I wonder, are there any sports that started as a women's sport and in a later period played by men (and accepted widely)?

I believe all major sports I know was initially male-oriented (or at least first few games played by men), then later women started to play.


2 Answers 2


Synchronised swimming was exclusively a women's sport from its first appearance at the World Aquatics Championships in 1973 until 2015 when mixed duet categories were introducted. The earlier (pre-1954) history of synchronised swimming does include male participation, but for many years it was a female only activity.


Netball as a sport was developed exclusively for women (who couldn't be expected to run in long skirts, and therefore couldn't play basketball; this is the origin of the no-running-with-ball rule).

  • 1
    While this is true, is netball played by men to any significant extent today? If not, it doesn't fit the criteria as defined in the question.
    – Philip Kendall
    Mar 29, 2016 at 21:19
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    Men play netball, and it's widely accepted. Nothing in the question suggests men playing it is widely done, which is a separate condition altogether.
    – Nij
    Mar 29, 2016 at 23:34
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    Social Netball in NZ, Aus and UK (and perhaps others) have the concept of mixed gender netball where at least 2 or 3 (out of 6 or 7) players must be from the other gender.
    – aqwert
    Apr 4, 2017 at 0:59

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