What Is Sports?


Sports are physical contests that involve skill, physical ability, and the competition of other participants. They can be casual or organised and are usually competitive, governed by rules and customs to ensure fair play and consistent adjudication of the winner.

The word sport is derived from the Greek words for “game” and “contest”. In modern usage, sports refers to the physical activity of competing in a sporting event, such as a race or athletic event.

Some people argue that the term “sport” is a broad and vague one. The best definition is a logically defined, purposeful, and autotelic activity that has its own goals or objectives, and that is uncoerced by others (such as recalcitrant children compelled to compete).

Many different kinds of people can be engaged in sports; there are those who participate for enjoyment and the benefits it brings them, and those who engage for the purposes of winning money, fame, and glory. There are also those who engage in a sports activity for the social value it brings to their lives and that of the communities in which they live.

The development of global sports structures, organizations, and ideologies has been shaped by the interwoven economic, political, and cultural patterns of globalization. These processes are multidirectional and often have unintended as well as intended consequences. Non-Western cultures, for example, have resisted and reinterpret Western sports and maintained, fostered, and promoted on a global scale their own indigenous recreational pursuits.