Devoted to the genesis and evolution of racket sports, this article has a double objective: to offer ways of better understanding the essence of this family of sports, and to identify the scientific works that have been devoted to it, in order to identify avenues for reflection. Based on a historiography of physical practices, an archeology of racket games, and a historical timeline of four disciplines with singular logics (tennis, table tennis, badminton, squash), it shows that the “genetic map” of these activities includes three main characteristics: their origins in jeu de paume, their strong proximity to English sports culture, and the preservation of a courtly and worldly heritage. An analysis of the main academic or federal productions then allows us to note, in addition to the recent proliferation of work in this area, an expansion to new activities and a diversification of research angles or theoretical frameworks.
- racket sports
- jeu de paume