At least professionally. Topic includes the sport mutating beyond recognition. Boxing seems to have taken quite the swan dive in popularity ever since Ali hung them up; I wouldn’t bet against it becoming like pro wrestling. Or are most sports far too entrenched to ever fall all the way to extinction?
Football (Euro edition)
NFL. It is too violent and too greedy. The owners will kill it and the medics will make it clear how dangerous it is.
You mean what I’d call soccer? I would think that would be the least likely to disappear.
Will second the nomination of boxing, though. I was a fan up through '92 or so, but now I could not name the World Champion of any of the approximately 10 million sanctioning bodies if my life depended on it. MMA seems well on the way to filling that niche.
football will definitely last at least another 50 years. it’s too big to fail. boxing will never go fully extinct because it’s olympically sanctioned, and has too rich a history for the olympics to dump it. i know the olympics aren’t “professional” but there is just too many people out there to keep it afloat.
if i had to choose, i’d say MLL (major league lacrosse) would probably be the most likely to die.
I’ll throw out a couple (U.S. only) just to stimulate discussion.
Horse racing – most U.S. tracks are in serious trouble because there are easier and more efficient ways to gamble than going to the track. Harness racing is on the verge of folding up already, and I can see thoroughbred racing collapsing from the bottom up – people might still be interested in the Triple Crown, but there won’t be the Santa Anita, Arlington Park or Keeneland-type tracks around to help the stables develop.
Major League Baseball – we all hear complaints that it’s too slow, too boring, yadda, yadda. TV ratings for the World Series keep dropping. Over the next hundred years, baseball could decline to the point where it’s basically an amateur sport, with a handful of not-so-major leagues like the Pioneer and Frontier leagues (which are more into a family activity than a sport) are the last vestiges of paid professional games.
On the other hand, I can easily see pro golf surviving while amateur golf becomes too expensive for the weekend duffer to play.
I can’t see football/soccer ever disappearing. For millions of poor kids the world over, all they need to participate in this sport is something round to kick around. They don’t even need shoes.
I doubt cricket will disappear. It has shown it self able to adapt more than any other sport.
I’m with Kunilou- horse racing. Crowds have been dropping steadily for years. Off course turnover is up of course; however there are other avenues for a bet.
Global warming and peak oil might bugger up a number of ice/snow dependent sports.
And I hope that we become enlightened enough to be able to see the end of bull fighting and cock fighting. I assume they are classified as sports.
What sports do you consider to have gone extinct in the last 50-100 years?
I can certainly name a few sports that have lost a lot of market share, so to speak, over the last few decades, but any that are practically extinct?
In Australia, I’m sad to say I think it’s going to be the various Shooting Sports- it’s harder and harder (and increasingly expensive) for new people to become involved in the sport(s), and there’s an decreasing number of shooting ranges as they get closed down due to declining memberships/houses being built around them/increased operating costs.
Add to that changing social perceptions of guns and shooting in the country, and in 50 years time I doubt there’ll be many people left competing in shooting competitions except for maybe a tiny handful of Olympic/Commonwealth Games-level Clay Target and Air/Smallbore Rifle shooters.
Dog racing will be dead first. It’s barely on life support now.
I can’t think of any. Evenjousting is still alive and well. In fact, it’s been the official state sport of Maryland since 1962.
I actually wouldn’t be completely shocked if American football withered away over this timeframe, although it would be more like 100 years than 50. This would require some detailed studies about what hits and repeated concussions do to the brain. The death of the sport would start at the lower levels as parents were unwilling to expose their kids to that kind of abuse, and then it works its way up.
By the wording of the OP, it’s effectively extinct, though in the USA itw as never really alive anyway.
Part of the problem is that we’re actually quite early in the history of “professional” sports. Pro sports as we currently understand them began in the late 19th century and many currently immensely popular sports become professionally organized in the 20th.
Furthermore, pro sports have EXPLODED in popularity in the last 30 years or so; the reason pro athletes make so much more money than they used to is because the sports they play make vastly more money.
So we haven’t yet really seen enough history to know for sure what pro sports are going to die off, because it’s not a phenomenon we have any examples of.
If I had to guess, though, I’d throw in with boxing, which is singularly barbaric, and MMA, which I think is a flash in the pan. But I wouldn’t bet (ha) a lot of money on it; even boxing still makes a hell of a lot of money.
I was going to ask the same question. The only thing I can think of is handball, at least in the US. There used to be public handball courts in every neighborhood in my hometown; they’re all gone now, and the few that remain are just canvases for graffiti.
As for the next 50 years:
Demolition derby: I used to hear more about it in the 1970s than now.
Drag racing: same thing. Can’t remember the last time I saw a televised drag racing competition, where in the 1970s and 1980s it was commonplace during weekend afternoons on network television.
Croquet. Used to be a staple at family gatherings. Again, something I haven’t seen in decades.
Lawn bowling, at least in the United States,
I don’t see baseball, football, hockey, or basketball going anywhere. I see horse racing becoming more regional in nature, concentrated in the Northeast and Kentucky.
What? All of these sports are super popular. Well, maybe not Hopscotch. But still.