Title pretty much says it all. It seems like the sports that are popular today were all invented a hellava long time ago. Basketball is probably the newest sport I’m aware of, and it’s over 100 years old. I’m not all that familiar with sports outside the States, though.
I would also be interested in newer stick and/or ball sports that didn’t catch on. For obvious reasons, you never hear about those.
Interesting question. Suppose we restrict it to Olympic sports, just to have an objective definition of what is a “sport” and whether it has “caught on” . . . and suppose that we don’t count variations as new sports; that is, softball is a variation on baseball, beach volleyball is a variation of volleyball, and so on.
Glancing down the list of Olympic sports, it appears the sports involving balls are water polo, baseball/softball, basketball, soccer, team handball, field hockey, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball. I would add badminton, ice hockey, and curling as similar types of games, although because of their medium these involve shuttlecocks, pucks, and rocks instead of balls.
It appears that every one of these sports was being played in something pretty close to its present form by 1900. There is a virtual tie in the 1890’s as basketball, handball, field hockey, and volleyball all date to that decade, with some minor variation from web site to web site as to the exact date.
How about Over the Line? The Tournament only dates back to 1953 if Wikipedia is to be believed, and it’s a stick/ball game. Of course, in practice it’s more of a drinking game than anything else, so maybe it doesn’t qualify.