Sports are defined as any physical activity undertaken for the development of one or more of the senses: sight, hearing, touch, or taste. It can also refer to the systematic development of these senses, or to the physical activity that enriches and improves them. Sports may include games such as soccer, lacrosse, American football, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field, baseball, softball, and basketball.
There is considerable debate as to the exact definition of sports, with most dictionaries including a list of synonyms. The best approach, however, is to consider sports as any physical exertion that enhances or improves a person’s ability to perceive and perform an activity. In most sports, the competition is between opposing teams, with each team trying to win. In most games, the competition is often intense, and the competition requires extraordinary mental and physical exertion.
As any sport is predominantly physical, it requires both skill and physical exertion, but the intensity of the sport can be altered by the rules. For example, contact sports such as football rely on body power, whereas games such as basketball and softball rely more on finesse. Conversely, games such as swimming require a high level of skill, whereas golf relies on physical strength. In any case, the point is that the point of any game is to engage in an action that requires exertion, either of the physical kind mentioned above or of the aesthetic sort, such as skill. In recent years, especially during the period of professional sport, the term ‘spectator sport’ has come into use to describe any game that is watched by non-professional enthusiasts; this category includes sports like ice hockey, swimming, tennis, cricket, horse racing, and others.
Ice hockey is perhaps the most famous sport in the world; millions of people from every country watch ice hockey games every week. The interesting facts about this sport include that it is played in two different leagues (NHL Eastern and Western Conference), and that the winner usually advances to the Stanley Cup tournament. The most interesting fact about hockey is that unlike football and basketball, ice hockey players are permitted to wear pads even when they are playing in their homes (a rule known as ‘Puck Control’). In addition, in most countries, hockey players cannot wear protective jerseys during games against other amateur players. Finally, the most interesting fact about ice hockey is that it is not regarded as a dangerous sport; injuries related to hockey do not account for nearly as many soccer or basketball injuries as injuries caused by football or basketball.
Perhaps the most interesting facts about American sports are those relating to the audience. American television audiences for most sports are large and intensely political; the presence of the sports fans in stadiums is regularly counted among the major election results. This is not the case in other countries. As for the actual sport itself, American football has the most regular viewers in comparison with any other sport; baseball only ranks eighth.
Baseball and soccer have incredibly high levels of physical activities, and both involve several different types of activity. For example, baseball soccer involves a lot of sprinting, jumping, hitting, throwing and running. In comparison, basketball and football each involve a different variety of physical activities, but the overall activity level is much lower. In conclusion, comparing sports in America to other countries is not particularly difficult when one considers how different sports are structured and the overall physical activities involved.