Despite the fact that soccer is by far the most popular sport globally, many Americans believe that world football is unfair. American cultural values have deep love for the concept of justice. The “American Dream” is a story about justice. Those who are honest, hard-working, get what they deserve. Americans are more interested in other sports that have always been the most important part of the country’s culture.
Sports like American football, baseball, ice hockey, golf, and basketball have long seized the American citizen’s interest at the expense of traditional football, unlike most countries of the world.
Presently, basketball takes the second position in the world and the first among top games that are most popular in America. Basketball is a limited-contact sport played on a rectangular court. It is played as a team sport with five players on each side. The objective is to shoot a ball through a 46-cm hoop in diameter and 3.048 metres high that is mounted to a backboard at each end of the court. The game was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith.
Naismith was a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day. He sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. He wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 3.0 metre elevated track.
The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the “bounce pass” to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls.
The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York, on January 20, 1892, with nine players. In 1959, a basketball hall of fame was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, the site of the first game. Its rosters include the names of great players, coaches, referees and people who have contributed significantly to the development of the game. The hall of fame has people who have accomplished many goals in their career in basketball.
An upstart organization, the American Basketball Association, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA’s dominance until the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Today the NBA is the top professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition.
2 – American football
American football evolved in the United States, originating from rugby. The first match of American football was played on 6 November 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton.
Football games are played on a rectangular field that measure 110 metres long and 48.76 metres wide. Lines marked along the ends and sides of the field are known respectively as the end lines and sidelines, and goal lines are marked 9.1 metres inward from each end line. Weighted pylons are placed on the inside corner of the intersections of the goal lines and end lines.
In American football, the winner is the team that has scored the most points at the end of the game. There are multiple ways to score in a football game. The touchdown (TD), worth six points, is scored when a live ball is advanced into, caught in, or recovered in the end zone of the opposing team. The scoring team then attempts a try or conversion, more commonly known as the point-after-touchdown (PAT), which is a single scoring opportunity. A field goal (FG), worth three points, is scored when the ball is placekicked or dropkicked through the uprights and over the crossbars of the defence’s goalposts. After a PAT attempt or successful field goal, the scoring team must kick the ball off to the other team.
The National Football League was founded in 1920 and has since become the largest and most popular sport in the United States. There was a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues’ champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was re-designated as a “conference”, and the game has since been played between conference champions to determine the NFL’s league champion. Each conference includes 16 teams. The final game or Super Bowl, held in early February each year, ranks among the most-watched club sporting events in the world.
American football has overtaken baseball in the last 20 years, becoming the most popular game in the United States, while unpopular outside the United States, although there are several countries which play it regularly such as Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The earliest known reference to baseball is in a 1744 British publication, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, by John Newbery. It contains a rhymed description of “base-ball” and a woodcut that shows a field set-up somewhat similar to the modern game. Baseball is the first team sport registered and officially approved by the US government, since 1846.
The game is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles. It is played between two teams, each composed of nine players, that take turns playing offense (batting and base running) and defence (pitching and fielding). The object of baseball is to score more runs than your opponent. The idea is to hit the ball thrown at you as far as you can before running around four bases to complete a run. Once a player manages to get around the four bases before being tagged out then another batter comes in.
In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. The Major League Baseball (MLB) is one of the oldest sports league in the history of the United States. It has been held regularly since 1903 and consists of 30 permanent teams representing 29 American states as well as the Canadian Toronto team. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series.
Baseball is considered a national sport in the USA. It was the most popular sport in the country until it was surpassed by American football. Baseball is very popular in most of America’s neighbouring countries such as Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Venezuela, as well as some East Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
4- Ice Hockey
Being the fourth most popular game in America, ice hockey is simply called hockey. Especially in the northern part of America, the popularity of this sort of hockey is the highest. It is believed that the game was first played in Canada on glacial lakes since the mid-19th century.
Ice hockey is played on a hockey rink. During normal play, there are six players per side on the ice at any time, one of them being the goaltender, each of whom is on ice skates. The objective of the game is to score goals by shooting a hard vulcanised rubber disc, the puck, into the opponent’s goal net, which is placed at the opposite end of the rink. The players use their sticks to pass or shoot the puck.
North America’s National Hockey League (NHL), founded in 1817, is the highest level for men’s ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world. It consists of 23 American teams and seven teams from Canada. The winner of the title gets the Stanley Cup.
The popularity of ice hockey grew in America in the 1990s. Hockey is also popular in some cold-weather countries such as Russia, Finland, and Norway. It is also played in some Arab countries, especially Gulf countries such as, UAE, Kuwait, and Oman.
While the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game’s ancient origins are unclear and much debated. However, golf is similar to another old game played by cavalries on their horses, which was known hundreds of years before golf in Persia and the Arab countries.
A golf course consists of either nine or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground that is set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area. The player uses a stick with a pointed head to hit the golf ball trying to get it into the nearest hole with the lowest number of attempts.
Similar to tennis and most individual ball games, a group of annual golf tournaments is held in a number of countries across the world, where players collect a number of points that contribute to improving their position within the monthly classification issued by the world association of the game. Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer now. His fame has spread all over the world.
This game happens to be the one played by some of the most notable people of America. It surpasses tennis, freestyle wrestling, boxing, and motor racing as the most popular individual sport in the United States. The game is widely played in some Western European countries and Australia as well as in the Gulf states. Iraq, however, was one of the first countries in the world to play golf during the 1940s.