Throughout human history, sports have been a way to improve physical fitness and develop social skills. Sports also contribute to national identity. They are used to represent the values of fair play and justice. They are often social glue that keep societies together and help strengthen cosmopolitanism.
Sports are inherently dramatic. Fans are prompted to express different emotions throughout a game. They may feel passionate identification with a team, or hatred for the other team. They may experience elation or despair when a last-minute goal transforms a defeat. They may feel despair when their favorite player is injured.
Sports are a way for young people to socialize and develop desirable character traits. Some people continue participating in sports into their adult years.
Sports are governed by a set of rules to ensure fair competition. Judges score the performance of participants based on objective measures or subjective measurements. There are penalties for breaking these rules.
Sports also transmit values such as fair play and teamwork. Some sports involve hundreds of participants. Some sports may also involve multiple winners.
Sports have become part of every culture. They are also as dynamic as society itself. Sports involve emotional processes that define the roles of athletes, coaches, and spectators. These processes also contribute to the creation of traditions.
Sports can be divided into three categories: traditional, contemporary, and global. Each category has its own definition.
Traditional sports were played in fairs and festivals, and included lifting sacks of grain, smock races, and women running smock races. These sports were less organized than the classical antiquity.