Sport is a form of physical exercise or play that is competitive. Sports can be both individual and team-based, but they must have rules that govern the action to ensure fair play and prevent cheating.
There are a wide range of types of sport, from association football to the more traditional running races. Each type of sport has its own characteristics and is characterized by a particular set of rules.
Sports are a major contributor to national identity as they nurture and refine the sense of self that a country has. They also serve to strengthen cosmopolitanism, by encouraging people from different cultures to interact in a common way.
They are also an important part of socialization as children are encouraged to become involved in them, and many continue to be active in them throughout their lives.
The emergence and diffusion of modern sports is bound up in complex networks and interdependencies that are marked by unequal power relations. These patterns both enable and constrain people’s actions, causing some to win while others lose.
In the earliest period of modern sports, the emphasis was on aesthetics and achievement rather than on the physical ability to compete. However, by the late 17th century, quantitative measurements were becoming more popular in sports and a new conception of rationalized competition was taking shape.