What Sports Were Played in Victorian Times?

The Victorians enjoyed a number of traditional sports, such as hunting, horse racing, boxing, racquetball and tennis. They also enjoyed more contemporary sports, such as rowing, cricket, rugby and soccer. Track-and-field competitions became fashionable as a focus on health and fitness spread.

The Victorians rejected certain older, bloody sports, such as bear-baiting. They also tamed other sports, such as when rules established by the Marquess of Queensbury became the norm in boxing. Rules, regulation, fair play and discipline in general became as important as sheer strength and fitness. Team spectator sports were popular by the turn of the century, and the idolization of the amateur sportsman led to the 1896 Olympic Games. Because of the now-recognized health benefits of active sports, women's sports grew in popularity.