Sports are physical contests that are played with a competitive spirit. These events usually involve physical dexterity and athleticism, and are generally governed by rules and regulations. They are often popular forms of entertainment and provide a means of promoting physical health. There are hundreds of different types of sports, ranging from games played between single contestants to teams of hundreds. Some sports are played with two or more teams and are highly spectatorized, with spectators watching both teams and individuals competing.
Today, the relationship between sports and mass media has profoundly influenced both institutions. It has evolved over time as sports became popular in a variety of countries and developed new media and market conditions. This resulted in a growing number of paying spectators. In turn, commercial mass media increasingly viewed sports coverage as inexpensive content and a prime opportunity for advertisers to target specific audiences. At the same time, state and public media recognized sporting events as opportunities to reinforce national culture and patriotism.
While participation in sports may be popular, it may not be ideal for everyone. Many people find it difficult to continue playing a sport after high school, and others stop participating as they grow older. Others, however, remain a part of sports for the rest of their lives, and their primary identity does not necessarily lie in being an athlete.