Types of Sport

We explain what types of sports exist and how they are classified according to their participants, competitive logic and place where they are practiced.

types of sport
Each sport has its own rules and methods.

What are the types of sport?

Sport is a physical activity that is performed for pleasure or the entertainment it provides., that is, without productive purposes. Normally they are competitive type activities, which include a series of games or disciplines, each one endowed with its own rules and methods.

There are so many different sports in the world, practiced in entirely different ways and conditions, that a list of the types of sports that exist can be very long and very difficult to systematise. However, broadly speaking, a distinction can be made between:

  • Types of sports according to the number of players. In this classification, a distinction is made between individual sports, collective sports and team sports.
  • Types of sports according to competitive logic. In this classification, a distinction is made between net sports, combat sports, wall sports, precision sports, time and mark sports, attack or invasion sports, field and hit sports, driving sports and technical-combination sports.
  • Types of sports according to the place where they are practiced. In this classification, a distinction is made between water sports, court sports, air sports, winter sports, indoor sports and mountain sports.

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Individual, collective and group sports

types of collective sport
In group sports, multiple players participate without forming teams.

Depending on the number and disposition of the athletes in the sporting exercise, we can talk about:

  • individual sports. They are those that the player practices individually, without requiring the intervention of others. For example: athletics and artistic gymnastics.
  • collective sports. They are those that bring together different players who practice cooperatively, to beat the opposing team. For example: soccer, volleyball or baseball.
  • group sports. They are those that bring together a certain number of players in the same competition, but they do not form teams with each other. For example: boxing, marathon or cycling.

Sports according to their competitive logic

types of sport attack or invasion
In attack sports, a team of players must penetrate the other’s field.

Considering the internal logic of the sport, that is, the operation of its rules, we can distinguish between:

  • net sports. These are sports disciplines in which an obstacle or net that extends at different levels above the ground is involved; and commonly players must prevent the ball or shuttlecock from coming into contact with the net. For example: volleyball, tennis, table tennis and badminton.
  • combat sports. These are sports disciplines in which two or more competitors must physically face each other, and whoever defeats the other wins the competition. For example: boxing, sumo, judo and taekwondo.
  • wall sports. These are sports disciplines in which a wall is used to bounce a ball in turns. For example: fronton, squash and paddle.
  • precision sports. These are sports disciplines in which a fixed or mobile target must be hit, using various instruments or devices for it. This includes sports in which a ball is moved to hit a target or into a hole. For example: target shooting, archery, golf, bowling, darts and pool.
  • time and mark sports. These are sports disciplines in which you compete to register the shortest time, the greatest effort or the greatest distance in the performance of the same activity. Thus, the players compete to see who is the fastest, strongest, etc. For example: javelin throwing, weight lifting, 100-meter dash, cycling, and swimming.
  • Attack or invasion sports. These are sports disciplines in which a team of players must penetrate the other’s field, normally in control of a ball, in order to score a point in the other’s court; while the rival team must try to prevent it and take control of the ball for a counterattack. For example: soccer, basketball, rugby and hockey.
  • Field and hitting sports. These are sports disciplines in which a team must use sticks or bats to hit a ball and the rival must try to keep it under their control. They are usually sports that involve strength and speed. For example: baseball, cricket and softball.
  • driving sports. These are sports disciplines in which you compete at the wheel of a land, air or water vehicle. For example: motor racing, paragliding, windsurfing and sailing.
  • technical-combination sports. These are sports disciplines in which each competitor must comply with a series of movements or physical skills in an agile, coordinated and aesthetic manner, so that a jury can later evaluate and rate his performance. For example: figure skating, synchronized swimming, surfing and artistic gymnastics.
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Sports according to the place where they are practiced

types of mountain sports
Mountain sports are practiced on steep slopes or mountain ridges.

According to the place where their competitions are held, we can distinguish between the following types of sports:

  • court sports. They are those that are practiced within a specially delimited space, following exact measurements, which offers the ideal space for sports practice, such as stadiums, courts, tracks and other similar facilities. For example: soccer, basketball, paddle tennis, athletics and hockey.
  • Watersports. They are those that are practiced in the water or on the surface of the water, be it in the sea, a lake or a swimming pool. For example: windsurfing, surfing, sailing, kayaking and swimming.
  • Air sports. They are those that are practiced in the air or that a good part of their exercise involves flight. For example: paragliding and skydiving.
  • winter sports. They are those whose practice requires special climatic conditions in pronounced winter regions, since they involve snow and ice. For example: snowboarding, figure skating on ice and skiing.
  • indoor sports. They are those that are practiced indoors, either in multiple-use sites or in facilities conducive to it. For example: futsal, table tennis, fronton and chess.
  • Mountain Sports. They are those that are practiced on steep slopes or mountain ridges, or in artificial spaces that imitate them. For example: climbing, hiking, mountaineering and skiing.

Continue with: Physical Education

References

  • “Sport” on Wikipedia.
  • “El Deporte” at the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (Mexico).
  • “Different types of sport” at Universya Acadef.
  • “Sports” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.