93% of People Can't Name All of These Sports From a Photo of the Ball! Can You?

By: Craig
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you ballsy enough to take this quiz? There are many ball sports played all over the world but would you be able to identify the sport from an image of the ball? Let's see!

The game of Sepak Takraw originated in China despite many countries in Asia trying to call the sport their own. It is particularly popular in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The sport sees two teams of three players kicking a ball made of rattan over a net while keeping it aloft. They may only use their feet and body to control the ball. The scoring system stops at 21 and games are played over three sets.

Bowling is certainly one of the oldest forms of sport in the world. In 1930, pins, balls, and other materials were found in a tomb in Egypt suggesting Egyptians played some form of the sport. A game using stones and nine pins was played in Germany from 200 BC while in England, in 1366, King Edward III banned bowling so his troops would practice archery instead. Bowling began in America around 1820 with the first bowling alley established in 1840 and automation following in the 1950s.

Now not many people may have heard of it, but fistball is an ancient game. There are historical records of game dating back to 240 AD in Italy with the first rules recorded in 1555. The International Fistball Association (IFA) originated in 1960 and the first world championships for the sport took place in 1968. The sport is very similar to volleyball although the ball is allowed to bounce and must be struck with the fist at all times.

Many believe that a form of bocce was played by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Phoenicians. The modern game certainly originated in two places, Torino, Italy and Lyon, France. At first, bocce balls were made out of wood but eventually, metal was used and later plastic. The first major bocce tournament took place in Paris in 1895.

Squash started in the 1850s with cut off racquets and a rubber ball at Harrow School near London. It was played in courtyards and alleyways. It was initially called soft racquets, baby racquets, or squash racquets. By 1883, the first purpose-built squash court had been built and in 1884, one followed in the United States with the first official tournament following in 1890. Glass back walls, now a staple of the sport that allows for spectator viewing, only started in the 1970s.

The origins of hockey come from a variety of games including shinty which was played in Scotland. Some hieroglyphics in Egypt show a game that looks like hockey. People in China have played Beikou, a very similar game for over 1000 years. What is known is that the modern version of the sport was played in English schools from the 1850s onwards with the Hockey Association formed in 1886. The game then spread throughout the British Empire.

Golf originated in Scotland in the 15th Century. Well, a version of it anyway. The modern game, however, took hold in the mid-1800s. The British Open, the oldest golf competition in the world, was first played in 1860. Over the years, the game has produced some greats, including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.

An American institution, baseball originated from the ballgame ‘Rounders’. The first rules of the game were written by Shane Ryley Foster. In 1845, Alexander Joy Cartwright, a member of the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club would formalize the rules and introduce a diamond-shaped field, three strike rule, and other crucial elements. The first official game of baseball was played in 1846.

While not particularly popular in North America, handball is played in many countries around the world. The sport developed from three ball games played in various parts of Europe. By 1900, field handball had become popular while the game was introduced to Sweden in around 1910. The International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was set up in 1928 and the first world championships took place in 1938.

The sport of hurling is at least 2000 years old. The modern version has been played since the late 19th century. In the sport, two teams try to hit a ball over the crossbar of the opponent for one point or into the goal beneath for three points. They use a piece of wood (a hurley) to do this.

Floorball is a relatively new sport, just over 70 years old. It is thought to have originated in the United States where it was initially called Cosom hockey while in Canada, it was called ball hockey. The game soon spread to Europe and was particularly popular in Scandinavian countries. The first official rules were formalized in 1981 with the first league following in Sweden in 1989. It is very similar to field hockey.

The sport of Jai alai is considered by some to be the fastest sport in the world. In it, players throw a ball against a wall using a large basket-like device (a cesta) on their hands. The object is to make your opponent miss his attempt to catch the ball. The sport originated in the Basque region of Spain over 400 years ago.

Bowls, or forms thereof, have been played all over the world for centuries. In 1848, however, the official rules for lawn bowls were drawn up in Scotland by W.W. Mitchell. After that, the game spread all over the world and today remains a popular pastime.

The sport of underwater hockey was originally called Octopush. It originated as a way to keep scuba divers fit during winter months when sea conditions stopped them from diving. It was invented by Alan Blake in the United Kingdom in 1954. The game quickly became popular and by 1980, the first world championships were held.

If you haven’t seen a game of Australian Rules Football, do yourself a favor and try to catch one. This combination of sports, including rugby and soccer, was first played in Australia in 1858 with the Victorian Football League established in 1896. This is one of the most popular sports Down Under.

Similar to squash, racquetball is played on an indoor court with only three walls using a small racquet and a rubber ball. It was first played at the start of the 20th century.

The earliest reference to the game of rounders comes from a 1777 book, "A Little Pretty Pocketbook.” In that book, it is called baseball. Rounders, of course, is the forerunner of that sport The first official body formed for the sport, the Liverpool and Scottish Rounders Association originated in 1889.

Although cricket is extremely popular in parts of the world, including England, the subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, it has never really taken off in America. The history of the sport can be traced back to the 1500s. History shows us that by 1697, teams of 11 players were contesting the game with the first county match taking place in 1709. The first Test match between England and Australia took place in Melbourne in 1877. Today cricket has three different versions – Test cricket (played over 5 days), one-day internationals (played over 50 overs per side) and T20 (played over 20 overs per side).

The sport of water polo was heavily influenced by Scotsman, William Williamson, who in the late 19th Century invented a game that involved treading water. He called it 'aquatic football.' This eventually morphed into water polo with the sport making the 1904 Olympics. It was only in 1929 that a formal set of rules was agreed upon by all countries.

Although you may have never heard of the sport, cycle polo originated in Ireland in the 1890s. It owes its origins to Richard J. Mecredy and essentially is polo played on bicycles.

Sitting volleyball was first played the Netherlands in the mid-1950s. It incorporated regular volleyball and a German sport called sitzball which had sitting players and similar rules to volleyball but no net. Sitting volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1980.

Boules originated in 1910 and was invented by a French café owner, Ernest Pitiot. It is similar to the games of Pétanque, boccie, and bowls. Although it is only 100 years old, it is based on an older French game, jeu Provençal. The game is played by either two players or two teams. The object is to get your boule (ball) as close to a smaller ball (the jack) as possible.

This sport was invented in Canada in 1977 as an alternative to wheelchair basketball. It was originally called ‘Murderball.’ Wheelchair rugby was officially recognized by the International Paralympic Committee in 1994.

Racquetball is a combination of a few sports including tennis, handball, and squash as well as a Spanish sport called jai alai. The game first appeared in America in the 1920s with Joseph G. Sobek credited with its invention. In its infancy, it was often called paddle rackets. In 1952, Sobek founded the Paddle Racquet Association of America.

Pool is derived from the game of billiards. It has become very popular all over the world. There are three versions of the sport, 15-ball, 9-ball, and 8-ball. Pool was the first game to have a world championship tournament. It took place in 1873.

The game of snooker, derived from billiards, was invented in India by British army officer, Neville Chamberlain. Although the game became popular in Britain, it took until 1919 to formalize the rules. There have been some incredible snooker players throughout the years, including Stephen Henry and Ronnie O’Sullivan. Perhaps the greatest, however, is Joe Davis who won 15 world championships in a row.

The first softball game took place in 1887 in Chicago with a tied up boxing glove as a ball and a broomstick as a bat, all thanks to George Hancock. The game was played indoors and became very popular as a winter sport, with leagues starting just two years later while the Amateur Softball Association followed in 1933.

Billiards were played as far back as the 15th century and is even mentioned in the works of the playwright, William Shakespeare. Louis XI of France had the first indoor billiards table. Over the years, equipment has certainly become more refined as early billiard cues were more mallet like than thin, wooden sticks. There are a number of different forms of billiards that can be played while the other cue sports of pool and snooker derive from the sport.

This form of boules sees players trying to either throw or roll steel balls close to the smaller wooden ball. This ball is called the cochonnet. The object is to get your steel balls as close as possible to score points. It originated in France in 1907.

A game similar to Gaelic football was played in Ireland in the 1600s. The sport as we now know it, however, was first played in 1884. With two teams of 15 players, the idea is to either score a goal through the posts (3 points) or over the crossbar (1 point). The ball can be moved by kicking, bouncing or passing.

Polo first originated in central Asia, the area known as Iran today, as far back as 600 BC. It served as a training regime for cavalry units at the time. Today, Polo is a sport played throughout the world. The British Royal family are avid polo lovers with both Prince Harry and William playing the sport.

A game of Dutch origins, Korfball is a mixed team sport devised by Nico Broekhuysen, a Dutch teacher who wanted all his class to be able to participate in some form of sport at the same time. It originated in the early 1900s and by 1933, it had become so popular in other European countries that the International Korfball Federation was formed. The sport has similarities to basketball and netball.

First called Kick Baseball, the sport of kickball started in 1917 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its inventor was Nicholas C Seuss. To win, a team must score more runs than its opponent. It is similar to baseball, but without a bat.

Volleyball was invented in the late 19th century in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, by William G. Morgan. A physical education teacher, Morgan invented the sport to help diversify the sports and recreation programs he offered. He drew his inspiration from tennis and basketball. Volleyball first became an Olympic sport at the 1964 Tokyo games.

Looking for a sport that causes fewer injuries than football, James Naismith invented basketball 1891. Interestingly the first baskets he used were peach baskets and legend has it he drew up the rules for the game in under half an hour. By 1898, a professional league had been formed. Over the years, the sport has had some incredibly talented players, including Wilt Chamberlin, ‘Magic’ Johnson, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan.

This sport originated in the 1960s in Germany. It has very little to do with rugby, however. Essentially, two teams try to score goals while submerged underwater. The ball itself is negatively buoyant and does not float to the surface. The first world championship for the sport was played in 1978.

This sport, also called 'funet' started in Czechoslovakia almost 100 years ago. Essentially it is a combination of tennis and soccer where the ball can only be sent over the net using your feet. It has its own unique scoring system and is played both indoors and outdoors.

It is said that the game of rugby began in 1823 at Rugby school. A student, William Webb Ellis, picked up a soccer ball and ran with it, much against the rules of that sport. The first official team followed in 1839 at Cambridge and in 1871, the Rugby Football Union was founded with the inaugural international game played that same year between England and Scotland. Today rugby is a much-loved sport played around the world. The All Blacks of New Zealand are the current world champions.

The idea for the game of dodgeball came to Dr. James H. Carlisle, a missionary in Africa as he watched tribesman play a game where rocks were used instead of balls. By the time he returned to Europe, he had devised a similar game but with a leather ball instead of rocks. The first official rules of the sport were drawn up in 1905.

Lacrosse was first played by Native Indians in Northern America. It was known as stickball. These games were played on a large scale with up to 100,000 players at times! A French missionary, Jean de Brébeuf, saw such a game in 1636 and recorded his thoughts, calling it Lacrosse. The sport developed in Canada from the mid-1850s after a demonstration by the Caughnawaga Indians was held in Montreal in 1834. By 1860, it was the national sport of the country.

The name kind of gives the origins of croquet away. It was first played in the 13th century by French peasants. The modern game, however, was introduced to England from Ireland in the mid-1850s although it was called ‘Crooky’ at the time. By 1870, croquet was popular throughout the British Empire. The sport became particularly popular in the United States and Canada in the 1980s.

Horseball originates from the Argentian sport of Pato which eventually was banned due to the massive amount of fatalities caused by it. Horseball essentially sees riders trying to place a special ball with handles in a target that is 1m wide – so kind of a horse basketball if you will. The modern game originated in the 1930s.

This sport is played in several European and South American countries, although it originated in Spain. It is similar to Jai alai but can be played without specialized gloves as well. It was an official Olympic sport at the 1900 Games.

Netball and basketball are closely linked. In 1892, the sport of netball was invented as a modification of basketball and specifically with women in mind. As it was considered an acceptable sport for the "fairer sex," it became very popular very quickly.

The most popular sport on the planet, soccer is adored by billions around the world. The official origins of the sport can be traced back to 1863 when the Football Association was formed. This gave the sport a body to finalize the rules which up to that point changed from team to team. But forms of soccer have been played in China (called Tsu’ Chu), Japan (Kemari), Greece (Episkyros) and Rome (Harpastum) years before the game as we know it was born.

Futsal, essentially 5-a-side soccer, was invented in Uruguay by Juan Carlos Ceriani in 1930. It is not the same as indoor soccer in the fact that there are no sidewalls to bounce the ball off. Because of its similarity to soccer, the game falls under the auspices of FIFA, the soccer governing body of the world. It is particularly popular in Brazil. The first international futsal competition was held in 1965.

This sport was invented by Swiss biologist Hermann Brandt in 1970 as a means for the country's handball team to warm up sufficiently before a game. The sport's governing body, the International Tchoukball Federation, was founded in 1971 and world championships have been held since the ‘70s with Switzerland and China dominating the sport.

Ulama is the oldest game in the world to use a rubber ball. It descended from the Aztecs and is played mostly in Mexico. Balls dating back to 1600 BC have been found in sites in South America. Ulama has three variations of play.

Based on a combination of rugby and soccer, American Football is a game well-loved in the United States. Walter Camp is often referred to as the father of the sport. He put a number of changes in place that defined the game from other sports such as rugby. By 1920, American football had become professional through the American Professional Football Association. It became the NFL in 1922. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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