Understanding the Term – Sport Versus Exercise
Any definition of sport can be highly controversial. In practical terms however sport is defined by its very strong emotional association with competition, physical exertion, and the achievement of some objective. In all these aspects sport shares many features with many other human activities. For instance, competition, which is one of the basic features of sport, is one of the defining features of sport. If you ask a football or basketball fan what sport they like most, chances are that they will say tennis or volleyball.
The definition of sport therefore must take into account the wide range of individual sporting activities. In the modern world we have multiple sporting codes, with many of them overlapping significantly. Many different kinds of competitions regularly occur and are treated as sporting events. This means that the term sport can be used to describe any event that happens to have some degree of physical contact and where participants are engaged in a competition to achieve some objective. Competitions could also be between two or more teams.
One of the biggest challenges for sportswear companies in the contemporary climate is how to move beyond the current definitions of sport that are often associated with major events like the Olympics. The Olympics is a global event that involves hundreds of athletes from dozens of countries and which is largely dominated by men (although women have made great gains in recent years). This means that the Olympics is unlikely to define anything new, and its definition is highly restrictive. This presents a huge challenge for innovative fashion companies who want to develop innovative products and services that will be accepted by a mainstream audience.
A different problem faced by sportswear companies is the definition of what ‘natural’ means. Natural is widely seen as meaning totally different things to the natural world. For example, a runner who completes a rigorous training schedule without the use of supplements will be classed as a ‘natural’ runner. However, this definition may not be equally applicable when defining activities such as body building. Body builders may engage in massive physical activity without the use of supplements or other aids, and the physical activity involved will still be considered ‘natural’. Thus, it can become very difficult for innovative companies to apply their innovative approach without having to define the definition of ‘natural’.
It is also important to remember that sport is not the only type of physical activity involving physical skill. For example, archery does not necessarily involve physical exertion, nor does paintball, although the terms can sometimes be used interchangeably. In fact, paintball is played while sitting on a couch. In this case, the term would be far more appropriate, because paintball is a sport involving skill.
The point is that there are many differences between games such as basketball and soccer and traditional sports. In addition, there are many different ways in which people are interacting in the World of esports. Traditional sports can often be considered as activities involving physical exertion, but the interaction in the game of League of Legends and the growth of esport shows that this is certainly not the case. This means that the term needs to be defined carefully in order for the definition of ‘esports’ to make sense.