Sport (or physical sport) is any forms of generally competitive physical activity that, though acting as recreation, aim to utilize, maintain or enhance physical skill and capability while also providing participants, and sometimes, spectators, with some form of entertainment. In sport, the word ‘sport’ varies greatly depending on the sport involved. While football is often seen as a game requiring only a ball and some players, the term can apply to any contact sport involving at least two people; it can also apply to non-contact games, such as tennis, swimming and track and field, though these are very much considered a team sport. Some common definitions of sport include competitive swimming, racing, skiing and gymnastics, while other sports can overlap into other disciplines. A sport can also be defined by its physical characteristics, which may include endurance, strength, speed, agility and flexibility.
Sport involves competition, either between individuals or teams, or between organizations or teams. The object of the game is to gain an advantage over the other competitors, or to complete a task within a set time frame or environment. For example, in gymnastics, the competition involved in gaining floor contacts is not just in reaching the end of the mat with one’s body, but in maintaining this contact until it is safely back on the mat; and the same is true for many sports, such as swimming, tennis, basketball and track and field. Each of these sports can be defined as a form of sport depending on how the physical exertion is done, where the competition takes place, and what part of the world the sporting event occurs. For example, track and field are commonly defined as a track and field competition, while wrestling is considered a competitive match between two people.
Although most people consider sport to be purely physical, the truth of the matter is that it encompasses a wide range of mental and social skills that, when integrated with physical skill, give participants an edge over their opponents. Sport can provide an arena in which participants can challenge each other in terms of strategy and tactical thinking. In this sense, the verdict on sport is not just an assessment of the level of skill that each competitor has, but also an assessment of the character of the competitors. While the definition of sport is often contentious, there are certain broad features that most people would agree upon.