What Are Sports?


Traditionally, sports are defined as competitions involving some type of physical activity. They usually involve some form of competition between individuals or teams, and are generally governed by rules and customs.

Sport is often a source of entertainment for spectators, who watch the game, and also for participants. The key principles of sports are that the winner should have an equal chance to win, and there should be no predetermined results.

A contest is usually judged by subjective measures, such as the time it takes to complete a course, or by objective measures, such as the number of points scored. However, in many cases, results are scored by judges, who score elements of sporting performance, such as the ability of a player to run a certain distance or jump a certain height.

Sport has been known to inspire cheating, including the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the fixing of results. This can have negative consequences for the athletes, and it runs against the basic ethos of sport.

Despite these negative characteristics, sports provide a great source of enjoyment for participants, and encourage physical health. They also promote social interaction and teach important life skills, such as teamwork and effective communication. Besides these benefits, sports can also encourage good mental health, since players learn to cope with different feelings.

The roots of most social sports lie in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. Ball games were common among these peoples, and the Greek physician Galen recommended the activity for health in the 2nd century ce.