The Development of Sport
Sport is an umbrella term that encompasses many activities that we all participate in on a daily basis. A typical sport will involve contact sports such as football (soccer), rugby or boxing; athleticism such as fencing and gymnastics; and recreational sports such as horse riding, fishing and golf. In the US, there are hundreds of different recognized sports. Professional sport is often considered the more popular of these and includes the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL). Professional sport can also encompass other fields such as wrestling or surfing.
The development of sport over time has helped to shape many of our societal norms and rules, and even dictate how contests should be conducted. A typical sport is governed by recognizable and universal rules, with each sport having unique attributes. As sports continue to develop and progress, with better technology emerging to support the continued growth of the game, the field of professional sport continues to expand and improve. A sport can either be consciously managed to improve and develop its participant, fans and spectators, or it can evolve to be automatically achieved. Most importantly, the development and growth of sport help to shape society in general, giving children a stronger sense of achievement and self-worth as they begin to participate in sport.
To ensure fair competition in sporting activities, a sport needs to have basic standards of safety, cleanliness and reliability. The need for these standards are most apparent in non-contact sporting events, where competitors may be subject to more physical contact than is the norm in contact sports such as boxing and football. In addition to safety standards, rules and regulations help to define the nature and goals of a sport and its participants, ensuring that competition can be defined by both competitive and non-competitive aspects. Many governing bodies, particularly those governing professional sports, have come to rely on the influence and power of governing bodies such as the NHL, MLB and WNBA to set standards and establish rules. These governing bodies work hard to define the nature of their sport, ensuring it remains popular and retains its reputation as one of the world’s most popular sports.