British Ladies Football Club 1895

The Origins of Women’s Soccer

The British Ladies Football Club held their first match at Alexandra Park in Crouch End, London in 1895.
Croquet Scene by Winslow Homer, 1866

The Dangerous Game of Croquet

Many 19th-century observers were disturbed by the way young people took the co-ed sport of croquet as an opportunity to flirt.
mesoamerican ballgame

A Mesoamerican Ball Game Returns

An ancient ball game called Ulama is making a comeback in Mexico. What do we know about the earlier iteration of the game?
Serena Williams in 2015

What Sports Reveal about Society

Sociologists find that sports are inextricably intertwined with the people, countries, and politics surrounding them.
Martina Navratilova

Homophobia in Women’s Sports

Ever since women began to publicly play sports in the late nineteenth century, female athletes have been seen as threats and subjected to suspicion.
soccer football in the stadium crowd

Soccer and European Identity

Throughout Europe, soccer matches like the FIFA World Cup have become deeply significant, in part because that continent's identity is so complex.
Bobbi Gibb

The Woman Who Crashed the Boston Marathon

In 1966, Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. Gibb had a bigger mission, however: to overcome prejudice against women in sports.
NCAA free throw math

The Math Behind the Perfect Free Throw

The fate of a free throw is set the instant the ball leaves the player’s fingertips.
Close-up of a mans legs doing cross-country skiing in the Alps.

A Brief History of Skis

Researchers tested various ski designs dating back 4,000 years to understand how human movement on snow has evolved.
black power salute olympics

The Uneasy History of Integrated Sports in America

The integration of collegiate and professional sports parallels the civil rights movement, but in important ways it was a whole different track.