Any definition of sport can be controversial. The level of organisation and social framework which surrounds sport can help to differentiate whether an activity is categorised as sport or non-sport. Activities engaged in for purely personal enjoyment, health and well being or purely physical fitness, with little or no other socially orientated focus, are not necessarily sport. On the other hand, if participants engaged in structured activities such as marathons, triathlons, sprinting events, etc., have formed part of a team or organisation, the activity has become sport by most definitions. Organisations with a defined set of criteria for identifying sport from non-sport can also apply a different set of classifications for categorising athletic teams and sporting activities.
Sport can be subclassified into several main areas. The main sections include: competitive sports, motor sport, recreational sports, gymnastics and cheerleading. Each of these categories has its own inherent characteristics, often derived from previous exposure to particular types of physical skill, activity or physical environment. Competitive sports refer to any physical contest where the outcome is based solely on physical skill, while motor sport and gymnastics refer to any physical skill which is used to complete an interactive competition. Cheerleading falls into the recreational category.
The level of skill required to perform a particular sport, or to achieve a recognised qualification for it, may help to define it. For instance, ski jumping is seen as a recreational sport where the participant either performs a complicated jump, or completes an obstacle course. A novice skier, on the other hand, may consider herself to be completing an obstacle course. Similarly, rugby play requires both speed and strength. A game of tennis, although relying almost entirely on physical ability, relies heavily on mental ability.
In a competitive eating contest, the contestant must overcome another competitor in a number of specified rounds until one final competitor is left, at the end of which the winner is the person who has eaten the most number of calories over the duration of the competition. The contestant who eats the most is deemed the winner. This is a highly subjective process; some people place a high importance on body fat percentage, while others put less emphasis on it. The verdict is, however, agreed by the judges.
Body mass index is another highly regarded factor in judging athletic prowess. If a contestant is deemed to have a low body mass index, this can point to increased physical skill. In the context of cheerleading, it is judged not only by the amount of calories consumed, but also by the extent to which the participants take physical exertion. Cheerleading is a competitive sport, in which cheerleaders try to obtain a top cheer score during a song performance.
The above examples are just a small part of the criteria used to rate athletic ability and performance. A wider criteria is applied to determine the winner in any sport competition. There are a wide variety of games and competitions for athletes of every conceivable ability and physical condition. These factors are combined to give an accurate assessment of the skill and tactics necessary to win.