Introduction to Sport

Sport is a broad term used to describe any type of physical activity involving an athletic goal (e.g., football, basketball, softball, track and field, rugby, ice skating, swimming). But sport can also refer more specifically to particular types of physical activities: organized sports (like ice skating, basketball, softball, track and field, swimming) and unorganized sport (a basketball league may be considered a “sport,” while football might be called “non-organized sport.” In some ways, the difference between the two is similar to the difference between a physical workout and an aerobics class: while doing either type of activity requires a certain amount of exertion, a sport is usually a competition or a contest, with rules specifying the outcome of the activity. Some examples of sports include team sports (for example, football), baseball, swimming, rugby, basketball, track and field, golf, soccer, hockey and other organized competitions.

In contrast, there are many examples of unorganized sport, which are generally not intended to have competitive outcomes. For instance, there are non-athletic dances, swimming, roller skating and bicycling. Unicellular organisms, like sea corals, jellyfish, plankton, bacteria and fungi, are a classic example of an unorganized sport, though the word “competition” is not commonly used in these cases. Examples include gymnastics, swimming and diving.

Sport competition continues to grow in global popularity, with many people now aware that it exists. It’s shown up in popular TV shows and has even become a topic of political debate in many countries. Many people agree that physical skill is important, though there is some debate about the extent to which skill or physical fitness should be put above talent or personality. Some sports enthusiasts argue that sport is an important part of a healthy society, while others decry the monotony of daily exercise. Sport, though, continues to spread its influence, with people from all walks of life, from all over the world investing in sport activities as an important part of their lifestyle.