The definition of sports is subjective and is in constant flux. The Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee have advocated expanding its definition to include other types of physical activity, such as jogging, hiking, swimming, tennis, and other games that are played for fun. Aside from these criteria, many other bodies are also pushing for a broader definition of sports. A person’s preference for a particular sport should not be the only determining factor, however.
The definition of sports is often very different in different cultures, although there are some commonalities. In general, sports involve physical activity that aims to improve one’s physical ability and to entertain spectators. Some sports involve several participants, while others involve a single contestant. Some involve hundreds of competitors, while others involve two teams or even two sides. No matter what, all forms of sports involve physical activity and can help children develop their mental and physical health.
While the aesthetic element remains in some sports, the emphasis on quantification and competition has replaced it as a central part of the game. A cultural shift in terms of judging can be seen in the semantics of the word “measure.” Once a sense of proportion and balance was associated with the word, it gradually began to mean a numerical value. In the nineteenth century, the word “record” was first used in English. Despite the cultural shift, sports have evolved considerably.