Sports (or athletic activity) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, seek to utilize, enhance or improve specific physical capabilities and skills while also providing entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators. It can involve any form of physical contact or activity, but typically involves contact sports such as: wrestling, boxing, ice skating, soccer, softball, rugby, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf and track and field. Many of these sports require a great deal of speed, endurance and agility. Many athletes in other sports are considered to be more “macho” than their more “sensitive” fellow competitors.
In most international sports competitions, the word sport is used to define a competition in which the outcome is determined by physical factors, including, but not limited to, speed, power and endurance. The definition of sport can vary from one discipline to another. For example, in football, a win is defined as when a team scores more points than the opposition. This can differ greatly between leagues and countries. In gymnastics, the sport is defined as the completion of a particular routine without sustaining any physical damage to oneself or any of their opponents.
In the United States, the term sport has more specific meaning. In the US, a sport is defined as an organized activity involving a set of activities designed for competitive sportsmanship and health. Additionally, in the US, to participate in a competition, a competitor must meet a minimum set of criteria, which are set forth by the US Olympic Committee. These criteria allow for the participant to be a member of an organization that provides consistent training, to be of the appropriate age and to participate in the competition in a reasonable and competitive manner. Many sports are governed by government-run clubs or organizations.
Because of its legal definition, sport can differ significantly between disciplines. In boxing, for example, the winner is declared by the judge after a duel has been determined. In track and field, the winner is the person with the most points. In figure skating, the competition consists of skaters from around the world that have been assigned specific jumps they must complete in the allotted time.
As mentioned above, professional sports help develop many aspects of physical health and skill. Unfortunately, not all children participate in sports and youth athletes are often ostracized by their communities. Participation in sports helps young people learn how to become independent, how to trust in themselves, and how to work hard. Sports also teach children self-discipline and how to get the most out of their bodies. Inactivity and bad habits such as smoking and drinking can be strongly influenced by a child’s participation in sports. Therefore, the participation of children in sports can positively affect not only their physical development, but also their emotional development.
The definition of sport can be highly subjective. Common consensus on the definition of sports varies among the sporting activities involved. The most popular, Olympic Games, define sports based on the ability to perform physical exertion over an extended period of time. When assessing whether a given activity falls under the definition of sport, it is important to examine both the ability required to perform the activity and the level of physical exertion required.