For hundreds of years previous to the Victorian Era many people in Britain and indeed other parts of the world would take part and enjoy a number of sports that we still play to this very day. The problem came that many people up and down the country were playing the sports by different rules and this was now becoming a problem for the Victorians. With more leisure time to take part in games and proper transport and travel to go and compete with other teams, the Victorians worked to make some of the most popular sports more organised.
Many of the leading Victorian players of the time set up organisations that wrote up and put into place rules that would standardise the way teams throughout the country took part in the games. The new found competitions were not only fun for those playing, but attracted many people who wanted to support and watch their local teams as a form of entertainment. Sports were taking off in a big way in Victorian Britain and becoming a serious part of the culture.
Some of the most popular sports in the Victorian Period were Cricket, Golf, Football, Rugby and Tennis. Sports men would become sporting celebrities and bring the sports to the masses with their amazing skills and sportsmanship. The cricketer W.G. Grace became one of these national heroes who helped to shape the game and make it what it is today.
Some important Sporting Dates
1863 – The Football Association commonly known as the “F.A.” is formed.
1866 – Armature Athletic club formed.
1871 – Rugby Football Union is established.
1872 – The first ever FA Cup is held with teams all over Britain taking part!
1877 – First International Cricket Test match is played.
1877 – First Men’s Tennis championship held in Wimbledon.
1888 – The Lawn Tennis Association is formed.