How Sports Are Defined


Sports are competitive physical activities in which an individual or team competes against another. They offer entertainment to the participants, and also teach many important life lessons.

The Oxford Dictionary defines sports as “an athletic activity that requires skill, flexibility and physical exertion.” Depending on the culture, sport can be more than just a competitive activity.

Traditionally, sports consisted of ball games. Many people played ball games, including the ancient Chinese. In the 2nd century ce, Greek physician Galen recommended ball games for health. This led to the development of organized sports.

Today, sports are defined based on a number of criteria. Some common criteria include the goal of the game and the rules governing it. Other factors include the attitude of the players.

A good example of a sport is basketball. Invented in 1891, it met a perceived need for indoor games during the harsh winters in New England.

Another example is ice events. Athletes train to maximize their physical abilities. During the Industrial Revolution, technicians sought to make the equipment better.

A third example is boxing. During the late 17th century, quantification became an important part of sports. Results are determined by judges.

Finally, there are many examples of sports that involve an aesthetic element. Tennis, cricket, baseball, and even ballet are all examples of sports that have an artistic component.

Regardless of the nature of the activity, all sports are designed to develop a person’s physical and mental capabilities. They offer an opportunity for people to develop a positive attitude and focus on their strengths. It also helps them to learn how to deal with the consequences of their actions.