Sports & Recreation
Physical contests and recreational games have long played a part in human society. In both team and solo sports, the human body has been pushed to its limits in the name of improving athletic performance and to break record upon record. The ancient Olympic Games are an early example of the contests in which humans have engaged to showcase physical prowess. In modern times, sports and games have evolved into a lucrative and competitive industry, while other leisure activities, such as card and video games, can be competitive or can just be a way to unwind or socialize.
Featured content, July 16, 2020
What’s the Difference Between Rhythmic and Artistic Gymnastics?
It’s all about the technique—and the flair.
Demystified / Sports & Recreation
Olympics: A Survey of Banned Substances
Learn about the major groups of substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List.
Companion / Sports & Recreation
10 Queens of the Athletic Realm
Throwing like a girl can be a good thing, too.
List / Sports & Recreation
Ice hockey, game between two teams, each usually having six players, who wear skates and compete on an ice rink. The object...
Encyclopedia / Sports & Recreation
Sports & Recreation Quizzes
Sports: Fact or Fiction?
Score! This athletic assessment will challenge even the most sports-minded quiz takers. Try it--we’re cheering you on!
Are you game? Go beyond basketball, baseball, and football to see what you know about chukkas, arnis, and batsmen.
A Hole in One
From its country of origin to its various clubs and obstacles, take a swing at this quiz and learn more about the sport of...
You may know that billiards involves a long wooden stick, but how long must a billiard cue be? From flying arrows to bowling...
Cold Weather Games
What sport was the first to be made an event in the Winter Olympic Games? In what sport would one find a loppet? Take this...
Turn Up the Heat
What is the inner edge of an auto-racing track called? How long is the route of the Tour de France in kilometers? Whether...
All Things Football
Whether you prefer to use your hands or your feet, do not forget to use your head in this study of "football"—gridiron, soccer,...
Great American Pastime
From Mickey Mantle’s last game to the man nicknamed "the Iron Horse," step up to the plate and score a home run in this study...
Joe Namath. Joe Montana. You may be familiar with these quarterbacks, but do you know who was the first president of the...
Sports & Recreation Videos
Sports & Recreation
Sports & Recreation Subcategories
Although baseball has traditionally been seen as America’s national pastime, gridiron football has made its own indelible impact on the American sports landscape. Decades of informal, student-organized collegiate games ultimately gave rise to a thriving college football scene and to the hugely popular professional version of the game. Despite early and continued concerns about the game’s violence, gridiron football eventually became the United States’ leading spectator sport, and it has achieved a degree of international popularity through television.
Although the United States can be credited with developing several popular sports that were adopted internationally, it is baseball that Americans have traditionally recognized as the “national pastime.” Baseball’s early history was interwoven with and reflective of major social and cultural cleavages, but the sport also proved to possess great unifying power, as the experience of playing, watching, and talking about baseball became one of the nation’s great common denominators. Additionally, we have baseball to thank (or point fingers at) for the continued status of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as one of the best-known songs among Americans.
Basketball, game played between two teams of five players each on a rectangular court, usually indoors. Each team tries to score by tossing the ball through the opponent’s goal, an elevated horizontal hoop and net called a basket.
Ice hockey, game between two teams, each usually having six players, who wear skates and compete on an ice rink. The object is to propel a vulcanized rubber disk, the puck, past a goal line and into a net guarded by a goaltender, or goalie. With its speed and its frequent physical contact, ice hockey has become one of the most popular of international sports.
Football, also called association football or soccer, game in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their bodies except their hands and arms, try to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball and may do so only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores more goals wins.
Olympic Games, athletic festival that originated in ancient Greece and was revived in the late 19th century. Before the 1970s the Games were officially limited to competitors with amateur status, but in the 1980s many events were opened to professional athletes. Currently, the Games are open to all, even the top professional athletes in basketball and football (soccer).
Games, Hobbies & Recreational Activities
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.