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, January 18, 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
Figure skating, sport in which ice skaters, singly or in pairs, perform freestyle movements of jumps, spins, lifts, and footwork...
Encyclopedia / Sports & Recreation
Sports & Recreation Quizzes
Extreme Sports Quiz
Known for their adrenaline-pumping thrills, extreme sports are a wild ride. This quiz will take you on an adventure.
Figure Skating Quiz
The first account of figure skating was published in the 1770s. How much do you know about this sport’s long history? Or,...
Water Sports Quiz
Whether you’re swimming, surfing, kayaking, or enjoying other water sports, take our quiz and learn interesting facts about...
Quick Quiz: Billiards
There are more countries credited with inventing the games collectively known as billiards than there are questions in this...
Round 1: Olympic History Quiz
When was the first Olympic Village built? Which gold medalist ran the marathon barefoot? Compete to test your knowledge of...
Round 2: Olympic History Quiz
When did women first compete in the Olympics? How long is an Olympic marathon? Go for gold in this quiz on the history of...
The only major sport invented in the United States, basketball has become a global phenomenon. Dribble through history with...
Classic Cricket Quiz
Which player begins a game of cricket? What was the name of first women’s cricket club in England? Make sure your bat and...
Best of Baseball Quiz
What team took bribes to lose the 1919 World Series? Who holds the Major League Baseball record for most home runs in a single...
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.