Sports are a long-lasting tradition that spans cultures and ages. Some forms of sports, such as lacrosse, date back more than four thousand years. Others, like golf, were invented before the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Some are so old that they were not even a part of society before that date. Some sports even predate the printing press!
Throughout the last century, globalization has been a prominent feature of sports, with labour migration playing a critical role. Apart from athletes, migrant labour also includes coaches, officials, administrators, sports scientists, and others. While this migrant labour has been an inherent part of the sporting process since ancient times, its complexity and intensity increased during the last half of the twentieth century.
The international order continues to influence sport, with nations grouped into core, semiperipheral, and peripheral blocs, based on politics, economy, and culture. Today, the core of the sports world is composed of the United States, Russia, Australia, and South Korea. Several universities have even established their own centres to research sports. In addition, transnational corporations increasingly seek to market their products and services to every possible consumer. In a competitive world, sports can be a source of distinction, prestige, and power.
The aesthetic element still remains in some sports, but it is diminished by the increasing emphasis on quantitative achievement. The shift from Renaissance sports to modern sports can be seen in the semantics of the word “measure.” Before, the word measure meant a sense of balance or proportion. The term measure now refers to numerical measurements.