2constrained by the state. Thus in ancient Greece, Solon the lawgiver laid down rulesfor the government of associations
. The Romans regulated them
, and the medievalguilds were strictly regulated by monarch, the church or the city council
. Onedistinguishing feature of the European enlightenment in the eighteenth century wasemergence of a new public sphere, where associations could be created which dealtdirectly with matter of public interest, but could also operate independently of thestate.Many sports that we call modern grew out of this form of associativity. Thedevelopment of associative sports in England during this period paralleled thedevelopment of the coffee houses, public societies and the press, institutions whichtypified this new public sphere. The basic organisational unit of this branch of modernsport was the club, a voluntary association of individuals agreeing to abide by a formof private law, autonomous within the state. During the eighteenth century thedevelopment of cricket, golf and horseracing, inter alia, created the models alongwhich later modern sports such as baseball, football (in all its various codes),basketball and tennis developed.It is perhaps surprising that relatively little attention has been paid to concepts of associativity in the development of modern sports. While there is general agreementthat the concept of modern sport was born in England sometime around the start of the industrial revolution, historians and sociologists have been more concerned withfactors such as industrialization, the civilizing process, commercialism and so on. It istrue that some scholars have noted the emergence of club culture at the same time asmany modern sports, but such observations scarcely rise above the level of thefootnote.
It is seldom remarked that all modern sports are organized in hierarchicalsystems of clubs and governing federations, which did not exist prior to emergence of modern sports. Indeed, while it would plausible to define modernity in sport as theadoption of this hierarchical structure built around clubs, there is no general historydevoted to documenting the process by which these organisations first came intobeing.This article tries to redress this balance by placing the unit of the club at the centre of development of modern sports, and seeks to explain how different social rules