Different Types of Sport
Sports refers to any physical activity that makes use of the body in some way. Generally speaking, any physical activity considered to be of a sporting nature is a game. A sport can be of any description, from horse-riding to fencing. One can think of almost any physical activity we can think of, being a game.
Sports can be divided further into sports which require great exertion or skill, and sports that are more gentle or recreational. The word’sport’ was first used in English in 1887, when Sir James Whitcomb, the President of England introduced the term at a meeting of the British Association for Sporting Clubs. According to Whitcomb, sports should be confined to games that require the application of the “common man’s muscle.” He thus explained his definition of sports: “any game that may require the exertion of muscular power, or any combination of muscular and other force.” The term is now generally accepted, but it remains widely open to interpretation.
The major categories of sports are contact sports, endurance sports, and sports which require special skill, like gymnastics, skating, football, sailing, cycling, fencing, and golf. All of these categories share some basic characteristics, but their specifics vary. Football, for example, combines both strength and finesse, and involves mostly repetitive motions of the body. Skateboarding, by comparison, involves only feet involvement, requiring no large muscles. Cycling, swimming, sailing and golfing all involve both the physical ability to move the body, and the skill involved in moving the body, though there are differences among the categories.
Sport is generally recognised on the basis of its nature. Competitive sports are those in which the participants are engaged in activities for which they assess their ability and compete against each other. These competitions are usually organized by associations whose purpose is to organise athletic events to test the athletes’ physical agility, strength, and overall physical stamina. This can include sprints, bike racing, wrestling, boxing, baseball, tennis, and skiing. A wide variety of games such as soccer, rugby, hockey and lacrosse are also recognised as sports, though some of these have evolved into professional games, with teams and players, and the rules of the game generally recognised as an alternative to organised athletics.
In most of the major competitive sports, the competitors are divided into teams, and the results of the matches are televised and reported by television cameras. Though not every match is contested between the same team and same players, they all share the status of being sports, because of the association with sports in general. Professional sport encompasses a wide range of different sports, including motor sports (car racing, motorcycling, skateboarding, golfing, and rugby), rugby, hockey, baseball, basketball, golf, softball, wrestling, surfing, and track and field. Competitors in most of these sports can generally be regarded as athletes, though there are a few who are part of the entertainment value, and in that case, they are considered to be in the sporting category.
Professional sport encompasses many different types of competition. One common type is for the selection of athletes to represent their country in international sports competitions. Every country has at least one recognised and successful national team, and the selection of these athletes is normally governed by a committee, usually headed by the President of the country, who usually select the athletes on the basis of sports merit, ability, and sporting ability alone, without any consideration to race or nationality. The other type of competitive body is that of the Olympic Park, which is an international stadium that hosts major sporting events, including swimming, sailing, gymnastics, and football. Each country that is a member of the Olympic Park has its own dedicated arena, which is used for both sporting and non-sport events, including tennis, swimming, football, and boxing.