A Brief Look at Sport
The level of organisation that runs and influences the sport greatly helps to determine whether an activity can be classed as a sport. Activities engaged in for purely the fun, relaxation and/or health and well-being or purely physical recreation with no underlying pursuit of competitive advantage, and by definition, where the participation is not consciously competitive. Sport and non-sport activities are frequently confused, but in fact they are very different. A sporting event may incorporate contact sports such as boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, tennis and golf, whereas non-sporting events may be similar to canoeing, hiking, running or climbing without relying on any particular competitive energy.
Organising popular sports is a very complex task; the sport itself must be properly regulated by a country or international governing body, which takes into account the wide range of competing organisations and their own unique set of circumstances. For example, the governing body for football requires sport committees to oversee the provision of licensed clubs to ensure fair competition among clubs, players and fans. Competitions in many sports, such as cricket, horse racing, motor vehicle racing and ice skating, require widespread public participation in order to be successful, and the rules and regulations of these sports are different to those governing participation in more popular sports. The need for clear rules to govern popular sports, combined with the need for consistent application of those rules, means that sport and non-sport organisations often work in different ways. Often the sporting activity that attracts the greatest amount of public interest is a relatively simple event, such as horse racing, tennis, swimming and golf, while less popular sports have much higher standards of play and qualification.
In countries where the majority of people participate in some form of organised sport, such as football or rugby, the term sport can sometimes be used to describe any kind of physical activity that uses the human body. However, the term sport is increasingly applied to describe any physical activity that uses a particular set of physical skills and movements. Sportive skill is not confined to organised sports; games such as soccer and basketball, along with other less well-known team or participant-based sports, are examples of non-physical sport. Other examples include endurance events such as running, cycling and swimming, as well as motorised sports such as skateboarding, mountain boarding and snow boarding.