“Sport” has a wide range of meaning, with the most commonly used definitions referring to games played between individuals, by teams (usually using pitches) and/or organized competitions (e.g. athletic events). In other contexts the word can indicate a single activity, such as horse racing or swimming, or a category of activities, such as team sports or work-related activities.
“Sport” itself however has many more meanings, depending on who you ask. “isure sport” is the most common term for any outdoor physical exertion. The definition includes games of all types, but can also include leisurely activities that don’t necessarily involve competing or otherwise exerting physical strength or power. Such activities might be leisurely cycling, jogging, walking or playing a game of beach volleyball.
“Physical exercise” is slightly more specific, normally used to describe sports and recreational activities that require the use of physical strength, although the terms “athletic events” and “sport” have become frequently used to describe single sporting events. ” recreational sport” describes a broad category that includes things like karate, tennis, badminton, golf, bowling, tennis, horse riding, cycling, fly fishing etc. The term “sport” has, of course, already been further narrowed down by the fact that it now includes any type of physical exertion, irrespective of its purpose. So, for example, playing paintball, golf, running, hiking etc., is considered by the definition to be a sport, to play volleyball, basketball, hockey etc.
Sport is generally thought of as a physical activity that requires participants to wear protective gear and compete against opponents. However, the definition of a sport can be misleading because it tends to create a binary view of what sports are: there are games that are played between human beings and there are games that are played amongst other objects. In addition, the meaning of the word ‘sport’ can vary from one context to another. A game that takes place in a public park, for example, is not necessarily a sport, even though the participants will all typically be participants of the event. Similarly, certain activities like fishing, hiking, mountain climbing etc., are considered to be sports but could be considered to be recreational pursuits for some people.
The popularity of sporting activities has waxed and waned over time. In recent years, there has been a revival of interest in traditional games like lawn bowling, tennis, polo and cricket among a wider variety of people. The explosion in the popularity of extreme sports, especially mountain climbing, has also contributed to this trend. Many people consider surfing, sailing, motor-cycling and bungee jumping to form of extreme sport, so the expansion of the meaning of sport is also wide-ranging.
Sport, as a term, is often used to describe an activity that involves competition, and where there is use of physical exertion, mental exertion or even teamwork. Generally, there is a clear relationship between the skill of the player and the level of competition: a better player who competes against opponents at a higher level will be regarded as a better sporting competitor than someone who competes against lesser players who are equally skilled. Because of these factors, there are certain types of game that are better than others as sports: etitive team sports like football, ice hockey and lacrosse; and skill-based sports like table tennis, swimming and golf, in which there is direct contact between the players. Certain types of competitive gaming have also developed: casino poker and online bingo, for example. Although the term ‘sport’ is now widely used, it is debatable whether any type of physical exertion should be included under the term, seeing that there is no evidence that any sport causes lasting physical damage in any way.