Sports involve some sort of competitive struggle between people, teams, or groups. Most sports result in a winner and a loser. People who participate in sport develop a competitive nature, and the idea of a game is a key part of its appeal. However, not all games are considered sports, so it is essential to define what constitutes a game before playing it. This article explains the different types of games, as well as how to distinguish them.
Historically, many sports have been used as political tools. In the 19th century, sports were often used to create national identity. Both outsiders and established groups utilized sports to assert their nationhood. Today, sports serve as powerful symbols of prestige, power, and distinction. They also serve as an important source of pleasure and entertainment.
While Western countries continue to dominate global sports, a globalization process is underway that is challenging this dominance. Sports have become part of a complex network of interdependencies, with groups competing for dominance. Globalization also has affected traditional sports from other regions. Some countries, such as Japan and Afghanistan, may no longer be dominant in the global sports arena, but they still have local sports cultures.
Athletes migrate both within and between nations. Athletes from poorer nations are frequently displaced by wealthy nations with more funding, better facilities, and better financial rewards. Since the 18th century, such migration has become more widespread. For example, baseball players from the Dominican Republic have been relocated to the United States, while ice hockey players from eastern Europe have migrated to Western countries.