent and hand little rules compared to the sports we play today. In the future sports will involve more use of technology, less human interaction, along with the continued decrease in the need to move to be entertained.