In eight themed parts, Tim Harris describes the triumphs and breakthroughs--as well as the cheating and unscrupulous behavior--that have created the modern world of sport, from ancient times to the 21st century. Part One looks at sports grounds, from stadiums to ice rinks, explaining why golf courses have 18 holes and why boxing rings are square. Part Two uncovers the stories behind sporting rules; while the next section, on sports equipment, shows why we row in eights and why cue balls have black dots. A swift history of "speed sports"--from chariot racing to Grand Prix--explains why racehorses aren’t getting any faster. A section on money and sport tells all, while a section on sport and politics uncovers the reasons why we ten-pin bowl with nine pins and why greyhounds aren't grey. 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--it's unique, funny, amazingly comprehensive, and packed with extraordinary anecdotes to turn any reader into a sports expert.