Sports (or physical sports) includes all types of usually strenuous physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, seek to utilize, develop or improve specific physical skill and ability while also providing entertainment for participants, and even in some instances, spectators. Although a game or exercise session might be intended solely for the achievement of a particular goal, the involvement of its participants often extends beyond this tangible goal by creating a sense of competition among people of similar physical aptitude and abilities. Sports activities can therefore be broadly categorized into two main categories, with the first one being associated with competitive sport, including such sports as American football, ice hockey, tennis, polo and track and field.
The second main category is comprised of recreational sports, including sports such as horseback riding, snooker, golf, swimming, tennis, racquetball and basket ball, with the first two categories frequently interchanged to refer to any type of pastime. Sport can therefore be broadly divided into two further sub-categories, sport specific and non-sport specific. Sport specific refers to any type of physical activity that is strictly attributed to the practices and competitions of a particular sport, as opposed to any other pastime or recreational activity. Non-sport specific refers to any activity that is generally attributed to leisure or relaxation and is not directly related to any specific sport. In some ways, this would include the activities undertaken by people during work periods as well as between home pursuits and other aspects of daily life.
Sport involves a number of different elements and varying levels of intensity, depending on the type of event, the competition or level of skill involved, the period of time dedicated to the activity and the competition rules and regulations governing it. These factors determine the nature of the sports recreation itself. The term sports recreation typically refers to any structured form of physical activity undertaken for fun, exercise, competition or simply to pass the time. Sports can be divided further into individual sports, such as swimming, bowling, tennis, golf, horse riding, track and field, basketball and contact sports such as wrestling or volleyball. Team sports refer to competitive or cooperative team sports such as soccer, American football and lacrosse and spectator sports such as cricket, rugby and motor racing.
Many people take part in organised sports recreation activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, mountain climbing, sledding, rollerblading, ice skating, golf, snorkelling, bungee jumping or surfing, as they develop their skills in the same environment. The activities may also be taken as a means of recreation or a means of professional development. Camping is an activity undertaken for short or long periods and involves the sleeping, eating and socialising of the same. Fishing is usually undertaken in lakes, rivers or seas. Mountain biking involves riding on rugged terrain, often with little or no gear other than a bicycle and gears such as shoes and clothing. Hiking is a more expansive version of mountain biking and involves hiking up steep slopes and through mountainous scenery.
In a lot of ways, sports recreation has even become an important part of everyday life, not just for athletes and other specialized participants, but also for non-athletes. Since it is more expensive to go abroad for professional sports competitions, many amateur athletes have been drawn into the competitive world of sports recreation. Some have become famous for their ability in the sports arena, such as football players, divers and speed skaters. In the United States, professional and college sports teams have started to adopt sports recreation activities as a means to keep the athletes in shape and do the things that they want to do, but that don’t require them to spend money and time away from home. This has allowed the athlete to get back to the things that he enjoys the most while still benefiting from the competitive aspect of his sport.
Sports recreation has also created a number of opportunities for people who are just not skilled in any of the traditional sports. Some of these include golf, tennis, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking and swimming. Sports recreation has helped a wide variety of people to improve their skills in the things that they love to do, whether it is hiking, cycling, climbing or swimming. It also allows people to meet others who share the same interest and have fun at the same time. This is especially true in smaller communities where most of the population participates in sports and recreational activities on a regular basis.