Sport has a number of different definitions that individuals and sport fans can use to describe any event or sport. However, there is a difference between sport and recreation. Recreation refers to activities that are done for fun or for leisure while sport relates to competition or exercise. A number of people participate in sport activities just for the fun factor or to have some form of competition. The level of involvement can vary widely between sport and recreation.
Almost every type of sport can be considered a sport due to its nature of engaging active engagement with physical activity. Every type of recreational sports involves stretching, jumping, running, throwing, thinking, hand-eye coordination, and more. In most individual sports, sport focuses more on achievement and personal growth. In reality, each activity also has an underlying objective and goal. This can include anything from playing a sport to competing in a contest.
Sport philosophy refers to the idea that skill and physical skills are the determining factors of a sport’s winning conditions. This includes how an individual performs during the course of a game, whether they take part in games with teams or are involved in athletic competition. Most sport philosophers agree that there are four fundamental types of skill: speed, agility, strength, and stamina. Sports can therefore be divided into two further categories; skill sport where the outcomes of the game are influenced by a large number of external factors.
The four fundamental types of skill sport include gymnastics, athletics, baseball/softball, swimming, basketball, track and field, and fencing. These are not mutually exclusive; some sports rely on more than one of these factors. Furthermore, there can be an overlap in one or more of these factors. For example, while swimming relies heavily on both speed and physical skill, gymnastics and track and field rely on speed and coordination alone.
A sport can also be classified as sport where the outcomes of the competition are influenced by several external factors. Examples include politics, business, marketing, advertising, public opinion, sponsorships, personal injury law, public health, and regulations against discrimination. Some examples of external factors may include public safety, environmental issues, sports medicine, and insurance companies’ rules and regulations. These are particularly important issues in professional sport where the participants could receive an injury or become ill and consequently miss extended periods of play, be unable to compete at an optimum level due to a health condition, or become unable to receive payment for their work from sponsors and businesses. In these situations sport can require physical skill.
Many people argue that competition is essentially a battle of the fittest, with the strongest team or individual performing. However, many sports also require physical exertion. For example, a football player needs to run, bend, and sprint to make a tackle or try to catch the ball. Similarly, a boxer will need to exercise both during and after a bout to prevent muscle damage and promote recovery between fights.
Sport is not just about competition and being stronger or faster than others. It requires a team effort, teamwork, and the overcoming of previous mistakes and triumphs to move forward. For example, a bowling match is not won based on who throws the farthest ball. It is about getting the most pins while bowling the lowest total number of throws.
As with all types of sport, there are valid debates over whether skill alone is the only important ingredient. In a study of competitive eating, it was found that bowlsers with higher skill levels reported fewer episodes of food bingeing and reported eating smaller portion sizes. In a survey of high school athletes, it was found that the participants who engaged in more intense sport activity were likely to have greater self-esteem and better self-confidence than non-participating athletes. So although the verdict may still be out on the effectiveness of competitive eating as a means of losing weight and maintaining weight loss, the participants in this particular sport seemed to benefit in several different ways by participating.