The History of Sport 1915 – 1918: Sport shuts down in many countries during World War I but Huddersfield’s outstanding rugby team sweeps all before them. Ted “Kid” Lewis and Jack Britton’s epic series of boxing title fights. The NHL is founded.

For most years of the Twentieth Century I will post about the events of a single year. However, during the two World Wars most sports had few competitions and so I have combined the main war years into one post.

This one deals with the notable sporting events of the First World War years.

Because of World War I, there is no first-class cricket in South Africa in the 1914–15 season, nor in England in 1915. Australia goes ahead with the 1914–15 Sheffield Shield competition but then suspends first-class cricket until 1919

the World Welterweight Championship changes hands three times in less than three months between June and August. Finally, it comes to Ted “Kid” Lewis, who defeats Jack Britton twice to win and then retain the title, which will interchange between these two over the next four years.

Packey McFarland has his 97th unbeaten fight since 1905 (five were draws).

Jess Willard, the latest “Great White Hope”, defeats Jack Johnson with a 26th-round knockout to win the world Heavyweight title.

Pommern wins the English colts Triple Crown in 1915 to be followed by Gay Crusader in 1917 and by Gainsborough in 1918.

Gordon Lowe of Britain wins the Australian Open singles tennis title.

In English rugby league over 1914-15 Huddersfield becomes the second team to win all four cups in a season. Huddersfield at this time is known as the “Team of all the Talents”.  In the Challenge Cup final they defeat St.Helens 37-3, a record score margin for the final.  The league title is their fourth in a row.
The continuance of World War I after the 1914–15 season causes the suspension of top-class rugby league until 1919.

1916

The inaugural USPGA Championship is held as a matchplay tournament.  England’s Jim Barnes wins.

G Covey regains the world Real Tennis title.

Britain ‘s Lucy Morton sets World Records at swimming at breaststroke and backstroke.

The first snooker championships are held.

Georgia Tech Engineers defeats the Cumberland College Bulldogs by a score of 222–0, the most one-sided game in college American football history.

Jimmy Wilde wins the world flyweight title and holds it for two years.

1917

The NHL is inaugurated and its first season starts.

The first open women’s athletics meeting is held.  It is organised by Femina Sport at the Stade de la Porte Brancion, Paris.

The Federation Sportive Feminine de France is founded (the world’s first women’s national athletics governing body)

1918

Orienteering is invented as a sport by Major Ernst Killander in Sweden.  It is based on military exercises.

Vincent Richards wins the US Open tennis doubles titles aged 15 years and 139 days.

The first women’s national athletics championships are held in Vienna, Austria.

The first women’s athletics in Britain occurs when a WRAF relay team compete in the RAF sports at Stamford Bridge.

The first British judo club, the Westminster Budokwai, is founded by Gunji Zoizumu.

Ted “Kid” Lewis draws with Jack Britton over twenty rounds in another of their world welterweight title fights.  They fought twenty times against each other in their boxing careers.

604 people are killed when stands at the Hong Kong Jockey Club racecourse collapse and catch fire.  This is the worst disaster at a sporting event of modern times.

Joe Malone scores 44 goals in 20 games in the NHL ice-hockey season. This goals average of 2.2 per game remains the highest ever in one season.

 

 

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