Portal:Sports

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The Sports Portal

A collection of balls used in various sports

Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of competitive physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants. Hundreds of sports exist, 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.

Current events in sports · More about sports

Selected article

An unknown early American football team
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 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.

Selected picture

Martin Sesaker representing Norway in curling at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics
Credit: Ralf Roletschek

Martin Sesaker representing Norway in curling at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics

Selected athlete

Apolo Anton Ohno after winning the Short track speed skating competition at the 2006 Winter Olympics
Apolo Anton Ohno (born May 22, 1982) is an American short track speed skating competitor and an eight-time medalist (two gold, two silver, four bronze) in the Winter Olympics. He is the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time.

Raised by his father, Ohno began training full-time in 1996. He has been the face of short track in the United States since winning his medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics. At the age of 14, he became the youngest U.S. national champion in 1997 and was the reigning champion from 2001–2009, winning the title a total of 12 times. In December 1999, he became the youngest skater to win a World Cup event title, and became the first American to win a World Cup overall title in 2001, which he won again in 2003 and 2005. He won his first overall World Championship title at the 2008 championships.

During the 2002 Winter Olympics, there were two controversies associated with Ohno. The first was whether or not he intentionally finished third in a qualification race during the U.S. Olympic Trials to allow Shani Davis to make the team. The second occurred when he won the gold medal in the 1500 m race after the disqualification of the first skater to cross the finish line, South Korean Kim Dong-Sung, for blocking Ohno.

Ohno's accolades and accomplishments include being the United States Olympic Committee's Male Athlete of the Month in October 2003 and March 2008, the U.S. Speedskating's Athlete of the Year for 2003, and was a 2002, 2003 and 2006 finalist for the Sullivan Award, which recognizes the best amateur athlete in the United States. Since gaining recognition through his sport, Ohno has worked as a motivational speaker, philanthropist, started a nutritional supplement business called 8 Zone, and in 2007, competed on and won the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars.

Selected team

The 1906 Youngstown team
The Youngstown Ohio Works baseball team was a minor league club that was known for winning the premier championship of the Ohio–Pennsylvania League in 1905, and for launching the professional career of pitcher Roy Castleton a year later. A training ground for several players and officials who later established careers in Major League Baseball, the team proved a formidable regional competitor and also won the 1906 league championship. During its brief span of activity, the Ohio Works team faced challenges that reflected common difficulties within the Ohio-Pennsylvania League, including weak financial support for teams. Following a dispute over funding, the team's owners sold the club to outside investors, just a few months before the opening of the 1907 season.

The club's strong record and regional visibility spurred the growth of amateur and minor league baseball in the Youngstown area, and the community's minor league teams produced notable players throughout the first half of the 20th century. The story of the Ohio Works team proved to be an early chapter in Youngstown's long history of amateur and minor league baseball. In the 1930s and 1940s, the city was a frequent host of the National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) championship. NABF officials praised the community for the condition of its sandlot baseball diamonds, which they rated as among the best in the country. During the first half of the 20th century, Youngstown-based teams provided experience and exposure to future major league players such as Everett Scott, Floyd Baker, and Johnny Kucab, and played an indirect role in launching the career of Hall of Fame umpire Billy Evans. In the late 1990s, this tradition was rekindled, with the establishment of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a minor league team based in neighboring Niles, Ohio.

Selected quote

Pelé in 2008
Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man.     
Pelé, interview with Sports Illustrated in 1999

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A Northwestern Wildcats women's lacrosse player in a game

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Game 7 of the 2011 World Series

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