Indigineous Sports

Indigineous Sports are those which predate the European Conquest of the World, in particular the team sports of Native Americans, Australian Aborigines and Africans, but also including the Indigineous sports of other peoples conquered by Europeans such as Native Siberians.

Native American Sports:

Stickball

Stickball is a Native American (Choctaw) sport similar to Baseball.

The Choctaws gave Ireland a consignmentt of grain during the famine as they could identify with the starvation. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid the first ever visit by a sitting Taoiseach to the Choctaw Nation on St. Patrick’s Day 2018, and played a bit of Stickball.

Here is an Irish Times article on his visit: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/choctaw-generosity-to-famine-ireland-saluted-by-varadkar-1.3424542 [Accessed 27 June 2019]

Here is an image of him trying the sticks: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-taoiseach-leo-varadkar-tries-out-the-sport-of-stick-ball-at-the-choctaw-176921309.html [Accessed 27 June 2019]

Ulama

Handball-like game played with hips in which the objective is to get the ball past your opponents (in the original version through a hoop on either side of the court) – Original game of the Aztecs and other Native Mexicans

Australian Aborigine Sports:

Marn Grook 

An Australian Aborigine game where the objective is to keep the ball in the air as long as possible. It includes the idea of the ‘mark’ whereby a player who catches the ball in the air can have a ‘free kick’. Tom Wills, who has Irish connections incorporated the idea into English Public School Football Codes, along with Gaelic Football like scoring to codify Australian Football in the 1840s.