Sports: Beyond Tradition (近代スポーツ ～伝統を超えて～, kindai supootsu ~dentou wo koete~) is a book that can be found in Trails of Cold Steel.
In modern times, we frequently encounter the word 'sports,' a collective term for all forms of competitive physical activity, to the extent that it is hard to imagine that an era might have existed where Erebonians were unfamiliar with the word. And yet, a hundred years ago, this was exactly the case.
The Erebonian Empire has historically valued scholarship and the martial arts. As such, swordsmanship, horsemanship, and falconry have always been popular, but these are not just sports, but instead serve more of a traditional, cultural purpose.
However, in recent years, competitive 'sports' played according to a list of agreed upon rules have begun to gain popularity, differing with the martial arts of the past, which focused simply on defeating one's opponent.
Here, I would like to introduce a number of examples of popular sports.
- A sport which has grown out of the traditional swordsmanship of the past.
- Three varieties of weapons are used: foil, epee, and saber. Protective clothing is also used in matches to ensure the safety of participants.
[Horse Racing and Polo]
- A competitive racing sport which has its origins in traditional horsemanship, sometimes involving obstacles. The addition of gambling elements to the sport at race courses is a relatively recent practice.
- Polo is a sport played on horseback in which players use a long mallet to knock a wooden ball into the opposing team's goal to score a point.
- Both a sport and a recreational activity which has its origins in the swimming practice of the past. Competitive swimming also includes several other separate sports, including water polo and diving.
- Four major styles of swimming exist: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.
[Tennis and Lacrosse]
- Both are relatively recent additions to the sporting world, rapidly gaining in popularity even in Erebonia. Professional championships are now held regularly.
- Both use implements designed specifically for that sport (a racket for tennis, a crosse for lacrosse) and involve a ball, but other than that the two sports differ completely in how they are played, the number of players on a team, and in the rules they are played by.
Many of these sports are divided by gender (with the exception of horse racing) and played according to strict rules, making them differ significantly from the traditional martial arts of the past.
With the likelihood that the number of people engaging in these sports will continue to increase in the years ahead, the Imperial Sports Association hopes to play a vital role in improving these sports, refining the rules they are played by, and spreading awareness of them so that they can be enjoyed by an even larger number of people.
-Imperial Sports Association