Sports (or sportsmanship) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual competition, attempt to employ, maintain or enhance physical ability and/or skills while also providing entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators. In the United States, competitive athletics is one of the most popular spectator sports; other popular spectator sports include auto racing, ice skating, bowling, golf, gymnastics, rugby, tennis, swimming, surfing, track and field, bicycle racing, hockey, boxing, golf, soccer, basketball, motor racing, surfing, aerobics, wrestling, track cycling, sailing, snowboarding, rugby, windsurfing and wirking. Although there are a wide variety of games and sports that people can participate in, most Americans engage in a few competitive athletics, many of which they enjoy. Many popular American sports include football (NFL, college), baseball (MLB, NCAA), basketball (ATL, NBA), softball, tennis, track and field and golf. The United States has developed many professional sports, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, football, basketball, softball, golf and soccer. The amount of time Americans spend engaged in competitive athletics has significantly increased over the past two decades.
The United States government is a significant funder of the National Football League, the most popular spectator sport in the U.S. The NFL is one of the largest professional sports franchises in the world, with the Atlanta Falcons among its list of championship teams. The U.S. National Hockey League (NHL) consists of the three professional American hockey league teams: the Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche. The National Lacrosse League (NLH) is also a major domestic sports franchise, with the rivalries between the NHL and the Eastern and Western Conferences representative in the tournament regularly luring millions of television viewers. There are numerous minor league hockey (MLL) teams in the United States, Canada and Europe. An additional three international soccer teams are based in America, which boast professional teams in Germany and England.
The term “athletic” is frequently used to describe any sport requiring the participant to utilize various physical skills. The term is normally used to describe any contact sport that requires players to be in excellent condition and capable of performing tasks other than scoring goals. Professional sports organizations commonly refer to such activities as “professional sportsmanship”. Although the term has no legal status within either the US or Canadian legal systems, the term has become common usage in North America and the UK. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the governing body for professional sports in the US and regulates college athletic programs, public university athletic programs and athletic scholarship programs.
Professional sports leagues require players to meet physical fitness requirements. To compete in the NCAA, each team must have a certified fitness and training coordinator to ensure proper training and drills to improve player performance and maintain optimal physical health. Since the US does not regulate the selling of sports tickets or broadcasting the games, the decision on whether to play a sport that requires players to meet specific physical requirements is left up to the individual team. Accordingly, many high school and college teams participate in sports that require players to meet minimal physical demands. However, some of these sports are performed with little or no skill, requiring the athletes to rely upon their athletic ability alone for victory. Such events include baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, golf and football.
High school and college athletes spend a great deal of time practicing in order to develop muscle strength, endurance and coordination for games played in college. However, games like baseball and football involve excessive amounts of physical activities, especially during the spring and summer months. In order for colleges to allow students to participate in spring and summer baseball and football seasons, they mandate that players remain in excellent shape throughout the season. Unlike other sports, professional athletes are required to meet minimum physical requirements in order to participate in the games. College athletes spend hours in the weight room and on the field in order to increase muscle mass, strength and endurance, which in turn helps them excel at their sport.
While most people perceive sports to be games played between competing teams, they can also be played by individuals or teams. Chess is a perfect example of a sport requiring an individual to exercise and use strategy. Whether playing in a traditional chess tournament or just for fun, the mental intensity of each game is what keeps many people interested in the game. The fact that chess requires great concentration and strategic thinking skills makes it even more interesting for those who want to participate.