Sports are activities that require physical exertion, skill, and competition. They can include golf, cheerleading, dance, motorsports, and equestrian events. These activities require skill and competition, as well as social participation. Sports are often played in teams, and they usually include multiple players. Some sports are not competitive, however. Other activities, such as fishing, are not considered sports. These activities, however, are generally considered pastimes.
There are various rules and customs for different sports. This is done to maintain fair competition and to ensure that a consistent winner is chosen. In some sports, the winning is decided by the outcome of physical events, while in other sports, winning is determined by a panel of judges. These judges score elements of a sporting performance based on objective and subjective criteria.
Sports are a tradition that dates back thousands of years. Some of the earliest known sports were ball games, which were played by ancient people. The Chinese and Aztecs played ball games, which were not necessarily contests but rather ritual performances. In Greek and Roman antiquity, ball games were considered healthy and were even recommended by the physician Galen in the 2nd century ce.
Sports often reflect nationalism, as people from different nations compete in national teams. This is often reflected in commentaries, which can sometimes adopt a partisan perspective. Such nationalism is seen as counterproductive to the basic ethos of sport. The 1972 Munich Olympics saw politics and sport collide in violent fashion when masked terrorists seized Israeli Olympic athletes and killed dozens.