Contact sport
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Contact sports are
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 between two competing sides. ...

sport
s that emphasize or require physical contact between players. Some sports, such as
mixed martial arts Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB), and ultimate fighting, is a full-contact based on , and , incorporating techniques from various combat sports including boxing, kickboxing and from aro ...

mixed martial arts
, are scored on impacting an opponent, while others, including
rugby football Rugby football is a collective name for the family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leig ...
, gridiron football and
Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "" or "footy", is a played between two teams of 18 players on an , often a modified . Points are scored by kicking the between the middle g ...
, require
tackling Tackle may refer to: * In football: ** Tackle (football move) Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. The primary and important purposes of tackling are to dispossess an opponent of the ball, to stop the player from gaining ground ...
of players. These sports are often known as full-contact, as the sport cannot be undertaken without contact. Other sports may have contact, but such events are illegal under the rules of the game and are incidental or accidental and do not form part of the sport. It can also include impact via a piece of
sporting equipment Sporting equipment, also called sporting goods, are the tools, materials, apparel, and gear used to compete in a sport and varies depending on the sport. The equipment ranges from balls, nets, and protective gear like helmets. Sporting equipment c ...
, such as being struck by a
hockey stick A hockey stick is a piece of sports equipment used by the players in all the forms of hockey to move the ball or puck (as appropriate to the type of hockey) either to push, pull, hit, strike, flick, steer, launch or stop the ball/Hockey puck, puck ...

hockey stick
or
football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...
. Non-contact sports are those where participants should have no possible means of touching, such as sprinting, swimming, darts or snooker, where players use separate lanes or take turns of play. Consideration should also be given to other sports such as motocross, BMX, and road bicycle racing, road cycling, which all involve riding/racing in packs of riders. This often results in brushing and bumping off other riders.


Nomenclature


United States of America

Current medical terminology in the United States uses the term collision sport to refer to sports like
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 ** ...
,
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 rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. The offense ...

American football
,
ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contact can be formed during deposition, by the intrusion ...

ice hockey
,
lacrosse Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. It is the oldest organized Sports in North America, sport in North America, with its origins in Indigenous peoples in Canada, indigenous Canada as early as the 17th cen ...

lacrosse
and roller derby. The term contact sport is used to refer to sports such as
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, ...

basketball
and
handball Handball (also known as team handball, European handball or Olympic handball) is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outcourt players and a Handball goalkeeper, goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of thr ...

handball
, and the term limited-contact sport to sports like
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team, called the pit ...

baseball
,
volleyball Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summer ...

volleyball
and
squash Squash may refer to: Sports * Squash (sport), the high-speed racquet sport also known as squash racquets * Squash (professional wrestling), an extremely one-sided match in professional wrestling * Squash tennis, a game similar to squash racquets ...
. The
American Academy of Pediatrics The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an American professional association of pediatricians, headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Itasca, Illinois. It maintains its Department of Federal Affairs office in Washington, D.C. Background The Ac ...
policy statement was revised in 2008 included the following definitions:


Injuries

Many sports will penalize contact with rules for certain situations or instances to help reduce the incidence of
physical trauma Injury, also known as physical trauma, is damage Damage is any change in a thing, often a physical object, that degrades it away from its initial state. It can broadly be defined as "changes introduced into a system that adversely affect its ...
or
litigation A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil ...
for
assault An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. It is both a crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unl ...

assault
or
grievous bodily harm Grievous bodily harm (often abbreviated to GBH) is a term used in English criminal law English criminal law concerns offences, their prevention and the consequences, in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering En ...
. Many sports involve a degree of player-to-player or player-to-object contact. The term "contact sport" is used in both team sports and combat activities, medical terminology and television game shows, such as '' American Gladiators'' and '' Wipeout'', to certain degrees. Contact between players is often classed by different grades ranging from non-contact, where there is no contact between players, to full-contact or collision sports, where the rules allow for significant physical contact.


Equipment

As a result of the risk of injury, some sports require the use of
protective equipment Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective 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 ...
, for example
American football protective equipment Protective equipment in gridiron football Gridiron football,"Gridiron football"< ...
or the gloves and helmets needed for
underwater hockey Underwater hockey (UWH), also known as Octopush (mainly in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use ...
. Some sports are also played on soft ground and have padding on physical obstacles, such as
goal posts In sport, a goal may refer to either an instance of scoring, or to the physical structure or area where an attacking team must send the ball or Hockey puck, puck in order to Score (sport), score points. The structure of a goal varies from sport to ...
. Most contact sports require any male players to wear an
Abdominal Guard A jockstrap (also known as a jock, strap, cup, groin guard, supporter, or athletic supporter) is an undergarment for protecting the testes and penis during contact sports, or other vigorous physical activity. A jockstrap consists of a waistband (u ...

Abdominal Guard
to protect their
male genitalia Male ( ♂) is the sex of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology, properties of life. It is a synonym for ...

male genitalia
. The cost of equipment can be an obstacle to participating in many sports.


Grades


Full-contact

A (full) contact sport is any sport for which significant physical
impact force In mechanics Mechanics (Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is the area of physics concerned with the motions of physical objects, more specifically the relationships among force, matter, and motion. Forces applied to objects result in Displacement (vect ...
on players, either deliberate or incidental, is allowed or within the rules of the game. Contact actions include
tackling Tackle may refer to: * In football: ** Tackle (football move) Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. The primary and important purposes of tackling are to dispossess an opponent of the ball, to stop the player from gaining ground ...
and
blocking Blocking may refer to: Science, technology, and mathematics Computing and telecommunications *Blacklist (computing) *Blocking (computing), holding up a task until an event occurs *Blocking probability, for calls in a telecommunications system *H ...
and a whole range of other moves that can differ substantially in their rules and degree of application. Examples of full-contact sports include
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 rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. The offense ...

American football
,
Canadian football Canadian football () 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 cas ...

Canadian football
,
Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "" or "footy", is a played between two teams of 18 players on an , often a modified . Points are scored by kicking the between the middle g ...
,
rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a close-contact team sport A team is a roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (acade ...
, rugby league, rugby sevens,
ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contact can be formed during deposition, by the intrusion ...

ice hockey
,
lacrosse Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. It is the oldest organized Sports in North America, sport in North America, with its origins in Indigenous peoples in Canada, indigenous Canada as early as the 17th cen ...

lacrosse
,
hurling Hurling ( ga, iománaíocht, ') is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic Irish origin, played by men. One of Ireland's native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, the number of p ...

hurling
, arena football,
Futsal Futsal (also known as fútsal or footsal) is a football game played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football. Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of ...

Futsal
,
underwater football Underwater football is a two-team underwater sport that shares common elements with underwater hockey and underwater rugby. As with both of those games, it is played in a swimming pool swimming pool in Melbourne, Australia A swimming p ...
,
water polo Water polo is a competitive sport, competitive team sport played in water between two teams of seven players each. The game consists of four quarters in which the two teams attempt to score goals by throwing the water polo ball, ball into the ...
, slamball, roller derby,
kabaddi Kabaddi is a contact team sport A team is a
,_Quidditch_(sport).html" "title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...

kabaddi
, Quidditch (sport)">quidditch Quidditch is a fictional sport invented by author J.K. Rowling for her fantasy book series ''Harry Potter''. It first appeared in the novel ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' (1997). It is a dangerous but popular sport played by witch ...
, shinty and wheelchair rugby. Full-contact martial arts include boxing,
mixed martial arts Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB), and ultimate fighting, is a full-contact based on , and , incorporating techniques from various combat sports including boxing, kickboxing and from aro ...

mixed martial arts
,
Sambo Sambo may refer to: Places * Sambo, Angola, a commune in Tchicala Tcholohanga, Huambo Province, Angola * Sambo Creek, a village in Honduras Other uses * Sambo, botanist author abbreviation for Maria Cengia Sambo (1888–1939), Italian lichenolog ...
,
Sumo is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throw (grappling), throws and takedown (grappling), takedowns, joint locks, Grappling hold#Pinning h ...

Sumo
,
wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throw (grappling), throws and takedown (grappling), takedowns, joint locks, Grappling hold#Pinning hold, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can eithe ...

wrestling
,
Muay Thai Muay Thai ( th, มวยไทย, , ), sometimes referred to as "Thai boxing", is a martial art and combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This discipline is known as the "art of eight limbs" as it ...

Muay Thai
,
Brazilian jiu-jitsu Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ; ; , , , ''jiu-jitsu brasileiro'') is a martial arts, martial art based on grappling (ne-waza) and submission holds. It focuses on the skill of taking an opponent to the ground, controlling one's opponent, gaining a d ...
,
judo is a system of unarmed combat, gendai budō, modern Japanese martial art and Olympic sport (since 1964).『日本大百科全書』電子版【柔道】(CD-ROM version of Encyclopedia Nipponica, "Judo"). Judo was created in 1882 by Kanō Jigor ...

judo
,
Sanshou Sanda (), formerly Sanshou (), also known as Chinese boxing or Chinese kickboxing, is the official Chinese full contact combat sport. Sanda is a fighting system which was originally developed by the Chinese military based upon the study and p ...

Sanshou
,
Taekkyon Taekkyon, Taekgyeon, Taekkyeon, or Taekyun (Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, an ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language * Korean alphabet, or Hangul Places * ...
, various forms of full contact karate, and some forms of World Taekwondo Federation#Sparring, Taekwondo


Semi-contact

A semi-contact sport is typically a combat sport involving strike (attack), striking and containing physical contact between the combatants simulating full-power techniques. The techniques are restricted to limited power, and rendering the opponent Unconsciousness, unconscious is forbidden. Some semi-contact sports use a point system to determine the winner and use extensive protective gear to protect the athletes from injury. Examples of semi-contact sports include karate, kickboxing, kalaripayattu, American Kenpo, Kenpo, various Korean martial arts that incorporate contact rules sparring, kendo and taekwondo Another indicator of a semi-contact martial arts competition system is that after a point is rewarded the adversaries will be separated and resume the match from safe distance, but often it is possible to argue if some martial arts sports belong in one contact group or another.


Limited-contact

Limited-contact sports, or sports which involve, "incidental" contact, are sports for which For instance, "Basketball, by rule, is a non-contact sport." However, there is a great deal of contact in basketball, which referees tolerate at their discretion until it negatively affects the game. Players are usually not permitted to bump or knock a player down in basketball (with some exceptions such as bumping an opponent with your forearm in the paint on defense, and offensive players are allowed to back down defenders), as opposed to full-contact sports like rugby where it is perfectly legal to knock a player off the ball, or even to the ground in several ways. Excessive contact will result in penalties which provide a tactical advantage to the team which endured the foul play, or temporarily or permanently dismissing the offending player(s) from the match. Association football, another limited-contact sport, often has players colliding onto one another while challenging for possession of the ball, causing moderate to severe injuries on the parties involved.


Examples of limited-contact sports


Non-contact

Non-contact sports are sports where participants compete alternately in lanes or are physically separated such as to make it nearly impossible for them to make contact during the course of a game without committing an out-of-bounds offense or, more likely, disqualification. Examples of non-contact sports include cricket, tennis, table tennis, badminton, golf, Ten-pin bowling, bowling, bowls, croquet, Pool (cue sports), pool, snooker, bossaball, darts, curling, tug of war, bodybuilding, Swimming (sport), swimming, Diving (sport), diving, gymnastics, Sprint (running), sprinting, Running#Running as a sport, running, track and field, Cycle sport, bicycle race, Rowing (sport), rowing, archery, freestyle football, footgolf, fistball, tchoukball and sepak takraw.


Sports injury prevention

There has been an increasing medical, academic, and media focus on sports involving rapid contact in the late 20th to early 21st century and their relationship with sports injuries. Several sports governing bodies began changing their rules in order to decrease the incidence of serious injuries and avoid lawsuits. In some countries, new laws have been passed, particularly in regards to concussions.


Concussions


United States of America

At the professional level, America's professional football league, the National Football League, began banning concussed players from re-entering the same game in which they were injured in order to reduce the risk of further injury and damage.


Canada

In Canada in 2018, Rowan's Law was passed after the death of a young Canadian female athlete. Rowan Stringer died in 2013 of Second Impact Syndrome, "...the result of suffering multiple concussions playing
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 ** ...
three times in six days."


References

{{reflist Sports terminology