The Origin of Sport
Any definition of sport can be controversial. In simple terms, sport can be loosely defined as the human endeavor to organize, manage, and compete with sport events. In more practical terms, sport can be understood more precisely as a system of behavior in which the objective is to attain a particular goal. This goal is determined by the existence of a set of rules or standards that a participant wants to achieve, and that he or she is able to attain by using his or her body, mind, and spirit in the ways that are prescribed by the rules. For this reason, the sport can be thought of as a system of discipline or an organizational approach to achieving goals, rather than a domain of individual achievement.
Sport can be classified according to the extent and nature of the physical activity involved and also according to the extent and nature of the participation of participants. The two major categories are organised and unorganised sport. Organised sport involves controlled physical activity that aims to achieve a particular goal such as a winning race. Unorganised sport, on the other hand, is generally accompanied by impulsive physical activity, which may not be competitive in nature. It usually involves uncontrolled, but often exhilarating, physical fitness activities.
To understand why certain sporting competitions are popular among individuals, it would help to understand why other kinds of sporting activity are not popular. For instance, in the Olympic games, the competitors are all highly trained athletes who are not only highly motivated but who also undertake exhausting physical exercises and rigorous training in order to enhance their skills for particular sporting events. Organising sport is done through several processes such as sport preparation, sport administration, and sport marketing. These processes ensure fair competition among participants, with each trying to ensure that he or she achieves a common goal by using his or her different physical talents.
The history of ‘sport’ goes back hundreds of years to the days of the Ancient Greek Olympics, in which men would compete for athletic prizes. In ancient China, a sport was a way of bonding with friends and family and used to be referred to as ‘mass’. Ancient Greece and Rome were famous for their dependence on bodily activity, especially on the battle. Sports were regularly held, and several types of games were developed, such as wrestling, boxing, and war games. The first governing body for these games, the Roman Olympics, started regulating the games in 31 BC.
Since the inception of the European Union, there has been a constant effort to regulate the physical activity undertaken by European teams so that they can participate in official tournaments to win medals. In the US, the National Federation of Professional Sports has governed competitive play since its founding in 1947. A US National Soccer Association (US Soccer) was first formed in Division II of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in Division I. A more recent, but also popular, divisional association in the US is the United States Football Association (USFA) which organizes the amateur and recreational sport of football. There are currently 14 governing bodies in total in the US, including the NCAA, the US National Team Training Council and the United States Olympic Committee. The USFA was created to “promote the sport throughout the entire country”.
While no one knows exactly how the game would have developed without its present day governing body, there is no doubting the importance of sport in modern society. As countries become more developed, sports become more important to the population. For example, in the UK, there are two major professional sports teams, Football Association (FA) soccer and Association Football. TheFA Cup, considered the “FA Cup”, is the most watched and rated cup competition in the world. The game is so popular that the FA recently experienced a split following an anti Rugby league campaign led by chief executive Lee Martin.