What is the oldest sports team?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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9y ago

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(Just so you know Melbourne Football Club was the first professional sports team 1858)

This is an excellent answer to a question about the oldest sporting clubs, but surely I am not the only one to think a Golf Club golf club can never really be an answer to a question about a "sports team"? (The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews was founded in 1754, making it the oldest sports club in the world.)

I therefore hope you don't mind if I suggest we revert to the earlier 'composite' (below).

A previous poster suggested Manchester United, which dates from 1878. Also, the answer is different depending on whether you mean professional teams or not. Some clubs have been around a long time. Sheffield FC is agreed to be the oldest club still playing Association Football (1857), although they were not professional at the time. Notts County is the oldest professional club (1862) and as near as I can figure are the oldest existing professional sports team in the world.

As to a team playing in a competition for which professional teams still compete to this day, the Glasgow club, Queen's Park F.C. (founded 9th July 1867) contested the original FA Cup of 1870-71. Whilst fiercely amateur at the time, they are the only still existing 'national league' team from the initial entrants and the oldest Association football club in Scotland. The others still active are Marlow and Maidenhead (now Maidenhead United), who have only missed a single season in the history of the competition, and a team from the Civil Service that still exists and play in Amateur Football Alliance competitions.

Several American Baseball teams are older than this (the Atlanta Braves from 1869 are the oldest American pro sports team).

How about the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) founded in 1787? This club has long been chiefly an administrative body within English and World cricket and occasional alter ego for England national teams, however, rather than a sports team as is generally understood.

Before this was the Hambledon Club, famous for its organisation of 18th century cricket matches and based near Hambledon in rural Hampshire. While its origin is unclear, it had certainly been founded by 1768. A private club of noblemen and country gentry, some of whom occasionally played in matches, the principal opportunity it offered them was for betting on games in which professional players were mainly employed. Its last meeting was in 1796, however.

In terms of teams still competing in regular contest at a professional level, this is most likely to be a county cricket club. Sussex CCC was founded in 1839 as the first established county team mixing professionals and amateurs. Despite newspapers starting to print tables of inter-county results from the 1870s, the County Championship is only officially recognised from 1891 onwards (curiously Sussex not actually winning it until as recently as 2003!).

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9y ago
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12y ago

The oldest team sport is Horse Polo, dating back to 600BC

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Q: What is the oldest sports team?
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