From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- A plant or an animal, or part of a plant or animal, which has some peculiarity not usually seen in the species; an abnormal variety or growth. The term encompasses both mutants and organisms with non-genetic developmental abnormalities such as birth defects, see sport (botany).
A sport is commonly defined as an organized, competitive, and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play. It is governed by a set of rules or customs. In a sport the key factors are the physical capabilities and skills of the competitor when determining the outcome (winning or losing). The physical activity involves the movement of people, animals and/or a variety of objects such as balls and machines. In contrast, games such as card games and board games, though these could be called mind sports and some are recognized as Olympic sports, require only mental skills. Non-competitive activities such as jogging and rock-climbing, are usually classified as recreations.
Physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first often define the result of a sport. However, the degree of skill in some sports such as diving, dressage and figure skating is judged according to well-defined criteria. This is in contrast with other judged activities such as beauty pageants and body-building shows, where skill does not have to be shown and the criteria are not as well defined.
Accurate records are kept and updated for most sports at the highest levels, while failures and accomplishments are widely announced in sport news. Sports are most often played just for fun or for the simple fact that people need exercise to stay in good physical condition. However, professional sport is a major source of entertainment.
Although they do not always succeed, sports participants are expected to display good sportsmanship, and observe standards of conduct such as being respectful of opponents and officials, and congratulating the winner when losing.