Just as it is not easy for an athlete to qualify for the sports’ mega event- the Olympics, sports also go through stringent screenings before the decision on their presence in the games is taken.

Olympics brings the sports lovers from across the world together and with people thronging to get a glimpse of their stars and their favourite sport, it only makes sense for the games to replace or get rid of a sport that fails to charm the crowds.

In its 120 years of existence, Olympics has had a few sports come in and go out. Few of the top ones are:

  • Croquet:

The sport made its maiden and only appearance in 1900. The good thing about the event was that it allowed women to take part as well.

Having been played in front of just a single guy as audience, who had apparently lost his way to lunch was enough claim to discontinue the sport thereon.

  • Tug of War:

One of the common events at most school sports functions or corporate sports days, tug of war was an actual Olympic event up until the 1920.

Having made history for being the sport that had the first black athlete at Olympics in French Constantin Henriquez de Zubiera, the sport didn’t hang around for long for reasons unknown.

  • Softball:

A modified version of Baseball to suit the female counterparts, the event had a relatively longish stay in the Olympics. Softball made 4 back-to-back appearances between 1996-2008 post which it was taken down along with Baseball from the sporting mega event.

8 teams contested in the Olympics event with the host nation getting a default entry while the remaining 7 slots were up for grabs and decided by the qualifying. The event panned out in Round Robin which led to top 4 teams, who then battled it out for a medal at the Olympic Games.

USA and Japan are the only 2 nations to win Gold in the event with USA bagging a hat-trick of Golds in the first three editions only to see themselves being toppled by the Japanese in the 2008 edition.

Women playing softball

Image: Zimbio

  • Underwater Swimming:

A nightmare for viewers, Underwater Swimming couldn’t hold on much at the Olympics and was discontinued post the 1900 Olympic Games.

A sport that saw participants getting points for every meter they went into the water without coming out of it or in a way for their talent for holding breath didn’t catch attention of many and hence, made way for the better.

swimming in the pool

Image: Pinterest

  • Singlesticks:

As they say, the World is for the original to conquer, Singlestick couldn’t last long as it lasted just one edition- the 1904 games.

A poor copy of fencing with wooden sticks replacing the metal swords, it was only imminent that the sport was to fall. Not fierce and not as scenic, the sport was instantly asked to part ways from the Olympics.

singlesticks players

Image: Youtube

  • Pole Archery:

An ancient form of Archery at the Olympics, Pole Archery had participants shoot arrows at fake birds positioned on top of large poles.

Its only appearance came in the 1920 and with Belgium the only country participating, the writing was on the wall.

  • Polo:

Polo had a decent outing at the Olympic games with the sport making five appearances in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936.

In the final game played at the Olympic level in 1936, Argentina won gold in front of a crowd of 45,000 people. Having managed to garner a good crowd, one could only put it down to the slowness of the game and the lack of competitiveness as to reasons for its exile from the Olympics.

  • Field Handball:

The huge size of the ball and the field equal-sized to a football field, it was only imminent the game would lost its sheen during the course of it.

Incidentally, the sport was discontinued post the 1936 Olympic Games and the revived sport moved indoors and became an instant hit among the spectators.

One of the best examples of Innovation, the sport has left a lot to learn from.

Check out this article: 6 ‘Out-of-the-Ordinary’ Multi-sport Athletes


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About Author

Anubhav Roda

An engineer turned Sports Management professional, it was better late than never for him! An absolute sports freak with interest across sports, Anubhav has had 4 years of experience in the industry across functions. He has the rare experience of working in the Wrestling League and was the man behind the live updates for it. Having written for leading portals, Anubhav keenly follows Cricket, Football, while not missing much of action in Kabaddi, Tennis and Hockey! A Delhite who supports Delhi franchise in all sports possible and Liverpool among the foreign teams, he can go to the extent of skipping a meal when his team loses.

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