Sports are organized physical activities and competitions. These satisfy the need for competition, physical activity and play. All sports are competitive. This is the main difference between recreational, social recreation or sports.
Organized sports activities are undertaken by several people with a common interest. A popular sport in most countries is ice skating, Australian football (football) and American football (Rugby). These sports are popular because they are controlled by governing bodies and are subject to regulation by national and international sports committees. Sports that are not governed by governing bodies are less well known and are less well organized, although some of these may be amateur sports.
Many sports are part of a multi-team competition, such as badminton, baseball, table tennis, golf, softball and basketball. In other sports, like swimming, diving, surfing, sailing and gymnastics, there are separate teams, each competing for a championship. Professional sport involves professional competitors and organized competitions, with teams and referees and often governed by governing bodies.
The essence of sports competition is fair play. Competitions are arranged to ensure fair play. For example, baseball players are required to wear uniform shirts bearing the logo of their club and players have to wear uniform pants, caps and socks. Olympic athletes spend more time training in gyms and the greater part of their training involves practicing “artistic sports” such as swimming, jumping and cycling, and participating in competitions.
There are several international sports competitions. The most famous is the Olympic Games, which is held every four years in different cities around the world. There are also sports festivals, such as the Olympics, swimming competitions and other sporting events. Competitions in other parts of the world are sometimes organized by the government or by private companies.
The idea of fair play is necessary because sports involve physical contact and even when played in private gyms and in swimming pools, there is still competition. Some argue that the spirit of sports is becoming corrupted and that it encourages unfair competition, though this is difficult to prove. Critics of sports competition say that it encourages unhealthy lifestyles and encourages the negative attitudes towards physical beauty that is associated with beauty pageants and other beauty-field competitions. Critics also argue that there is not enough scientific research into the benefits or risks of various sports, so it is impossible to say whether certain sports are beneficial or harmful.