Sport (or physical sport) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, aims to utilize, enhance or improve a specific physical skill and/or ability while offering entertainment to participants, and sometimes, spectators. A number of different games and activities fall under the broader umbrella of sports. Some sports are organized competitions; others are simply exercises for the body. A wide variety of equipment is used in both competitive and non-competitive sports, including shoes, jerseys, helmets, padding, weights, sprinting poles, medicine balls, basketball courts and tennis courts. Other items of equipment used in sports and athletic activity includes safety equipment such as scrubs, protective gear and padding, and boards and ladders. Sports can be broadly categorized into two major categories: organized sports and non-organized sports.
Organized sports are typically controlled by a team and involve a specified number of players who compete with each other or with referees or judges from a particular sport. There is a common misconception that all sports are competitive, but the truth is that the skill of the participants greatly affects the outcome of a sporting activity. Competitive sports like swimming, cycling, field hockey, basketball and softball require great physical ability, speed and endurance to excel in. This competition is the basis of most sports, and it is usually between two competitors. Non-organized sports are generally played by a group of people for mutual amusement.
It is important for sports teams to recognise and adhere to an agreed upon code of conduct so that they can provide an enjoyable and fair play to their members. The main article that governs competitive and non-competitor sports is the Olympic Charter. This document was first introduced in Greece in 2021 and provides guidelines to the activities both in the Olympic Games and in international sports events. The main article includes information on the involvement of athletes in the Olympic Games, the registration process for Olympic Athletes, the Olympic medals and decathlon and lists the criteria for athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Sports that fall under the Olympic category include fencing, archery, bobsledding, canoeing, diving, gymnastics, rugby and skating. The Olympic spirit is to ensure that sport promotes physical health and physical well-being and mental strength. According to the United States Olympic Committee, physical and mental competency is more important than any other factor in determining a person’s place in the Olympic Games. Athletes are encouraged to take part in sports which maintain their physical, mental and emotional fitness and abilities. In addition to being a strenuous pastime, participating in sports can be a rewarding experience, especially if an athlete achieves a medal.
The definition of sport may be different from one country to another and even within nations as such. For instance, in Great Britain, a person is allowed to play sports for leisure as long as he or she does not participate in contact sports. However, the British National Board of Sports Medicine defines sport as “any exercise involving competitive motor activity, whereby the physical nature of the participants is maintained throughout” and that “the participation in such sports contributes to the overall physical health and well-being of the participant.” A person registered with a British Basketball Club is required to maintain a high level of physical exertion and has to meet certain skill criteria.
The definition of sport can be highly subjective and includes many different activities. Nevertheless, in the United States, a sport is defined as “any form of competitive physical action that involves sports or exercises designed to increase or improve either the ability or the performance of the participant.” Furthermore, “a competitive sports event involves a competition or contest between individuals or teams and the outcome of such an event can be expected to reflect, on the whole, the skills, agility, fitness, or mental aptitude of the participants.” Sports can also include amateur competitions among children.