Sport has various meanings which are often misunderstood by people. For example when someone says that they enjoy playing soccer, they are saying that they have fun although this definition of sport could equally apply to other contact sports such as rugby or ice hockey. A more literal definition is that which can be objectively determined to be a sport by anyone having an equal opportunity to participate and who has the necessary skill, equipment and training to play the game. The game of sport involves physical exertion, skill, and competition where the outcome is pre-determined and usually governed by rules and criteria set out by the parties involved in the game. The definition of sport could also include any activity carried on in competitive circumstances where the participants are evenly matched in ability and so not subject to the intervention of others.
As many people engage in sport, they will argue that they do not consider themselves to be participating in a physical activity when they use a particular activity as a means of exercise. When we say that we are exercising, we are engaging in activity that has been agreed upon and many people participate in a sport physically just for the fun of it. This is not considered to be an exercise because the activity has been structured and normally occurs without the unnecessary use of force. As a result, many people participate in sporting activities but are not necessarily participating in an exercise activity.
It may be argued that some sporting activities are pastimes and therefore are not sport but this would be a narrow definition of the term. Many sports involve physical contact and therefore the term pastime is sometimes used to describe the different kinds of pastimes and the activities associated with them. In many ways, then, the definition of sport can be considered to be relative to the definition of pastime because there are many things that constitute a pastime and sports involve many of these activities. For instance, the game of golf has a significant sporting history and many countries around the world participate in it.
To define sport from other physical activity is difficult because everyone agrees on the meaning of the word. Sport involves a particular activity where competition exists for a reward or any other form of prize. An example of a sport can be seen in darts where the aim is to get the ball into a cup. A darts competition usually includes all the entrants of a tournament but sometimes is held single-elimination. Competitions in darts often take place outdoors because the conditions are suitable for long-distance games.
Another example of sports can be found with cycling. Cycling can be seen as a sport but it is more than this. It is part of a particular sport activity. The pedals are used to power a bicycle and there is exertion involved in pedaling and this applies to cycling even though it is usually regarded as a leisure activity. This applies especially to the exertion involved when riding a bike against other cyclists.
There are many other examples of sport but they include athletics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, table tennis, swimming, softball, rugby and sprinting. Every sport has its own particular activity that is associated with it. When people talk about sport they tend to use two specific words; sport and physical activity. Sport refers to anything that concerns the body. Physical activity refers to activities that require the exertion of the body and sport encompasses the actions of sport.