Sports, especially contact sports such as wrestling, boxing, tennis, basketball and football, are governed by a series of laws or traditions, which ensure fair play, prevent cheating, and let consistent adjudication of the outcome. In regular competitive sport, reports of scoring are frequently made, and this information can be widely reported or announced by the sport’s governing body, usually on television. Rules regulating various aspects of sports such as the throwing or catching of the ball and the involvement of teams in certain matches is also regularly discussed and commented upon in the sports media. Professional sports have also created associations, consisting of players, coaches and administrators, to enforce and manage these rules and laws. This has led to professional sports becoming established as legitimate enterprises with dedicated legal framework.
But even within the sports arena, there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not sports are games of chance or should they be recognized as games of skill, competition and physical dexterity. Advocates for sports’ legality argue that sports competition does not require high levels of skill, as is the case with many computer or video games. Such opponents of sports betting assert that sport must be regulated by law because it encourages, requires skilled performance of physical dexterity. Proponents of sportsmanship argue that sport enables social harmony, individual respect and promotes the exercise of personal and team-spirit skills. Sports, they claim, serves to build up the spirit of the individual and encourages the development of leadership, discipline, confidence, teamwork and fair play.
Opponents argue that sport may in fact encourage bad behavior because physical contact, although necessary to facilitate the game, allows people to take part in activities that may otherwise be socially unacceptable. They also point out that, unlike in non-sport situations, aggressive or insulting words, gestures, actions and postures are perfectly acceptable in sports and are a necessary part of the game. Furthermore, they argue that competition in sports can be intensely competitive and is often based not on natural born ability but rather on talent, skill and experience which are acquired over time. Individuals who fail to fulfill the expectations of their peers are usually labeled as’softies’ or’selfish’, while competitors are generally considered competitive but not elitist or ‘brat’ by other competitors.
However, some proponents of the sport’s rule argue that it is not only the physical and mental aspects that should be considered in sports, but also the social aspect. In American football, for example, the physical prowess of players is crucial to winning the game, while the social and financial status of the team often reflects upon the team’s performance. The importance placed upon the physical aspect of sports can therefore be considered a psychological motivator, since the athlete will do whatever it takes to win. This explains why athletes train intensely and long hours in order to increase their skills and physical dexterity. In this way, the athlete develops self-discipline and the confidence that a win will bring. Similarly, the financial rewards and recognition that come from winning a sporting event encourages the competitor to do even better.
As more children engage in sports, many parents and educators have argued that sports teach positive qualities such as patience, perseverance, commitment and teamwork. Furthermore, young people are exposed to physical activity on a regular basis, especially during the summer months, when the weather allows outdoor sports such as baseball, basketball and soccer. By taking part in these sports, young people are building up the essential traits of discipline, determination, teamwork and patience. These qualities are important in everyday life and by taking part in sports they are learning how to put these traits to use and how to overcome obstacles.
The physical demands placed upon athletes in sports can be intense. Athletes are often required to perform hundreds of repetitions, lift heavy weights, run and sprint hundreds of miles and endure long hours of physical stress. These activities can be physically and psychologically taxing. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in physical activity and the role that sports play in our lives. Sport studies show that participation in a variety of recreational activities is important for overall mental health and well being.