sports

Introduction

sports, athletic games or tests of skill undertaken primarily for the diversion of those who take part or those who observe them. The range is great; usually, however, the term is restricted to any play, pastime, exercise, game, or contest performed under given rules, indoors or outdoors, on an individual or a team basis, with or without competition, but requiring skill and some form of physical exertion.

Some sports, such as hunting , fishing , running, and swimming , derive from the rhythms and work requirements of primitive everyday life. Some, such as riding, shooting, throwing the javelin, or archery derive from early military practices. Still others, like boxing , wrestling, and jumping, arose from the spontaneous challenges and occasional hostilities that accompany human interaction.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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