The Definition of Sports
Sports (or athletic activity) is any forms of generally physical activity that, through organized or casual competition, aim to utilize, develop or improve specific physical skill and/or ability while providing pleasure to participants, and occasionally, spectators. Numerous types of sporting activity exist, ranging from high school and college games to organized tournaments and events. These activities can be for anything, from children’s teams to professional teams in most major sports leagues. These sports have evolved from simple physical activities and drills done during early childhood years. Today, these activities are often integrated with sport medicine and specialized training to enhance performance and to address specific needs.
The development of sports skills and fitness requires both time and effort from the participant, as well as a certain amount of equipment. The most basic form of sports activity is playing a sport such as soccer or boxing, where the only equipment needed is a ball or a bat, and the participants can exercise for as long as they want. However, other sports require a great deal more gear and accessories, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), power lifting, swimming, or climbing, and each of these requires a different level of skill and physical exertion.
The word “sports” itself therefore generally refers to any structured physical activity that requires skill, speed and endurance, and can be carried out by a number of people. It therefore includes any type of physical activity that lets people compete or attempt to do something difficult and that requires them to reach their full potential through the application of physical, mental, social, or emotional factors. The common definition of a sport is that a sport is defined when a collection of individuals cannot agree or disagree on the standards for determining the results of a sporting activity. This definition is sometimes used in contexts where there is considerable pressure to win or to participate and where the contest to define a particular sport sometimes results in public controversy.
The most common types of competitive sports include football, ice hockey, softball, baseball, basketball, track and field, cheerleading, gymnastics, sailing, racing, aerobics, sprinting, wrestling, surfing, skiing, surfing, bowling, football, tennis, or golf. For convenience, any sport that allows people to exercise physical activity can also be considered a sport, although this is not an exhaustive list. For example, riding a bicycle instead of riding a horse is a non-sport event, even though most people would view that activity as having some sort of skill component.
The commonly accepted meaning of the term “sport” is then a competition or sporting event in which skill, physical exertion, and the application of human emotions take precedence over other criteria. Because most sports involve some degree of skill on the part of the participants, it is not surprising that most definitions of the term “sport” also include sporting events. In fact, the definition has become so vague that today most dictionaries still choose to describe certain activities as sports even when they do not meet the basic requirements for defining the game or activity itself.
A very expansive definition of sports can include any of a wide range of activities and sports. Some have suggested that there are as many different types of sports as there are actual teams in a league. Others narrow down the definition of sports to include only those games and activities with which members of a community participate. Still, many persons, including educators, doctors, government officials, sports writers, television producers, advertisers, and members of the general public, define sports broadly, and each of these definitions can potentially influence educational policies, the way in which professional sport organizations address issues, and the way in which children are taught about sports and about their human potential for achieving excellence in various endeavors. Although most sports enthusiasts feel that the global definition should be expanded to include all games and activities, others believe that the present global definition is satisfactory. Those who favor broadening the definition of sports dispute the idea that human potential should be defined by the level of physical exertion participants are willing to accept.