Sports are usually governed either by a governing body or a set of unwritten rules, which help to ensure fair play, and enable consistent adjudication of the outcome. In popular sports, statistics of past performance are often documented, and for less popular sports, this data can be widely announced or revealed by various means, such as in sports news. But how do judges and officials decide a winner? And what kinds of proof are required?
Judging by how sportspeople react when challenged about a call, it’s clear that many people find the judging process of sports difficult. Negative feedback can come from any part of the team, from the starter down to the substitute. And if there is a point of debate between two competing teams about an issue, there is very little that can be done to resolve it. Thus, in situations where the goal of the game is to win, sports people are less likely to accept defeat willingly, which leads to high levels of frustration on both sides.
A second major influence on the acceptance of a winning result is the level of physical activity that each team requires before the game begins. The more physical exertion required, the less likely people are to accept defeat graciously, especially if there is another sporting competitor who appears to be ahead. Because the goal of most sports is to win, most participants would rather lose than win by small margins. In addition to the amount of physical activity required, sportsmanship also plays an important role in encouraging participants to lose than to try to go the extra mile. Sports are competitive by nature, which means that the winner must take risks that may be greater than the possible gains.
A third influence on sporting behaviour is the degree of social interaction with other participants. For sportspeople, other competitors, and fans, the competitive nature of the sport often takes precedence over many other factors. Thus, the desire to win is strong and can result in physical and mental behaviour that is out of line with social norms. Social interaction, especially between teammates, is important to maintaining a positive attitude and healthy competition-focusing as much on winning as on forming bonds with other members of the group.
As social factors can enhance the competitive nature of sporting activities, they can also inhibit the ability to focus on other aspects of health and well-being. For example, some research has shown that people who participate in intense athletics, such as motor sports, do not display the same levels of physical activity as those who participate in more sedentary pursuits. This may lead to negative consequences for overall health and fitness. Even for participants who maintain a sedentary lifestyle, the amount of physical activity they exhibit will probably not be as high as the intensity of sports participation.
It is important to note that the study of human beings and sports does not conclude that all sports help to promote good health. In fact, it has been argued that physical activities should be encouraged and, if any sports help to promote good health, that the benefits of physical activities should be shared among all sports lovers. Sports, like any other recreational activity, should be chosen based on skill, fitness level and personal interest. If, after exploring the pros and cons, you find that a particular type of sport will help you to develop your abilities in other areas of your life, you will have taken part in an interesting and worthwhile pursuit.