The nature of sports has been a source of great philosophical debate throughout history. Elwood Craig David and Earle Ziegler used philosophical analysis to disentangle various philosophical systems and distill them down to their basic concepts and positions. In the process, they were able to derive practical implications and pedagogical recommendations. This focus on philosophical systems created fertile ground for the study of sports. Today, we have several schools of thought that deal with the nature of sports.
Humans have always participated in some form of sport. Sports originated as a form of entertainment, as a religious activity, and as a means of political stability. In ancient times, Sumerians, Greeks, and Romans all practised some form of sport to improve their bodies and prepare for war. The pursuit of excellence was important to ancient societies. They saw sports as a means of unifying society. However, as we move further into history, we find that sports are a universal activity that reaches all walks of life.
As a nonzero-sum activity, sport is a beneficial activity for all participants. It is also important to note that the pursuit of excellence is a key component of competitive sport. According to the Mutualist view of sport, the development of an individual or group requires the cooperation of other players. The goal is to create a winning team. In addition, this approach to sports promotes the growth of the individual and his/her abilities. The value of the sport in the world’s society is about $620 billion in 2013.
Many sports have deep conventions that are related to social and psychological needs. These conventions shape the history of sports. For example, amateur athletes tend to see sports as a perfecting activity. The conventions determine the point of the game and the rules of the game. Even if the outcome isn’t entirely clear, the amateur athletes often think of the games as perfecting themselves. This mentality can translate into greater happiness and success in the long run.
On the other hand, conventionalists recognize the normative importance of the unwritten rules of the game. According to them, the principles of sports must be accepted in order for the practice of the sport to make sense. However, the formal rules of the game do not provide adequate guidance in all situations. As a result, the unwritten norms are essential to the game’s success. They make it possible to distinguish between sports that are different from one another.
Some researchers have challenged the notion of sex segregation in sport. While some sports are gender-neutral, the organization should not discriminate. This does not necessarily mean that women should not compete with men. Instead, male and female athletes should compete side by side. Nevertheless, there is still a gender gap in the numbers of athletes in sports teams. Female players account for 39% of all US interscholastic athletics teams. In fact, sports organizations must strive to ensure gender equality in all aspects of their operations.