Ancient Egyptian sports

By: Cali, Bobbi, and Aj

Ancient Egyptian sports


-High jump

-Tug of war








High Jump. In one game, two people sat opposite each other with legs outstretched. Another person tried to jump over them. If the jumper did, the two sitting down put their hands over their feet to make the barrier higher. This is called “goose steps” and is still playing in Egypt.

Boxing and Wrestling. Pharaohs and princes enjoyed watching boxing matches and wrestling contests. Wrestling was also used to train army recruits and was pictured in tombs at Beni Hasan.

Swimming was a favorite sport. Youths held swimming races in the Nile. Not only did they swim in the Nile, but noblemen built their own swimming pools for their sons.

Fishing was a favorite of many Egyptians. Everyone from nobility to commoners, from the Old Kingdom to the New fished. Egyptians had many kinds of fishing rods and hooks. They also used nets and harpoons. While the poor fished for food, others harpooned fish from a skiff as a sport.

Hockey. Ancient Egyptians played a game similar to hockey. They had bats of long palm tree branches with a bent end that made them look like hockey bats. The puck was made of papyrus covered with two leather pieces shaped in semicircles and dyed two or more colors. The game is still played in Egypt.

Tug of War. Teams stood facing each other in two lines. The first player on each team held the hands of their opponent while the rest of the team held the person in front of them by the waist and tried to pull the opposite team towards their side. This is still played in Egypt.

Archery was very popular. Kings and nobles aimed at targets and showed their strength in pulling the bow. In the 21st century B.C., King Amenhotep II was a great sportsman who was proud of piercing the middle of a thick target of brass with four arrows. He also said he was a great general athlete, charioteer and horseman, and that he trained horses well.

Hunting was first done on foot. In the times of the pharaohs, hunting was part of some rituals. Chariots were used by kings once they were introduced. Egyptians used spears, arrows, throw-sticks, nets, and boomerangs. They hunted birds, crocodiles, hyenas, lions, leopards, gazelles, ostriches, and deer, but only pharaohs and noblemen hunted the large animals. Peasants hunted smaller animals like geese, ducks, cranes, and quails, and they ate what they caught. Nobles saw hunting as a sport, but they also ate what they caught. They could also hunt with greyhound dogs. Amenhotep III hunted antelope and ibex in a two-horse chariot in the desert. He hunted with the bow and arrow while his driver drove the chariot. He also hunted lions and wild bulls.