Sports (or physical sports) is any form of regularly organized or generally competitive physical activity that, through formal or informal participation, intention to utilize, maintain or enhance physical capability and skills, and often, in some instances, participants, spectators. Common examples are team sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, wrestling, rugby, tennis, golf, polo and track and field. The term’sport’ has often been used in contexts unrelated to organized sports; for example, ‘the beach volleyball championships’ and ‘volleyball’ have the same meaning. Some sports also involve elements of skill, speed and endurance; such examples are swimming, climbing, cycling, track and field, hockey, football and rugby.
In most societies, sports are regarded as a source of social recreation and physical fitness. Across cultures, physical competition and sport high in the agendas of school and college athletic programs and activities, with some countries developing sports programs based on the principle of ‘athletic culture’. Athletes are viewed as heroes in many societies; this attitude often having been developed and encouraged through decades of mass media exposure and professional sports participation. In the US, professional athletes receive numerous honors and accolades, including the Olympic, silver and gold medal, on an almost yearly basis. Professional athletes are increasingly considered models for children and adults alike; individuals who aspire to become like these highly decorated individuals.
For the majority of people, the physical activity required to participate in a particular sport is generally considered to be relatively easy, although many sports require considerable training and ability to excel in their chosen discipline. Most sports are inherently competitive; even seemingly easy sports can be highly competitive, and, in some sports, require players and teams to reach a defined level of competence before competing. Sportsmanship is also a significant part of sporting culture; players and teams work together not only to achieve a common goal, but also to maintain the integrity of the sport.
The term ‘sport’ has different meanings in different parts of the world. In the US, where football is the dominant sports, soccer is a close second. Basketball and baseball also compete for top billing in the American sports lexicon. However, in other parts of the world, the term sport is used to refer to any contact sport, including boxing, wrestling, rugby, ice hockey, gymnastics, wakeboarding, surfing, sailing, motor-cycling and swimming.
International sporting associations, governing bodies and national association have created multiple mind sports events that have separate championships and qualification formats. These different events differ largely in terms of skill level, location, and equipment; but all share the principle of physical competition, using different systems of measurement. In non-Olympic nations, the games are often organised by schools, community clubs or sports clubs as a form of social interaction and recreational activity. Sport involves both the body and the mind.
While some people use the term sport to describe any contact sport, it is not an accepted synonym for physical activity. As an example, billiards, a form of billiards, is a form of billiards, which is a game in which the balls are weighted with balls bearing a serial number, so that the ball’s landing on a billiard table will be differentiated from the others on the table. It is unlikely that the term sport can be applied to such games as handball, a ball game in which players hit each other with a hard wooden stick, or racquetball, a ball game in which players hit each other with racquetized objects. However, most people would be familiar with the idea of a game such as tennis, which involves a ball and two paddles, or basketball, a game in which two players throw a ball back and forth against each other on a court; or cricket, which involves a ball and its circular batting area, the only equipment needed to be the hands, the bat and the ball.