Some Clear Examples of Sport and Competition
“Sport” has been the common English term to describe any form of competitive contact sports since the dawn of the 19th century. “Sport” has generally been used to refer to any physical activity undertaken with an aim to get along with others and to perform with a degree of competency, to attain some desired goal such as sporting success. Sport has evolved as a word into its current meaning, but there is no reason why the term should change.
“Sport” has consistently been used to refer to any form of competitive contact sport since the 19th century. When defining sport, funding bodies such as Sport England aim to see that a certain activity meets this narrow definition if they identify it as a sport. For instance, if something is a game of golf then it can be described as a sport if it was played for competitive advantage and there was an element of skill involved in playing. Therefore, football (a team sport), rugby (a team sport), ice hockey (a group sport) and lacrosse (a team sport) would all be classified as sport. They are regularly referred to as sporting competitions.
“Sport” is also used to refer to any physical activity that requires advanced skill. Competitive skill is required in paintball, ice skating, fencing, golf and swimming. Each of these activities involves an element of skill; however, the level of skill required is based on the participants ability to utilise their upper and lower body in ways that are functionally possible. Therefore, the skill is not the only requirement for skillful sport. Competitive skill alone does not suffice. The activity also needs to be structured and marked by rules that define how the activity can be best achieved and controlled.
Professional Wrestling, or “WWE” is an example of a sport that requires skill but also considerable discipline. Wrestlers must learn to synchronise upper and lower body strength and use techniques that will allow them to withstand the powerful but flexible opponents. It is not uncommon for wrestlers to have to stop a fight as they are beaten badly. Therefore, both upper and lower body strength is required, along with some tactical wrestling ability.
Many activities that we think of as recreational sports are in fact exercises for the mind and body. There is no doubt that the body can achieve amazing feats of endurance and stamina while under extreme physical stress, and this is what many people referring to when they talk about “toughness”. However, this type of thinking has confused many people who have adopted certain extreme sports, such as wrestling, basketball and track running, as competitive sports. In this case, the only thing that is challenging is the person’s ability to exert maximal force against an opponent who is much more talented, stronger and quicker.
When a contest is won by a certain margin, such as one point in a bowling match, there is generally a clear verdict as to who is the better bowler and the winner of the competition. But in cases of mixed martial arts fights, there is often a lot of confusion as to who is the true victor. One can say that the verdict is not always clear-cut, although there are clear victors and losers in mixed martial arts competition. The key thing to consider is whether or not a competitor is capable of exertion against another in the given situation.