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Sport pertains to any form of
competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationship itself may also be called "a riv ...
physical activity Physical activity is defined as any voluntary bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, 2009. World Health Organization. Geneva, Switzerland. Accessed 13/07 ...
or
game A game is a structured form of play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content serv ...

game
that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and
skills A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the ...
while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases,
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creatio ...

entertainment
to spectators. Sports can, through casual or organized participation, improve one's physical health. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in
team A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal A goal is an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as ...

team
s or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as
racing In sport, racing is a competition of speed, against an objective criterion, usually a clock or to a specific point. The competitors in a race try to complete a given task in the shortest amount of time. Typically this involves :wikt:traverse, tr ...

racing
, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest (a ''match'') is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide
tie-breaking methods In games and sports, a tiebreaker or tiebreak is used to determine a winner from among players or teams that are tied at the end of a contest, or a set of contests. General operation In matches In some situations, the tiebreaker may consist ...
to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a
tournament A tournament is a competition Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationshi ...

tournament
producing a
champion A champion (from the late Latin ''campio'') is the victor in a challenge, contestCONTEST is the United Kingdom, United Kingdom's counter-terrorism strategy. It was first developed by Sir David Omand and the Home Office in early 2003 as the im ...
. Many
sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and ...
s make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular
sports season In an organized sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain o ...
, followed in some cases by
playoffs The playoffs, play-offs, postseason or finals of a sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activi ...
. Sport is generally recognised as system of activities based in physical
athleticism Athletics is a term encompassing the human competition, competitive sports and games requiring physical skill, and the systems of training that prepare Sportsperson, athletes for competition performance. Athletic sports or contests are competitions ...
or physical
dexterity Fine motor skill (or dexterity) is the coordination of small muscles in movement with the eyes, usually involving the synchronisation of hands and fingers. The complex levels of manual dexterity that humans exhibit can be attributed to and demon ...
, with major competitions such as the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
admitting only sports meeting this definition. Other organisations, such as the
Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international aff ...

Council of Europe
, preclude activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as
mind sport A mind sport, more correctly mind competition, is a game of skill A game of skill or game of wits is a game where the outcome is determined mainly by mental or physical skill, rather than chance. Alternatively, a game of chance is one where its ...
s. The International Olympic Committee (through
ARISF The Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation constituted through and recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The ARISF's members are international sports f ...
) recognises both
chess Chess is a board game Board games are tabletop game Tabletop games are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New Yor ...

chess
and
bridge A bridge is a Nonbuilding structure, structure built to Span (engineering), span a physical obstacle, such as a body of water, valley, or road, without closing the way underneath. It is constructed for the purpose of providing passage over the ...
as ''bona fide'' sports, and
SportAccord Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is the umbrella organisation An umbrella organization is an association of (often related, industry-specific) institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or poo ...
, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess,
draughts Checkers (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cu ...

draughts
(checkers), Go and
xiangqi ''Xiangqi'' (; ), also called Chinese chess or Elephant chess, is a Abstract strategy game, strategy board game for two players. It is one of the most popular board games in China, and is in the same family of games as chess, Western chess, ...

xiangqi
, and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports. Sport is usually governed by a set of
rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and po ...
or
customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that u ...

customs
, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring
goals A goal is an objective that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve. Goal may also refer to: Sport * Goal (sport), a method of scoring in many sports, or the physical structure or area where scoring occurs ** Goals, the Football_pitch#Go ...
or crossing a line first. It can also be determined by judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression. Records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in
sport news Sports journalism is a form of writing that reports on matters pertaining to sporting topics and competitions. Sports journalism started in the early 1800s when it was targeted to the social elite and transitioned into an integral part of the new ...
. Sport is also a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with
spectator sport A spectator sport is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some ...
drawing large crowds to
sport venue Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. ...
s, and reaching wider audiences through
broadcasting Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functi ...
.
Sport betting Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketb ...
is in some cases severely regulated, and in some cases is central to the sport. According to A.T. Kearney, a consultancy, the global sporting industry is worth up to $620 billion as of 2013. The world's most accessible and practised sport is
running Running is a method of terrestrial locomotion Terrestrial locomotion has evolved Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from ...

running
, while
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...
is the most popular spectator sport.


Meaning and usage


Etymology

The word "sport" comes from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
''desport'' meaning "
leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible s ...

leisure
", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining". Other meanings include gambling and events staged for the purpose of gambling; hunting; and games and diversions, including ones that require exercise. Roget's defines the noun sport as an "activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement" with synonyms including diversion and recreation.


Nomenclature

The singular term "sport" is used in most English dialects to describe the overall concept (e.g. "children taking part in sport"), with "sports" used to describe multiple activities (e.g. "football and rugby are the most popular sports in England"). American English uses "sports" for both terms.


Definition

The precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources. The closest to an international agreement on a definition is provided by
SportAccord Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is the umbrella organisation An umbrella organization is an association of (often related, industry-specific) institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or poo ...
, which is the association for all the largest international sports federations (including
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...
,
athletics Athletics may refer to: Sports * Sport of athletics, a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking ** Track and field, a sub-category of the above sport * Athletics (physical culture), competitio ...
,
cycling Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, Physical exercise, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as "cyclists", "bicyclists", or "bikers". Apart from two-wheeled bicy ...

cycling
,
tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket th ...

tennis
,
equestrian sports Equestrian sports are sports that use horses as a main part of the sport. This usually takes the form of the rider being on the horse's back, or the horses pulling some sort of horse-drawn vehicle. General *4-H *Ban'ei, Ban'ei racing *Camargue eq ...

equestrian sports
, and more), and is therefore the ''de facto'' representative of international sport. SportAccord uses the following criteria, determining that a sport should: * have an element of competition * be in no way harmful to any living creature * not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier (excluding proprietary games such as arena football) * not rely on any "luck" element specifically designed into the sport. They also recognise that sport can be primarily physical (such as
rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
or
athletics Athletics may refer to: Sports * Sport of athletics, a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking ** Track and field, a sub-category of the above sport * Athletics (physical culture), competitio ...
), primarily mind (such as
chess Chess is a board game Board games are tabletop game Tabletop games are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New Yor ...

chess
or Go), predominantly motorised (such as
Formula 1 Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for single-seater An open-wheel car (formula car, or often single-seater car in British English) is a car with the wheels outside the car's main body ...

Formula 1
or
powerboating left, Powerboats in Helsinki Power boating describes activities performed in a motorized boat. Generally, a power boat has a high power-to-weight ratioPower-to-weight ratio (PWR) (also called specific power, or power-to-mass ratio) is a calcul ...
), primarily co-ordination (such as billiard sports), or primarily animal-supported (such as
equestrian sport The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of equestrian sports, Equestrian sports *Equestrianism, ...
). The inclusion of mind sports within sport definitions has not been universally accepted, leading to legal challenges from governing bodies in regards to being denied funding available to sports. Whilst SportAccord recognises a small number of mind sports, it is not open to admitting any further mind sports. There has been an increase in the application of the term "sport" to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
s, also called
esports Esports (also known as electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) is a form of competition using video games. Esports often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional sports, professional pl ...
(from "electronic sports"), especially due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not widely recognised by mainstream sports organisations. According to
Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international aff ...

Council of Europe
, European Sports Charter, article 2.i, Sport' means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels."


Competition

There are opposing views on the necessity of
competition Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationship itself may also be called "a riv ...
as a defining element of a sport, with almost all
professional sports Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sports in which athletes receive payment for their performance. Professional athleticism has come to the fore through a combination of developments. Mass media and increased leisure have bro ...
involving competition, and governing bodies requiring competition as a prerequisite of recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or SportAccord. Other bodies advocate widening the definition of sport to include all physical activity. For instance, the
Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international aff ...

Council of Europe
include all forms of physical exercise, including those competed just for fun. In order to widen participation, and reduce the impact of losing on less able participants, there has been an introduction of non-competitive physical activity to traditionally competitive events such as school
sports day #REDIRECT Sports day #REDIRECT Sports day#REDIRECT Sports day Sports days (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoke ...
s, although moves like this are often controversial. In competitive events, participants are graded or classified based on their "result" and often divided into groups of comparable performance, (e.g. gender, weight and age). The measurement of the result may be objective or subjective, and corrected with "handicaps" or penalties. In a race, for example, the time to complete the course is an objective measurement. In
gymnastics Gymnastics is a sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit bet ...

gymnastics
or
diving Diving usually refers to: * Diving (sport), the sport of jumping into deep water * Underwater diving, human activity underwater for recreational or occupational purposes Diving or Dive may also refer to: Sports * Dive (American football), a typ ...
the result is decided by a panel of judges, and therefore subjective. There are many shades of judging between boxing and mixed martial arts, where victory is assigned by judges if neither competitor has lost at the end of the match time.


History

Artifacts and structures suggest
sport in China Sport in China has been long associated with the martial arts Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, ...
as early as 2000 BC. Gymnastics appears to have been popular in China's ancient past. Monuments to the
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

Pharaoh
s indicate that a number of sports, including swimming and fishing, were well-developed and regulated several thousands of years ago in
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
. Other Egyptian sports included javelin throwing, high jump, and wrestling.
Ancient Persia The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Name of Iran, Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia ...
n sports such as the traditional Iranian martial art of Zoorkhaneh had a close connection to warfare skills. Among other sports that originated in ancient Persia are
polo Polo is a horseback File:10 Iceland tourism - Icelandic horses ride in Iceland, horseback riding tourists.jpg, Equestrian tour on traditional local breed, Icelandic horses in Skaftafell mountains of Iceland Equestrianism (from Latin , , , ...

polo
and
jousting Jousting is a martial game or ''hastilude Hastilude is a generic term used in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the ...

jousting
. A wide range of sports were already established by the time of
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
and the military culture and the development of sport in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sport became such a prominent part of their culture that the Greeks created the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the
Peloponnesus The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...
called Olympia. Sports have been increasingly organised and regulated from the time of the ancient Olympics up to the present century. Industrialisation has brought increased
leisure time Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible proce ...

leisure time
, letting people attend and follow spectator sports and participate in athletic activities. These trends continued with the advent of
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
and global communication. Professionalism became prevalent, further adding to the increase in sport's popularity, as sports fans followed the exploits of professional athletes – all while enjoying the exercise and competition associated with amateur participation in sports. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been increasing debate about whether
transgender Transgender people have a gender identity Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or ...

transgender
sports persons should be able to participate in sport events that conform with their post-transition
gender identity Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behavior ...
.


Fair play


Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behaviour and integrity, and grace in victory or defeat. Sportsmanship expresses an aspiration or ethos that the activity will be enjoyed for its own sake. The well-known sentiment by sports journalist
Grantland Rice Henry Grantland "Granny" Rice (November 1, 1880July 13, 1954) was an early 20th-century American sportswriting, sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio. Early ...
, that it's "not that you won or lost but how you played the game", and the modern Olympic creed expressed by its founder
Pierre de Coubertin Charles Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (; born Pierre de Frédy; 1 January 1863 – 2 September 1937, also known as Pierre de Coubertin and Baron de Coubertin) was a French educator and historian, founder of the International Olympic Commi ...
: "The most important thing... is not winning but taking part" are typical expressions of this sentiment.


Cheating

Key principles of sport include that the result should not be predetermined, and that both sides should have equal opportunity to win. Rules are in place to ensure fair play, but participants can break these rules in order to gain advantage. Participants may cheat in order to unfairly increase their chance of winning, or in order to achieve other advantages such as financial gains. The widespread existence of
gambling Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering something of Value (economics), value ("the stakes") on an Event (probability theory), event with an uncertain outcome with the intent of winning something else of value. Gambling thus requires ...
on the results of sports fixtures creates a motivation for
match fixing In organized sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainmen ...
, where a participant or participants deliberately work to ensure a given outcome rather than simply playing to win.


Doping and drugs

The competitive nature of sport encourages some participants to attempt to enhance their performance through the use of medicines, or through other means such as . All sports recognised by the IOC or SportAccord are required to implement a testing programme, looking for a list of banned drugs, with suspensions or bans being placed on participants who test positive for banned substances.


Violence

Violence in sports Violence in sports usually refers to violent and often unnecessarily harmful intentional physical acts committed during, or motivated by, a sports game A sports video game is a video game that simulates the practice of sports. Most sports have b ...
involves crossing the line between fair competition and intentional aggressive violence. Athletes, coaches, fans, and parents sometimes unleash violent behaviour on people or property, in misguided shows of loyalty, dominance, anger, or celebration.
Rioting Rioters wearing scarves to conceal their identity and filter tear gas A riot () is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority In the fields of sociology Soci ...
or
hooliganism Hooliganism is disruptive or unlawful behavior such as riot Rioters wearing scarves to conceal their identity and filter tear gas A riot () is a form of civil disorder Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or so ...
by fans in particular is a problem at some national and international sporting contests.


Participation


Gender participation

Female participation in sports continues to rise alongside the opportunity for involvement and the value of sports for
child development Child development involves the biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, b ...
and
physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organiza ...
. Despite increases in female participation during the last three decades, a gap persists in the enrolment figures between male and female players in sports-related teams. Female players account for 39% of the total participation in US interscholastic athletics.


Youth participation

Youth sport presents children with opportunities for fun, socialisation, forming peer relationships,
physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organiza ...
, and
athletic scholarship An athletic scholarship is a form of scholarship A scholarship is an award of Student financial aid, financial aid for a student to further their education at a private elementary or secondary school, or a private or public post-secondary colle ...
s. Activists for
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
and the encourage youth sport as a means to increase educational participation and to fight the
illegal drug trade The illegal drug trade or drug trafficking is a global black market dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of drug prohibition, prohibited drugs. Most jurisdictions prohibitionism, prohibit trade, except under license, ...
. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, the biggest risk for youth sport is death or serious injury including
concussion A concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is a head injury A head injury is any injury that results in trauma to the skull The skull is a bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that con ...

concussion
. These risks come from running, basketball, association football, volleyball, gridiron, gymnastics, and ice hockey. Youth sport in the US is a $15 billion industry including equipment up to private coaching.


Disabled participation

Disabled sports also adaptive sports or parasports, are sports played by persons with a
disability A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or effectively interact with the world around them (socially or materially). These conditions, or impairments, may be Cognitive disability, cogn ...

disability
, including
physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physical" (Olivia Newton-John song) *Physical ( ...
and
intellectual disabilities Intellectual disability (ID), also known as general learning disability and formerly mental retardation (MR), Rosa's Law, Pub. L. 111-256124 Stat. 2643(2010). is a generalized neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significantly impaired in ...
. As many of these are based on existing sports modified to meet the needs of persons with a disability, they are sometimes referred to as ''adapted sports''. However, not all disabled sports are adapted; several sports that have been specifically created for persons with a disability have no equivalent in able-bodied sports.


Spectator involvement

The competition element of sport, along with the aesthetic appeal of some sports, result in the popularity of people attending to watch sport being played. This has led to the specific phenomenon of
spectator sport A spectator sport is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some ...
. Both amateur and professional sports attract spectators, both in person at the sport venue, and through broadcast media including
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...
,
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
and
internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

internet
broadcast. Both attendance in person and viewing remotely can incur a sometimes substantial charge, such as an entrance ticket, or
pay-per-view Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of or service that enables a viewer to pay to watch individual events via private telecast. Events can be purchased through a platform using their , an automated telephone system, or through a live . There has been ...
television broadcast. It is common for popular sports to attract large broadcast audiences, leading to rival broadcasters bidding large amounts of money for the rights to show certain fixtures. The football
World Cup A world cup is a global sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases ...
attracts a global
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
audience of hundreds of millions; the
2006 2006 was designated as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification and the International Asperger syndrome, Asperger's Year. Events January * January 1 – Russia cuts the shipment of natural gas to Ukraine over a Russia–U ...

2006
final Final, Finals or The Final may refer to: *Final (competition)The final of a competition is the match or round in which the winner of the entire event is decided. In sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activ ...
alone attracted an estimated worldwide audience of well over 700 million and the
2011 Cricket World Cup Final The 2011 Cricket World Cup Final was a One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is ...
attracted an estimated audience of 135 million in India alone. In the United States, the championship game of the
NFL The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
, the
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
, has become one of the most watched television broadcasts of the year. Super Bowl Sunday is a ''de facto'' national holiday in America; the viewership being so great that in 2015, advertising space was reported as being sold at $4.5m for a 30-second slot.


Amateur and professional

Sport can be undertaken on an amateur, professional or semi-professional basis, depending on whether participants are incentivised for participation (usually through payment of a
wage A wage is the distribution from an employer of a ''security'' (expected return or profits derived solely from others) paid to an employee. Like interest is paid out to an investor on his investments, a wage is paid (from company earnings) to t ...

wage
or
salary A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract An employment contract or contract of employment is a kind of contract A contract is a legally binding agreement that def ...
). Amateur participation in sport at lower levels is often called "grassroots sport". The popularity of
spectator sport A spectator sport is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some ...
as a recreation for non-participants has led to sport becoming a major business in its own right, and this has incentivised a high paying professional sport culture, where high performing participants are rewarded with pay far in excess of average wages, which can run into millions of dollars. Some sports, or individual competitions within a sport, retain a policy of allowing only amateur sport. The
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
started with a principle of amateur competition with those who practised a sport professionally considered to have an unfair advantage over those who practised it merely as a hobby. From 1971, Olympic athletes were allowed to receive compensation and sponsorship, and from 1986, the IOC decided to make all professional athletes eligible for the Olympics, with the exceptions of boxing, and wrestling.


Technology

Technology plays an important part in modern sport. With it being a necessary part of some sports (such as motorsport), it is used in others to improve performance. Some sports also use it to allow off-field decision making. Sports science is a widespread academic discipline, and can be applied to areas including athlete performance, such as the use of video analysis to fine-tune technique, or to equipment, such as improved running shoes or competitive swimwear. Sports engineering emerged as a discipline in 1998 with an increasing focus not just on materials design but also the use of technology in sport, from analytics and big data to wearable technology. In order to control the impact of technology on fair play, governing bodies frequently have specific rules that are set to control the impact of technical advantage between participants. For example, in 2010, full-body, non-textile swimsuits were banned by FINA, as they were enhancing swimmers' performances. The increase in technology has also allowed many decisions in sports matches to be taken, or reviewed, off-field, with another official using instant replays to make decisions. In some sports, players can now challenge decisions made by officials. In Association football, goal-line technology makes decisions on whether a ball has crossed the goal line or not. The technology is not compulsory, but was used in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, as well as in the Premier League from 2013–14 Premier League, 2013–14, and the Bundesliga from 2015–16 Bundesliga, 2015–16. In the NFL, a referee can ask for a review from the replay booth, or a head coach can issue a Challenge (NFL), challenge to review the play using replays. The final decision rests with the referee. A video referee (commonly known as a Television match official#Television match official, Television Match Official or TMO) can also use replays to help decision-making in rugby (both Rugby league, league and Rugby union, union). In international cricket, an umpire can ask the Third umpire for a decision, and the third umpire makes the final decision. Since 2008, a Umpire Decision Review System, decision review system for players to review decisions has been introduced and used in International Cricket Council, ICC-run tournaments, and optionally in other matches. Depending on the host broadcaster, a number of different technologies are used during an umpire or player review, including instant replays, Hawk-Eye, Hot Spot (cricket), Hot Spot and Snickometer, Real Time Snickometer. Hawk-Eye is also used in tennis to challenge umpiring decisions.


Sports and education

Research suggests that sports have the capacity to connect youth to positive adult role models and provide positive development opportunities, as well as promote the learning and application of life
skills A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the ...
. In recent years the use of sport to reduce crime, as well as to prevent violent extremism and radicalization, has become more widespread, especially as a tool to improve self-esteem, enhance social bonds and provide participants with a feeling of purpose. There is no high-quality evidence that shows the effectiveness of interventions to increase sports participation of the community in sports such as mass media campaigns, educational sessions, and policy changes. There is also no high-quality studies that investigate the effect of such interventions in promoting healthy behavior change in the community.


Politics

Benito Mussolini used the 1934 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Italy, to showcase Kingdom of Italy#Fascist regime (1922–1943), Fascist Italy. Adolf Hitler also used the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, and the 1936 Winter Olympics held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, to promote the Nazi ideology of the superiority of the Aryan race, and inferiority of the Jews and other "Untermensch, undesirables". Germany used the Olympics to give off a peaceful image while secretly preparing for war. When apartheid was the official policy in South Africa, many sports people, particularly in rugby union, adopted the conscientious approach that they should not appear in competitive sports there. Some feel this was an effective contribution to the eventual demolition of the policy of apartheid, others feel that it may have prolonged and reinforced its worst effects. In the history of Ireland, Gaelic sports were connected with cultural nationalism. Until the mid-20th century a person could have been banned from playing Gaelic football, hurling, or other sports administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) if she/he played or supported Association football, or other games seen to be of Great Britain, British origin. Until recently the GAA continued to ban the playing of football and rugby union at Gaelic venues. This ban, also known as Rule 42, is still enforced, but was modified to allow football and rugby to be played in Croke Park while Lansdowne Road was redeveloped into Aviva Stadium. Until recently, under Rule 21, the GAA also banned members of the British security forces and members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, RUC from playing Gaelic games, but the advent of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 led to the eventual removal of the ban. Nationalism is often evident in the pursuit of sport, or in its reporting: people compete in national teams, or commentators and audiences can adopt a partisan view. On occasion, such tensions can lead to violent confrontation among players or spectators within and beyond the sporting venue, as in the Football War. These trends are seen by many as contrary to the fundamental ethos of sport being carried on for its own sake and for the enjoyment of its participants. Sport and politics collided in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Masked men entered the hotel of the Israeli Olympic team and killed many of their men. This was known as the Munich massacre. A study of US elections has shown that the result of sports events can affect the results. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that when the home team wins the game before the election, the incumbent candidates can increase their share of the vote by 1.5 percent. A loss had the opposite effect, and the effect is greater for higher-profile teams or unexpected wins and losses. Also, when Washington Redskins win their final game before an election, then the incumbent President is more likely to win, and if the Redskins lose, then the opposition candidate is more likely to win; this has become known as the Redskins Rule.


As a means of controlling and subduing populations

Étienne de La Boétie, in his essay ''Discourse on Voluntary Servitude'' describes athletic spectacles as means for tyrants to control their subjects by distracting them.
Do not imagine that there is any bird more easily caught by decoy, nor any fish sooner fixed on the hook by wormy bait, than are all these poor fools neatly tricked into servitude by the slightest feather passed, so to speak, before their mouths. Truly it is a marvellous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy. Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naïvely, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.


Religious views

Sport was an important form of worship in Ancient Greek religion. The ancient Olympic Games, called the Olympiad, were held in honour of the head deity, Zeus, and featured various forms of religious dedication to him and other gods. As many Greeks travelled to see the games, this combination of religion and sport also served as a way of uniting them. The practice of athletic competitions has been criticised by some Christian thinkers as a form of idolatry, in which "human beings extol themselves, adore themselves, sacrifice themselves and reward themselves."''Sports and Christianity: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives'', Nick J. Watson, ed. (Routledge: 2013), p. 178. Sports are seen by these critics as a manifestation of "collective pride" and "national self-deification" in which feats of human power are idolized at the expense of divine worship. Tertullian condemns the athletic performances of his day, insisting "the entire apparatus of the shows is based upon idolatry." The shows, says Tertullian, excite passions foreign to the calm temperament cultivated by the Christian:
God has enjoined us to deal calmly, gently, quietly, and peacefully with the Holy Spirit, because these things are alone in keeping with the goodness of His nature, with His tenderness and sensitiveness. ... Well, how shall this be made to accord with the shows? For the show always leads to spiritual agitation, since where there is pleasure, there is keenness of feeling giving pleasure its zest; and where there is keenness of feeling, there is rivalry giving in turn its zest to that. Then, too, where you have rivalry, you have rage, bitterness, wrath and grief, with all bad things which flow from them – the whole entirely out of keeping with the religion of Christ.''De spectaculis'' Chapter 15.
Christian clerics in the Wesleyan-Holiness movement oppose the viewing of or participation in professional sports, believing that professional sports leagues Sabbath desecration, profane the Sabbath as in the modern era, certain associations hold games on the Lord's Day. They also criticize professional sports for its fostering of a commitment that competes with a Christian's primary commitment to God in opposition to , what they perceive to be a lack of modesty in the players' and cheerleaders' uniforms (which are not in conformity with the Methodistic doctrine of outward holiness), its association with violence in opposition to , what they perceive to be the extensive use of profanity among many players that contravenes , and the frequent presence of gambling, as well as alcohol and other drugs at sporting events, which go against a commitment to teetotalism.


Popularity

Popularity in 2018 of major sports by size of fandom, fan base:


See also

* Outline of sports * List of sports * List of sportspeople * List of sports attendance figures * List of professional sports leagues * New Media and Sports Related topics * Athletics (sport), Athletic sports * Animals in sport * Combat sport * Disabled sports * Electronic sports * Fan (person) * Handedness#Advantage in sports * International sport * Lawn game * Mind sport * Motor sports * Multi-sport events * National sport * Nationalism and sports *
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
* Paralympic Games * Physical education * Physical fitness * Spalding Athletic Library * Sponsorship * Sport in film * Sport psychology * Sports club * Sports coaching * Sports commentator * Sports entertainment * Sports equipment * Sports fan * Sports governing body * Sports injuries * Sports league attendances * Sports marketing * Sports nutrition * Sports terms named after people * Sports trainer * Sportsperson * Sportswear (activewear), Sportswear * Sunday sporting events * Team sport * Underwater sports * Women's sports * Water sports * Winter sport


Sources


References

* European Commission (2007), ''The White Paper on Sport''. * Council of Europe (2001), ''The European sport charter''.


Further reading

* ''The Meaning of Sports'' by Michael Mandel (PublicAffairs, ).
Journal of the Philosophy of Sport
* Sullivan, George. ''The Complete Sports Dictionary''. New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1979. 199 p. {{Authority control Sports, Main topic articles Books about sports