Sport is known to mankind throughout history, with evidence of its existence in all cultures around the world, regardless of race or tribe. A human interaction involving skill and physical exertion as the main focus of the interaction, with little elements of social interaction or competition allowed and usually defined as a sport when it exists formally through organised sporting organisations. Sport can be competitive or non-competitive; there are no set rules defining the meaning of a particular event. A game can be played with a group of people from different races, ages, genders and religions. It can be a strenuous activity or a leisure activity, requiring considerable time and effort. The most common sports people participate in are soccer, swimming, golf, tennis, horse racing, cricket, rugby, hockey, basketball, softball and baseball.
A sport is normally associated with a particular type of physical activity that requires a large number of people to use all their skills in a competitive situation. This may involve sprinting, kicking, throwing, tackling and other physical activities. Each sport has its own rules defining the rules for each component of the game and the degree of activity allowed. Sport involves many components including the use of the head, body, elbows, feet, legs and other parts of the body and the involvement of sophisticated machines, equipment and training. Most contact sports require the use of the head, but some do not.
In recent years, football has become the most popular contact sport, due to the increased use of helmets, padding, uniforms, rules, etc. Rugby is the second most popular contact sport, with soccer and ice hockey being the most popular in non-contact games. Since rugby began in the 19th century, it has developed into a professional game, with a strong tradition of fair play and respect. Professional sport has become very closely linked to national teams and tournaments such as the World Cup and the Olympics. Since the popularity of the games has grown, international competitions have been held.
Another type of contact sport is fencing, which evolved from the game of archery. Fencing is now widely played as a competitive sport at national and international levels. Hockey is the third most popular contact sport, with sailing and ice hockey being the least popular. These games are typically played between two teams of people who wear protective gear and participate in physically demanding activities.
Skateboarding is an extreme sport that was relatively unheard of twenty years ago. It has become one of the most popular recreational activities in North America. Skateboarders use special equipment to perform tricks on railroads, in skate parks and on sidewalks. Most skateboarders focus on tricks, instead of competing in competitions. They do not compete against other riders, but rather, attempt to make a record time on their skateboard.
Finally, boxing is a contact sport that involves throwing punches and/or kicking. Boxing is a closely guarded sport that is only accessible to professional fighters and other strong individuals. Amateur boxers are not able to train like these professionals, so they do not participate in bouts on a regular basis. As with most sports, though, there are more governing organizations that monitor boxing. This means that more people are able to play this sport than other sports.