What Is the Definition of Sport?

Sports (or physical sports) is any form of generally competitive physical action that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to employ, develop or improve specific physical skill and/or ability while also providing participants, and sometimes, spectators, with entertainment. In recent years, sports have become extremely popular both as a spectator sport and as a means of social interaction and competition, particularly in the United States. There are many different types of sports and the most popular types are often associated with particular sports like American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, cricket and softball. Different sports often attract various levels of participation from the population, depending on the popularity of the game and the factors which fuel interest in the sport.

Sports can take many different forms, including skill and fitness competitions, competitive or endurance events, muscle toning exercises, muscle building and toning exercises and sports which involve physical exertion, such as cycling, swimming and jogging. Generally, in sports where skill and physical exertion are key factors, skill and physical exertion are combined, and sometimes one or the other is not involved. For example, skill activities, such as tennis, handball and golf, require players to make controlled, accurate throws, while endurance activities, such as sprinting and rowing, require the participant to exert body weight and effort to move quickly, accurately and continuously over a distance of hundreds of meters.

The definition of sport can be considered to include any structured physical activity requiring the exercise of an individual’s muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is not however, confined to actual contact sports, but includes any contact sport in which the participant uses their own body as a part of the solution to a problem. This includes sports that require a degree of skill, such as ice hockey, pool and yachting and golf, while excluding games such as cricket and rugby. For many people, the idea of what constitutes a sport is subjective, and often depends on whether the participant is actively participating in the activity or if they are watching it on television. The game they are watching may not be considered a sport.