Any athletic activity which requires physical exertion is termed sports, most importantly it should generate healthy competition between two individuals or groups participating in it.
A sport must enhance the skills of the participants, also entertain the spectators as well.
The modern-day definition of sports includes sports that don’t require physical exertion; For example, chess, board games, speed reading, and also computer programming.
Similarly, mind sport, is based on a type of individual skill rather than physical exercise.
When and in which country did sports originated?
Sports have a history as long as human civilization, dating back nearly to 2000 BC.
Artifacts suggest the presence of gymnastics in ancient China. In ancient Egypt, a number of sports were played like swimming, fishing, wrestling, weight lifting, long jumping, rowing, etc.
Sports had so much influence on ancient Greek culture that they created the Olympic Games, which were held every four years in a small village in Peloponnesus called Olympia.
The history of Cricket dates back to the 16th Century when it originated in South-West England and since then has developed into a global phenomenon.
Characteristics of a Sport – What defines a sport?
A sport should have few characteristics as given below-
Any sport should generate healthy competition between the participants. They should be free from any feeling of animosity or vengeance and should play only for pleasure and to display and improve their skills. Any sport which has an element of hatred or vengeance among the participants cannot be entertaining.
2-Harmless by all means.
Sport should not be harmful to any living being in any way. Though in ancient times hunting was also considered as a type of sport, the definition of sport is changed in the 21st century.
Hunting or bullfighting is no more considered sports and is criticized by many. In some African countries where hunting is still considered a kind of sport, steps are being taken by the government and social organizations to eliminate it by enforcing strict laws banning it.
Any sport should provide entertainment to the participants as well as the spectators.
Providing entertainment is one of the important characteristics of a sport. Any sport which does not ignite the mind and body of the participants, as well as the spectators, cannot be long-lived.
Cricket is able to remain the favorite sport for millions for nearly a century because of the entertainment it provides to them.
Fair Play means that both the competing parties should play the sports adhering to the set rules, without any foul play or cheating.
Fair play is one of the basic requirements for any sport to be entertaining and competitive in a healthy way.
Without fair play, the objective of a sport that it serves to the participants and spectators cannot be achieved and it will just be a meaningless tussle between two acts of vengeance-filled individuals or groups.
Sportsmanship is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy towards teammates and opponents.
A true sportsman is not feared by the thought of losing the game but is rather more involved in playing it.
A true sportsman should ensure that his team follows all the rules set for the game and no one is involved in any kind of mischief or has applied unfair means for winning the game.
There had been reported incidents where the athletes take drugs for increasing their stamina during performing in a particular sport.
Such practice is illegal and must be condemned by the sportsmen as well as the general public.
Any sportsman who is under the influence of drugs cannot give fair play and does injustice to the other participants.
Ingestion of certain stamina boosting drugs give the sportsmen an edge above others in sports like cycling, weight lifting, Javelin throw boxing, etc.
Types of sports
Sports can be broadly classified into two categories-physical sports and mind sports. A brief explanation of each is given below-
Physical sport is a sport that involves physical exertion and relies on the physical stamina of the participants.
Physical sports usually require a play area where the participants compete.
The physical sports may further be classified into individual sports like boxing, tennis, badminton where the competition is between two individuals, and team sports like basketball, volleyball, and cricket, where two teams compete with each other.
A participant’s winning or losing in an individual physical sport depends completely on the stamina and dexterity displayed by him.
While in team sports the winning and losing depends on the overall performance of the team, that is if an individual hasn’t performed well, the team may still win.
There are thousands of physical sports played today; few examples are archery, climbing, bungee jumping, kayaking, and paragliding, etc.
In mind sport, the competition is based on a particular type of individual ability or skill rather than physical stamina.
In a mind sport, the competition is between the agility of mind and requires intense thinking rather than any physical exercise.
In mind sports, a number of factors like concentration, thinking speed, the agility of mind, and memory play a vital role in the contestants winning or losing.
There is no physical exercise required and such games may be played sitting down across the table in a closed room.
Some of the World’s famous mind sports are chess, poker, speed reading, computer programming, and cybersecurity war games, etc.
Mental and Physical Benefits of Sports
Both physical and mind sports have many benefits for the sportsmen as well as the society. A few of the benefits of sports are narrated below-
- Provides an active and healthy lifestyle to children and adolescents. Physical activity is good for the mind-body and spirit.
- Team sports teach accountability, dedication, discipline, and leadership along with various other skills.
- Both physical and mind sports increase concentration and responsiveness.
- Instills problem-solving skills.
- Physical sports have numerous health benefits such as reduced weight, increased agility, and decreased risk of heart-related diseases.
- Playing sports, either physical or mind improves self-confidence and increases self-esteem.
- Sports reduce stress through physical or mental exercise.
- Sports either physical or mental provide a great deal of entertainment to the participants as well as spectators.
A quick look on World’s major Sports Events
ICC Cricket World Cup
The International Cricket Council (ICC) world Cup is a major sporting event held every four years.
Leading international sporting event featuring summer and winter games in which thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries take part in varieties of competitions. Olympic Games are held every four years.
Soccer World Cup
The FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) is organized every four years in both men and women category.
Sports are an integral part of human civilization and helped humans for ages to remain fit and active. Sports have numerous advantages on individuals as well as society. Improved stamina, health, concentration are only a few benefits of sports. The sport also provides entertainment and has the potential for changing the course of a Nation.