What were sports like before the Victorian institutionalization?
Maybe that story is not exactly true, but it's likely that countless incidents like that have happened over the thousands of years -- somebody would do something new, then everybody would argue over it, and it would either become precedent or disallowed. But, then after awhile, something else would happen, and the rules would change some more, endlessly.
But there was a new spirit abroad in the English-speaking world over the last couple of hundred years or so that said rules should be standardized.
The coming of the railroad encouraged sportsmen to compete more around the country, which led to conflicts between local traditions. The railway also allowed older sportsmen to get together and standardize rules. The history of the evolution of American football in the 19th Century, for example, is largely a history of guys getting together in hotels next to train stations during the off season to argue about rules changes.
In contrast, little girls tend to change the rules to make people feel less bad.
How many sports have women invented? I looked up rhythmic gymnastics, and most of the names cited in the history section were men, but the first person cited in America was Catharine Beecher (of the exhaustingly energetic Beechers -- Harriet Beecher Stowe was her sister).