Definition of Sport

2 February 2017

The Council of Europe’s Sports Charter, adopted in 1992, used a more concise definition: Sport means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competitions at all levels. The main question is how to distinguish between active sport and more general leisure and recreational activities. Some activities such as football, gymnastics and tennis are clearly recognised as active sport. Going to the cinema, going out for a meal are other activities done in leisure time that are clearly non-sports.It is at the margin that the problem arises. Are darts and snooker sport or leisure activities? It could be argued that they are sports since television coverage occurs in sports programmes and newspaper coverage is in sports sections.

They are also competitive; however they involve little or no physical exertion, so they do not fill the criterion for physical activity. Rodgers (1977) suggested that four basic elements should ideally be present in a sport, and the first two should always be present. • Sport should: involve physical activity • Be practised for recreational purposes • Involve an element of competition • Have a framework of institutional organisationTo these you could add the criterion of general acceptance that an activity is of a sporting nature, e. g. by the media and sports agencies. References Rodgers B

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