Category Archives: Sport

Tips Gymnastic

Many gymnasts have been injured by colliding with and falling off of equipment, but lots of injuries occur during floor exercises too. Most injuries are relatively minor — with sprained ankles, wrist sprains, and foot injuries among the more common ones. Broken bones, ligament tears, and concussions are also hazards for gymnasts, as are lower-back problems, Achilles tendonitis, and other overuse problems. Gymnasts also might put pressure on themselves to stay thin, and poor diet and nutrition can make people weaker and more prone to injury.

What you will need in the way of protective equipment varies from event to event. Some of the more common items include:

  • Wrist straps, guards, and grips. These are used by male gymnasts on the still rings, high bar, and parallel bars and by female gymnasts on the uneven bars. They’re meant to improve a gymnast’s hold on the apparatus and decrease friction on the skin to keep hands from developing painful blisters. Most grips consist of a piece of leather attached to a wrist strap. Other options include wrapping the hands in sports tape or gauze. Gymnasts, especially beginners and youngsters, should use grips, tape, or gauze to protect their hands from blistering and tearing. Typically, the pros go bare handed to “toughen” their palms with calluses but it’s a painful process that can take months.
  • Footwear. What you wear (or don’t wear!) on your feet depends on the event, the performing surface, and your experience. If you wear shoes while competing in the vault, you might want to use ones with a reinforced toe to help absorb the pressure of landing. Some balance beam competitors prefer shoes with rubber soles to protect against slipping.
  • Spotting belts. You’ll want to use a safety belt whenever you are practicing a new trick or attempting difficult maneuvers. Generally, these belts hook into cables that are attached to the ceiling.

As with any athlete, gymnasts benefit from advance planning. Here are some things you should do:

  • Stay in good shape. Eating a healthy diet and staying in good physical shape — whether you’re competing or not — is particularly important for gymnasts. Almost all gymnastic maneuvers require strong muscles and excellent coordination, both of which are enhanced when you keep yourself fit. Staying in shape also will make you less susceptible to injuries.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before a practice or competition.You’ll be more at risk of injury if you try to perform a routine when you’re tired.
  • Warm up. Before you take the floor or get on any piece of gymnastics equipment, do jumping jacks or jog in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing. Then gently stretch your muscles and joints. Dynamic stretching, where you make slow, controlled movements to improve range of motion, is thought to be more effective than static stretching before a workout.
  • Know your own skill level. When you are first learning an event, start with simple maneuvers and learn them well before you move on to something more difficult. Trying to attempt something beyond your abilities is a good way to get hurt. Never attempt a maneuver in competition that you haven’t practiced before.
  • Progress on each piece of equipment incrementally. For instance, when attempting to learn the balance beam, start with a line on the floor and then a beam on the floor before moving up to a raised beam.

Swimming

Swimming is an individual or team sport that involves using arms and legs to move the body through water. Typically, the sport takes place in pools or in open-water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, swimmers also take part in relays. Swimming each stroke requires specific techniques, and in competition, there are specific regulations concerning the acceptable form for different strokes. There are also rules put in place to regulate what types of swimsuits are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

In competitive swimming, four major styles have been established. These have been relatively stable over the last 30–40 years with minor improvements. They are:

  • Butterfly
  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Freestyle

In competition, only one of these styles may be used except in the case of the individual medley, or IM, which consists of all four. In this latter event, swimmers swim equal distances of butterfly, then backstroke, breaststroke, and finally, freestyle. In Olympic competition, this event is swum in two distances – 200 and 400 meters. Some short course competitions also include the 100-yard or 100-meter IM – particularly, for younger swimmers (typically under 14 years) involved in club swimming, or masters swimming (over 18).

World Championship pools must be 50 metres (160 ft) (long course) long and 25 metres (82 ft) wide, with ten lanes labelled zero to nine (or one to ten in some pools; zero and nine (or one and ten) are usually left empty in semi-finals and finals); the lanes must be at least 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) wide. They will be equipped with starting blocks at both ends of the pool and most will have Automatic Officiating Equipment, including touch pads to record times and sensors to ensure the legality of relay take overs. The pool must have a minimum depth of two metres.

Swimwear

  • Swimsuit

A swim cap (a.k.a. cap) keeps the swimmer’s hair out of the way to reduce drag. Caps may be made of latex, silicone, spandex or lycra.

  • Swim cap

A swim cap (a.k.a. cap) keeps the swimmer’s hair out of the way to reduce drag. Caps may be made of latex, silicone, spandex or lycra.

  • Goggles

Goggles keep water and chlorine out of swimmers’ eyes. Goggles may be tinted to counteract glare at outdoor pools. Prescription goggles may be used by swimmers who wear corrective lenses.

  • Swim Fins

Rubber fins are used to help kick faster and build strength and technique, but are illegal in a race. They also improve technique by keeping the feet in the proper position while kicking.

  • Drag suit

Swimmers use drag suits in training to increase resistance. This allows a swimmer to be challenged even more when practicing. Drag suits are not used in competitive races.

  • Hand paddles

Swimmers use these plastic devices to build arm and shoulder strength and refine pulling technique. Hand paddles attach to the hand with rubber tubing or elastic material. They come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on swimmer preference or if a team has begun to taper.

  • Kickboard

A kickboard is a foam board that swimmers use to support the weight of the upper body while they focus on kicking; helps build leg muscles.

  • Pull buoy

Often used at the same time as hand paddles, pull buoys support swimmers’ legs (and prevents them from kicking) while they focus on pulling. Pull buoys are made of foam so they float in the water. Swimmers hold them in between the thighs. They can also be used as a kickboard to make kicking a little harder.

  • Ankle bands

Improving balance will minimize the need for this kick to provide an upward, instead of a forward vector, and in some cases completely corrects the kick. Using an ankle band will have the immediate effect of turning off your kick, which then forces you to make efforts to correct your balance. If you are successful in discovering these, then the ankle band has done part of its job.

  • Snorkel

A snorkel is a plastic device that helps swimmers breathe while swimming. This piece of equipment helps the swimmer practice keeping their head in one position, along with training them for the proper breathing technique of breathing in through the mouth and out the nose. This technique is the opposite of a common runner’s breathing pattern, which is in the nose and out the mouth.

  • Tempo trainer

a beeping clock attached to a swimmers cap or goggles helps them maintain a certain arm tempo or speed. As each beep is heard, their next stroke should be taken.

  • Zoomers

a type of rubber swimming fins, zoomers are cut off fins with the holes in the bottom. They help make the swimmer kick faster, but at the cost of working harder.

 

Golf

Golf is a club and ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not utilize a standardized playing area, and coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game. The game at the highest level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller, often 9 holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, and a putting green containing the actual hole or cup (4.25 inches in width). There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough (long grass), sand traps, and hazards (water, rocks, fescue) but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement. Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at all levels, but most especially at the elite level.

In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called golf etiquette. Etiquette guidelines cover matters such as safety, fairness, pace of play, and a player’s obligation to contribute to the care of the course. Though there are no penalties for breach of etiquette rules, players generally follow the rules of golf etiquette in an effort to improve everyone’s playing experience.

Penalties

Penalties are incurred in certain situations. They are counted towards a player’s score as if there were extra swing(s) at the ball. Strokes are added for rule infractions or for hitting one’s ball into an unplayable situation. A lost ball or a ball hit out of bounds result in a penalty of one stroke and distance (Rule 27–1). A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player’s equipment causes the ball to move or the removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to move (Rule 18–2). A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player’s ball results into a red or yellow staked hazard (Rule 26). If a golfer makes a stroke at the wrong ball (Rule 19–2) or hits a fellow golfer’s ball with a putt (Rule 19–5), the player incurs a two-stroke penalty. Most rule infractions lead to stroke penalties but also can lead to disqualification. Disqualification could be from cheating, signing for a lower score, or from rule infractions that lead to improper play.

Horseback Riding

Equestrianism, more often known as riding, horseback riding (American English) or horse riding (British English), refers to the skill of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport. Horses are trained and ridden for practical working purposes such as in police work or for controlling herd animals on a ranch. They are also used in competitive sports including, but not limited to, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, reining, show jumping, tent pegging, vaulting, polo, horse racing, driving, and rodeo. (See additional equestrian sports listed later in this article for more examples.) Some popular forms of competition are grouped together at horse shows, where horses perform in a wide variety of disciplines. Horses (and other equids such as mules and donkeys) are used for non-competitive recreational riding such as fox hunting, trail riding or hacking. There is public access to horse trails in almost every part of the world; many parks, ranches, and public stables offer both guided and independent riding. Horses are also used for therapeutic purposes, both in specialized paraequestrian competition as well as non-competitive riding to improve human health and emotional development. Horses are also driven in harness racing, at horse shows and in other types of exhibition, historical reenactment or ceremony, often pulling carriages. In some parts of the world, they are still used for practical purposes such as farming. Horses continue to be used in public service: in traditional ceremonies (parades, funerals), police and volunteer mounted patrols, and for mounted search and rescue. Riding halls enable the training of horse and rider in all weathers as well as indoor competition riding.

Humans appear to have long expressed a desire to know which horse (or horses) were the fastest, and horse racing has ancient roots. Gambling on horse races appears to go hand-in hand with racing and has a long history as well. Thoroughbreds have the pre-eminent reputation as a racing breed, but other breeds also race.

Types of horse racing

Under saddle:

  • Thoroughbred horse racing is the most popular form worldwide. In the UK, it is known as flat racing and is governed by the Jockey Clubin the United Kingdom. In the USA, horse racing is governed by The Jockey Club.
  • Steeplechasing involves racing on a track where the horses also jump over obstacles. It is most common in the UK, where it is also called National Hunt racing.
  • American Quarter Horse racing—races over distances of approximately a quarter-mile. Seen mostly in the United States, sanctioned by the American Quarter Horse Association.
  • Arabian horses, Akhal-Teke, Appaloosas, American Paint Horses and other light breeds are also raced worldwide.
  • Endurance riding, a sport in which the Arabian horse dominates at the top levels, has become very popular in the United States and in Europe. The Federation Equestre International (FEI) governs international races, and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) organizes the sport in North America. Endurance races take place over a given, measured distance and the horses have an even start. Races are usually 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km), over mountainous or other natural terrain, with scheduled stops to take the horses’ vital signs, check soundness, and verify that the horse is fit to continue. The first horse to finish and be confirmed by the veterinarian as fit to continue is the winner. Additional awards are usually given to the best-conditioned horses who finish in the top 10. Limited distance rides of about 25–20 miles (40–32 km) are offered to newcomers.
  • Ride and Tie (in North America, organized by Ride and Tie Association). Ride and Tie involves three equal partners: two humans and one horse. The humans alternately run and ride.

Show Jumping:

  • Show jumping is when a horse carries a rider over an obstacle also commonly known as a jump. There are usually multiple jumps in a show and if the horse hits the jump then they will get points deducted in a show.

In harness:

  • Both light and heavy breeds as well as ponies are raced in harness with a sulky or racing bike. The Standardbred dominates the sport in both trotting and pacing varieties.
  • The United States Trotting Association organizes harness racing in the United States.
  • Harness racing is also found throughout Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Cheerleader

Cheerleading ranges from chanting, to intense physical activity for sports team motivation, audience entertainment, or competition based upon organized routines. Competitive routines typically range anywhere from one to three minutes, and contain components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting. Cheerleading originated in the United States, and remains predominantly in America, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in all-star cheerleading. The global presentation of cheerleading was led by the 1997 broadcast of ESPN’s International cheerleading competition, and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring It On. Due in part to this recent exposure, there are now an estimated 100,000 participants scattered around the globe in Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Cheerleading carries the highest rate of catastrophic injuries in sports. The risks of cheerleading were highlighted when Kristi Yamaoka, a cheerleader for Southern Illinois University, suffered a fractured vertebra when she hit her head after falling from a human pyramid. She also suffered from a concussion, and a bruised lung. The fall occurred when Yamaoka lost her balance during a basketball game between Southern Illinois University and Bradley University at the Savvis Center in St. Louis on March 5, 2006. The fall gained “national attention”, because Yamaoka continued to perform from a stretcher as she was moved away from the game. Yamaoka has since made a full recovery.

Athletes involved

A flyer, 2 bases (usually, side and main base), and a backspot. Sometimes there may be a frontspot as well. A partner stunt will involve two athletes: one flyer and one base. A third athlete, a spotter, will be involved depending upon the skill level of the stunt executed and the rules and regulations for that skill. Every person in the group is important. The stunt will not be performed or practiced if one person is missing.

  • Flyer
  • Bases and Spotters
  • Main Base
  • Secondary Base
  • Back Spot
  • Front Spot
  • Additional Spot

Types of stunts

This stunt uses both bases, a backspot, and a flyer. Sometimes a front spot.

  • Prep

A stunt in which the flyer stands on two bases’ hands and is risen up to chin length height. The flyer may put her arms up into a high V. To enter into this skill, the bases should be apart no farther than the length of their flyer. They will then place their hands like an open book in front of them and dip together. The most common way that this is done is with the back spot to count, “One, two.” The bases dip together on the “two” count and push through the legs and arms afterwards. An extension prep is the same thing as a prep but now the bases’ and back spots arms are fully extended straight up. Keep in mind that for the flyer to be comfortable and stable in this stunt the bases should be spaced fairly close to together in order for the flyer’s legs to be shoulder with apart. An elevator is a cheerleading stunt where both the bases start in the same position as a normal prep, but they are bent down more with their hands open like a book touching the ground. The flyer then steps into the bases hands, and the flyer slowly starts rising into the air, hence the name “elevator.”

  • Cupie or an Awesome

The Cupie is almost identical to the full extension except that the flyer’s feet are together, in one hand of a single base or with one foot each in the hands of two bases. In a partner stunt the difference between a cupie and an awesome has to do with what the male is doing with his free hand. If the free hand is on the hip then it is a cupie, if the free hand is in a high V then it is an awesome.

  • Extension or Full

In an Extension,the flyer stands with each foot in the hands of a base while her arms are in an extended overhead position. The back can either hold the ankles of the flyer, or support the wrists of the bases depending on state rules. In a single-based stunt, the base will hold both of the flyer’s feet above his or her head, with their arms locked. The flyer must also be stable and confident in the air and also must lock their legs.

  • Split-lift or Teddy Sit

The flier is in a seated straddle with the two side bases holding one hand on her thigh and one on her ankle. The back base holds up her butt with her hands and holds most of the weight. This stunt is sometimes called a straddle sit. The flexibility of the flyer is tested in this stunt because the appearance and the impressiveness of this stunt depends on how far apart the bases can spread the flyer’s legs to create a better visual appearance. Along with that, flyer needs to keep their legs straight to help their bases and make sure their butt doesn’t sag to not put too much pressure on the back spot.

  • Thigh stand

A thigh stand is one of the simplest stunts. The bases kneel on one leg or are in a lunge position with their front knees bent in order to make it easier for the flyer to stand. The bases have their feet touching each other by the sides of their shoes. The back spot will hold the flyer at the waist. She will then jump onto the pocket of the bases’ thighs. The bases will then grasp their far hand on the toe of the flyer’s foot and the closet arm around their leg and keep it close to their bodies so the flyer is secure within the stunt.

  • Shoulder stand

In a shoulder stand, somebody stands on another person’s shoulders. The base grabs their calves or ankles. To get out of this stunt, the base must pop the flyer forward catching them by their hips and slowly lowering the top to the floor.

  • Shoulder sit

In a shoulder sit, the flyer sits on the base’s shoulders and wraps her feet around the base’s waist. There are many ways to enter into a shoulder sit, the most common is for the base to bend one knee while the flyer stands behind the base and places one foot on the base’s bent leg and puts their hands on the base’s shoulders to make it easier to pop into the stunt. Once the flyer and the base are ready, they both dip on the same count and the flyer will extend their arms and wrap their other leg that was on the ground around the base’s shoulder, the base will focus on getting the other leg secure on their shoulder. To exit out of this stunt, the base must hold the flyers hands while dipping and popping them off the base’s shoulders. The flyer will land on the floor behind the base.

  • Leapin’ Lora

The backspot is in a “rock” position, the flyer then jumps on the back of the backspot and bounces into the bases’ hands.

  • Steppers

The main base brings the flyers left foot to belly button level, then the side bass brings her right leg to half, then the main base lifts the foot to full, and the side base lifts the right foot to full. While doing this the back base is holding the flyers ankles and is helping each base pull up. This stunt looks like the flyer is climbing up stairs and is also called ‘Step Up’.

  • Liberty

This is when both bases have grip on one of the flyer’s feet. One bases has the normal open book grip and the other base has one hand placed under the foot in-between the other bases hands, the other hand is placed on top (also called hamburger grip). When the flyer goes up in the air, they are standing on one foot with the other foot bent placed by ones knee. This stunt is called a liberty because it is meant to look like lady liberty. The flyer must want to bring the free foot into the other knee so it looks more sophisticated and classy.

  • Tick-tock

In this stunt the flyer is on one leg on both of the bases hands and jumps from one leg to the other.

  • Show-n-go

The flyer is basically just up in the air for like a second and is brought back down.

Softball

Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois, United States as an indoor game. It was at various times called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground, softball, kitten ball, and because it was also played by women, ladies’ baseball. The name softball was given to the game in 1926, because the ball used to be soft. There are three types of softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on the age and league, must arch on its path to the batter, and there are 10 players on the field at once. In fastpitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, and bunting and stealing are permitted. Modifiedsoftball restricts the windmill windup of the pitcher, although the pitcher is allowed to throw as hard as possible with the restricted back swing. Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand—from 46 ft (14 m) for men or 43 ft (13.1 m) for women as compared with 60.5 ft (18.4 m) in baseball—and that seven innings instead of nine constitute a regulation game. Despite the name, the ball used in softball is not very soft. It is about 12 in (30.5 cm) in circumference (11 or 12 in for slow-pitch), which is 3 in (8 cm) larger than a baseball. Softball recreational leagues for children often use an 11-inch ball. The infield in softball is smaller than on an adult or high school baseball diamond but identical to that used by Little League Baseball; each base is 60 ft (18 m) from the next, as opposed to baseball’s 90 ft (27 m). In fast pitch softball the entire infield is sand, whereas the infield in baseball is grass except at the bases which are sand.

A softball game can last anywhere from 3 to 7 innings, or 1–2 hours depending on the league, rules, and type of softball; however 7 innings is the most common. In each inning, each team bats until three batters have been put out (see below). The teams take turns batting. Officially, which team bats first is decided by a coin toss, although a league may decide otherwise at its discretion. The most common rule is that the home team bats second. Batting second is also called “last at-bat”. Many softball players prefer to bat second because they feel they have more control in the last inning, since they have the last at-bat. In the event of a tie, extra innings are usually played until the tie is broken except in certain tournaments and championships. If the home team is leading and the road team has just finished its half of the seventh inning, the game ends because it is not necessary for the home team to bat again. In all forms of softball, the defensive team is the fielding team; the offensive team is at bat or batting and is trying to score runs.

Diving

Underwater diving, as a human activity, is the practice of descending below the water’s surface to interact with the environment. Immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure has physiological effects that limit the depths and duration possible in ambient pressurediving. Humans are not physiologically and anatomically well adapted to the environmental conditions of diving, and various equipment has been developed to extend the depth and duration of human dives, and allow different types of work to be done.

In ambient pressure diving, the diver is directly exposed to the pressure of the surrounding water. The ambient pressure diver may dive on breathhold, or use breathing apparatus for scuba diving or surface-supplied diving, and the saturation diving technique reduces the risk of decompression sickness after long-duration deep dives. Atmospheric diving suits may be used to isolate the diver from high ambient pressure, and although not always recognised as a mode of diving, crewed submersibles can extend depth range, while remotely controlled or robotic machines can reduce risk to humans.

The environment exposes the diver to a wide range of hazards, and though the risks are largely controlled by appropriate diving skills, training, types of equipment and breathing gases used depending on the mode, depth and purpose of diving, it remains a relatively dangerous activity. Diving activities are restricted to depths ranging from around 40 metres (130 ft) maximum for recreational scuba diving, to commercial saturation diving maximum around 530 metres (1,740 ft) and 610 metres (2,000 ft) wearing atmospheric suits. Diving is also restricted to conditions which are not excessively hazardous, though the level of risk acceptable can vary.

Recreational diving (sometimes called sport diving or subaquatics) is a popular leisure activity. Technical diving is a form of recreational diving under especially challenging conditions. Professional diving (commercial diving, diving for research purposes, or for financial gain) takes a range of diving activities to the underwater work site. Public safety diving is the underwater work done by law enforcement, fire rescue, and search & rescue/recovery dive teams. Military diving includes combat diving, clearance diving and ships husbandry. Underwater sports include competitive sports using free-diving, snorkeling or scuba techniques, or a combination. The term deep sea diving refers to underwater diving, usually with surface supplied equipment, and often refers specifically to the use of standard diving dress with the traditional copper helmet. Hard hat diving is any form of diving with a helmet, including the standard copper helmet, and other forms of free-flow and lightweight demand helmets. The history of breathhold diving goes back at least to classical times, and there is evidence of prehistoric hunting and gathering of seafoods that may have involved underwater swimming; however, technical advances allowing the provision of breathing gas to a diver underwater at ambient pressure are recent, and self-contained breathing systems developed at an accelerated rate following the Second World War.

Football

Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball with the foot to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football is understood to refer to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears. Various forms of football can be identified in history, often as popular peasant games. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools during the nineteenth century. The expanse of the British Empireallowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside of the directly controlled Empire. By the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, several of the various kinds of football grew to become some of the most popular team sports in the world.

Association football and Gaelic football tend to use kicking to move the ball around the pitch, with handling more limited. Body tackles are less central to the game, and players are freer to move around the field (offside laws are typically less strict).

Common rules among the sports include:

  • Two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.
  • A clearly defined area in which to play the game.
  • Scoring goals or points by moving the ball to an opposing team’s end of the field and either into a goal area, or over a line.
  • Goals or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts.
  • The goal or line being defended by the opposing team.
  • Players being required to move the ball—depending on the code—by kicking, carrying, or hand-passing the ball.
  • Players using only their body to move the ball.

In all codes, common skills include passing, tackling, evasion of tackles, catching and kicking. In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players offside, and players scoring a goal must put the ball either under or over a crossbar between the goalposts.

The word “football”, when used in reference to a specific game can mean any one of those described above. Because of this, much friendly controversy has occurred over the term football, primarily because it is used in different ways in different parts of the English-speaking world. Most often, the word “football” is used to refer to the code of football that is considered dominant within a particular region. So, effectively, what the word “football” means usually depends on where one says it.

Gym

A gym, short for gymnasium, is an open air or covered location for gymnastics, athletics, and gymnastic services. The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium. They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centers, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. “Gym” is also slang for “fitness center”, which is often an indoor facility. Gymnasia apparatus such as bar-bells, parallel bars, jumping board, running path, tennis-balls, cricket field, fencing area, and so forth are used as exercises. In safe weather, outdoor locations are the most conducive to health. Gyms were popular in ancient Greece. Their curricula included Gymnastica militaria or self-defense, gymnastica medica, or physical therapy to help the sick and injured, and gymnastica athletica for physical fitness and sports, from boxing to dance. These gymnasia also had teachers of wisdom and philosophy. Community gymnastic events were done as part of the celebrations during various village festivals. In ancient Greece there was a phrase of contempt, “He can neither swim nor write.” After a while, however, Olympic athletes began training in buildings just for them. Community sports never became as popular among ancient Romans as it had among the ancient Greeks. Gyms were used more as a preparation for military service or spectator sports. During the Roman Empire, the gymnastic art was forgotten. In the Dark Ages there were sword fighting tournaments and of chivalry; and after gunpowder was invented sword fighting began to be replaced by the sport of fencing. There were schools of dagger fighting and wrestling and boxing.

Fitness retains an important social aspect as gyms and fitness products are prevalent in advertising and media. Gyms are popular as a social setting to meet people with a common interest in physical self improvement. Small talk sometimes consist of routine suggestions, music selections, supplement comparisons and dieting. Additionally, gyms employees often circulate and engage with patrons on the same topics, and assist newcomers with suggestions. Gym staff are trained not only in fitness but in social interaction.

Facilities and services

  • Main workout area

Most health clubs have a main workout area, which primarily consists of free weights including dumbbells, barbells and exercise machines. This area often includes mirrors so that exercisers can monitor and maintain correct posture during their workout. A gym that predominantly or exclusively consists of free weights (dumbbells and barbells), as opposed to exercise machines, is sometimes referred to as a black-iron gym, after the traditional color of weight plates.

  • Cardio area/Theatre

A cardio theater or cardio area includes many types of cardiovascular training-related equipment such as rowing machines, stationary exercise bikes, elliptical trainers and treadmills. These areas often include a number of audio-visual displays (either integrated into the equipment or placed on walls around the area itself) in order to keep exercisers entertained during long cardio workout sessions.

  • Group exercise classes

Most newer health clubs offer group exercise classes that are conducted by certified fitness instructors. Many types of group exercise classes exist, but generally these include classes based on aerobics, cycling (spinning), boxing or martial arts, high intensity training, step, regular and hot (Bikram) yoga, pilates, muscle training, and self-defense classes such as Krav Maga and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Health clubs with swimming pools often offer aqua aerobics classes. The instructors often must gain certification in order to teach these classes and ensure participant safety.

  • Sports facilities

Some health clubs offer sports facilities such as a swimming pools, squash courts or boxing areas. In some cases, additional fees are charged for the use of these facilities.

  • Personal training

Most health clubs employ personal trainers who are accessible to members for training/fitness/nutrition/health advice and consultation. Personal trainers can devise a customized fitness routine, sometimes including a nutrition plan, to help clients achieve their goals. They can also monitor and train with members. More often than not, access to personal trainers involves an additional hourly fee.

  • Other services

Newer health clubs generally include health-shops, snack bars, restaurants, child-care facilities, member lounges and cafes. It is not unusual for a sauna, steam room, or swimming pool or wellness areas to be present. Health clubs generally charge a fee to allow visitors to use the equipment, courses, and other provided services. A fairly new trend is the advent of eco-friendly health clubs which incorporate principles of “green living” in its fitness regimen.

Athletics

Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking. The results of racing events are decided by finishing position (or time, where measured), while the jumps and throws are won by the athlete that achieves the highest or furthest measurement from a series of attempts. The simplicity of the competitions, and the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most commonly competed sports in the world. Athletics is mostly an individual brix sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athletes’ performances for a team score, such as cross country.

Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BCE. The rules and format of the modern events in athletics were defined in Western Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th century, and were then spread to other parts of the world. Most modern top level meetings are conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations. The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the IPC Athletics World Championships.

Athletics competitions can be broadly divided into three types: international championships, national championships, and annual meetings and races. Athletics at international championships, or Games, represent the pinnacle of competition within the sport, and they are contested between athletes representing their country or region. The organisation of these competitions is usually overseen by either a world, continental, or regional athletics governing body. Athletes gain entry into these competitions by earning selection from their national athletics governing body, which is generally done by assessing athletes via their past achievements or performances at a national selection event. National championships are annual competitions endorsed by a national governing body which serve the purpose of deciding the country’s best athlete in each event. Annual one-day meetings and races form the most basic level of competition and are the most common format of athletics contests. These events are often invitational and are organised by sports organisations, sports promoters, or other institutions.

The IAAF World Championships in Athletics is the primary global athletics championships held by IAAF. The biennial competition was first held in 1983 and now features an event programme which is identical to the Olympics. Thus, road running, racewalking and track and field are the sports which feature at the competition. Cross country running has its own discrete global championships – the IAAF World Cross Country Championships – which has been held annually since 1973. The IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics is a biennial athletics championships which features solely indoor track and field events. The foremost separate road running event is the annual IAAF World Half Marathon Championships (formerly World Road Running Championships). While not having official world championship status, the biennial IAAF World Race Walking Cupfulfils a similar role for the sport of racewalking. Outdoor track and field is the only sport in athletics that does not have a its own distinct global championship which is separate from other types of athletics, although the IAAF Continental Cup (a quadrennial competition between continental teams) is composed entirely of outdoor track and field events.

Other world championships include the IAAF World Junior and World Youth Championships in Athletics, which are for athletes under-19 and under-17, respectively. World Masters Athletics conducts the World Masters Athletics Championships for athletes in 5-year age divisions over the age of 35. The now defunct IAAF World Road Relay Championshipsserved as the global event for Ekiden marathon relay races. Elite athletes with a physical disability compete at the IPC Athletics World Championships (to be renamed the World Para Athletics Championships as of the next edition in 2017) and at the Commonwealth Games.