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British typical sports


Sport is the most popular thing in the world. We don’t realize it but all of us have something to do with sport, we run, we sit down, get up we do all kinds of sports movements, and this happens because we have a dynamic lifestyle, we have to move very much.

Sport is very important for us, for our health as we always want to progress, to attain some kind of performance. Practicing a sport we will have a healthy body and a strong mind, as the Latin proverb says: “Mens sana in corpore sano”.

I’ve chosen this project: “Typical English sports” because I want to present some interesting facts about typical sports. The typical British sports are FOOTBALL, CRICKET, TENNIS, SNOOKER and HORSE RACING. As we all know some of the most famous sports in the world such as football, tennis and cricket ware invented in the UK.

The first sport I dealt with in my paper is tennis. Tennis is one of the most exhausting sport but in the same time is one of the most popular. Everyone has heard of the grand slams of England “Wimbledon”, France “Roland Garos” and AustraliaMelbourne” or US Open. Even if tennis was created in Britain, the best players and the performance came from countries like Russia, America, Spain, Switzerland. The the greatest champions who have played on the grass of Wimbledon are Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Marat Safin, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Martina Navratilova, Maria Sarapova.

The second sport that I’ll present is football. There are some historical data which confirm that football was practiced in many ways a long time ago. The first ware the Romans, then the Greeks and it was known even in the Far East China. It was practiced in many different ways and it was different of nowadays football. Football as we know it today was born in England. What can be more thrilling than a perfect pass? What can make you jump off your seat when you see a strike in the top corner? FOOTBALL!!! Football is the most popular sport it crossed the boundaries of the UK being played all over the world from Finland to South Africa, from America to Korea. It’s quite a simple sport and it can be played everywhere all you need is a ball.

Last, but not least sport is cricket. It is a beautiful sport, it has a lot of rules it is quite difficult and is not as popular as football. The nr.1 sport in America, baseball was based on cricket rules and laws. Unfortunately less than half of the countries in the world practice cricket. Some of the best cricket national teams are England, Wales, S Africa and Australia.

In conclusion, sports should and must be one of the major activities in one’s life as it helps us to stay healthy and fit and always have a clear mind.



I.1 Wimbledon

The Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon have developed from the garden party atmosphere of the first meeting in 1877, witnessed by a few hundred spectators, to a highly professional tournament attracting an attendance of close to 500,000 people. Players from over 60 nations regularly compete in front of a crowd of millions worldwide, through the press, radio, internet and television.

The Championships start six weeks before the first Monday in August and last approximately a fortnight, until all events are complete.

There was a temporary three-plank stand offering seats to 30 people, the total attendance for the final was 200, and the weather was grim. Welcome to Wimbledon 1877, the year of the first Championships. The tournament was held at the site of the All England Club's first rented premises, four acres of meadowland between Worple Road and the tracks of the London and South Western Railway in what was then the outer London suburb of Wimbledon. The champion, from an entry of 22 men - no women were permitted to play in those days - was W. Spencer Gore, aged 27.

In common with the other 21 hopefuls competing for the first prize valued at 12 guineas, plus a silver challenge cup valued at 25 guineas, Gore was not a devotee of the new sport of lawn tennis. A keen follower of cricket, Gore also played real tennis and rackets. The day of the tennis specialist was still far away.

In fact in 1877 tennis was very much an afterthought at the All England Club, which had been founded nine years earlier to promote the game of croquet. But as the new game of tennis began to overtake the more sedate croquet in the minds of a growing middle class population, it was decided to incorporate tennis courts into the club facilities.

There were, of course, strict regulations in the matter of attire. A notice on the clubhouse door advised 'Gentlemen are kindly requested not to play in shirtsleeves when ladies are present.' The greater physical exertions of tennis also required more than the post-croquet rinsing of hands and the enterprising Dr. Henry Jones, a committee member and general practitioner, built at his own expense a bathroom, for the use of which he charged a fee.

The weekly sporting magazine The Field, in whose London offices the All England Croquet Club had been founded in July 1868, became one of the sporting world's earliest sponsors when it publicised 'a lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs, entrance fee £1 1s 0d' and put up the trophy. A footnote indicated that rackets and 'shoes without heels' should be provided by the players themselves, though balls would be supplied by the club gardener.

Dr. Jones, who was appointed referee, did much more than introduce bathroom facilities to Worple Road. He was instrumental in drawing up the rules for the first Wimbledon. As the game had spread in popularity, following its introduction in Britain by the cavalry major, Walter Clopton Wingfield, the Marylebone Cricket Club, the controlling body not only of cricket but also real tennis, devised a set of rules for tennis. Dr. Jones and his committee revised those rules into the form in which the sport is played to this day, though players changed ends only at the conclusion of each set.

The scene of the first Wimbledon would have been more or less recognisable to present-day followers of tennis, but the equipment and style of play were, perforce, rudimentary in a new sport. The rackets resembled snowshoes in shape and weight, the balls had hand-sewn flannel outer casings and the serving was round-arm rather than overhead.

Though the tournament's opening day, Monday July 9, had been set, the event was the victim of weird scheduling. After the semi-finals on Thursday July 12 the competition was suspended to leave the London sporting scene free for the top occasion, the Eton versus Harrow cricket match at Lord's, over the next two days, with Wimbledon's first final due to be played the following Monday, July 16.

Nobody bothered to record the crowd numbers for the historic first day's play, when one of the entrants, C.F. Buller, failed to turn up, reducing the number of matches from eleven to ten. The eleven survivors were whittled down to six the following day and then to three. Since the concept of using byes only in the first round was still some years away, William Marshall received a free passage into the final while Gore beat C.G. Heathcote, an All England Club committee man.

After the weekend's excitements of the cricket at Lord's, the day of Wimbledon's final, for the first time but certainly not the last, turned out wet and was postponed - not to the next day but, in accordance with those more leisurely times, until the following Thursday.

The paid attendance of 200 for the final (at a shilling a head) again had to put up with damp and dreary weather as Gore claimed his niche in sporting history by outclassing Marshall 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. The one-sided match, delayed an hour by rain, lasted only 48 minutes.

There is no greater test in tennis than the switch from clay to grass courts in June.

For the top players, the grass season lasts no more than four weeks and as it immediately follows the French Open, most players who lose in the early rounds at Roland Garros will head to Britain to begin their preparation for Wimbledon.

Players must contend with low skidding balls and irregular bounces

They have a very short time to adapt from the high bounce of the slow clay court to the unpredictability of the grass where the average rally in a men's match is four strokes.

In addition the playing characteristics of the game can change on a daily basis depending on the weather, the amount of play the court has had and the length of the grass.

The bounce is generally fast and low so the ability to shorten backswings, serve and volley well and use slice will all contribute to grass court success.

Playing on grass demands that you come up with effective solutions to the following challenges:

The ball bounces low and often skids

The court is often slippery

There are often bad bounces

Top players make it a target to finish the points off quickly and allow the ball to bounce as little as possible on their side of the net.

Younger players should also follow this tactic.

It's important to move in after the serve or the short/mid-court ball and win the point with a volley or overhead.

The slipperiness demands using a lot of small adjustment steps to get in to the correct position. You will probably need to lower your centre of gravity to get down to the low or bad bounce.

It's worth investing in a pair of grass court shoes -the ones with the little pimples on the soles. These will really help you to get a better grip on what can be a slippery surface.That means bending your knees!

Quick adjustments in the swing pattern and footwork are constantly needed so any movement or co-ordination weaknesses will show up immediately.

And as points tend to be short, it is important to keep good focus. Any lapse of concentration can lead to a service break.

On grass the serve and return plays a huge part in determining the outcome of the point, so it is very important to use your serve effectively.

At the beginning of the grass season, the grass tends to be a bit longer and the courts can be quite soft as they have not been often used and there has not been enough sunshine to harden them up.

If this is the case, try to use the slice serve to keep the ball low.

Henman has had his best success on grass

Later in the season, if the court is hard and the grass is shorter, the flat serve will work better as the courts will be faster.

Top spin second serves will be more effective too as the ball will bounce higher.

Don't forget the body serve, especially if the court is uneven. A slice body serve on grass can be almost impossible to return.

You may also find the following tactics useful:

Serve wide with a bit of slice and attack to the open court. The grass and the slice will keep the ball low, taking your opponent out of position and making it very tough to hurt you with the return.

Attack up the lines. Try to take control of the point by hitting hard, flat and deep up the line off short and mid-court balls.

The ball travels very fast off the grass when hit flat, forcing your opponent to defend. Be prepared to follow that shot in so you can put the ball away with a volley or overhead.

Use the drop shot, short slice and stop/drop volleys on grass. If you use these shots effectively, they should land in the areas of the court which are soft and therefore will hardly bounce!

Players tend not to play in the front half of the service box so this area of the court does not harden up in the same way as the rest of the court.

I.2 All the basics of scoring

There's no getting away from it, tennis has an unusual scoring system.

The score does not go up in units of one or even in units of the same amount.

The first point in a game is called 15 and the next 30. So you'd think that the next point should be 45 - but it isn't, it's 40.

And the score of a player who has not won any points is not 'nil' or 'zero', but 'love'.

This is said to come from the French word 'oeuf', which means 'egg' and is shaped like a zero. The server's score is always called first by the umpire.

So if Player A is serving to Player B and Player B wins the point, the score is love-15.

If Player A wins the next point the score is 15-all, and so on.

I.3 Scoring basics: games

The first player to win four points wins a game.

So if a player wins four points straight their scoring will go 15-0, 30-0, 40-0 then game.

The exception is if both players win three points each (i.e. 40-40) which is called deuce.

Then the winner is the first player to then win two points in a row.

I.4 Tennis equipment guide 

Tennis has always been something of a fashion show.

It began in the 1930s when Frenchman Rene Lacoste promoted his own brand of sports shirts by sporting the Lacoste crocodile logo on court.

Now, tennis fashion is now a multi-million pound industry.

But specialist equipment does not have to be expensive. All you need is a racquet, balls and trainers.

You could spend anything up to £800 on a full outfit and racquet. But you can pick up kit including a racquet for as little as £50.

But the racquet may be the one piece of equipment worth spending a little more money on.



II.1 Bjorn Borg

Text Box: Figure 1
Bjorn Borg winning Wimbledon
Bjorn BorgThough his modern-era record of five Wimbledon Singles Championships has been overtaken by Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg remains at the pinnacle of the all-time greats of The Championships by virtue of two statistics: those five successive victories between 1976 and 1980 and the fact that he also pulled off in three consecutive years the most difficult “double” in tennis, victory on clay at the French Open and on grass at Wimbledon.

Becoming champion in quick succession on such alien surfaces has been achieved before, most notably by Rod Laver in his Grand Slam years of 1962 and 1969, but since Borg only Andre Agassi has managed to win both Roland Garros and Wimbledon – and in his case seven years separated the two achievements.

There was, alas, a price to be paid for Borg’s genius, and it was a heavy one. After annexing 11 Grand Slam singles (six French, five Wimbledon) in the space of eight years, the enigmatic Swede quit the sport at 26, mentally drained and physically exhausted by those extraordinary demands. It is unlikely tennis will ever see his like again in terms of an athlete driven by single-mindedness to such success.In nine tilts at the Men’s Singles between the years of 1973 and 1981, Borg won 51 matches and lost four. Between his 1975 quarter-final defeat by the eventual champion, Arthur Ashe, and his loss in the 1981 final to John McEnroe, Borg won 41 consecutive singles at The Championships. What is less well known about Borg’s grass court prowess is that he also won Junior Wimbledon in 1972 at the age of 16, recovering from a 5-2 deficit in the final set to overcome Britain’s Buster Mottram.But it was on clay that Borg had his earliest big wins, at the Italian and French Opens of 1974 on either side of his 18th birthday. The Roland Garros title was again captured the following year, and a burgeoning reputation meant that the Swede was seeded fourth for the 1976 Championships.

In an astonishing sequence Borg demolished seven opponents, culminating with Ilie Nastase, without dropping a set. It was only the fourth time a man had done that at Wimbledon, and it has not been accomplished since.It had thus been demonstrated in devastating fashion that Borg’s finest qualities, speed about the court, heavily topspun groundstrokes and mental strength, translated readily from clay to grass. It was that mental strength, allied to his sheer never-say-die quality, which subsequently rescued him four times from looming defeat in his incredible run of Wimbledon success.In 1977 he trailed Mark Edmondson by two sets in the second round before sweeping the next three, and in the semi-final his close friend Vitas Gerulaitis was a break up in the fifth set before succumbing to lack of belief, since he had never beaten Borg.In 1978 he trailed on the opening day by two sets to one against Victor Amaya before finding his rhythm, having newly arrived in London from triumph in Paris. Two years later Vijay Amritraj led Borg two sets to one in the second round, and Borg was taken to a fourth set tie-break before prevailing. Beneath that headband worn severely low on the forehead, the will to win was strong as ever.

It was needed in the 1980 final against McEnroe, a match nominated by many as Wimbledon’s greatest ever. Having lost the opening set 6-1 to an all-out McEnroe assault, Borg took the next two 7-5, 6-3 and had two Championship points at 5-4 in the fourth. But McEnroe averted disaster and went on to level the match in Wimbledon’s most memorable tie-break, which he won 18-16, saving five more match points.That renowned mental quality saw Borg through a testing 8-6 fifth set for his fifth straight Wimbledon title, but 12 months later it was noticeably absent when the same pair contested the final again. The spark had gone. Borg was on the brink of burn-out.“Here I was, in another Wimbledon final, the biggest thing you can play in,” he said recently. “But I didn’t have that sparkling feeling.” McEnroe won 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 and Borg’s subsequent comment says everything about him at that time: “Of all the Wimbledon finals I played, that is the one I should have won, yet it didn’t bother me when I lost. So I decided it was time to go.”


Runner-up: 1981

II.2 Pete Sampras

Text Box: Figure 2
Pete Sampras winning the Grand Slam
Pete SamprasWith seven Wimbledon Championships - 14 Grand Slam titles in all – Pete Sampras has the most outstanding record of any of the men's Champions. Although the records and statistics are the dry proof that Sampras was king in his time at the All England Club, sport is not just about numbers. What grips us, the lucky few who get to sit at the court side, is the passion, the fear, the blood, sweat and tears that separates the players from the champions and the champions from the truly great.

Passion? Sampras? Oh, my, yes. Sampras was never the most expressive or effusive of characters on court, but there was a fire in him that burned brightly and scorched all who came near it. His whole life was devoted to achieving greatness and then hanging on to it. For six years between 1993 and 1998 his every waking moment was consumed with the thought of winning and maintaining his position as world No. 1. He did it, too.

During that spell, he won five of his Wimbledon titles together with three US Open and two Australian Open trophies. But it was here at Wimbledon that he felt most at home. Here he was in his comfort zone, here he had a head start on any opposition. The mere fact of playing the great Sampras reduced all but the best to tatters and gave him a few points in the bag before the match had even begun.

Every year he would come to London from the French Open looking grim. He could never win in Paris and the fact hurt. But as soon as he walked through the gates of the All England Club his spirits lifted and he became a different man. He won here when he was injured, he won when his form was at its lowest and he won when his critics had written him off. Put Pete on Centre Court and he was unstoppable. On one leg and in a blindfold and he was still unstoppable.

Then there were the occasions when Pete was in his pomp. The 1999 final against Andre Agassi was possibly the greatest display of grass court tennis that Wimbledon has ever seen. Sampras had stumbled around the circuit for the first half of the year, winning nothing and looking miserable but then he went through that Lazarus moment as he returned to the grass. He won at Queen's and then began his campaign for The Championships.

Round by round he gathered momentum until he was ready for Agassi. His fellow American had just won the French Open, he was the story of the moment having hauled himself back from a ranking of 141 and reinvented himself as a champion. Agassi was at his peak. And in the first set he had the temerity to manufacture three break points on the Sampras serve.

That was it. That was the moment Sampras moved from champion to genius. He snatched back the break points and then took off. For a couple of minutes Agassi shook his head and tried to work out what had happened but by then the first set was gone and he was a break down in the second. It was not that Agassi was playing badly, it was just that Sampras was sublime.

'Today he walked on water,' Agassi said later. Sampras said simply: 'Sometimes I surprise myself.' He ended the match on a second service ace - naturally.

He was back the next year for his last Championship victory at Wimbledon, beating Pat Rafter in an emotional rollercoaster of a Final. He came to London on the back of a serious back injury and not having won anything since March and again his chances were not great. He had even been beaten at Queen's two weeks before but still Wimbledon worked its magic on the man. And him on it. Even the tendinitis that had almost felled him in the early rounds was shaken off as Sampras wrote his own chapter in the history books.


Singles Champion:



III.1 Some of the basic rules behind the beautiful game:

Text Box: Figure 3
The goal of victory
It only takes a second to scoreAll defenders will tell you stopping goals is the most important thing in football. Talk to a striker and you'll be reminded they're the ones with the most important job! A team obviously needs both. But the simple truth is that you can't win a game without hittting the back of the net with the ball. Here are some of the basic rules. All players must be in their own half at the kick-off and the first touch of the ball must go forward.

The game is restarted after a goal in exactly the same way, from the centre-spot, and also at the start of the second half. It is also allowed to score directly from the kick-off.

III.2 Game durations

All the football pundits say it, don't they? 'It only takes a second to score. That means there could be 5,400 goals in a game. Nonsense, of course, but the magic number is 90 - at senior level anyway. There are 90 magical minutes to score all those goals, which are split between two halves of 45 minutes. Then there is a break of up to 15 minutes at half-time for a breather and a chance for the manager to throw the tea cups about.

Additional time is allowed by the referee at the end of each half to make up for time lost through substitutions and treatment of injured players.

In cup competitions, extra-time is often played if the score is still level. Depending on the competition, this consists of two periods of no more than 15 minutes each. Still no goals after 30 minutes? Then it's down to the dreaded penalty shoot-out!

III.3 Football is all about scoring and stopping goals

But there are many different tactics that can be used in pursuit of these aims - and that's where the manager earns his crust.

It might be better to play more defensively to hold on to a lead.

Or, if the team is losing, a more attacking set-up that allows the players to push further forward may be required.

To alter the way the team is playing requires a change to the structure.

Traditionally, teams play in a 4-4-2 formation - that is four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers.

But, as the game has progressed and developed, managers and players have experimented with many variations of team formations.

Adaptability is the key and the best managers can change formations as the game progresses.

III.4 The most common formation you will likely see in British football is the 4-4-2

It's made up of four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers.

It is an adaptable system where you have strength in midfield and plenty of width.

Having two strikers means that the front line has extra support rather than having to wait for the midfield to reach them.

This formation, like others, tends to free up the full-backs, who will have more time on the ball than midfielders, particularly if the opposition is playing 4-4-2 as well.

In fact, some coaches see the two central midfielders in this formation as defenders and the full-backs as attackers.

This formation also offers the chance for one of the two central midfielders to get forward and support the strikers.

Sometimes the two midfielders will take turns in pushing forward to keep the defenders guessing.

But some teams, such as England, sometimes favour a more solid approach, assigning a midfielder to have a more defensive and deeper role - such as Ledley King or Jamie Carragher - to cover the defence.

This gives the more attacking midfielder greater freedom to push forward and support the strikers.

This type of formation has been called the diamond formation as the four midfielders form a diamond-like shape, and it favours a team which does not have strong wingers.

III.5 Know your referee's signals?

Text Box: Figure 4
Referee's signals in the field
Know your referee's signalsWhen the referee starts waving his arms about after blowing the whistle, do you know what he is indicating?

He may be conducting himself in a medieval dance, but more likely he will be signalling a free-kick.

Here is our guide to the referee's signals:


The referee should point with a raised arm in the direction that the free-kick has been given. The referee does need to make a further signal to indicate it is direct.Players often wait before taking a free-kick to check with the ref whether it is direct or indirect.


The referee will signal the positioning and direction of an indirect free-kick in the same way as any other free-kick. However, to show that the kick is indirect the referee keeps one arm outstretched above his head until after the kick is taken. It avoids any confusion when a goal is scored directly from a free-kick.


These are not the signals you should be wanting a ref to show you. The signal for a caution or sending off is the same - it's just the colour of the card that is different.The referee will take a note of the player and then hold the card high above the head with an outstretched arm.If the player is sent off for two bookable offences, the referee will show the second yellow card before holding up the red card.It is possible, though, that a player who has already been booked can be shown a straight red card.

When is a card red or yellow?

The different fouls that make the ref get out the red or yellow card

There are seven different offences that can get you a yellow card:

 Anything that can be deemed as unsporting behaviour

 Dissent by word or action

 Persistent infringement of the laws, for example, a series of fouls

 Delaying the restart of play

 Not retreating the required distance at a free-kick or corner

 Entering or re-entering the pitch without the referee's permission

 Deliberately leaving the pitch without the referee's permission

A player is sent off and shown the red card if they commit any of the following seven offences:

 Serious foul play

 Violent conduct, such as throwing a punch

 Spitting at an opponent or another person

 A player other than the goalkeeper denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball

 Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offence punishable by a free-kick or a penalty kick

 Using offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

 Receiving a second caution in the match

III. 6 Advantages

Even after a foul, a ref may allow play to continue sometimes. He will look to see if the team that would have been awarded the free-kick has an advantage in playing on.To signal that he is waving play on, he will extend both arms out in front of his body.

Know your referee assistant signals?

Text Box: Figure 5
Referee's assistant signaling
Know your assistant referee signals?That person on the touchline might look as though he's waving in some low flying aircraft but those flags have a very important role

They used to be called linesmen but now they're referee assistants and they help the referee with offside decisions and signal a number of things, such as throw-ins and substitutions.So what are these signals? Well you don't need a degree in semaphore to understand what they all mean.

Here is our guide to the referee assistant signals:


When the whole of the ball crosses the line, it's time for a throw-in.The assistant referee will hold up the flag in the direction that the team which is awarded the throw-in is attacking. The assistant will stand at the point where the ball crossed the line. But only if the ball goes out in the half of the pitch he is marshalling.


If the manager decides it's time to change the team then this is the signal you'll see on the touchline.The arms go up in the air and holding on to both sides of the flag, it is hung above the head of the referee's assistant.

Not the sort of signal you want to see if 30 seconds before you've just blazed a penalty over the bar.


There are three different signals for an offside. But the type of signal is dependent on where the offside offence is committed. The position where the assistant holds his flag makes it clear to the referee, players and spectators which player is being penalised for offside.

From the graphic above, here are the three scenarios:


The first signal is for offsides on the far side of the pitch. The assistant referee will hold the flag out in front of him at above head height.


The second signal indicates that a player in the centre of the pitch has strayed offside. The flag will be held out with an outstretched arm at shoulder height.


If a player on the side of the pitch nearest to the assistant is deemed to be offside then the flag is pointed down towards the ground in front of the body.

Positions guide: who is in a team?

Graphic showing a team formationRegulation football is played by two teams of 11 players but there is a variety of formations that can be employed. In Premiership or League match, three subs from a nominated five are allowed.

In the European competition, a manager can select from seven players on the bench. More can be used in friendlines.

Text Box: Figure 6
Members of the team
In an 11-a-side match, a game cannot begin if either side has less than seven players.

Football equipment guide

It's difficult to over emphasise the importance of having well fitted football boots

There is a huge variety of boots available at wildly varying prices, but the most expensive ones on the market won't necessarily be the best ones for you, and they certainly won't make you a better player.

So when you're choosing your next pair, forget style and think about practicality and comfort.

Firstly, try and understand the shape of your feet and your running style.

Also think about if you are flat-footed or have a high arch.

Ideally, football boots will fit snugly, although during teenage years with feet still growing it is advisable to allow some room to compensate.




Short History

Manchester United Football Club was first formed in 1878, albeit under a different name - Newton Heath LYR (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway).

Little suspecting the impact they were about to have on the national, even global game, the workers in the railway yard at Newton Heath indulged their passion for association football with games against other departments of the LYR or other railway companies.

Indeed, when the Football League was formed in 1888, Newton Heath did not consider themselves good enough to become founder members alongside the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End. They waited instead until 1892 to make their entrance.

Financial problems plagued Newton Heath, and by the start of the twentieth century it seemed they were destined for extinction. The club was saved, however, by a local brewery owner, John Henry Davies. Legend has it that he learned of the club's plight when he found a dog belonging to Newton Heath captain Harry Stafford.


Manchester United started the new decade, century and millennium in typical pioneering fashion. They entered a brand new competition – the FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil – but at the expense of their participation in the FA Cup, of which they were the holders.

The January jaunt to South America didn't result in any silverware – beating the Brazilian sides in their own backyard and stifling climate was a bridge too far – but it gave the Reds valuable relaxation time in the sun. Rejuvenated by this, they raced ahead of their rivals in the title race when they returned to England. They achieved their sixth Premiership title early, in April, and still without a convincing replacement for Peter Schmeichel.

Several goalkeepers including Mark Bosnich tried and failed to establish themselves during the 1999/2000 season. So it was hardly surprising when Fabien Barthez joined United in July 2000, fresh from adding the European Championships crown to his World Cup winners medal.

The eccentric but brilliant French goalkeeper helped United to win their third successive title in 2000/01, a feat that had previously been achieved by only a handful of clubs in England. Liverpool had been the last team to do it, in 1982, 1983 and 1984, but this was under the supervision of two different managers - Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan.

Sir Alex Ferguson had been at the helm for all three of United's back-to-back titles, and was therefore the first manager in English football to achieve the hat-trick. On the back of this latest trophy, Fergie announced he would be retiring from management at the end of the 2001/02 season - only to later change his mind and set about building another great side, this time to overcome Arsenal - the Premiership and FA Cup Double winners in May 2002.

Ferguson's major signing in the summer of 2002 was Rio Ferdinand, one of England's best performers at the World Cup Finals in Japan and Korea. The £30m acquisition from Leeds added the steel that had arguably been missing from United's defence since the departure of Jaap Stam to Lazio - a transfer that took everyone by surprise, including the player!

Ferdinand helped the Reds to recapture their Premiership title in May 2003 but the calendar year ended on a low note for the defender - he was punished by the FA for failing to attend a mandatory drugs test at Carrington and was suspended for eight months from January to September 2004.

In the period without Rio, the Reds lost their title - to Arsenal again - but won the FA Cup for a record eleventh time, beating Millwall 3-0 in the 2004 final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. One of the goalscorers was Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, the best of Fergie's imports during the previous summer.

Manchester greatest player:

Born: 11 Oct 1937

Signed: 01 Jun 1953

Debut: 6 Oct 1956 v Charlton (H) League

Goals Total: 249

Appearances Total: 759

Text Box: Figure 7
Jackie Milburn
Position: Forward

Left United: 1 May 1973

Nobody embodies the values of Manchester United better than Sir Bobby Charlton. Having survived the trauma of Munich aged just 20, he played as if every game was for his fallen colleagues, recovering from his injuries to reach the pinnacle for both club and country.

In a 17-year playing career with United, he played a record 754 games, scoring 247 goals. It is unlikely his deeds will ever be matched. Although highly coveted by clubs across the country, the young Charlton, nephew of the great Newcastle United striker Jackie Milburn, turned professional with United in October 1954, winning the FA Youth Cup in 1954, 1955 and 1956.His league debut came on 6 October 1956 against Charlton at Old Trafford and the youngster made an immediate impact, scoring twice despite carrying an injury. “Mr Busby asked me if I was ok,” recalled Sir Bobby. “I actually had a sprained ankle, but I wasn’t going to admit to it and I crossed my fingers and said ‘yes’.”

Despite his dramatic bow, Charlton didn’t command a relatively regular place until the latter stages of the 1956/57 season, notching 10 goals as the Busby Babes won a first title.

campaign as a right-back, but he later moved to his favoured position of centre-half. The positional switch suited Foulkes – he preferred to keep things simple, passing to his more gifted team-mates at the first opportunity. It was an approach that served him well.



The aim of cricket

Cricket is basically a simple game - score more than the opposition.

Two teams, both with 11 players, take it in turns to bat and bowl.

When one team is batting, they try and score as many runs as they can by hitting the ball around an oval field.

The other team must get them out by bowling the ball overarm at the stumps, which are at either end of a 22-yard area called a wicket.

The bowling team can get the batsmen out by hitting the stumps or catching the ball.

Text Box: Figure 8
Cricket score table
Once the batting team is all out, the teams swap over and they then become the bowling side.

Each time a team bats it is known as their innings. Teams can have one or two innings depending on how long there is to play.

The Ashes Test matches are over five days so England and Australia have two innings each to score as many runs as they can.

Whoever scores the most runs wins. But a cricket match can be drawn too.

That happens when the team bowling last fails to get all the batsmen.

Two teams, both with 11 players, take it in turns to bat and bowl.

When one team is batting, they try and score as many runs as they can by hitting the ball around an oval field.

The other team must get them out by bowling the ball overarm at the stumps, which are at either end of a 22-yard area called a wicket.

The bowling team can get the batsmen out by hitting the stumps or catching the ball.

Once the batting team is all out, the teams swap over and they then become the bowling side.

Each time a team bats it is known as their innings. Teams can have one or two innings depending on how long there is to play.

The Ashes Test matches are over five days so England and Australia have two innings each to score as many runs as they can.

Whoever scores the most runs wins. But a cricket match can be drawn too.

That happens when the team bowling last fails to get all the batsmen out.

How runs are scored

The fielding team has all 11 players on the field at the same time but there are only ever two batsmen.

Nine members of the fielding team can be positioned around the field depending on where the captain wants them.

Text Box: Figure 9
Cricket batsman
The other two members of the team are the wicketkeeper and the bowler.

The bowler delivers the ball, overarm, at one of the batsmen who will try and hit the ball to score runs.

One run is scored each time the batsmen cross and reach the set of stumps at the other end of the pitch.

Four runs can be scored if the ball reaches the perimeter of the field or six runs if crosses the perimeter without bouncing. Although all 11 players have the chance to bat, the team is 'all out' when 10 wickets have fallen as the 'not out' batsman is left without a team-mate at the other end of the wicket.

A team doesn't have to be all out for an innings to close.

If a captain feels their team has scored enough runs, they can bring the innings to a close by making a 'declaration'.

Teams also have a '12th man' who acts as a substitute fielder if one of the first 11 is injured.

However, the 12th man is not allowed to bat or bowl, except in one-day cricket.

The difference between Test and one-day

International cricket is played in two different forms - Test matches and one-day games. Here are the key differences between the two.

The easiest way to tell Test and one-day cricket apart is by looking at the players. In Test cricket they always wear whites, whereas in the one-day game they wear colors.

The most important difference, however, is their respective lengths. Test cricket is played over five days, with each day's play lasting six hours and at least 90 overs bowled per-day.

One-day cricket - as its name suggests - is played on a single day and is restricted to a maximum number of overs.

Traditionally it lasts between 50 and 60 overs, however 20-over cricket has become more popular since the birth of the Twenty20 Cup.

In one-day cricket it's all about who can score the most runs in the same allotted amount of time.

Another key difference is that in the longer form each team has two turns to bat (called innings).

Each innings is over when either ten batsmen are out (all out), or the captain of the batting side declares the innings finished, for tactical reasons.

In one day cricket, on the other hand, the teams bat just once and an innings is over when either ten batsmen are out or all the overs have been bowled.

Understanding byes and leg byes

If a legitimate ball passes the batsman without touching his bat or his body, any runs completed are credited as 'byes'.

If a legitimate ball misses the bat but touches the batsman's body, any runs completed are credited as 'leg byes'.

Runs completed off a bye or leg byes, including boundaries, are added to the extras tally of the batting team but they are not credited against the bowler. In order for a leg bye to be awarded the umpire must deem that the batsman either attempted to play a stroke or tried to avoid being hit by the ball.

If the umpire considers that the batsman did neither of these then a dead ball is called and no runs can be scored.

The field of play

The size of the field on which the game is played varies from ground to ground but the pitch always stays the same. It is a rectangular area of 22 yards (20.12m) in length and 10ft (3.05m) in width. The popping (batting) crease is marked 1.22m in front of the stumps at either end, with the stumps set along the bowling crease.

The return creases are marked at right angles to the popping and bowling creases and are measured 1.32m either side of the middle stumps.

The two sets of wickets at opposite ends of the pitch stand 71.1cm high and three stumps measure 22.86 cm wide in total.

Made out of willow the stumps have two bails on top and the wicket is only broken if at least one bail is removed.

If the ball hits the wicket but without knocking a bail off, then the batsman is not out.

Do you get confused by cricketing slang? If so, wonder no more after reading our A-Z guide to the jargon.


The amount of turn a spinner is able to extract from a particular wicket. And once Murali gets his teeth into you, it is definitely a case of once bitten, twice shy.


Defensive batting stroke expertly played by Geoff Boycott, whose repetitive blocking tactics often sent fielders to sleep, enabling him to cut loose.


Ugly brute of a delivery - quick, short and designed to take the batsman's head off if he doesn't take evasive action. Not to be confused with bouncer - ugly brute designed to take your head off.


A deceptive delivery from a left-arm spinner, which fools the batsman into thinking it will spin from off to leg and does the opposite. May cause him to cry: 'Well I'm a Dutchman!' Possibly.


Attacking, punchy, front-foot shot straight down the ground or through the covers. Michael Vaughan is one of the best drivers in the business - along with Michael Schumacher.


A batsman removed from the attack without troubling the scorers. So called (perhaps) because a duck's egg is shaped like a zero. Plus it sounds better than hen. A golden duck is when this fate falls upon the batsman on his very first bowl.


The faintest of edges from a batsman - often resulting in a catch behind. Also known as a tickle.


An underhand delivery used by a leg-spin bowler which comes at the batsman faster than a standard ball, with backspin. Gets Shane Warne's seal of approval.


A bowling delivery that reaches the batsman without bouncing - usually despatched for four. Unlike the beamer, which just takes your head off on its way through.


A batsman prodding down loose areas of the pitch with the end of his bat. In Glenn McGrath's case, it means planting seeds of doubt in the batsman's mind before uprooting his wicket.


A leg spinner's prize weapon bowled out of the back of the hand. It looks like a normal leg spinner but turns towards the batsman, like an off break, rather than away from the bat.


A delivery that keeps low after leaving the bowler's hand. So called because it inches along the ground - and then turns into a butterfly. OK, we made that last bit up.


A reflex action shot to the onside aimed at keeping a short ball from smacking you plum in the face. Ian Botham often used to play it with his eyes closed.


An unplayable delivery - think Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century' to remove Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993. Less effective when using an orange, obviously.


When an over is bowled and no runs are scored from it. Rumoured to take its name from a beautiful woman, who 'bowled' over a young cricketer.


A protective covering for the legs of the batsmen and wicketkeeper. If a cricketer ever suggests 'Your pad or mine', check what he's after before uttering your reply.


An inferior bowler, one who bowls like a clown throwing a pie. Not to be confused with the likes of Merv Hughes and Mike Gatting, who were, of course, famed pie-eaters.


The perfect lbw. When the ball hits a batsman on the leg directly in front of the stumps. One might also describe it as a peach of a delivery, although a pair is a different thing altogether.


A period of play during a match - eg morning, afternoon, evening sessions. If, however, you are a spectator, you will only experience one period - the all-day session.


To tell your opponent what you think about him in a less than complimentary fashion. One of the most legendary examples features Glenn McGrath, Mrs McGrath, Zimbabwe's Eddo Brandes - and a biscuit!


Any fielding position where you are extremely close to the batsman and in danger of being injured. When the captain orders you to silly mid-off, you know he's got a new favourite.



VI 1.History

Figure 10. Snooker table

Illustration of a game of three ball pocket billiards in early 19th century Tübingen, Germany It is commonly accepted that snooker originated in the latter half of the 19th century. Billiards had been a popular activity amongst British Army officers stationed in India, and variations on the more traditional billiard games were devised. One variation, devised in the officers' mess in Jabalpur during 1874 or 1875, was to add coloured balls in addition to the reds and black which were used for pyramid pool and life pool. The word snooker also has military origins, being a slang term for first-year cadets or inexperienced personnel. One version of events states that Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain of the Devonshire regiment was playing this new game when his opponent failed to pot a ball and Chamberlain called him a snooker.

It thus became attached to the billiards game now bearing its name as inexperienced players were labelled as snookers. The game of snooker grew in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, and by the first World Snooker Championship had been organised by Joe Davis who, as a professional English billiards and snooker player, moved the game from a pastime activity into a more professional sphere. Joe Davis won every world championship until 1946 when he retired. The game went into a decline through the 1950s and 1960s with little interest generated outside of those who played. In 1959, Davis introduced a variation of the game, known as Snooker Plus, to try to improve the game's popularity by adding two extra colours.

However, it never caught on. A major advance occurred in 1969, when David Attenborough who was then a top official of the BBC, commissioned the snooker tournament Pot Black to demonstrate the potential of colour television, with the green table and multi-coloured balls being ideal for showing off the advantages of colour broadcasting. The TV series became a ratings success and was for a time the second most popular show on BBC Two. Interest in the game increased and the 1978 World Championship was the first to be fully televised. The game quickly became a mainstream sport in the UK, Ireland and much of the Commonwealth and has enjoyed much success in the last 30 years, with most of the ranking tournaments being televised. In 1985 a total of 18.5 million viewers watched the concluding frame of the world championship final between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis.

In recent years the loss of tobacco sponsorship has led to a decrease in the number of professional tournaments, although some new sponsors have been sourced; and the popularity of the game in the Far East and China, with emerging talents such as Liang Wenbo and more established players such as Ding Junhui and Marco Fu, bodes well for the future of the sport in that part of the world.

Figure 11.The ‘’White Ball’’

The object of the game is to score more points than the opponent by potting object balls in a predefined order. At the start of a frame, the balls are positioned as shown and the players take it in turns to hit a shot in a single strike from the tip of the cue, their aim being to pot one of the red balls and score a point. If they do pot at least one red, then it remains in the pocket and they are allowed another shot - this time the aim being to pot one of the colours. If successful, then they gain the value of the colour potted. It is returned to its correct position on the table and they must try to pot another red again. This process continues until they fail to pot the desired ball, at which point their opponent comes back to the table to play the next shot. The game continues in this manner until all the reds are potted and only the 6 colours are left on the table; at that point the aim is then to pot the colours in the order yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, black. When a colour is potted in this phase of a frame, it remains off the table. When the final ball is potted, the player with the most points wins.

Points may also be scored in a game when a player's opponent fouls. A foul can occur for numerous reasons, such as hitting a colour first when the player was attempting to hit a red, potting the cue ball, or failing to escape from 'a snooker' (a situation where the previous player finished their turn leaving the cue ball in a position where the object ball cannot be hit directly). Points gained from a foul vary from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 7 if the black ball is involved. One game, from the balls in their starting position until the last ball is potted, is called a frame. A match generally consists of a predefined number of frames and the player who wins the most frames wins the match overall.

Most professional matches require a player to win five frames, and are called 'Best of Nine' as that is the maximum possible number of frames. Tournament finals are usually best of 17 or best of 19, while the World Championship uses longer matches - ranging from best of 19 in the qualifiers and the first round proper, up to 35 frames in length (first to 18), and is played over two days. Professional and competitive amateur matches are officiated by a referee who is the sole judge of fair play.

The referee also respots the colours on to the table and calls out how many points the player has scored during a break. Professional players usually play the game in a sporting manner, declaring fouls the referee has missed, acknowledging good shots from their opponent, or holding up a hand to apologise for fortunate shots.

Figure 12. Snooker bat

An extended spider, which can be used to bridge over balls obstructing a shot that is too far away to be bridged by hand

Other terminology used in snooker includes a player's break, which refers to the total number of consecutive points a player has amassed (excluding fouls) when at one visit to the table. A player attaining a break of 15, for example, could have reached it by potting a red then a black, then a red then a pink, before failing to pot the next red. The traditional maximum break in snooker is to pot all reds with blacks then all colours, which would yield 147 points; this is often known as a '147' or a 'maximum' .See also: Highest snooker breaks.

Accessories used for snooker include chalk for the tip of the cue, rests of various sorts (needed often, due to the length of a full-size table), a triangle to rack the reds, and a scoreboard. One drawback of snooker on a full-size table is the size of the room (22' x 16' or approximately 5 m x 7 m), which is the minimum required for comfortable cueing room on all sides. This limits the number of locations in which the game can easily be played. While pool tables are common to many pubs, snooker tends to be played either in private surroundings or in public snooker halls. The game can also be played on smaller tables using fewer red balls. The variants in table size are: 10' x 5', 9' x 4.5', 8' x 4', 6' x 3' (the smallest for realistic play) and 4' x 2'. Smaller tables can come in a variety of styles, such as fold away or dining-table convertible.

VI 2.Governance and tournaments

Figure 13. Snooker tournament

Action from The Masters Tournament in 2007


Ranking tournaments

World Championship

UK Championship

Grand Prix

Welsh Open

China Open

Shanghai Masters

Northern Ireland Trophy

Bahrain Championship

Other tournaments


Premier League

Pot Black

World Series of Snooker

Malta Cup

Withdrawn tournaments

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA, also known as World Snooker), founded in 1968 as the Professional Billiard Players' Association, is the governing body for the professional game. Its subsidiary, World Snooker, based in Bristol, England, organises the professional tour. Over the years the board of the WPBSA has changed many times, which some argue is an indication of in-fighting within the sport. The amateur game is governed by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF).

Professional snooker players can play on the World Snooker main tour ranking circuit. Ranking points, earned by players through their performances over the previous two seasons, determine the current world ranking. A player's ranking determines what level of qualification they require for ranking tournaments. The elite of professional snooker is generally regarded as the 'Top 16' ranking players, who are not required to pre-qualify for any of the tournaments. The tour contains 96 players - the top 64 from the previous two seasons, the 8 highest one-year point scorers who are not in the top 64, the top 8 from the previous season's Challenge Tour, and various regional, junior and amateur champions.

The most important event in professional snooker is the World Championship, held annually since 1927 (except during the Second World War and between 1958 and 1963). The tournament has been held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (England) since 1977, and was sponsored by Embassy from 1976 to 2005. Since 2005, tobacco companies have not been allowed to sponsor sporting events in the United Kingdom, and the World Snooker Championship had to find a new sponsor. It was announced in January 2006 that the 2006–2010 world championships would be sponsored by online casino The status of winning the World Championship is great, and it is the most highly valued prize in professional snooker, both in terms of financial reward (£250,000 for the winner) as well as prestige. The World Championship is televised extensively in the UK by the BBCand gains significant coverage in Europe on Eurosport and in the Far East.

The group of tournaments that come next in importance are the other ranking tournaments. Players in these tournaments score world ranking points. A high ranking ensures qualification for next year's tournaments, invitations to invitational tournaments and an advantageous draw in tournaments. The most prestigious of these after the World Championship is the UK Championship. Third in line are the invitational tournaments, to which most of the highest ranked players are invited. The most important tournament in this category is The Masters, which to most players is the second or third most sought-after prize.

In an attempt to answer criticisms that televised matches can be slow or get bogged down in lengthy safety exchanges and that long matches causes problems for advertisers, an alternative series of timed tournaments has been organised by Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn. The shot-timed Betfred Premier League was established, with the top eight players in the world invited to compete at regular United Kingdom venues, televised on Sky Sports. Players have twenty-five seconds to take each shot, with a small number of time-outs per player. While some success has been achieved with this format it generally does not receive the same amount of press attention or status as the regular ranking tournaments.

There are also other tournaments that have less importance, earn no world ranking points and are not televised. These can change on a year-to-year basis depending on calendars and sponsors. Currently the Pontin’s International Open Series is organized as one of these additional tournament series by World Snooker.

VI 3.List of snooker equipment


The tip of the cue is 'chalked' to ensure good contact between the cue and the cue-ball.


A stick, made of wood or fibreglass, the tip of which is used to strike the cue-ball.


A shorter baton that fits over, or screws into, the back end of the cue, effectively lengthening it. Is used for shots where the cue-ball is a long distance from the player.


A stick with an X-shaped head that is used to support the cue when the cue ball is out of reach at normal extension.

Hook rest

Identical to the normal rest, yet with a hooked metal end. It is used to set the rest around another ball. The hook rest is the most recent invention in snooker.


Similar to the rest but with an arch-shaped head; it is used to elevate and support the tip of the cue above the height of the cue-ball.

Swan (or swan-neck spider)

This equipment, consisting of a rest with a single extended neck and a fork-like prong at the end, is used to give extra cueing distance over a group of balls.


The piece of equipment is used for gathering the red balls into the formation required for the break to start a frame.

Extended rest

Similar to the regular rest, but with a mechanism at the butt end which makes it possible to extend the rest by up to three feet.

Extended spider

A hybrid of the swan and the spider. Its purpose is to bridge over large packs of reds. Is less common these days in professional snooker but can be used in situations where the position of one or more balls prevents the spider being placed where the striker desires.

Ball marker

A multi-purpose instrument with a 'D' shaped notch, which a referee can (1) place next to a ball, in order to mark the position of it. They can then remove the ball to clean it; (2) use to judge if a ball is preventing a colour from being placed on its spot; (3) use to judge if the cue ball can hit the extreme edge of a 'ball on' when awarding a free ball (by placing it alongside the potentially intervening ball).




Figure 14. Horse Racing

The competitive racing of horses is one of humankind's most ancient sports, having its origins among the prehistoric nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia who first domesticated the horse about 4500 BC. For thousands of years, horse racing flourished as the sport of kings and the nobility. Modern racing, however, exists primarily because it is a major venue for legalized gambling.

Horse racing is the second most widely attended U.S. spectator sport, after baseball. In 1989, 56,194,565 people attended 8,004 days of racing, wagering $9.14 billion. Horse racing is also a major professional sport in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and South America.

By far the most popular form of the sport is the racing of mounted THOROUGHBRED horses over flat courses at distances from three-quarters of a mile to two miles. Other major forms of horse racing are harness racing, steeplechase racing, and QUARTER HORSE racing.

VII.2 Thoroughbred Racing

By the time humans began to keep written records, horse racing was an organized sport in all major civilizations from Central Asia to the Mediterranean. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 638 BC, and the sport became a public obsession in the Roman Empire.

The origins of modern racing lie in the 12th century, when English knights returned from the Crusades with swift Arab horses. Over the next 400 years, an increasing number of Arab stallions were imported and bred to English mares to produce horses that combined speed and endurance. Matching the fastest of these animals in two-horse races for a private wager became a popular diversion of the nobility.

Horse racing began to become a professional sport during the reign (1702-14) of Queen Anne, when match racing gave way to races involving several horses on which the spectators wagered. Racecourses sprang up all over England, offering increasingly large purses to attract the best horses. These purses in turn made breeding and owning horses for racing profitable. With the rapid expansion of the sport came the need for a central governing authority. In 1750 racing's elite met at Newmarket to form the Jockey Club, which to this day exercises complete control over English racing.

The Jockey Club wrote complete rules of racing and sanctioned racecourses to conduct meetings under those rules. Standards defining the quality of races soon led to the designation of certain races as the ultimate tests of excellence. Since 1814, five races for three-year-old horses have been designated as 'classics.' Three races, open to male horses (colts) and female horses (fillies), make up the English Triple Crown: the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby (see DERBY, THE), and the St. Leger Stakes. Two races, open to fillies only, are the 1,000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks.

The Jockey Club also took steps to regulate the breeding of racehorses. James Weatherby, whose family served as accountants to the members of the Jockey Club, was assigned the task of tracing the pedigree, or complete family history, of every horse racing in England. In 1791 the results of his research were published as the Introduction to the General Stud Book. From 1793 to the present, members of the Weatherby family have meticulously recorded the pedigree of every foal born to those racehorses in subsequent volumes of the General Stud Book. By the early 1800s the only horses that could be called 'Thoroughbreds' and allowed to race were those descended from horses listed in the General Stud Book. Thoroughbreds are so inbred that the pedigree of every single animal can be traced back father-to-father to one of three stallions, called the 'foundation sires.' These stallions were the Byerley Turk, foaled c.1679; the Darley Arabian, foaled c.1700; and the Godolphin Arabian, foaled c.1724.

VII 3.American Thoroughbred Racing

The British settlers brought horses and horse racing with them to the New World, with the first racetrack laid out on Long Island as early as 1665. Although the sport became a popular local pastime, the development of organized racing did not arrive until after the Civil War. (The American Stud Book was begun in 1868.) For the next several decades, with the rapid rise of an industrial economy, gambling on racehorses, and therefore horse racing itself, grew explosively; by 1890, 314 tracks were operating across the country.

The rapid growth of the sport without any central governing authority led to the domination of many tracks by criminal elements. In 1894 the nation's most prominent track and stable owners met in New York to form an American Jockey Club, modeled on the English, which soon ruled racing with an iron hand and eliminated much of the corruption.

In the early 1900s, however, racing in the United States was almost wiped out by antigambling sentiment that led almost all states to ban bookmaking. By 1908 the number of tracks had plummeted to just 25. That same year, however, the introduction of pari-mutuel betting for the Kentucky Derby signaled a turnaround for the sport. More tracks opened as many state legislatures agreed to legalize pari-mutuel betting in exchange for a share of the money wagered. At the end of World War I, prosperity and great horses like Man o' War brought spectators flocking to racetracks. The sport prospered until World War II, declined in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s, then enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s triggered by the immense popularity of great horses such as Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed, each winners of the American Triple Crown--the KENTUCKY DERBY, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. During the late 1980s, another significant decline occurred, however.

Thoroughbred tracks exist in about half the states. Public interest in the sport focuses primarily on major Thoroughbred races such as the American Triple Crown and the Breeder's Cup races (begun in 1984), which offer purses of up to about $1,000,000. State racing commissions have sole authority to license participants and grant racing dates, while sharing the appointment of racing officials and the supervision of racing rules with the Jockey Club. The Jockey Club retainsauthority over the breedin.

Figure 15. Horses

VII 4.Breeding

Although science has been unable to come up with any breeding system that guarantees the birth of a champion, breeders over the centuries have produced an increasingly higher percentage of Thoroughbreds who are successful on the racetrack by following two basic principles. The first is that Thoroughbreds with superior racing ability are more likely to produce offspring with superior racing ability. The second is that horses with certain pedigrees are more likely to pass along their racing ability to their offspring.

Male Thoroughbreds (stallions) have the highest breeding value because they can mate with about 40 mares a year. The worth of champions, especially winners of Triple Crown races, is so high that groups of investors called breeding syndicates may be formed. Each of the approximately 40 shares of the syndicate entitles its owner to breed one mare to the stallion each year. One share, for a great horse, may cost several million dollars. A share's owner may resell that share at any time.

Farms that produce foals for sale at auction are called commercial breeders. The most successful are E. J. Taylor, Spendthrift Farms, Claiborne Farms, Gainsworthy Farm, and Bluegrass Farm, all in Kentucky. Farms that produce foals to race themselves are called home breeders, and these include such famous stables as Calumet Farms, Elmendorf Farm, and Green-tree Stable in Kentucky and Harbor View Farm in Florida.

VII 5.Betting

Figure 16. Horse Betting

Wagering on the outcome of horse races has been an integral part of the appeal of the sport since prehistory and today is the sole reason horse racing has survived as a major professional sport.

All betting at American tracks today is done under the pari-mutuel wagering system, which was developed by a Frenchman named Pierre Oller in the late 19th century. Under this system, a fixed percentage (14 percent-25 percent) of the total amount wagered is taken out for track operating expenses, racing purses, and state and local taxes. The remaining sum is divided by the number of individual wagers to determine the payoff, or return on each bet. The projected payoff, or 'odds,' are continuously calculated by the track's computers and posted on the track odds board during the betting period before each race. Odds of '2-1,' for example, mean that the bettor will receive $2 profit for every $1 wagered if his or her horse wins.

At all tracks, bettors may wager on a horse to win (finish first), place (finish first or second), or show (finish first, second, or third). Other popular wagers are the daily double (picking the winners of two consecutive races), exactas (picking the first and second horses in order), quinellas (picking the first and second horses in either order), and the pick six (picking the winners of six consecutive races).

VII 6.Handicapping

The difficult art of predicting the winner of a horse race is called handicapping. The process of handicapping involves evaluating the demonstrated abilities of a horse in light of the conditions under which it will be racing on a given day. To gauge these abilities, handicappers use past performances, detailed published records of preceding races. These past performances indicate the horse's speed, its ability to win, and whether the performances tend to be getting better or worse. The conditions under which the horse will be racing include the quality of the competition in the race, the distance of the race, the type of racing surface (dirt or grass), and the current state of that surface (fast, sloppy, and so on). The term handicapping also has a related but somewhat different meaning: in some races, varying amounts of extra weight are assigned to horses based on age or ability in order to equalize the field.

VII 7.Harness Racing

The racing of horses in harness dates back to ancient times, but the sport virtually disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire. The history of modern HARNESS RACING begins in America, where racing trotting horses over country roads became a popular rural pastime by the end of the 18th century. The first tracks for harness racing were constructed in the first decade of the 19th century, and by 1825 harness racing was an institution at hundreds of country fairs across the nation.

With the popularity of harness racing came the development of the STANDARDBRED, a horse bred specifically for racing under harness. The founding sire of all Standardbreds is an English Thoroughbred named Messenger, who was brought to the United States in 1788. Messenger was bred to both pure Thoroughbred and mixed breed mares, and his descendants were rebred until these matings produced a new breed with endurance, temperament, and anatomy uniquely suited to racing under harness. This new breed was called the Standardbred, after the practice of basing all harness-racing speed records on the 'standard' distance of one mile.

Harness racing reached the early zenith of its popularity in the late 1800s, with the establishment of a Grand Circuit of major fairs. The sport sharply declined in popularity after 1900, as the automobile replaced the horse and the United States became more urbanized. In 1940, however, Roosevelt Raceway in New York introduced harness racing under the lights with pari-mutuel betting. This innovation sparked a rebirth of harness racing, and today its number of tracks and number of annual races exceed those of Thoroughbred racing. The sport is also popular in most European countries, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

VII 8.Steeplechase, Hurdle, and Point-To-Point Racing

Steeplechases are races over a 2- to 4-mi (3.2- to 6.4-km) course that includes such obstacles as brush fences, stone walls, timber rails, and water jumps. The sport developed from the English and Irish pastime of fox hunting, when hunters would test the speed of their mounts during the cross-country chase. Organized steeplechase racing began about 1830, and has continued to be a popular sport in England to this day. The most famous steeplechase race in the world is England's Grand National, held every year since 1839 at Aintree. Steeplechase racing is occasionally conducted at several U.S. Thoroughbred race tracks. The most significant race is the U.S. Grand National Steeplechase held yearly at Belmont Park.

Hurdling is a form of steeplechasing that is less physically demanding of the horses. The obstacles consist solely of hurdles 1 to 2 ft (0.3 to 0.6 m) lower than the obstacles on a steeplechase course, and the races are normally less than 2 mi in length. Hurdling races are often used for training horses that will later compete in steeplechases. Horses chosen for steeplechase training are usually Thoroughbreds selected for their endurance, calm temperament, and larger-than-normal size.

Point-to-point races are held for amateurs on about 120 courses throughout the British Isles. Originally run straight across country (hence the name), these races are now conducted on oval tracks with built-in fences, often on farmland.


In my point of view England has given us the most important sports in the world ,that we can enjoy them as well as life. Football for me is the most interesting sport that I can imagine, even playing it .

The sports that they’ve created for us is not just some usual sports…it can be also a job for us thay is paid very good.

Sport is very important for us, for our health as we always want to progress, to attain some kind of performance. Practicing a sport we will have a healthy body and a strong mind.

Also from sports we can bring the best behavior from us ,to be an example ,to accive something .

For me an tipical sport that England invented is much more that entertaining, it is a way to learn the joys of life .



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Vizualizari: 1734
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