Origins of Modern Sports

Sports have been a part of every society since time immemorial, but every civilization has its own unique definition of sports. The clearest defining definition is those that describe the association of sports with games, competition, and physical activities. Sports can be broadly divided into two major categories; competitive and non-competitive. Competitative refers to the conditions under which the outcome of sporting activity is uncertain, while non-competitive involves the predictability of sporting events. Thus, the term sportsmanship denoted the willingness of athletes to engage in athletic competition, while the term bouting refers to the fighting spirit exhibited by competitors.


In contrast to the popular belief that modern sports developed as a result of competitive sports like track meets and wrestling matches, there are numerous other theories that support the idea that the birth of modern sports can be traced to earlier forms of human play. One such idea is the existence of organized game competitions among certain groups of people in the Andes Mountains during the 15th century. Another theory maintains that physical education was introduced to the world of sports during the Middle Ages. Sports developed because of the need for a physical activity to help humans develop their bodies and minds.

The development of modern sports has been gradual throughout history. The Renaissance Period and the beginnings of the Counter-Reformation Period witnessed a period of increased interest in and demand for sports, including polo, cricket, wrestling, and golf. The popularity of these sports during this time contributed to the concept of organized sports. The first modern sport to take shape during the renaissance was cricket, which was first played between teams rather than individual players. However, the growth of the railways and the need for things to move faster led to the development of golf and soccer.