The Definition of Sport
Sport, when used in the context of professional sport, usually refers to an activity or sport that is performed for competitive advantage or to enhance the participant’s performance. Generally speaking, the activities or sports associated with professional sport include athletics, motor sport, rugby, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. However, what generally be viewed as sport in one case may not necessarily be in another; sport is always evolving and takes on many different forms. As such, the word sport can mean a wide range of different things.
A sport that is played for competitive advantage is generally governed by a set of rules and regulations that are designed to ensure fair competition between competitors. This does not necessarily mean that the sport is competitive itself, as some types of sporting competition are governed by rules designed to prevent certain activities (e.g. biting) from being conducted during play. Such activities are often considered to be incompatible with the spirit of the game and have the potential to lead to forfeit and/or disqualification.
Professional sport also includes various other aspects of physical activity that are undertaken in order to enhance the participant’s performance or to protect the sport itself, such as motor racing. Other examples of this would include gymnastics, tennis, golf, swimming, and horse racing. These activities are regulated by governing bodies that set standards and restrictions for safety, fair play, and health and safety. It should be noted that sport is not entirely governed by governing bodies; individual athletes and teams may decide to participate in competitions without governmental regulation. Therefore, it is important to remember that whilst professional sport may incorporate elements of unfair competition, that does not mean that all competitions are necessarily structured around unfair competition.