The Evolution of Sports

As the Industrial Revolution continued, so did the development of Sports. Sports grew in popularity and the Industrial Revolution was the catalyst for scientific advancements. Technologists began to improve equipment, and athletes were encouraged to train systematically in order to attain physical maximums. The 17th century saw the development of ballet, a type of dance characterized by precise geometric patterns. French and Italian fencers considered fencing an art form, and northern Europeans emulated their performance.

While some forms of sport are still considered to be arts, others have lost their aesthetics. Sports today have a distinctly more quantitative focus. In fact, the transition from Renaissance to modern sports is reflected in a shift in semantics. Whereas the word measure referred to a sense of balance or proportion, it now refers to quantitative measurements. This difference may have impacted the way people view sports. In any case, there is no universal definition of sports.

The concept of sportsmanship expresses a desire to engage in an activity for its own sake. Famous sportsmen such as Grantland Rice and Pierre de Coubertin have argued that winning is not the most important aspect of participation in sport. These key principles include equality of opportunity and a lack of predetermined results. Rules exist in order to ensure fair play, but participants can break them to get an advantage. So how do we define the essence of sports?