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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 with separate sliding drawer, from 1390 to 1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder File:Paul Cézanne, 1892-95, Les joueurs de cart ...

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 (emotion), interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have develo ...

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 philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Me ...

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, tra ...

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 involving 4 or more teams, or a large number of competitors, all participating in a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve ...

tournament
producing a
champion A champion (from the late Latin ''campio'') is the Victory, victor in a challenge, Competition, contest or competition. There can be a territorial pyramid of championships, e.g. local, regional / provincial, state, national, continental and wo ...
. 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 typical season is the portion of one year in which regulated games of the sport are in session: for example, in Major League Baseball the season lasts approximately from the last week of March to the last week of Sep ...
, followed in some cases by
playoffs The playoffs, play-offs, postseason and/or finals of a sports league are a competition played after the regular season by the top competitors to determine the league champion or a similar accolade. Depending on the league, the playoffs may be ...
. 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 movements—usually involving the synchronisation of hands and fingers—with the eyes. The complex levels of manual dexterity that humans exhibit can be attributed to and d ...
, 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 from around the world participate in a multi-sport event, ...
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 organization, international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold European Convention on Human Rights, human rights, democracy and the Law in Eur ...

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 is a game of skill where the competition is based on a particular type of intellectual ability as opposed to physical exercise Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness Physical fitness is ...
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 played between two Player (game), players. It is sometimes called Western chess, or international chess to distinguish it from chess variant, related games such as xiangqi. The current form of the game emerged in Southern ...

chess
and
bridge A bridge is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to ...
as ''bona fide'' sports, and
SportAccord Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is the umbrella organisation for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations as well as organisers of multi-sports games and sport-related international associations. ...
, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess,
draughts Draughts (; British English) or checkers (American English) is a group of Abstract strategy game, strategy board games for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces ...

draughts
(checkers), Go and
xiangqi ''Xiangqi'' (; ), also called Chinese chess or Elephant chess, is a strategy Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία ''stratēgia'', "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship") is a general plan to achieve one or more ...

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 ...
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 uses ...

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 during a test match 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 skills while providing enjoyment to participants ...
drawing large crowds to
sport venueA sports venue is a building, structure, or place in which a 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 ...
s, and reaching wider audiences through
broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution (business), distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio ...
.
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 – an erect-stanced unguligrade quadruped – with a galloping gait. A 2006 animation of 1887 photos by Eadweard Muybridge Terrestrial locomotion has evolution, evolved as animal ...

running
, while
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two teams of 11 football player, players. It is played by approximately 250  ...
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 of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
''desport'' meaning "
leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time spent away from business, Employment, work, job hunting, Housekeeping, domestic chores, and education, as well as necessary activities such as eati ...

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 for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations as well as organisers of multi-sports games and sport-related international associations. ...
, 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 played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two teams of 11 football player, players. It is played by approximately 250  ...
,
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 bicycle File:Campana clásica de bicicleta (sonido) 02.wav, Classic bell of a bicycle A bicycle, also called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered transport, human-powered or motori ...
,
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 tha ...

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 played between two Player (game), players. It is sometimes called Western chess, or international chess to distinguish it from chess variant, related games such as xiangqi. The current form of the game emerged in Southern ...

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 calcu ...
), 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 organization, international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold European Convention on Human Rights, human rights, democracy and the Law in Eur ...

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 arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavour to reach goals ...
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 brou ...
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 organization, international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold European Convention on Human Rights, human rights, democracy and the Law in Eur ...

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 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 spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early ...
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 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, entertai ...

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 vernacular, common title now used for the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty of Egypt, First Dynasty (c. 3150 BCE) until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the t ...

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 of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric ...
. 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 Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in W ...
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'' between two horsemen wielding lances with blunted tips, often as part of a tournament. The primary aim was to replicate a clash of heavy cavalry, with each participant trying hard to strike the opp ...

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 was ...
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 from around the world participate in a multi-sport event, ...
, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the
Peloponnesus The Peloponnese () or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnesos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
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 spent away from business, Employment, work, job hunting, Housekeeping, domestic chores, and education, as well as necessary activities such as eati ...

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 for ...
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 or gender expression that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth. Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as transsexual.R ...

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 and masculinity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological ...
.


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 File:A photo of a gambling stand in Paris.jpg, A gambling stand in Paris Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering of money or something of Value (economics), value (referred to as "the stakes") on an Event (probability theory), event wi ...
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 rioting, bullying and vandalism Vandalism is the action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. The term includes property damage, such as graf ...
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, bu ...
and
physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to' ...
. 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 is a state of physical, mental and social well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to' ...
, 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 a ...
and the war on drugs encourage youth sport as a means to increase educational participation and to fight the
illegal drug trade Illegal, or unlawful, typically describes something that is explicitly prohibited by law, or is otherwise forbidden by a state or other governing body. Illegal may also refer to: Law * Violation of law * Crime, the practice of breaking the ...
. 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 that temporarily affects brain functioning. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness (LOC); memory loss; headaches; difficulty with thinking, concentration or b ...
. 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 Cognition () ...
, 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 during a test match 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 skills while providing enjoyment to participants ...
. 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 (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

television
and
internet The Internet (Capitalization of 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 ''network of networks'' t ...

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 pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription-based television Television (TV ...
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 (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

television
audience of hundreds of millions; the
2006 2006 was designated as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification and the International Asperger's Year. Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are ...
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 Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven player ...
, 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 th ...

wage
or
salary A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contractAn employment contract or contract of employment is a kind of contract used in labour law to attribute rights and responsibili ...
). Amateur participation in sport at lower levels is often called "grassroots sport". The popularity of
spectator sport during a test match 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 skills while providing enjoyment to participants ...
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 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 brou ...
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 Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. The distinction is made between amateur sporting participants and professional sports, professional sporting participants, who are paid for the time ...
. 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 from around the world participate in a multi-sport event, ...
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 Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing boxing glove, protective gloves and other protective equipment such as hand wraps and mouthguards, throw Punch (combat), punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a ...
, 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 Sports science is a discipline that studies how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health and performance from cellular to whole body perspectives. The study of sports science traditionally inco ...
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 shoe Sneakers (also called trainers, athletic shoes, tennis shoes, gym shoes, kicks, sport shoes, flats, running shoes, skate shoes, or runners) are shoe A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot. Shoes are ...
s or competitive swimwear.
Sports engineering Aerobics engineering is a fast growing field of engineering which encompasses the design and production of sports equipment Sporting equipment, also called sporting goods, are the tools, materials, apparel, and gear used to compete in a sport and ...
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 technologyWearable may refer to: * Clothing File:KangaSiyu1.jpg, A kanga (African garment), kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel and attire) are items worn on the body. Clothing is typically made ...
. 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 FINA (french: Fédération internationale de natation, en, International Swimming Federation, link=yes) is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: C ...
, 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 Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two teams of 11 football player, players. It is played by approximately 250  ...
,
goal-line technology In association football, goal-line technology (sometimes referred to as a Goal Decision System) is the use of electronic aid to determine if a Scoring in association football, goal has been scored or not. In detail, it is a method used to determine ...
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 The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for List of men's national association football teams, men's national association football, football teams organised by FIFA. It took place in Brazil from ...
in Brazil, and the
2015 FIFA Women's World Cup The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup was the seventh FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international Women's association football, women's football world championship tournament. The tournament was hosted by Canada for the first time and by a No ...
in Canada, as well as in the
Premier League The Premier League, often referred to outside the UK as the English Premier League, or sometimes the EPL, (legal name: The Football Association Premier League Limited) is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 ...
from 2013–14, and the
Bundesliga The Bundesliga (; ), sometimes referred to as the Fußball-Bundesliga () or 1. Bundesliga (), is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football ...
from
2015–16 Fifteen or 15 may refer to: *15 (number), the natural number following 14 and preceding 16 *one of the years 15 BC, AD 15, 1915, 2015 Music *Fifteen (band), a punk rock band Albums *15 (Ani Lorak album), ''15'' (Ani Lorak album), 2007 *15 (Bhad ...
. In the
NFL The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven player ...
, a referee can ask for a review from the replay booth, or a head coach can issue a
challenge Challenge may refer to: * Voter challenging or caging, a method of challenging the registration status of voters * Euphemism for disability A disability is a societal imposition on people who have impairments, making it more difficult for ...
to review the play using replays. The final decision rests with the referee. A video referee (commonly known as a
Television Match Official Rugby union match officials are responsible for enforcing the rugby union laws of the game during a match and imposing sanctions on individuals who do not follow the rules. "Every match is under the control of match officials who consist of the ref ...
or TMO) can also use replays to help decision-making in rugby (both league and union). In international cricket, an umpire can ask the
Third umpire The third umpire (or TV Umpire) is an off-Cricket field, field umpire (cricket), umpire used in some cricket matches, particularly international cricket, international matches. Their role is to make the final decision in questions referred to them ...
for a decision, and the third umpire makes the final decision. Since 2008, a
decision review system The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS or simply DRS) is a technology-based system used in cricket to assist the match officials with their decision-making. On-field Umpire (cricket), umpires may choose to consult with the third umpire (known as a ...
for players to review decisions has been introduced and used in
ICC ICC may refer to: Buildings * International Commerce Centre, a skyscraper in Hong Kong * International Commercial Center, a skyscraper in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia * International Convention Centre (disambiguation), any of several convention centers * ...
-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 Hawk-Eye is a computer vision system used in numerous sports such as cricket, tennis, Gaelic football, badminton, hurling, rugby union, association football and volleyball, to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a profile of ...
, Hot Spot and 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 Youth is the time of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have cease ...

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 In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in ...
, as well as to prevent
violent extremism Violent extremism is a form of extremism that condones and enacts violence with ideological or deliberate intent, such as religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practi ...
and
radicalization Radicalization (or radicalisation) is the process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly views in opposition to a political, social, or religious status quo or is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, p ...
, has become more widespread, especially as a tool to improve
self-esteem Self-esteem is an individual's subjective evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, "I am unloved", "I am worthy") as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and ...
, 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 The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international association football, football championship for List of men's national association football teams, senior men's national teams. It took place in Ki ...

1934 FIFA World Cup
, which was held in Italy, to showcase Fascist Italy.
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Chan ...
also used the
1936 Summer Olympics The 1936 Summer Olympics (German language, German: ''Olympische Sommerspiele 1936''), officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad (German language, German: ''Spiele der XI. Olympiade''), were an international multi-sport event held from 1 ...
held in
Berlin Berlin ( , ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.7 million inhabitants make it the European Union's List of cities in the European Union by populat ...
, 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 Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two teams of 11 football player, players. It is played by approximately 250  ...
, 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 from around the world participate in a multi-sport event, ...
* 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