The Sports Portal
Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability. Sport can be practiced for health, for leisure or competitively, in the latter case often with spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, both from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.
Sport is generally recognized as activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organizations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognizes both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognizes five non-physical sports, although limits the amount of mind games which can be admitted as sports.
Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first, or by the determination of judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression.
In organized sport, records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sport news. In addition, sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sports drawing large crowds to venues, and reaching wider audiences through sports broadcasting.
The history of American football
can be traced to early versions of rugby football
and association football
. Both games have their origin in varieties of football
played in Britain in the mid-19th century, in which a football
is kicked at a goal
and/or run over a line.
American football resulted from several major divergences from rugby, most notably the rule changes instituted by Walter Camp, considered the "Father of American Football". Among these important changes were the introduction of the line of scrimmage and of down-and-distance rules. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gameplay developments by college coaches such as Eddie Cochems, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne, and Glenn "Pop" Warner helped take advantage of the newly introduced forward pass.
The popularity of college football grew as it became the dominant version of the sport in the United States for the first half of the 20th century. Bowl games, a college football tradition, attracted a national audience for college teams. Boosted by fierce rivalries, college football still holds widespread appeal in the US.
The origin of professional football can be traced back to 1892, with William "Pudge" Heffelfinger's $500 contract to play in a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. In 1920 the American Professional Football Association was formed. This league changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) two years later, and eventually became the major league of American football.
Primarily a sport of Midwestern industrial towns in the United States, professional football eventually became a national phenomenon. Football's increasing popularity is usually traced to the 1958 NFL Championship Game, a contest that aired on national television and has been dubbed the "Greatest Game Ever Played".
A rival league to the NFL, the American Football League (AFL), began play in 1960; the pressure it put on the senior league led to a merger between the two leagues and the creation of the Super Bowl, which has become the most watched television event in the United States on an annual basis.
Paavo Johannes Nurmi
(13 June 1897 – 2 October 1973) was a Finnish middle
and long distance
runner. He was nicknamed as the "Flying Finn
" as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. Nurmi set 22 official world records at distances between 1,500 metres and 20 kilometres, and won a total of nine gold and three silver medals in his twelve events in the Olympic Games
. At his peak, Nurmi was undefeated at distances from 800 m upwards for 121 races. Throughout his 14-year career, he remained unbeaten in cross country events and the 10,000 m.
In the 1920 Summer Olympics Nurmi took the silver medal in the 5,000 m and the gold in the 10,000 m and the cross country events. In 1923, Nurmi became the first, and so far only, runner to hold the mile, the 5,000 m and the 10,000 m world records at the same time. He went on to set new world records for the 1,500 m and the 5,000 m with just an hour between the races, and take gold medals in the distances in less than two hours at the 1924 Olympics. Nurmi won all his races and returned home with five gold medals, but embittered, as Finnish officials had refused to enter him for the 10,000 m.
At the 1928 Summer Olympics, Nurmi recaptured the 10,000 m title but was beaten to the gold in the 5,000 m and the 3,000 m steeplechase. He then turned his attention to longer distances, breaking the world records for events such as the one hour run and the 25-mile marathon. Nurmi intended to end his career on a marathon gold medal.
In a controversial case that strained Finland–Sweden relations and sparked an inter-IAAF battle, Nurmi was suspended before the 1932 Games by an IAAF council that questioned his amateur status. Although he was never declared a professional, Nurmi's suspension became definite in 1934 and he retired from running.
Nurmi, who rarely ran without a stopwatch in his hand, has been credited for introducing the "even pace" strategy and analytic approach to running, and for making running a major international sport.
The New Zealand men's national rugby union team
, known as the All Blacks, represent New Zealand
in what is regarded as its national sport
. The team first competed in 1884 against Cumberland County, New South Wales
, and played their first Test match
in 1903, a victory over Australia
The All Blacks are the Rugby World Cup champions, the leading points scorers of all time, and the only international rugby team with a winning record against every test nation they have ever played. The All Blacks have held the top ranking in the world for longer than all other countries combined, and in over 100 years only five test rugby nations have ever beaten New Zealand. The All Blacks have won The Rugby Championship a record eleven times (in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012) in the competition's 16-year history. The All Blacks have won over a record 75% of all rugby matches they have played since 1903 (which is amongst the highest in all International sport) and they were named the International Rugby Board (IRB) Team of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and a record fifth time in 2011. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; three of these are also inductees of the IRB Hall of Fame, and another player is a member of the IRB Hall.
The team's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By their 1905 tour New Zealand were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their All Black name dates from this time. New Zealand traditionally perform a haka (Māori challenge) before each match, traditionally the Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate.
Did you know...
In this month
- January 5, 1967 – The first race of the inaugural Alpine Ski World Cup takes place in Berchtesgaden, West Germany
- January 13, 1924 – Allsvenskan, the top league in the Swedish football league system, is founded
- January 17, 1958 – The Canadian Football League (game pictured), the highest level of Canadian football completion, is founded
- January 19, 1950 – The inaugural season of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour officially begins
- January 19, 1973 – The first race of the inaugural World Rally Championship series, the 42ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo, begins
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