Sports have become a part of our social and cultural life. They are a means of recreation, medium for proper development of personality and a source of social organisation and sometimes for proper understanding between different groups and countries. Sports include games also. In fact the term ‘sports’ includes all sorts of games such as hockey, football, kabaddi and even hunting. Formerly sports and games were not given any important place in social and cultural life. The saying went those who play, spoil themselves’ but now the theory has been reversed. It is said that all work and no play makes John a dull boy. This saying only proves that games and sports are essential for healthy development of body and mind.
Sports and its kinds
Sports may be classified under various heads and categories. As already stated, hockey, football, cricket, tennis, carom, chess, swimming, etc. are all sports. Generally from the point of view of playing, they are categorized as: (a) Indoor games and sports, (b) Outdoor games and sports.
Those games and sports that are played under roof and within the doors, are called indoor games. Cards, chess, carom, ludo, etc. are considered to be indoor games. Games field and outside the doors are called outdoor games. Hockey, are played on the cricket, football, tennis, etc., are generally classed as outdoor games.
Sports and games may also be classified as sole and team sports. Those sports and games that are played by individuals as solitary human beings, are called sole games. For example, swimming or hunting may be played by one individual. On the other hand, kabaddi, football and hockey cannot be played without team work. In such games and sports, several individuals combine together in order to play that game or sports successfully and nicely.
Importance of sports in life
Usually, in every sport or game, some arrangement has to be made. Some material has to be collected for making arrangements for playing a particular game. For example if chess has to be played, the chess board has to be laid and the pieces are arranged properly. On the other hand, if football is to be played the field has to be properly delineated, goal post and not tied and football arranged. Certain other arrangements such as that of the referee, linemen etc. have also to be made so that the teams can play the game in a fair and just manner and also according to rules.
There are a set of rules and regulations according to which different sports and games have to be played. These rules and regulations are necessary to enable people to play these games for the sake of playing. Sportsman spirit has become a popular phrase in our social life which only indicates that people have to do these things in a proper and just manner. They have not to inferior means. This term that has been borrowed from the field of sports, has become an important phrase of our life.
Advantages of sports and games
Sports and games play a vital role not only in our physical life but also in our social, cultural and economic life. They bring with them many advantages. These advantages are numerous. Some of them are described below;
- Proper physical development -Sports and games provide an opportunity for physical exercise which is essential for proper physical development. It is a well-known saying that a sound body keeps a sound mind. It only means that if a person has a properly developed physique, he or she is bound to have a properly developed mind. Balanced personality is nothing but a balanced and developed combination of body and mind. Games and sports provide an opportunity for the same.
- Means of recreation –Sports and games are an important source of recreation. Recreation is an important requirement of our physical and psychological life. Recreation refreshes the tired body and mind as a result it invigorates us and provides us with energy further work. Those who have to lead a sedentary life and have to do a lot of mental labour, must take part in such sports and games that can provide them with physical exercises. Unless it is done, too much of mental work is bound to have an adverse effect on the physical personality and create several disorders. Recreation may be of various kinds. Some of the means of re creation cannot be called very healthy. They do provide recreation but also effect the body or the mind adversely. Sports and games are free from these defects. They are a healthy means of recreation.
- Proper development of personality-Through sports and games, as already stated, proper development of the personality takes place. Sports and games provide satisfaction to several psychological and social needs. In sports and games, people come in contact with others and this satisfies their social urge. With the satisfaction of the social urges, balanced development of personality take place.
- Means for proper social adjustment and social understanding In the field of games and sports, different types of individuals some times people belonging to different countries, come in contact with one another. This coming together or get together is helpful in social understanding. It also helps in social organisation.
- Helpful in international understanding Sports and games are also helpful in the field of international understanding. We often hear about the tours of foreign sport teams to India and that of Indian teams to foreign countries. This is done in the interest of proper international understanding and strengthening the cause of peace.
- Developments of sportsman’s spirit-Development of sports man’s spirit is very health and helpful for balanced like and balanced social behaviour. Unless we take things like a game, we are bound to become choleric and irritable. Through games and sports, sportsman’s spirit is developed and this is very helpful for proper, social organisation.
Disadvantages of sports
Sports and games are not always advantageous to human and social life. Sometimes they are also responsible for several disadvantages to physical and social life. Some of the disadvantages that are likely to be caused by games and sports are enumerated below.
- Injury to body-While playing games and specially outdoor games, it is quite possible that the body may be injured. Many sportsmen have been permanently disabled, making it impossible for them to lead a normal life.
- Spoiling of social relations-Sometimes in sports, the two teams or groups of people or individuals that are playing quarrel over petty issues. These quarrels cause permanent schism in social and personal relations. Thus sports, instead of creating good social relations cause bad social relations.
- Misunderstanding and psychological problems-Sports and games are sometimes responsible for creation of various psychological problems and bad social relations. It has been usually seen and particularly in the international field that politics plays its part in games and sports also. This cause several psychological complications and also spoils the relations of the countries whose teams are involved in fray.
Sports are a part of our physical and social life. They must be given due place and due importance. They should be played in the real sportsman’s spirit. They should not be allowed to be agencies of politics and spoil the normal and social relations. Sports and games should be used as means of proper physical and psychological development of human body and mind and as agencies of social understanding and international goodwill.