Sports are competitive activities with rules and customs that govern how participants perform. These rules and customs help ensure a fair competition and consistent adjudication of the winner. These rules can be set by the sport itself, or by judges who evaluate aspects of sporting performance and assign scores. In some cases, the rules and customs are determined by the sport itself, but this is not always the case.
In the 20th century, sports began to transcend national boundaries and have a global appeal. In many cases, social and spatial barriers were overcome, allowing African Americans, Aboriginal Australians and the “Cape Coloureds” of South Africa to compete in sports. Even women were allowed to participate in some sports, which was a big step forward.
Aside from improving physical health, sports participation also has mental benefits. Youth participating in sport activities learn valuable life skills, such as teamwork and cooperation with others. This helps them feel better about themselves, which contributes to their sense of happiness and success. Various types of sports are popular in almost every culture. In fact, there are hundreds of different sports, some of which have only a single contestant, while others involve hundreds of people.
Sport began as a way to unite the nation. In the late 19th century, sports were used as “patriot games” to unite people and create a sense of national identity. Both outsider groups and established ones used sports to build their national identities. Modern sports are not only sources of pleasure, but also a symbol of power, prestige, and distinction.