Is Sport Unfriendly?

Any definition of sport can be controversial. In practical terms however, sport is operationally defined by its most definitive social interpretation and its profound association with competitive, physical activity and performance goals. Sports are organized competitions involving people engaged in a series of exchanges that take place on a particular day, season, or even year. This definition excludes games such as rugby or American football which do not involve any competition or contest of level of skill or ability. A game of chess however, is a game of skill, and a sport when played competitively involves a set of predetermined tactics and routines that are designed to determine who will win by taking the most number of points at the end of the game.

The association between skill and sport therefore has different aspects. While some argue that sport involves no direct relationship between skill and level of achievement because it only relies on the innate aptitude for the game, others argue that a certain level of skill is necessary to engage in a certain form of sport. The logic behind this is that skill is inherent in humans, and that it cannot be denied that some people have better skill than others. The logic also follows that if people have skill, they can therefore participate in sports and this gives them an edge in the eyes of other competitors who also have skills but may lack in physical power. This is why there is no consensus on whether skill is inherent in humans, and the debate over whether skill can exist in people who are not born with it rages on.

The verdict therefore on sport and its relation to human competition remains inconclusive, and the relationship between sport and physical competition will remain a subject for research. Nevertheless, sport certainly has an effect on attitudes towards competition in society in general, and this is reflected in public attitudes towards sports, and the attitude taken by sports teams and players towards competition. In a study on the attitude of professional athletes towards the idea of competition or a prize, it was found that most did not believe that winning was necessarily a good thing. Similarly, the attitude taken by players in professional games, and the attitudes of the fans, are unlikely to have changed much over the years, despite the fact that modern technology has made the whole sporting activity much easier and less expensive, and therefore able to attract more people.

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