What Is a Sport and Why Do We Need It?

Sport (or sports) can be broadly classified into two main areas: contact sport – which includes soccer; contact martial arts such as wrestling or boxing; racquet and ball sports; gymnastics and swimming. Indoor and outdoor sports can include ice skating, badminton, golf, tennis, basketball, football and softball. Amateur sport can include fishing, horse riding, snooker, swimming, diving and canoeing. The activities can be undertaken by individuals, teams, organisations and even whole clubs. Sport can also be communal, with groups playing at a sporting event or gathering. Most often sport is regarded as competitive.


People play sport for a variety of reasons, including a personal interest in a particular sport, to compete in a competition, or to earn a living. For many people playing sport is considered a vital part of their daily life, which provides them with physical fitness and social interaction. However, some sports can have serious consequences if players or spectators are not careful, can injure themselves improperly or are involved in accidents that require immediate medical assistance. Playing sport can have serious health implications for people of all ages and for both genders.

A person who has played sport and suffered a sporting injury may seek compensation to recover their losses and pain. A court or an independent arbitrator will decide whether the player was indeed negligent. If it is found that the player was at least partially at fault for their injuries, the jury or judge will deliver a verdict. A verdict may be made against the player, the team or the club, whichever is found to have been at least partly at fault.

The most common claim to receive compensation when playing sport is pain and suffering, caused by injuries or risks associated with sport. A skilled sportsperson will be almost invariably able to show that they were acting in what they perceived to be their own best interest when they caused an injury or received an injury and were subsequently awarded compensation. This is often difficult to establish in court as sport organisations try to avoid liability. In some instances, a judge may find that the players or teams acted reasonably in attempting to avoid competition. If a player is unable to play sport as a result of an injury or illness they may claim financial benefits.

In the case of a skillful sportsperson, it may be difficult to establish that they acted reasonably when they received a sporting injury, for example if they were required to play on a broken leg. If they were not paid for their efforts this could be seen as negligence by the sporting code. Another common claim for disability compensation is mental stress. Many sportspeople sustain stress-related injuries, particularly from carrying out their normal day to day tasks such as playing sport. This mental strain can lead to long term physical health problems.

Any skill or sport can become dangerous if a reasonable person would be expected to perform the activity without the required skills or the physical exertion required. Any skill can be modified or improved to meet current demands. For example, the skateboard industry requires skaters to have certain skills to avoid injuries. If you were to attempt to skydive without the correct skills you could injure yourself. Skateboarding is very popular among young people, and it is possible for them to injure themselves without realising what they are doing.