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Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World & Their Origins

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The world of sports has a huge variety and each sport is special in its own way. They have their own thrill and require some definite skill sets which are different in the case of different sports. While the players are on the field, they are at such ease with their gameplay that we hardly ever understand the level of difficulty. In all the most difficult sports, there is always more hardship and difficulty than what meets the eyes. Be it in the process of selection or the performance, it is mandatory for players to present skills and capabilities of their mind and their body.Most Physically Demanding Sport.

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In some sports, key skills required are athleticism, speed, and agility, while many other sports require keeping the mind in the game. Some sports require players to be slow, steady and patient. In many sports, cardiovascular measures of the athletes play a vital role, while in others, knowing the complex rules of the game and using the rules in one’s favor is what is important. Be it the physical demands or mental strength, the overall durability demanded of a player increases the difficulty level of a game. So, let us look at the 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World.

Most Difficult Sports and Hardest Sports

Gymnastics

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Gymnastics is a complex sport that needs physical strength, flexibility, grace, agility, power, coordination, balance and control. The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique was founded in 1881. It governs the competitive gymnastic events internationally, with each country having its own national governing body. Modern gymnastics was first developed by three pioneer physical educators in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Germany, in the form of exercises for young men and boys, on apparatus. Of the gymnastic events, the competitive gymnastics is considered the best known. The men’s events include high bar, parallel bars, vault, still rings, pommel horse and floor exercise. While the women’s events include vault, floor exercise, balance beam, uneven bars. Exercises used by the ancient Greeks have been evolved into gymnastics.

Swimming

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Swimming is a type of water sport where swimmers try to swim as fast as possible with various strokes such as Butterfly stroke, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. It is internationally governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation. The earliest reference of swimming was found in paintings. It dates back to the Stone Age around 8000 B.C. The reference of swimming can also be traced in ancient books such as the Bible, the Quran, the Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Beowulf.  The first swimming book called “Der Schwimmeroder ein Zweigesprächüber die Schwimmkunst” was written by a German professor of languages Nikolaus Wynmann in 1538. The first indoor swimming pool named St George’s Baths was opened in 1828 to the public. The National Swimming Society held swimming competitions in six artificial swimming pools in London in 1837.

Skiing

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Skiing is a form of ice sport where contestants use skis to glide on snow. The word “Ski” is derived from “skíð”, an Old Norse word that means “split piece of wood or firewood”. This sport is internationally governed by the International Olympic Committee and the International Ski Federation. The earliest reference of Skiing was found in a primitive carving located in Rødøy in the Nordland region of Norway depicting a skier with one pole from circa 5000 B.C. Skiing was first primarily used for transport and Military ski races were held during the 18th century in Norway. Two main genres of this sport, the Alpine Skiing, and the Nordic Skiing were developed in the 1930s. Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Alpine skiing combined and Downhill are the main discipline of Alpine skiing. Cross-country, Telemark, Ski touring, Skijoring and Ski-flying are the main discipline of Nordic skiing.

Motor Cross

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing on enclosed off-road circuits. It is one of the most physically demanding sports and usually organized in all-weather conditions. Motocross is believed to be originated from motorcycle trials competitions in the United Kingdom. The earliest reference to the origin of this sport can be found in the first quarterly trial of the Auto-Cycle Clubs in 1906 and the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1909. The word “Motocross” is a combination of Motocyclette, the French word for motorcycle, with “cross country”. The first ever scramble race or modern Motocross was held in 1924 at Camberley, Surrey. The FIM Motocross World Championship, the AMA Motocross Championship, British Motocross Championship and Motocross des Nations are the major event of the Motocross. This sport is internationally governed by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme.

Figure Skating

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Figure Skating is a type of sport where teams, duos or individual skaters perform on figure skates on ice. Men’s singles, ladies’ singles, ice dancing and pair skating are the four main Olympic disciplines of this game. Figure Skating was first introduced in the 1908 Summer Olympics in London as the first winter sports in Olympic. The International Skating Union is the governing body of international Figure Skating that includes the Winter Olympics, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships, the European Championships and the Grand Prix of skating. Figure skating blades used in this sport is typically 4.7mm thick with a slight curve of an arc of a circle having a radius of 180-220cm. Figure skaters usually perform spins, lifts,  jumps, throw jumps, moves in the field, death spirals and various other moves.

Water Polo

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Water polo is a team water sport consisting of four periods where two teams attempt to score goals by throwing the ball into the opponent’s net. Each team of this game consists of six field players and one goalkeeper in the water. Water Polo is typically played in at least 1.8meters deep pools with a water polo ball that floats on the water. The game comprises swimming, catching and shooting the ball using a single hand.

The game is considered to be originated as a sort of “water rugby” in the late 19th century in Scotland. William Wilson first organized a set of rules for a team water ball game called “aquatic football” in 1877. The first ever game of Aquatic Football or Water Polo was organized at the Bon Accord Festival between the banks of the River Dee in Aberdeen, Scotland in the late 19th century. Fédération Internationale de Natation is the governing body of this game on international level.

Bull Riding

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Bull Riding is the most popular type of Rodeo sport where the rider attempts to stay mounted while the bull attempts to buck off the rider. The rider must stay for eight seconds atop the bucking bull and due to the risk, it is often referred as “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports”. Bull riding was derived from the Mexican Charreada. One of the earliest variants of Bull Riding called Jaripeo, a hacienda contest, was developed during the 16th century where the riders rode the bull until it stopped bucking or till the rider dies. A Texas Ranger named H. L. Kinney staged the first Anglo-American organized bullfight in 1852 in the southwest. Both the rider and the bull are awarded from 0–50 points by two judges based on several fundamental aspects of the event. Cowboy boots and hats are the additional attractions of these sports besides the riding.

Horseback Riding

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Horseback Riding or the Equestrianism involves steeple chasing or vaulting with horses and riding horses. The horses are trained to perform a set of skills on the course or to achieve great speed and the coordination between the horse and the jockey or the horse rider has a great impact on the event. Many historians claim that trained horses were first ridden in approximately 4500 BC, where numerous other historians doubted that horses were ridden long before this claim. Thoroughbred horse racing or flat racing is the most popular form of these sports and is governed by the Royal Charter Jockey Club in the UK and the Jockey Club in the USA. Steeplechasing or National Hunt racing is also a popular variant of the sport where the horses jump over obstacles while racing on a track. The international governing body of Horseback Riding is the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.

Freestyle Wrestling

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Freestyle wrestling is a form of amateur wrestling that is practiced by many wrestling fanatics all over the world. It is one of two styles of wrestling besides the Greco-Roman Wrestling that is contested in the Olympic Games. The ultimate goal of these sports is to pin down the opponent to the mat which results in the victory. Freestyle wrestling is one of the four main styles of global wrestling according to the international governing body for the sport, United World Wrestling. The modern variant of freestyle wrestling is believed to be originated as the “catch-as-catch-can” wrestling in the United States and Great Britain. Interestingly, “catch-as-catch-can” wrestling was performed by several U.S. presidents such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and much more.

Cross Country Running

Top 10 Most Difficult Sports in the World

Cross Country Running is a type of sport where individuals or teams run a race on open-air courses generally 4 – 12 kilometers long over natural terrain. The event is typically organized during autumn and winter but in some scenarios, it may be organized in a wide range of temperatures to create maximum difficulty. Cross Country Running was started in the 19th century in England where the schools started participating in cross country races as early as in 1837. The first recorded national cross country championship was held on Wimbledon Common in southwest London on 7th December 1867. The first international cross country race was organized on 28th March 1903, at the Hamilton Park Racecourse in Scotland. The IAAF World Cross Country Championships is the elite competition of the modern days cross country race since it was established in 1973.

There is a long standing debate as to which sport is the most demanding, and hence, most difficult, so much so that it is not merely a matter of personal opinion any more. Sports experts have gotten together to devise their own ways to analyze which sports are the most difficult, taking into consideration various parameters such as durability, analytic aptitude, nerve, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, agility, speed, power, strength, endurance, etc. But judging the level of hardness of a sport is not necessarily a matter of expert opinion. Sports fanatics have their own and varied opinions in this regard. Irrespective of how hard a sport is, the fans of the sport definitely stay loyal to their favorite game and its players.

So we are done with the list and it’s your turn now. Let us know in the comments which sports you think is the Most Difficult Sports.

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