The rise of dating violence

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Sports, physical contests pursued for the goals and challenges they entail.

Sports are part of every culture past and present, but each culture has its own definition of sports.

The most useful definitions are those that clarify the relationship of sports to play, games, and contests. Recalcitrant children compelled by their parents or teachers to compete in a game of football (soccer) are not really engaged in a sport.

“Play,” wrote the German theorist Carl Diem, “is purposeless activity, for its own sake, the opposite of work.” Humans work because they have to; they play because they want to. Neither are professional athletes if their only motivation is their paycheck. A child sees a flat stone, picks it up, and sends it skipping across the waters of a pond.

In fact, the rule books for games such as basketball are hundreds of pages long.

As games, chess and basketball are obviously different from leapfrog and playing house.

That it cannot simply be assumed that they were contests is clear from the evidence presented by Greek and Roman antiquity, which indicates that ball games had been for the most part playful pastimes like those recommended for health by the Greek physician Galen in the 2nd century It is unlikely that the 7th-century Islamic conquest of North Africa radically altered the traditional sports of the region.

If ball games were contests rather than noncompetitive ritual performances, such as the , then they were sports in the most rigorously defined sense.

The first two games are competitive, the second two are not.

One can win a game of basketball, but it makes no sense to ask who has won a game of leapfrog. A final distinction separates contests into two types: those that require at least a minimum of physical skill and those that do not.

One can hardly understand sport if one does not begin with some conception of what sports are.

Other genres, notably sports programming, also experienced substantial growth and maturation in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

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