No comments | Thursday, February 14, 2013
Pelota is the name given to a variety of sports that are played by hitting a ball with the hand, a racquet or a basket attached to the hand. Pelota and its variations were first played during the 13th century in the Basque region of France, Spain and South America. In Spanish Pelota means 'for ball'. 

There are variations of the game depending upon the equipment used.
  • Played with the hand it is called pelota mano, or only pelota.
  • Played with hand basket, it is called jai-alai.
  • Played with a racquet, it is called frontenis.
This game is similar to squash- players hit the ball against the end wall of a three-sided court, if possible, out of reach of their opponent. Pelota is popular in Spain, Mexico, South America, Cuba, Italy and many US states, including Florida. Jai alai is the fastest and toughest of all the pelota games and is played by professionals.

Lawn Tennis Timeline:

1877 First Wimbledon Championship
1881 First US Championship
1891 First French Championship- until 1925 for French nationals
1896 Tennis played at the first Modern Olympics in Athens
1900 Davis Cup began after Dwight F. Davis donated his trophy.
1905 First Australian Open
1913 International Lawn Tennis Federation founded in Paris with 12 member countries
1922 Seeding (method ranking players) first used, at the US National Championships
1923 Women's tennis became international with the launch of the Wightman Cup (named after the US team captain Hazel Wightman)
1938 Donald Budge (USA) became the first player to complete the Grand Slam
1950 Louise Brough (USA) became the first woman to complete the Grand Slam
1963 The Federation Cup, the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup, began
1968 Tennis tournaments were opened to professional players, effectively ending the amateur game
1971 The tie-break was introduced by the British LTA as an experiment
1972 Davis cup chenged from being run on challenge basis to a knockout tournament involving all competing nations
1973 Introduction of official world rankings by the LTA and ATP
1988 Tennis recieved as an Olympic sport after 64 years
2004 World ranking points first allocated to Olympic competitors

Badminton probably came from an old children's game called battledore and shuttlecock. The battledore is a small wooden bat which the player uses to hit the shuttlecock. The game was so popular in India and other Asian countries and the aim was to keep the shuttlecock in the air as long as possible. British army officers played the game in India in the 1860s and they added a net to hit the shuttlecock over. They called the game poona.

When the officers returned to England they continued enjoying poona. The game was renamed badminton at a garden party at the home of Duke of Beaufort in 1873. His home was called the Badminton house. By 1877, the first official rules of the game were drawn up and in 1893 the first governing body, The Badminton Association of England, was set up. The Badminton Club of New York began in 1878, although the game did not become popular until the 1930s.

Badminton's greatest player - Rudy Hartono from Indonesia won the world's oldest badminton tournament, the All- England Championships, a record 8 times between 1968 and 1976. He was also the 1980 world champion at the age of 32, and unbeaten in 6 Thomas Cup ties.


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