What Sports Were Played During the French Revolution?

The French Revolution was a time of great upheaval and change in France, and that included a change in the sports that were played. Here are some of the sports that were popular during the French Revolution.

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Though the French Revolution is often associated with the rise of democracy, the reality is that it was a time of great turmoil and violence. One of the ways that the people of France coped with this stress was through sports. Soccer, rugby, and even cricket were all played during the Revolution.

The French Revolution

During the French Revolution, a number of different sports were played. These sports included bowling, hunting, fishing, and various other outdoor activities.

Sports During the Revolution

Sports were an essential part of life during the French Revolution. The upper class often participated in equestrian sports such as horse racing and fox hunting. The middle class enjoyed betting on these sports as well as on cock fighting and dog fighting. Commoners participated in a variety of sports, including bowling, wrestling, and boxing.

The Impact of the Revolution on Sports

During the French Revolution, many major changes occurred that greatly impacted the sports played in France. The biggest change was the abolition of the monarchy and the aristocratic class. This had a profound effect on sports because prior to the Revolution, most sports were only accessible to the wealthy elite. With the new egalitarian ideals of the Revolution, suddenly anyone could participate in sports. This led to the rise of new popular sports such as football and boules, which could be enjoyed by people of all social classes.

Another significant change during this time was the introduction of the metric system. This made it easier to standardize measurements for things like sporting equipment and playing fields. This helped to make sport more organized and fair, as well as making it easier for people from different regions of France to compete against each other.

The French Revolution also marked a shift in attitude towards sport itself. prior to this time, sport was largely seen as a frivolous pastime with no real purpose or value. However, during the Revolution, sport came to be seen as a way to promote physical fitness and healthy living – something that was seen as necessary for citizens in a republic. This change in attitude led to an increase in funding for sporting activities and infrastructure, which laid the groundwork for France to become a major player in international sport in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Legacy of the Revolution

The French Revolution was a major event in world history, and it had a significant impact on the development of sports. Before the Revolution, France was a monarchy, and the ruling class enjoyed a life of luxury, while the poor suffered in poverty. The Revolution changed all that, and for a time, it seemed like anything was possible.

During the early years of the Revolution, many new sports were created, such as la course à pied (running), le saut en hauteur (high jump), and le tir à la barre fixe (barbell lifting). These sports were intended to promote physical fitness andRevolutionary values such as equality and fraternity. However, they did not last long, as the Reign of Terror soon put an end to all non-essential activities.

After the Terror ended, some of the sports that had been created during the early years of the Revolution resurfaced. One of these was la régate (sailing), which became popular among the middle and upper classes. Another was le baseball, which was introduced to France by American soldiers who were stationed there during the 1870s.

While most sports in France today have their origins in other countries, there are some that can trace their roots back to the French Revolution. These include running, high jump, barbell lifting, sailing, and baseball.


In conclusion, the French Revolution was a tumultuous time in European history. Despite the violence and upheaval, some semblance of normal life continued on. This is reflected in the types of sports and games that were popular during this period. While some activities, like cock fighting, became increasingly brutal, others, like boules, remain popular to this day.

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