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Sport: Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know tells the story of sport. All sport. Ever. From ancient times to the 21st century.

In eight themed parts, Tim Harris describes the triumphs and breakthroughs – as well as the cheating and skulduggery - that have created the modern world of sport.

Part One looks at sports grounds, from stadiums to ice rinks, explaining why golf courses have 18 holes, why boxing ‘rings’ are square and why Woolwich Arsenal ended up in Highbury.

Why do wickets have three stumps? Why do we 'serve' in tennis and play soccer in halves? Part Two uncovers the stories behind sporting rules, while the next section, on sports equipment, shows why we row in eights, why cue balls have black dots and golf balls have dimples.

Why do teams score more goals at home than away? Why have women got worse at shot putting? A history of sporting drugs reveals all.

A swift history of ‘speed sports’ - from chariot racing to Grand Prix – explains why Formula One races clockwise, why racehorses aren’t getting any faster and the odd origins of British racing green.

Why compete for ‘stakes’ and hold ‘whip-rounds’? Why doesn't the NFL play on Saturdays? A section on money and sport tells all. Then sport and politics uncovers the reasons why we ten-pin bowl with ninepins, why greyhounds aren't grey and why rowing is so posh.

Lastly, a history of games and the media tells of racehorses starring on stage, boxers fighting inside cameras and just why the FA Cup draw uses wooden balls.

Dip into it, or read it cover to cover - there's a ‘Oh - now I get it’ moment on every page. Sport: it's unique, funny, amazingly comprehensive and packed with extraordinary anecdotes to turn any reader into a sporting expert.

Reviews

Tim Harris' book is awesome in its scope and detail. It claims, too modestly, to contain "almost everything you ever wanted to know". Almost? ....Anyone with a love of and interest in sport should keep this book within arms reach at all times.

Adrian Chiles

Staggeringly informative...succeeds in providing a fanatically comprehensive overview.

Chris Maume, Independent, Christmas books special

As well as dishing up plenty of catchy facts with the passion of a fervent fan, Harris also puts the spotlight on the dark underbelly of the industry.

Sunday Express, Christmas books

Book of the Week: his lively often opinionated account is a very good reason to ignore W.G. Grace's advice 'Never read print. It spoils one's eye for the ball.'

Independent on Sunday

This book really does explain almost everything you ever wanted to know about sport...bursting with facts, figures, jokes and quotes.

Sunday Telegraph

Harris's book is a magnificent achievement. The scale of his research is breathtaking. His constant sprightliness is exemplary. This is a book that the discerning sports fan must read.

The Herald (Glasgow)

Read this... from the history of stadia or the trivia behind sporting rules or why golf balls have dimples, this well-written book will help you take on any pub bore.

The Times

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781409078104

    September 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    960 pages

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