Globalsport/Teacher Notes/Time Change

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Rugby World Cup: Time and Change

This strand complements the others by giving students the opportunity to explore how the game has developed over time and the impact of changes in society on the game, the way its played and its role as a social/cultural activity. The learning is divided into an introductory activity and two main activities. The main tasks are cumulative with the output of a poster in the first activity being added to in the second. Students are asked to do some research in the first activity to produce an illustrated timeline. In the second activity students are asked to consider changes that have occurred in relation to the sport over time and to create a summary to add to their poster.

Time allocation

Time allocated to this strand is 6.5 hours of student time.

  • Introductory activity should take 0.5 hours
  • Timeline should take 3 hours
  • How and why the game has changed? should take 3 hours

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By the completion of the unit students will be able to:

  • Research and describe the main points in the development of the game
  • Discuss the importance of sport as a cultural/social activity

Introductory activity

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To be aware that sports change over time and are affected by social and cultural factors

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Introductory activity

This is a drawing of rugby being played in Japan in 1874. Think about what you can see and the answer to these questions.

  • How do you think the game of rugby got to Japan?
  • Looking at how the players are dressed, the way the players are playing and the people watching the game - how do you think this sport has changed over time?

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Changing the image above to one of similar historical significance such as the example on the right taken in 1883 and including with two reworded questions will enable this activity to be used in another sporting event.

History of ball games

While this activity primarily provide students with opportunities to undertake some research and to summarise their findings, it also sets the scene for the next activity as investigating the history clearly shows that changes have occured. Students may need guidance about constructing a timeline. This activity would also lend itself to being done as a class activity with a large wall collage. If the internet is not available students may need extra assistance with suitable physical information resources.

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To develop a timeline plotting the history and changes to the game

In the introduction section there is information and an activity about the history of the Rugby World Cup. But ball games have been played for a much longer time than that. Games that are played by kicking and/or passing a ball have been recorded as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times. Different types of ball games developed in different countries and the way these games are played have changed over time.


In New Zealand, Maori developed a game called Ki-o-rahi which is played with two teams of seven players on a round field divided into zones. Points are scored by touching the 'pou' (field markers) and hitting a central 'tupu'(target).

You can see a video of how Kiorahi is played at this link


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Do some research using library resources or on the internet to answer the following questions:

  • Where do ball games come from?
  • Where does the game of rugby come from?
  • What country does it come from originally?
  • When did we start playing rugby in our country?
  • How did the game get here?
  • Which countries play rugby now?
  • How do you think the game got there?

When you have found some answers create a poster that shows the important dates on a timeline. Other information or pictures you have found can be added to the poster to create a collage. You will be adding to your collage in the next activity.

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Every sport has a come through an historical evolution so adapting this activity simply requires the questions above to be reworded to suit the chosen sport.

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Portfolio Activity

Write some notes in your portfolio answering this question:
  • What do you think are some of the reasons for games changing over time?

The portfolio will need to be set up and students prepared for it's use prior to this activity.

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Self Assessment

You need to think about how you will judge how effective your poster design is. You need to decide what is important and how you will measure how well this is done. Some things to consider are:
  • How eye catching is the design?
  • Have you included important/relevant information?

You need to think about what a good poster is going to look like and what it's going to need to have in it. Share your ideas with the people around you, and your teacher will help the class to put all the ideas on a display so that you can agree on what you are going to be doing.

When you have completed your design you should be able to assess your own work yourself, or as a class you might decide to assess each other's work.

How and why has the game changed?


While you were doing the previous activities in this section you will have seen that the game of rugby has changed over time. This could be in the way that it is played e.g. what people wear when playing. But sport is also a social and cultural activity and is affected by changes in society. Can you think of some of the ways sport has changed as a result of changes in society?

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To be able to discuss the impact of social and cultural changes on the development of sport over time.

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How does sport change over time?

In this activity you are going to keep adding information to your poster that you created for the last activity. For this activity you are going to choose two topics from the list below and working with a partner you need to create a summary explaining how the topic you have selected has changed the game over time. This can be your own views but you can also do further research by asking your parents what they think, looking on the internet and using library resources. You can use words and pictures to create your summary and should add this to your poster.

  • Rules of the game
  • Equipment used to play the game
  • Uniforms players wear
  • Sports nutrition (what players eat and drink to help them stay healthy and play well)
  • Technology (eg sport on TV, pay to view, radio broadcasts, Internet etc)
  • Sponsorship by companies of things like venues, clothing
  • Advertising
  • Betting in sport
  • Politics(for example the protests against the Springbok tour to NZ in 1981)

The purpose of this activity is to provide a range of options for students to be able to select from according to interest. Students continue to add information/pictures to their poster collage created in the early activity. Again, this could be done by the whole class on a wall and extra physical information resources may be required. A classroom discussion prior to the activity and some guidance with the task would help students to get the most from this activity.

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This activity requires no changes in order to be adapted for use in other sporting events.

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Look at some of the posters created by your classmates and think about some of the changes that they chose to write about. What do you think are some of the most important factors in changing sport?

Additional resources listed below.

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Web Resources

Teacher Resources:

  • Wikipedia. Maori All Blacks: History of Team [1]
  • Wikipedia. Women's Rugby World Cup: History of Tournament; Where past tournaments were held. Past & present winners. [2]
  • Wikipedia. Rugby Junior World Championships. History of Tournament; Past and present winners. [3]

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  • Rugby's Greatest Ever Matches (2005).
  • The Test; 100 Years of All Black Rugby (2003).