Sports are usually governed either by some kind of ritual, or by a strict code or regulations, that ensure fair play and prevent unfair competition. In most organised sports, records of past performances are often maintained, and for less popular sports, this data can be widely disclosed or announced in sports news. The rules governing different sports may differ considerably, with some sports being governed entirely by the sport itself, such as fencing, table tennis and golf, while others are governed by individual sports such as football, ice hockey and swimming.
Sports are generally recognised as contact or sports, where the participants use their bodies in some way. Contact sports include boxing, rugby, cricket, softball and football. Referees use a yellow flag system to determine whether a player is out of position, out of action or if they are touching the ball. The sport is generally regarded as a game of skill, where each person tries to hit the ball using their particular body part or limb. A popular type of sport is table tennis, where the ball is retrieved from a table using either a serve or backhand.
Each major sport has a sub-section within the wider discipline called a sport’s governing body. This is where the rules are specified and enforced, as well as the main competitions and where awards are made for winning games. This is the main article in a sports article, but there are many other articles and details of particular sports which should be read and taken into account. For example, a separate piece of information for a tennis tournament will state when and how the final would be played out. Similarly, for a swimming competition, the rules for the heats are laid down and the method of scoring is specified.
There are also many non-traditional sports activities, such as children’s sport which are not covered by the wider sporting arena because it does not require athletic ability, strength or agility. However, there are sports which are based on more physical skills, but which have developed their own set of associated jargon, terms and rules. The main article for this type of sports is about non-physical participation.
Non-traditional sports can also incorporate contact sports which involve more than just two people. For example, fencing has become a hugely popular contact sport, especially in countries with a strong military presence or in professional sport wrestling. There are many different fencing competitions including world and Olympic qualification events. The governing bodies of Association football and the Welsh Assembly both have designated a protocol for the wearing of protective clothing, equipment and relevant rules for matches. There are also governing bodies for lacrosse and netball among many others.
Finally, in some sports it may be necessary to have additional equipment or a degree of physical activity to participate. One of the biggest areas of growth in sports reporting is that of equipment. There is an enormous range of equipment available, for both the participant and the viewing audience. This has resulted in increased competitiveness between teams, making for a very exciting sport to watch.