Sports are the physical activities undertaken with the use of physical faculties, either human or animal, in pursuit of pleasure. The term can also include activities carried out for competitive advantage, as in competitive matches or races. The most common sports are contact sports such as American football, soccer, tennis, weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, track and field, hockey and golf. A wide variety of other physical activities may also be included under the heading of sports. These include sports for children, such as ice skating, American football, and hockey, as well as sports taken seriously by the professional sporting communities, such as track and field, swimming, sailing and racing.
Sports are normally governed by a series of unwritten rules or traditions, which ensure fair play, and enable consistent adjudication of the outcome. In amateur sport, reports of any victories or faults are generally made available to the wider sporting public, though in more serious sport, photographic evidence may sometimes be required. In official sport, records of winning performance are usually kept, and the results of popular games are widely announced or shown in sports news. Television is often used to further coverage of sporting events, with commentators, radio call-in programmes and reports on the sports TV stations being available to the wider public. Professional sport also often leads to professional sports journalism, as sport reporters are employed to provide a professional insight into the reporting of sporting events.
Many people enjoy the excitement and the social interaction that goes along with a particular sport or activity. As with all recreational activities, there is often the danger of injury from participating in sports that are above the participant’s current ability, or from participation in sports that are too strenuous for the casual participant. For example, while running may seem a relatively easy form of exercise for younger people, doing so on a steep slope or at a high incline is very difficult for a first-time mountain climber. Sports which require extended periods of standing or walking are not always easy for people who are not used to such exertion. In these cases, advice from a doctor or other medical professional should be sought before a person begins any new physical activity.
Not all sports can be recommended for everyone to take part in, for example, there are certain games sports which are only recommended for certain age groups or physical capacities. For example, while most games of basketball involve jumping and throwing the ball, tennis involves a different style of footwork than most forms of volleyball. Similarly, while football allows people of all ages to run and kick the ball, rugby requires a completely different style of fitness from most other sports. Even games like ice hockey and swimming are considered to be physically demanding, since the participant needs to keep moving at all times. Similarly, while most games of racquetball involve throwing the racquetball, tennis involves a different style of fitness than most forms of fitness-based sports.
As well as being a type of physical activity, some games are an enjoyable pastime, particularly if a group of friends happen to be taking part. Games of darts can be an exciting pastime, especially for those interested in more complex matches or events. Similarly, most team sports such as American football require that players be on their feet and in a variety of positions, which can prove very physically demanding for those players.
However, for many people, a game of darts is much more than just a fun pastime. Darts can be used as a form of competitive examination, since the sport relies on skill and accuracy more than sheer brute force. A perfect game of darts can take many people hours to master, as many different factors come into play, ranging from the size of the dart thrower to the speed of the dart. This means that many people who choose to take part in the sport will do so because they want to improve their game.