A Brief History of Sports

Sports (or sport) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to use, improve or maintain skill and/or physical ability at the expense of others, and in some instances, spectators. The most common sports are organized sports such as football (often referred to as ‘the national game’ – England and Wales), rugby (often referred to as ‘rugby’ in America), hockey, soccer, wrestling, baseball and basketball, but the list is quite long. Sports can be general to specific: ice skating for the ladies; basketball for the young people in America, water skiing for the people in Hawaii, tennis for the people in tennis, etc. Sports can also be competitive or non-competitive. In addition, some sports are part of a culture, with followers numbering into the millions, and watching the games no matter where they are on the planet.


Organized sports are characterized by rules and regulations governed by a governing body, such as the IHF (International Football Associations) or ITL (International Tennis Livermore Rules). Many sports can be classified as sports, even though they are not strictly regulated by a governing body, such as motor racing and Formula 1. Non-organized sports are generally played between groups of people: for example, bowling. Some sport activities are combined with other activities such as horse riding, diving, swimming, hiking and biking. In some sports, physical contact is common and the object is to beat the other team to a certain standard, such as playing a round of golf.

Sports have been the subject of literature since the earliest times, as evidenced by the oldest known sports records, the Egyptian Papyrus, whose history is dated around 1200BC. Sports have been the object of physical exercise exercises since early man’s days. Modern humans began to play sports for recreation or exercise sometime during puberty, and most developed an interest in sports when puberty and adolescence passed. With the advent of organized sports, humans have become more competitive, and sports competition has also increased with time.