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, March 07, 2021
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
Why Are Basketball Hoops 10 Feet High?
Athletes of all ages play organized basketball with hoops that are 10 feet off the ground. Why is that?
Demystified / Sports & Recreation
10 Queens of the Athletic Realm
Throwing like a girl can be a good thing, too.
List / Sports & Recreation
Chess, one of the oldest and most popular board games, played by two opponents on a checkered board with specially designed...
Encyclopedia / Sports & Recreation
Sports & Recreation Quizzes
The Olympics: Fact or Fiction?
Were women banned from the Olympics until 1936? Is 720 a perfect score in Olympic archery? Test your mental acumen, and see...
Lacrosse: Fact or Fiction?
How much do you know about lacrosse? From its origins to its rules, test your knowledge of this sport.
A Game of Tennis: Fact or Fiction?
You may be familiar with Serena Williams and Andre Agassi, but how much do you really know about tennis? From its gameplay...
Physical Education: Fact or Fiction?
Is the high jump a type of dance? In bicycling, does BMX stand for "backward motion, extra strong?" Sort through the facts...
Let’s Move: Fact or Fiction?
Is the length of a standard outdoor track 1 kilometer? Is there any competitive sport without rules? Sort through facts about...
Sports Culture: Fact or Fiction?
In football (soccer), can goalies always use their hands? From billiards to polo, use your head in this study of sports and...
Sports Authority: Fact or Fiction?
Did Ernie Banks play both shortstop and first base? Did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar invent the skyhook? From curling to kite fights,...
This or That?: American League vs. National League
Does your favorite team play for the AL or NL? Test your baseball league knowledge with this quiz.
Swords: Fact or Fiction?
Are all swords made of metal? What’s a "pommel"? Test your knowledge of swords with this quiz.
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.