Sports (often spelt as “sport” or “sports”) is any form of typically organized or competitive physical contact sports that, though not specifically intended to be competitive, aim to employ, develop or increase specific physical aptitude and skills whilst providing entertainment for participants, and occasionally, spectators, who take part in the sporting event. Some common types of sports include ice hockey, badminton, cricket, golf, horse-riding, rugby and softball. While some sports may be more competitive than others, generally speaking, most games require a degree of skill and strategy on the part of the participant. They may also be accompanied by physical contact, such as participating in a boxing match, tennis match or football match.
There are various different aspects that make up a sports contest. The first of these is that the participants in a game of ice Hockey, for example, need to be able to use both their hands and feet effectively to make successful passes and shots. A similar requirement is necessary in a game of badminton, where the player needs to be able to shoot accurately with their forearms, shoulders, elbows and knees. In terms of tactics, the key to success in football is being able to kick the ball accurately and powerfully, while in rugby union and playing football the ball needs to be touched along the ground before it can be kicked out of the back of the scrum in order to be completed.
These days, however, the focus on physical fitness has been replaced by an increased focus on exercise and sportsmanship. This is particularly prominent in sports that have a strong social aspect, such as swimming, basketball, gymnastics and track and field. As well as requiring a degree of physical aptitude, participants in modern sports must display certain behaviours in order to be successful. For example, in swimming, winners are typically awarded the highest prize; in basketball and track and field, matches are usually won by a few points; and in gymnastics, a competitor needs to be able to jump high, run very fast and perform amazing acrobatics.
The popularity of sports throughout the UK in the first part of the 20th century can be put down to two major factors. Firstly, in terms of entertainment, television coverage of games was extremely popular, especially during the latter part of the 20th century. Sports events were regularly covered by numerous channels, with specific genres of sport attracting much more audience than others. Sport was no longer seen as something that had to do with working class men and women, but rather as something that was enjoyed by everyone. Secondly, the first part of the 20th century witnessed the integration of various sports into the education system. This was partly a response to the fact that many children were becoming interested in a wide variety of sports and were now being encouraged to become involved in physical education and social activity.
For example, many schools introduced the game of chess into the curriculum, encouraging students to learn how to play the game and to see how it could be used as a means of improving their own knowledge of physical activity. Chess was not just seen as a great skill for children to learn, but as a great skill which would be useful in their future life. By playing chess, children were learning about strategy and thinking logically about problems, two things which are central aspects of any good sportsmanship.
Basketball is another sport which saw development in the early part of the 20th century, when basketball courts were built all across the country. This sports activity became so popular that many people started taking it seriously, setting up teams and leagues, sometimes qualifying for championships. Sports enthusiasts began to realise that the real challenge was not how to win a game, but how to set up a team to win the game. Today, basketball is a well known sport, not only as a great spectator sport, but as a way of learning many different skills, from the basic moves and techniques of basketball to the strategic thinking required in many other competitive sports.