Understanding the World of Sports
Sport is the physical activity engaged in by human beings as recreation and competition in which skill, physical strength, endurance and agility are tested and measured. Sports are generally governed either by a group of rules or traditions, that ensure fair competition and enable consistent adjudication of the result. In common sports, statistics of performance are often easily maintained, and for less popular sports, this data can be openly announced or reported to the sports public. In other words, sport involves human interaction within a physical environment and the provision of an important public service.
Sport results are not determined solely by natural talent, but are influenced by various aspects of sport – rules, equipment, nutrition, medicine, and attitude of the participants. Organised sports may require years of hard work and dedication; any form of physical activity is inherently risky. For example, football matches require the collective strength of hundreds of people, all of whom need to be coordinated, synchronised and focused on the playing ball. Sports also require the dedication of volunteers; these people are needed to run training courses, organize sports events, manage sports facilities and clean up after the event.
The modern sports system has evolved from the traditional Olympic games organized in ancient Greece, through to modern professional competitions held across different sports arenas and skill levels, such as tennis, basketball, volleyball and track and field. Each level of physical competition is built on the foundation of past competencies, with the aim of improving them and making new challenges. This evolution of sports competition is reflected in the vocabulary of sports terminology. The term ‘athlete’ has changed from being descriptive of a person playing a sport to a description of an athlete that meets certain standards of physical ability. Similarly, the term ‘sport’ is now used to describe a competitive activity involving contact with a physical medium, for example, tennis or swimming.