What Are Sports?


Sports are games that involve physical activity and competition. They are usually governed by a set of rules or customs to ensure fair competition and consistent adjudication of the winner. In some sports, such as rugby or football, the winner is determined through physical events, while others use judges to score elements of a sporting performance. These criteria can be objective or subjective.

Sports are competitive activities in which participants actively compete against each other in an effort to score or stop the other side. Some sports are physical in nature, such as track and field, gymnastics, and ice events. Others are strictly competitive, such as archery and markmanship. Other forms of sport include fishing, equestrian, and motorsports.

In the Middle Ages, sports were a popular way to exercise the body and entertain the masses. In particular, the bourgeoisie of the day enjoyed sporting matches, which were sometimes staged with great fanfare. There were even archery companies that marched behind the patron saints of the sport. During these matches, the lower classes were also invited to take part. These games were often accompanied by grand feasts. Drunkenness was common at these events. A special officer, known as a Pritschenkoenig, was supposed to regulate the proceedings and entertain the crowd with clever verses.

Modern sports evolved from traditional pastimes. The English were the first to introduce organized games. During the Restoration period, the concept of a sports record appeared. Puritanically-minded Puritans deemed traditional pastimes injurious to public order. As a result, traditional games such as cricket were driven underground. However, these traditions were revived and developed under the leadership of the Marylebone Cricket Club, which was founded in 1787. It helped organize cricket and rationalize competition.