What Are Sports?


Sports are competitions or other forms of entertainment that involve physical activity and usually have rules that govern them. This includes games of skill, such as tennis or chess; team sports, such as soccer or football; and athletic events, including the Olympics.

A sport is often a way for people to socialize and exercise. It can also help students develop important skills and learn about themselves, their teammates and their opponents.

During a game, athletes display emotions in varying degrees. Some athletes may experience pregame butterflies in the stomach; others may feel elation after a victory. Spectators, especially fans of certain teams, might feel angry or ecstatic when their idols are injured or when an opposing team scores a last-minute goal.

In addition to regulating the competition, sports governing bodies establish and enforce standards of behavior that guide athletes in their performance. These rules are called “feeling rules” and vary from one sport to another.

Sports are global in character and can be found throughout the world, but core sporting nations–the United States, Russia, western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada–tend to dominate the international arena. Noncore countries, especially East African nations and many former Soviet-bloc states, have limited resources for state-sponsored sports programs.