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

A fight during a hockey match
Fighting in ice hockey is an established tradition of the sport in North America, with a long history involving many levels of amateur and professional play and including some notable individual fights. Although a definite target of criticism, it is a considerable draw for the sport, and some fans attend games primarily to see fights. Fighting is usually performed by one or more enforcers, or "goons"—players whose role it is to fight and intimidate—on a given team and is governed by a complex system of unwritten rules that players, coaches, officials, and the media refer to as "the code". Some fights are spontaneous, while others are premeditated by the participants. While officials tolerate fighting during hockey games, they impose a variety of penalties on players who engage in fights. Unique among North American professional team sports, the National Hockey League (NHL) and most minor professional leagues in North America do not eject players outright for fighting but major European and collegiate hockey leagues do, and multi-game suspensions may be added on top of the ejection. Therefore, the vast majority of fights occur in the NHL and other North American professional leagues.

Physical play in hockey, consisting of allowed techniques such as checking and prohibited techniques such as elbowing, high-sticking, and cross-checking, is inextricably linked to fighting. Those who defend fighting in hockey say that it helps deter other types of rough play, allows teams to protect their star players, and creates a sense of solidarity among teammates. The debate over allowing fighting in ice hockey games is ongoing. Despite its potentially negative consequences, such as heavier enforcers (or "heavyweights") knocking each other out, some administrators are not considering eliminating fighting from the game, as some players consider it essential. Additionally, the majority of fans oppose eliminating fights from professional hockey games. However, considerable opposition to fighting exists and efforts to eliminate it continue.

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

Phelps in 2009
Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is a retired American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (18, double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13). In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.

Phelps is the long course world recordholder in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley as well as the former long course world recordholder in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. He has won a total of 71 medals in major international long-course competition, 57 gold, 11 silver, and three bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Phelps's international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award seven times and American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year award. On April 9, 2009, Phelps was invited to appear before the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate, to be honored for his Olympic accomplishments.

After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Selected team

West Virginia Mountaineers football's inaugural 1891 team
The West Virginia Mountaineers football team represents West Virginia University (also referred to as "WVU" or "West Virginia") in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of college football. West Virginia plays its home games on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers compete in the Big 12 Conference.

With a 708–463–45 record, West Virginia has the 14th most victories among NCAA FBS programs, as well as the most victories among those programs that never claimed nor won a National Championship. West Virginia was originally classified as a College Division school in the 1937 season, becoming a University Division school from 1939–72. WVU received Division I classification in 1973, becoming a Division I-A program from 1978–2006 and an FBS program from 2006 to the present. The Mountaineers have registered 79 winning seasons in their history, with 35 of those seasons resulting in eight victories or more, 17 seasons resulting in at least nine wins, and eight seasons with ten victories or more. Of those successful campaigns, West Virginia has produced one unbeaten season in its history, going 10–0–1 in 1922, as well as five 11-win seasons (1988, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007). The Mountaineers have won a total of 15 conference championships in their history, including eight Southern Conference titles and seven Big East Conference titles.

From 2002–2011, the Mountaineer football program yielded its most prolific era to date, producing a 95–33 record. During that span the Mountaineers participated in ten bowl games, finished ranked in at least one of the AP or Coaches Polls on seven occasions, won six Big East Conference titles, and produced three BCS bowl game victories. As of the 2012 season, West Virginia was one of only three FBS programs to have won at least nine games in each of the past seven seasons, and its 95 victories between 2002–2011 rank 8th amongst FBS programs.

Selected quote

Muhammad Ali in 1967
Champions aren't made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.     

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The All Blacks performing a Haka in front of the French team

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Opening ceremonies of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics

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