The Different Types of Sports
Sport (or sports) is any form of generally physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to employ, enhance or maintain specific physical skill and/or ability while providing physical entertainment to participants, and sometimes, spectators. The development of sport can be attributed to historical periods when people used the world around them as a means for social, religious and even recreational activities; the first recorded organized sports were in the Egyptian and Greek societies; these societies developed both professional and amateur sporting disciplines, with some form of an annual event to compete in, and the object of the game was often a competition to be the most powerful, fastest or strongest. These competitions often served as a means of social bonding and competition as well as physical activity. In Europe, these competitions gradually developed into what we know today as ‘sport,’ and the names in English that came from the various European countries where such sporting events were held eventually became the names of the countries’ most recognized sports.
Some sports developed out of the need for social interaction, while others grew out of the need for physical skill, such as golf and tennis. In recent decades, certain sports have developed around an athletic competition; football, for example, evolved out of the fact that the rules of ancient games such as soccer had been rendered impractical and void by the introduction of contact with metal objects, such as steel rods. The sport has developed its own rules and is played between competing teams. Some sports develop to teach teamwork between individuals and teams. Others have been developed to teach skills in specific areas of the human body, for example, skiing teaches skiers how to ski properly and efficiently on steep slopes, while baseball proves to be a great form of exercise.
Some of the most popular sports are golf, tennis, swimming, basketball, golf, badminton, horse racing and baseball. These have developed over time into more specialist sports, as the equipment used changes to focus more on specific aspects of the body and specific training routines. For example, tennis players are now trained to use different racquet styles, while golf players spend time working on their swing. As the equipment changes to focus on specific aspects of the body, the game of sports has developed accordingly, with sports such as mixed martial arts wrestling becoming Olympic sports. Skiing and snowboarding have also become Olympic sports.
Many sports are more popular among male participants than female, although this is changing with the growing popularity of sports such as ice skating and roller skating. Football is the most popular spectator sport in most countries, especially England, Canada and the United States. Soccer, the most popular team sport, is played between two teams and is the most popular form of European competition. Cricket is the most popular team sport in Asia and Australia and New Zealand and is played between independent clubs. Cricket is also a popular spectator sport in South Africa and India.
Every country requires its citizens to take part in some form of recreational physical activity every week or month, as it provides healthy exercise and helps with muscle strength. Most sports provide an opportunity to develop social skills, along with teaching social norms and respect for others. Sports activities can be competitive or non-competitive; depending on how the event is organized and whether the sportsman feels that he or she is actually competing or interacting with another individual or team. For example, squash and tennis both require the participant to hit the ball over a net using a bat or paddle. Engaging in contact or competing with another individual is considered competitive physical activity and is one way to develop social skills, such as patience, endurance, teamwork and sportsmanship. However, not all competitive sports are considered to be physically demanding and non-contact sports can be enjoyed by people of any age.
The development of physical dexterity and speed in one particular sport leads to another sport that requires the athlete to demonstrate athletic ability in another sport. In the case of gymnastics, the gymnast will need to demonstrate their ability to balance on uneven surfaces, strength and power to use various apparatus and the ability to execute flawless body movements and breathing in order to perform certain exercises. Furthermore, skill and agility are used in baseball and softball and the sport of golf. In contrast, the sport of fencing requires the player to stand upright with legs apart and arms at full length. The sport of sailing requires excellent sailing skills as well as navigational skills as well as wind skills.