RICHARDS RULES ON THE ORIGIN & EVOLUTION OF A SPORT
Version 1 – November 2016
THE ORIGIN OF A SPORT
The ORIGIN of a GAME or SPORT is the point in time at which a game/sport becomes identifiable as a single entity. From that point onwards it must have an evolutionary path, drawn either theoretically or through the provision of evidence, to the modern day version of the sport to be considered the origin.
2. ORIGIN BY CREATION – There are three known types of origin by creation:
CREATION BY SEPARATION – Where a game/sport evolves through separation from another game/sport that continues in its own right as a parent game/sport (e.g. Rugby Union and Rugby League).
CREATION BY DESIGN – A game/sport that is designed by a person or group of people prior to the first contest taking place (it may be based on contributory games/sports, e.g. Triathlon, or be an entirely new game/sport).
CREATION BY MODEL – Where a game/sport begins by modelling itself on another sport but then follows its own line of evolution (e.g. Football at Rugby School and Football at Eton School).
The terminology for related sports should be as follows:
Parent game/sport – the game/sport from which another game/sport has derived
Descendant game/sport – a game/sport that has evolved from another game/sport
Ancestor game/sport – a game/sport in the direct lineage of the game/sport in question.
Contributory game/sport – a game/sport that is not considered to be the parent sport but has either directly or indirectly influenced another game/sport.
THE 6 INGREDIENTS OF A GAME OR A SPORT
LOCATION – This is where the game or sport will take place; a location can include fixed objects such as buildings, trees and other unavoidable factors such as water. Among others a location could be a field (cricket, soccer, etc.), court (tennis, basketball, etc.), water (swimming, diving, yachting, etc.), mountain (skiing, bobsleigh, orienteering, etc.) or road (running, cycling, etc.). Other permanent fixtures of a game/sport that must be present at the location and that aren’t supposed to move, or are meant to be avoided during play, are also included in this ingredient – e.g. a tennis net, rugby posts, soccer goals or slalom poles.
PERSONNEL – The people and/or animals that are at the location and that are going to play and/or judge the game/sport. This includes a player’s dress and equipment worn or used that is necessary to take part in a game/sport. Things like boxing gloves, swimming goggles, running shoes, skis, ski poles or tennis, badminton and squash racquets can all be considered under ‘personnel’.
EQUIPMENT – The moveable objects; things that are controlled by the players and are used during the game/sport. These may already be at the location or can be brought by the personnel. Equipment, however, is not a necessity and a game/sport can take place without this component. Examples of equipment are balls, arrows, shuttlecocks, darts, pucks, javelins, discus, etc., i.e. items that require an action to be exerted upon them in order to make them a part of the game/sport.
ACTIONS – There needs to be movement or interaction between the above three or the first two. This can include all types of movement, such as running, kicking, hitting, paddling, throwing, dancing, driving, shooting, jumping, dribbling with a ball, etc.
AIMS – The above actions need to be channelled into aims. There are two types of aims: ‘action aims’, where there are aims to the actions – e.g. passing a ball to a player in a better position, hitting a shuttlecock to put your opponent in a difficult position, bowling a ball to try and get your opponent out, scoring a goal, forcing an error, hitting a winner, running the fastest, avoiding poles, etc. There must also be ‘objective aims’ – e.g. to score more goals than the other team, to score more points, to reach a points target first, to give the best artistic impression, to jump further than anyone else, to reach the finish line first, etc.
RULES – A set of rules needs to be created in order to determine how the actions and aims define the contest – e.g. you can’t pass forward, if you hit a pole you lose points, the first to the finish line is the winner, you mustn’t punch an opponent, the game ends after 60 minutes, etc.
THE EVOLUTION OF A GAME OR A SPORT
A game/sport will evolve through changes in rules or laws, usually to:
1. Solve any problems that occur.
2. Take opportunities to enhance a game/sport.
When outlining the status of a game or sport in relation to its evolution, the following terminology should apply:
Steps 1-5 – PLAY – A combination of location, personnel, equipment, actions and aims without a set of rules to define a contest can be regarded as play.
Step 6 – GAME – Play becomes a game when a rule or a set of verbal rules is added to the five ingredients (equipment optional) to define the contest.
Step 7 – ORGANISED GAME – A game can be considered to be organised if a set of written rules exist under which the game is played.
Step 8 – SPORT – A game becomes a sport when a body consisting of a variety of unconnected parties that are linked only by the game played are joined together to form a governing body for the game, with a view to organising that game.
Step 9 – NATIONAL SPORT – A sport becomes national when it has a governing body that covers all regions of a particular country.
Step 10 – INTERNATIONAL SPORT – When a sport has a governing body consisting of a variety of national governing bodies that are joined together to form a governing body for the game it becomes an international sport.
A game or sport has to have a set of rules or laws to define the contest. These rules can be split into the following categories:
KNOWLEDGE – Identifying the location, personnel and equipment to be used in the game. Explaining the terminology used in the set of rules/laws and the way in which a game is to be played.
RECORDING & DECIDING ON THE ORIGIN OF A SPORT
ACCEPTABLE THEORIST – Someone who is in a position to have a theory that can be accepted or believed through means of control, for example a sport’s governing body (e.g. World Rugby), an educational establishment or through information generation, for example through books, media outlets, TV, newspapers, websites, etc.
The above rules and any future versions will be published to this website.
Details of how we developed these rules can be found in the below publication.