The Lost Standard
French Experiences In Physical and Sports Cultures
Isao TAKAGI (Nagoya Institute of Technology)
French people went with excitement of 1998 World Cup Soccer. But their
sports scenes had confronted with many obstacles for the sake of world standard. The dynasties
fashionated courte paume, i.e., real tennis, among the noble men. Classical plays, opera and
ballet came into vogue as well As French revolution of 1789 excluded the physical cultures
from the public life, so the educational system stood on the highly emotional basis. Nationalism,
chauvinisme, or revanchisme confined the nation's mind in the local acknowledgement.
A traditional sport, jeu de ballon, was played by the prisoners at Saint-Lazare in 1794. Andre
Chesnier, who was the last sacrifice of the terror, hate it and compared a capricious ball to the
Jacobin dictatorship. Hubert Robert, famous painter, had much fun of it. Without any
regulations,this ball game counted on the libertated will of participants.
The Lendit festival at the turn of centuries revived the folkloric games such as gouret, barette,
and thèque, although the influence from modernized sports was unmistakable. At that time,
French boxing was introduced to elementary schoolboys. In 1889, Jean Charlemont, its expert,
had a match with Jerry Driscoll, champion of England. Frenchman won the severe bout, but his
last shot by leg was too low to gain the public allowance.