26

There's often a bit of confusion about this. First of all, this might help: One of the main reasons for confusion is because there's muddling between political names (names of countries) and geographical terms (names of places). Here political names are in blue and geographical terms are in red Note: the term "Republic of Ireland" is often used but the ...


22

This is going to depend a lot on the sport. In general, a reporter does have access to several resources, many of which are accessible to a dedicated fan, but when putting together commentary on the spot it helps a lot to have deep personal knowledge of the sport to consider what facts to research. (This kind of knowledge can be developed by a fan regularly ...


14

The accepted answer, while doing a good job of presenting the background from a British point of view, doesn't really get at the actual reason for the unusual status of British teams in some sports. It's very simplistic to consider that the UK's “constituent countries” have “full country” status as far as international law or sports bodies are concerned. ...


13

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.


12

There are many reasons why a select group of countries have dominated international football for so long, and there have been countless articles written about this subject but what it all comes down to is your football infrastructure. A country's football infrastructure is made up of many interconnected facets some of the most important of which are as ...


11

There is an offside rule in (ice) hockey, which essentially means a player cannot just hang out the attacking 1/3 of the rink and wait for the puck to be passed to him. There is also an offside rule in rugby which seems to differ a bit with respect to the two major disciplines of the sport (union and league). The difference between offside in football and ...


11

Vatican City has both a national football and cricket team. However, as neither are members of the appropriate international governing body (FIFA and the ICC respectively) they don't compete in any form of regular competition, but instead play friendlies against other teams.


10

This sounds like Calcio Fiorentino Just like Roman harpastum, it was played in teams of 27, using both feet and hands. Goals could be scored by throwing the ball over a designated spot on the perimeter of the field. The playing field is a giant sand pit with a goal running the width of each end. There is a main referee, six linesmen and a field master. ...


10

So I had to dig up a bit on the regulations regarding the whole thing. So apparently while Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Englad being different countries, they are under the same international identity in the form of British passports. So that fact, together with the fact that there is no national team for the UK, means that any British citizen can ...


10

So I would like to know if there is some sports for which the fact to be smaller than his adversary can be a distinct advantage? Yes they do exist. But here's one example: In horse racing, having a smaller and lighter rider is more advantageous. It lets the horse sprint faster because there's less weight on its back. Source: taken of wikipedia


9

Gymnasts are also usually quite small, there is actually some debate over whether gymnastics can affect growth (but I don't think there is much evidence behind this). According to this website American gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas is four feet, eleven inches, and 90 pounds . http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/statsdriven/2012/08/...


9

Referees and umpires get paid much differently depending on the sport. For the first example, let's take the most watched sport in the world: football (known to Americans as soccer). European soccer referees get paid, on average, about the equivalent of $120,000 a year (salary plus match fees). Of course, this depends on the quality of the referee, but it ...


9

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).


8

Wrestling As long as there have been people, there has been wrestling. Nearly every culture has some form of it used for contests internal and external to the group. Wrestling is one of the most basic sports, and is probably the oldest. In Egypt, the fifteenth tomb of Beni Hassan has a large wall depicting wrestling techniques. At this point we're talking ...


8

Gridiron Football (American and Canadian) has an offside foul too. If a player is on the wrong side of the line of the scrimmage when the ball is snapped then they are offside. It is even a strategy of the offensive team to entice a player to make such a move before the snap. You could also argue that at the kickoff, the rule that says that the kicking ...


8

As of 2014, Major League Baseball adopted its current replay system, in which each manager can challenge a call one time per game, and gets a second one if the first call that they challenged is overturned. The official rules for challenges can be found at http://m.mlb.com/official_rules/replay_review.


7

In cricket being short may not help you in selection in the team. But if a player is a batsman, he may get some advantages in batting. (or disadvantages for tall players do not apply) Tall players have to bend more than short players while batting. Bowlers have to bowl under their shoulders otherwise it will considered a No ball (after two bouncers). So ...


7

The rule you're looking for is: ITF Rule 23 – “The Let” In all cases when a let is called, except when a service let is called on a second service, the whole point shall be replayed. The situation outlined in the question would be a 'service let' on the 2nd service as the ball touched the net before crossing it. As a result you would remain on 2nd serve....


7

Perhaps the most famous example of all is the West Indies cricket team who have won many international series and tournaments. Other than that, the Māori people of New Zealand have had various "international" representation: The Māori All Blacks have entered various international rugby union tournaments. The New Zealand Māori rugby league team have entered ...


7

The answer is simple, although you won't hear it in the media: it's financial. Imagine a league like the MLB suddenly decides to test every one of its players on a given day. Immediately they end up having to suspend 5-15% of the league including many of their star players. This hurts the credibility of the league, and the credibility of every team in the ...


6

The Laureus World Sports Awards are awarded annually to sportspeople who have been outstanding during the previous year. The awards are given globally. If we talk about cricket, awards given by ICC (i.e. ICC Awards) are the highest awards for cricket. Also Wisden Cricketers of the Year is also considered one of highest awards.


6

This has never happened. The closest any time has come in Hockey since the NHL moved to four 7 game series has been the Bruins in 2011 and the Kings in 2014. They each won three game 7s. The Bruins in the first, third and fourth rounds. No team has even played four game 7s that I could find since the league went to four 7 game series in the 80s. The Kings ...


6

Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired by the MLB. Those wearing 42 were allowed to continue, but players couldn't switch to it and new players couldn't have it. Mariano Rivera was the last player to wear 42 in the MLB. Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers starting in 1947 and famously broke the color barrier in the MLB. He was a first ballot hall of ...


6

It depends of the event. For the Olympics, there are two official languages : English and French (which is by its reglementation the most important language of the Olympics). For FIFA, these languages are English, French, but also German and Spanish.


6

Based upon the IIHF's records of registered hockey players by country, Finland and Sweden have nearing 10 times as many people participating in organized hockey leagues compared to Norway. Additionally the average attendance in the top level hockey leagues are: Sweden: 5,707 Finland: 4,326 Norway: 1,955 (In fact Sweden's second tier has a higher average ...


5

I can think of a couple instances where it is an advantage for the athlete to be small. They are both "racing" situations, and the athlete in question is a "controller." The first is the "coxswain" (caller) on a rowing team. His function is necessary, but the smaller he is, the less burden on his teammates. The second, as someone else pointed out, is a ...


5

The national sport of a country tends to be one that is linked with the culture of that country. Most European countries have the national sport of football (soccer) and America's national sport is baseball. This is not the most played sport in that country, for example the most played sport in England is football, but cricket is actually our national sport. ...


5

In short Yes. There are many examples of retired players who made a "comeback". When a player decides to retire it is his or her personal decision, they can do whatever they decide to do. I don't know anything about Cricket so I will refer to your question in general: In case the player decides to do a "comeback" we can divide the "comeback" to 2 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible