What Are Sports?


In the broadest sense, sports refer to competitive physical activities. They are played to enhance physical ability, entertain spectators, and promote physical health. There are literally hundreds of different types of sports, some of which involve single contestants while others involve hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. While racing, for example, involves hundreds of participants in one event, there is generally only one winner in some sports. In addition, some sports are contests between two teams.

Playing sports requires time and energy, but doesn’t take away from student-athletes’ schoolwork. In addition to promoting physical fitness, these activities require memorization and repetition, skills that can be applied to class work. Additionally, competing with other athletes teaches teamwork and effective communication skills. And the benefits don’t stop there. George W. Bush, former President of the United States, awarded Muhammad Ali the 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to sports.

Many of the events that we see on TV are sporting competitions. While these events are not as formalized as those held by professional athletes, many of them are still popular among people of all ages and abilities. For example, Usain Bolt, the world record holder in the 100m, competes in a track event. Other bodies have proposed to broaden the definition of sports to encompass all forms of physical exercise, including those that are played for fun.