Sports (or sports) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to use, develop or uphold sporting ability and abilities while providing enjoyment to participants, and at other times, spectators. There are a number of different types of sports, the most common being ice hockey, softball, rugby, Australian rules football, baseball, basketball and volleyball. The list continues to grow with the addition of junior categories such as rugby and soccer, which continue to develop in different ways and attract a new generation of players. As well as continuing to develop with newer forms of play, some sports are continuing to take advantage of improvements in technology, developing further skills for the participant and allowing participants to enhance their performance through increased levels of training and competition. These sports tend to have the largest following and attract the most participation from people of all ages.
To be classified as a sport, a physical activity has to meet certain criteria. It is normally competitive, involving a set number of people, usually involving a specific format, with a clear winner and loser. A number of governing bodies now govern various sports including American football, rugby league in America, cricket, Australian rules football and motor vehicle racing. Professional sport organizations also govern other less professional but still important sports such as skiing, fencing, gymnastics, skating and sailing.
In today’s increasingly competitive world, sports are the main outlet for competition and recreation in many countries. Sports competition is often based on a fixed format where one team attempts to complete a set of objectives, whilst the other does the same. These may include scoring more points, winning a prize or becoming the first person to cross a finish line without breaking anything. Sports competitions can take many different forms, with some focused around a particular activity, such as weightlifting, while others are less focused on activity and more related to the sporting form. Some sports competitions incorporate a sporting element to them, such as swimming, diving or cycling.
Physical activity is also used as a form of stimulation. In fact, research now shows that being physically active, such as playing sports, can release natural chemicals that are released in the brain that help to improve mood and general well being. A recent study in the UK found that participating in a certain amount of exercise was highly beneficial for patients with chronic depression. This is because exercise releases not only endorphins the body’s natural happy drug, but also serotonin, which is responsible for feelings of well being. Other studies have shown that athletes involved in strenuous sports are in fact healthier than non-athletes.
One problem with many sports activities is that the results are not necessarily fair. Whether it is a game, a competition or a walk, sometimes players will try to get an unfair advantage. For example, if a player is a better swimmer than their team, or vice versa; they might actively try to get an advantage by cheating. Cheating in sports can be seen as acceptable because the results are not immediately evident. Nevertheless, sports do encourage participants to work towards fair results.
Finally, another argument that is often raised against sports participation is that people do not use their head enough during a game. This is untrue. Sports actually require a great deal of mental and physical dexterity on the part of the participant. If the sport requires concentration, focus and stamina to excel at a sport, then it is an exercise in mental and physical dexterity, both of which are necessary for a healthy mind and healthy body.