How Great American Sports Have Shaped Culture and Society: A Historical Overview


The history of sports in America dates back to thousand years with many additions over the passage of the time.

Sports is a huge part of the American culture. While discovering about the history of sports, I found some interesting facts about different sports that are played in the country. Read more about it below!

The oldest sport recorded to be played in America is Lacrosse by the native US in the precolonial era.

On the other hand, baseball is regarded as the unofficial national sport of America as an old and widely played sport. However, American football had replaced baseball – becoming the top American sport, due to its booming popularity in terms of television and live viewership, as well as a large number of fans following which has been consistent throughout the years.


While some of the great American sports have been derived from other parts of the world, mainly Britain and Europe. Below, I have compiled a list of some of the most exciting sports that have originated in the US and spread to other parts of the world!

  • Ball sports
  • American football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Softball
  • Water sports
  • Windsurfing
  • Water skiing
  • Racquet sports
  • Racquetball
  • Pickleball
  • Board sports
  • Snowboarding

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Not only accounting to improved economic conditions and a rise in the tourism industry of America, sports have played a huge role in shaping the culture and society of the country. There is no doubt that people in the US – be it in schools, universities, parks, arenas or rinks, have seen a rise with more opportunities to engage in different sports for recreational and fitness purposes.

Moreover, it has also paved way for the youth of America to opt for a career in sports with more and more player rising over the years. In addition to that, the popularity of more sports that are famous around the world are making its way to America. The major and minor leagues in the country have led to an increase in professional sports for example, the formation of the Major League Cricket.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding sports in the US.

Q. What is the oldest sport in the US?

Lacrosse is said to be one of the oldest sports played in the US, dating back to the precolonial era.

Q. Is American football a part of the Olympics?

No, it is not a part of the Olympics as of yet.

Q. Where was beach volleyball originated from?

This variation of volleyball was first played at beach in Hawaii.

Q. What is the national sport of the US.

Baseball is regarded as the national sport of America.

Author’s Opinion

Undoubtedly, the rich history of sports in the US has instilled a love for sports in the locals with high attendance and loyalty towards different sports and its players in stadiums and live games. The influence on the culture and society of the country certainly cannot be ignored! I have seen that ball sports are quite popular in the US – these make for some of the most engaging solo sports and team sports that are played professionally as well as a great pastime activity!

What do you think?

Written by Usama

Usama J. is a passionate writer about the sports and works as an in house sports journalist at Openiun, and covered many international sporting events including ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.