The History of American Sports and Games
April 14, 2012

Web Resources


  Website: Description:  

Baseball Almanac

“Baseball Almanac has dedicated itself to preserving the history of our national pastime. The website has rapidly grown into an interactive baseball encyclopedia filled with more than 500,000 pages of in-depth baseball facts, original baseball research and baseball statistics not found anywhere on the Internet.”


CBS Sports – Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision


March was National Women’s History Month. To pay tribute to this, CBS Sports featured biographical profiles of some of the most famous female athletes of all time. Athletes include, Billie Jean King and Venus and Serena Williams.


Cornell University, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections – Pastimes and Paradigms: Games we Play


The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University has created an outstanding online exhibit investigating the evolution of games since 1800.  “The exhibition includes a wide variety of antique and contemporary games, as well as rare books on rules, strategies, and recreation. Featured items include early nineteenth-century geographical board games; a Civil War game; suffrage games that garnered support in the battle for women's votes; a vintage Monopoly game (the subject of Cornell President Jeffrey Lehman's first book); gambling punchboards; and a selection of games inspired by television programming.” Be sure to check out this excellent resource to learn more about the history of your favorite games!


Encyclopedia of Chicago – Creation of Chicago Sports


This website is an outstanding online encyclopedia providing users with thousands of articles, photos, maps and newspaper clippings detailing the rich history of Chicago. This entry specifically details this history of Chicago sports, including the fans, the leagues, the scandals, and much more!


ESPN – History


Check out this interactive timeline to learn how one man’s idea to broadcast University of Connecticut basketball games turned into a household institution.


ESPN – Outside the Lines,  “Pioneer Toni Stone”


Watch this short video examining the story of Toni Stone, the first woman to play in a major pro baseball league.

ESPN – Sports Century


Sports Century features the top 50 greatest athletes of the century, as voted by a blue-ribbon panel of sports journalists and observers. You might be interested to compare the lists at this site with the Sports Illustrated for Women, since there are only two women in this list of the top 20, and neither are the number one pick for SI. Each of the 100 is listed with a biographical sketch and photo. Be sure to also check out what "classic moment" occurred on your birthday!




Although this blog has not been maintained, it features articles, primary sources, and interesting facts related to baseball.


Historical Folk Toys – Traditional Games

This website is an online catalog featuring traditional games for sale. However, it also provides a very nice historical description of each game. You’ll find all of your old favorites such as Jacks, Marbles, Dice, Dominoes, Juggling, Pick-Up Sticks and more! If you are feeling somewhat nostalgic, ordering information is at the bottom of the page.


ISOH – International Society of Olympic Historians

Browse this blog to explore the archives for the “Journal of Olympic History”. You will find a variety of articles and resources from this publication.


Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame


"The object of the game is to put the ball into your opponent's goal." According to this site, James Naismith had 14 days to create an indoor game that would provide an "athletic distraction" for a rowdy class through the brutal New England winter. The result is one of the most popular sports in the world. Naismith laid out 13 original rules which are found here. This website features short biographies of over 200 Hall of Fame inductees, Men's and Women's NCAA tournament results, and NBA Leading scorers.


NASSH – Official Website of the North American Society for Sports History

“NASSH is committed to the promotion of research in and teaching of the history of sport, exercise and physical activity through our annual conferences and our internationally renowned Journal of Sport History.” While the website itself does not contain much information, be sure to view the PUBLICATIONS tab, and then select “Journal of Sports History” to read both current and back issues of this publication.


Nostros Hellenic Cyber Centre – Brief History of the Olympic Games

The history of the Olympic Games can be found on this website. You can browse by topic to explore very brief descriptions. Be sure to check out the HIGHLIGHTS of the MODERN GAMES section for a more recent history.


PBS – The Video Game Revolution

This site is an excellent resource for both teachers and students. Be sure to check out the interactive timeline to trace the roots of video games all the way back to 1952! You can also explore the tabs on the left side of the page to learn more about how video games are made and the impact of gaming on American culture.


Quick History – History of Sports and History of Games

View the HISTORY OF SPORTS tab and/or the HISTORY OF GAMES tab to find historical descriptions of a variety of topics. From the History of Hockey to the History of Chess, this is a wonderful resource that will serve your students’ interests while providing them with detailed information at the same time.


Scholastic – Native American Games

This is a lesson activity where children learn how to play a Native American children’s game that encourages cooperative play and math-skill development. This is a great resource for early childhood and primary students!


Sports Illustrated for Women – 100 Greatest Female Athletes from Sports Illustrated for Women

“Who would YOU vote for as the best female athlete? Who won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals over four consecutive Olympic Games? Athletes were selected by “Sports Illustrated for Women”, “Sports Illustrated” and “CNN/SI” editors, writers and correspondents who considered the athletes' on-field performance and achievements, plus their contributions to women's sports. Athletes from a multitude of sports are represented from track and field, tennis, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and dog sledding.” Be sure to check out this site to see who was selected to the number one position!


Wikipedia – List of Traditional Children’s Games

This Wikipedia entry contains a list of traditional children’s games. You can click on each game to find a more detailed description.