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Sports And The Outdoors

All sports and the outdoors activities are human contrivances - invented by people as a way to meet their competitive desires. That's not bad, but we must call it the way it is.

Thus, you could make a sport out of just about anything. And you could dream up some sport that has no basis in human need or culture.

Mankind has been competitive from the beginning. A religious person might feel that it comes from the devil--wanting to be better than the other person. Whatever the motivations, sports and the outdoors activities were created to meet the competitive desires (some may say need) of human beings.

The first sports were created when people were forced to survive in an unfriendly world. Consequently, it soon became apparent that some people were better hunters and some were better fighters than others.

These survival needs and instincts at some point turned into competition - sports. History does not tell us when and where competitive sports became a desired activity outside of the need to survive in a cruel world.

Sports and the Outdoors
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But we read of competition in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Archeologists have found remnants of ancient games in other parts of the world as well.

Pure survival skill turned into sports and the outdoors activities. Such survival skills as running turned into foot races, such as long distance runs (marathons) and speed events such as the 100 yard dash. Hand-to-hand fighting turned into boxing and wrestling.

Once weapons were introduced as survival instruments, new sports were created. Spears used to bag game for food turned into the javelin throw. Tossing an axe, also for food, turned into a sporting competition.

Once more sophisticated weapons were introduced, these weapons became instruments of sporting competition. The bow and arrow was introduced as a weapon of war. It became a major tool of competition on its own outside of the need to wage war or to provide food.

The introduction of guns spawned a number of sports. Rifle and shotgun shooting continues to be a major source of competition. Trap and skeet are used to shoot clay pigeons in competition. Target shooting enjoys a popular following in several types of shooting competition.

Many sports have been created with no origin in survival skills. Once human kind introduced the use of a ball (or something similar like a hockey puck), sports become much more of a contrivance than ever before.

Perhaps the simplest of all ball sports is soccer (or football as it's known in most of the world outside the United States). Players on teams try to kick the ball into a netted goal.

Other sports have evolved from the introduction of a ball. The game of rugby uses a ball which is shaped differently from a round ball. Plus, the introduction of tackling complicated the sport from its parent, soccer.

Evolving from soccer or football came the more complicated game of American football. Perhaps the most complicated sport on the planet, football incorporates the use of an off-shaped ball similar to a rugby ball. In fact, the first football games were really rugby games.

Some sports have strayed far from the original competition for survival skills. Basketball, for example, uses a round ball that is thrown through a hoop. When moving with the ball, the player must dribble the ball. Certainly, this is a contrived skill in a contrived sport.

Golf is another sport that has been contrived for man's enjoyment, but little involved in survival. Hitting a small round ball with a club is the invention of people with lots of leisure time to spare.

Now there's nothing wrong with sports as contrivances of man. They do take care of our apparently deep-seated need for competition.


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