With ever week that passes, there seems to be some new sport or a variation of a current sport that often beggars believe in terms of how it is played, but for most sports enthusiasts the traditional sports are still their favourites. For many of those sports, a sports net of some kind is necessary to play the sport, and these come in all shapes and sizes.
Whilst you may know a lot about these sports as they are played in their current form today, but have you ever wondered how they actually got started or been puzzled by some of their idiosyncrasies? If so here are some fun facts about popular sports that use sports nets.
Football/Soccer – A Sport With Multiple Names
In most parts of the world, ‘Association Football’ is simply called football, but in others which have their own forms of football, such as the USA, it is called soccer. In Australia, the jury is out with a split between football and soccer, given that we have Aussie rules football here.
In the UK, there is a great annoyance when they hear Americans use the word football to describe the sport where the objective is not hitting the ball in the back of the net, but a touchdown, and so many fans simply refuse to call football, ‘soccer’. The irony is that the word soccer was actually first used in the UK in the 1800s to differentiate the different forms of football including rugby football which was given the name ‘rugger’.
Tennis – A Sport With Lots Of ‘Love’
Our first weird fact about tennis is that the very earliest versions did not use racquets to hit the ball, but instead, the palm of the hand was used. Strange fact number two is that no one is 100% sure where the term ‘Love’ came from to describe zero as the score. Some think it might be from the French word ‘l’ouef’ for an egg as it is shaped like a zero.
Hockey – A Sport With An Ancient Past.
Whilst the origins of many sports that use sports nets can be traced back within two hundred years, field hockey can claim to have a heritage that might even include the possibility of Cleopatra watching a game. Drawings discovered in Egypt depict games being played with a ball and a stick, and throughout history, there is imagery showing similar games in Greece, Ireland, and Mongolia to name but three.
Cricket – A Sport Where Nets Help Create Icons
We all know that the sports nets used in cricket are for practice only, but just think of how they have allowed some of the greatest cricketers ever to master their batting and bowling skills. As for a fun fact, the score 111 is called a Nelson and is considered unlucky as it resembles three wickets without the bails. In Australia 87 is also considered unlucky as 100 – 87 = 13, which is the ‘devil’s number’.
Netball – A Sport That Definitely Uses A Net
No article about sports with nets would be complete without including the one sport that actually has ‘net’ in its name. As for fun facts about netball, it is derived from basketball and developed in the late 1800s as a sport for women to play when the idea of females exerting themselves physically, as they would have to if playing basketball, was not deemed ‘appropriate’ for the time. It is hugely popular in Australia, where it was still called women’s basketball up until 1970.