Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills. Sport is from sport live governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first. Records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sport news.
The world’s most accessible and practised sport is running, while association football is its most popular spectator sport. The word «sport» comes from the Old French desport meaning «leisure», with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being «anything humans find amusing or entertaining». Roget’s defines the noun sport as an «activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement» with synonyms including diversion and recreation. American English uses «sports» for both terms. The International Olympic Committee recognises some board games as sports including chess. The precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources. The inclusion of mind sports within sport definitions has not been universally accepted, leading to legal challenges from governing bodies in regards to being denied funding available to sports.
There has been an increase in the application of the term «sport» to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as video games, also called esports, especially due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not widely recognised by mainstream sports organisations. Sport’ means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels. Other bodies advocate widening the definition of sport to include all physical activity. For instance, the Council of Europe include all forms of physical exercise, including those competed just for fun.
In order to widen participation, and reduce the impact of losing on less able participants, there has been an introduction of non-competitive physical activity to traditionally competitive events such as school sports days, although moves like this are often controversial. The measurement of the result may be objective or subjective, and corrected with «handicaps» or penalties. In a race, for example, the time to complete the course is an objective measurement. Roman bronze reduction of Myron’s Discobolos, 2nd century AD. Artifacts and structures suggest sport in China as early as 2000 BC.
Gymnastics appears to have been popular in China’s ancient past. Motorised sports have appeared since the advent of the modern age. Electronic sports are a recent development. A wide range of sports were already established by the time of Ancient Greece and the military culture and the development of sport in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sports have been increasingly organised and regulated from the time of the ancient Olympics up to the present century. Industrialisation has brought increased leisure time, letting people attend and follow spectator sports and participate in athletic activities. These trends continued with the advent of mass media and global communication.
Sportsmanship is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behaviour and integrity, and grace in victory or defeat. Sportsmanship expresses an aspiration or ethos that the activity will be enjoyed for its own sake. Key principles of sport include that the result should not be predetermined, and that both sides should have equal opportunity to win. Rules are in place to ensure fair play, but participants can break these rules in order to gain advantage.
Participants may cheat in order to unfairly increase their chance of winning, or in order to achieve other advantages such as financial gains. The widespread existence of gambling on the results of sports fixtures creates a motivation for match fixing, where a participant or participants deliberately work to ensure a given outcome rather than simply playing to win. The competitive nature of sport encourages some participants to attempt to enhance their performance through the use of medicines, or through other means such as increasing the volume of blood in their bodies through artificial means. Violence in sports involves crossing the line between fair competition and intentional aggressive violence. Athletes, coaches, fans, and parents sometimes unleash violent behaviour on people or property, in misguided shows of loyalty, dominance, anger, or celebration.