Sports are competitive sporting activities and events. These fill the human need for competition, physical exertion and play. However, all sports are competitive. This is perhaps the most obvious difference between recreational, social leisure or even physical entertainment and sports.
Sports can be broadly categorized into two: contact sport with artificial equipment. Contact sports include boxing, softball, ice hockey, football, rugby and soccer. There is considerable overlap between these and other activities such as gymnastics and aerobics. There are also activities which are part of a team sport, but take place outside the competitive arena such as sailing, cycling, cheerleading, ice skating, track and field, figure skating and field hockey. Sport, when used in this context, usually refers to any activity that challenges the participant’s physical and mental capabilities and that enables the participant to meet his or her needs as an individual. There are a lot of sporting activities that fall under this general heading and most of these can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels.
There is a long history of human beings participating in sports. Primitive man participated in simple exercises and sports, such as running from small stones, throwing spears and using the abdomen as an apparatus for throwing fish. The advantages of this type of exercise were numerous, as it allowed a person to survive harsh environments, hunt effectively, gather food and increase their stamina. Later, the development of farming and living conditions led to more refined equipment and more exacting rules, leaving man’s sport somewhat obsolete.
The development of industry presented new sports opportunities and allowed people to participate in more exacting exercises. As fields and tools were improved, more complex and challenging sport activities became available. For example, the development of gunpowder created new physical requirements such as accuracy, speed, endurance and dexterity, making archery quite a popular sport at that time. The development of motor vehicles also brought about changes in the nature of outdoor sports activities. People could now participate in pursuits such as cycling, canoeing, kayaking and hiking, as well as more sedate activities like paragliding and swimming.
Sports activities are usually associated with an individual sport or physical trait. This means that no two individuals will necessarily have the same sport activity in mind. Some people may prefer basketball above other sports because they enjoy the action and the fact that it allows them to get in some good exercise. Similarly, people who are into weight training may have a preference for different sports over others because they enjoy the challenges that such sports bring. Similarly, those who are interested in surfing may have a different preference than a swimmer for the activity of surfing.
Sport activities are usually categorized into specific sports, each requiring its own set of equipment, skills and experience. There are also sports that take place outside, such as skateboarding and rollerblading, and some sports are part of the Olympic Games, such as cycling, beach volleyball and swimming. In recent years, sports coverage has been devoted to every kind of sport imaginable, which makes it easier for people to keep up with the hottest sports on the planet. Those who love sports should try to find out as much as they can about all the sports that interest them. This way, they can be sure to get the most out of their sports activities, whatever their level of experience.