Understanding Popularity In Sports
Sports are generally governed by some sort of codes or regulations, which ensure fair play, and enable consistent adjudication of the results. In most organized sport, records of past performance are also often kept, and for less popular sports, such as soccer, this information can be widely advertised or reported. In countries where professional sport is prevalent, sport academies are created, with an eye to mold the next generation into a discipline that is more reputable, both in and out of the classroom. It has been noted, however, that the spread of sporting disciplines is not evenly distributed, with many sports being left with little influence or none at all.
Professional sport organizations such as the United States Soccer Federation (USL) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have attempted to create universal standards by which to judge performance, but with limited success. In popular sports such as basketball, hockey, track running, baseball, tennis and football, individual athletic achievements are very significant, while in less popular sports such as cricket and rugby, team performance may be judged by individual achievements alone. In sports with little or no individual competitive ability, the popularity of the sport often serves to reduce the competitiveness of results, thus allowing unfair results to be deemed justified by the masses.
Because of the inherent competitiveness of most sports, fans tend to compare results of events, particularly when their favorite team is involved. The phenomenon of bandwagoning is also related to the popularity of particular sports and to the transferability of tickets and merchandise. Most sports organizations try to control the influence of these factors, either by creating specific organizations for certain teams or by insuring that only consistent results are displayed for each and every event.