Portal:Sports

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The Sports Portal

A collection of balls used in various sports

Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of competitive physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants. Hundreds of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.

Sport is generally recognized as activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organizations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognizes both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognizes five non-physical sports, although limits the amount of mind games which can be admitted as sports.

Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first, or by the determination of judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression.

In organized sport, records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sport news. In addition, sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sports drawing large crowds to venues, and reaching wider audiences through sports broadcasting.

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Selected article

The baseball diamond at Wrigley Field, Chicago
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a diamond.Each section of the diamond is 90 feet long. Players on the batting team take turns hitting against the pitcher of the fielding team, which tries to stop them from scoring runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the batting team can stop at any of the bases and later advance via a teammate's hit or other means. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team records three outs. One turn at bat for each team constitutes an inning and nine innings make up a professional game. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.

Evolving from older bat-and-ball games, an early form of baseball was being played in England by the mid-eighteenth century. This game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late nineteenth century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is now popular in North America, parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean, and parts of East Asia.

In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. Five teams make the playoffs from each league: the three regular season division winners, plus two wild card teams. Baseball is the leading team sport in both Japan and Cuba, and the top level of play is similarly split between two leagues: Japan's Central League and Pacific League; Cuba's West League and East League. In the National and Central leagues, the pitcher is required to bat, per the traditional rules. In the American, Pacific, and both Cuban leagues, there is a tenth player, a designated hitter, who bats for the pitcher. Each top-level team has a farm system of one or more minor league teams.

Selected picture

Shea Smith-edit1.jpg
Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan; edited by jjron

College football quarterback Shea Smith about to attempt a pass in the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl

Selected athlete

Nurmi at the 1920 Summer Olympics
Paavo Johannes Nurmi (13 June 1897 – 2 October 1973) was a Finnish middle and long distance runner. He was nicknamed as the "Flying Finn" as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. Nurmi set 22 official world records at distances between 1,500 metres and 20 kilometres, and won a total of nine gold and three silver medals in his twelve events in the Olympic Games. At his peak, Nurmi was undefeated at distances from 800 m upwards for 121 races. Throughout his 14-year career, he remained unbeaten in cross country events and the 10,000 m.

In the 1920 Summer Olympics Nurmi took the silver medal in the 5,000 m and the gold in the 10,000 m and the cross country events. In 1923, Nurmi became the first, and so far only, runner to hold the mile, the 5,000 m and the 10,000 m world records at the same time. He went on to set new world records for the 1,500 m and the 5,000 m with just an hour between the races, and take gold medals in the distances in less than two hours at the 1924 Olympics. Nurmi won all his races and returned home with five gold medals, but embittered, as Finnish officials had refused to enter him for the 10,000 m. At the 1928 Summer Olympics, Nurmi recaptured the 10,000 m title but was beaten to the gold in the 5,000 m and the 3,000 m steeplechase. He then turned his attention to longer distances, breaking the world records for events such as the one hour run and the 25-mile marathon. Nurmi intended to end his career on a marathon gold medal. In a controversial case that strained Finland–Sweden relations and sparked an inter-IAAF battle, Nurmi was suspended before the 1932 Games by an IAAF council that questioned his amateur status. Although he was never declared a professional, Nurmi's suspension became definite in 1934 and he retired from running.

Nurmi, who rarely ran without a stopwatch in his hand, has been credited for introducing the "even pace" strategy and analytic approach to running, and for making running a major international sport.

Selected team

Members of the Calgary Flames celebrating in a 1978 game
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers (1921–27) and Calgary Cowboys (1975–77). The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta, the other being the Edmonton Oilers. The cities' proximity has led to a famous rivalry known as the Battle of Alberta. Games between the teams are often heated events.

The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980. The Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome (originally known as the Olympic Saddledome), in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988–89, the Flames won their first and only championship. The Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, and in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.

The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the league's top regular season team, and have claimed five division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played, goals, and points, and is a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Selected quote

1919 painting of George Harris
That cricket is going to stay in India there cannot be a shadow of a doubt; it has taken hold all over the country, and chokras can be seen playing in every village with any sort of old bat and ball that they can lay hands on. I should hope that it will do something to get over any racial antipathy; for instance, it must, I think, bring the several races together more and more, in a spirit of harmony that should be the spirit in which cricket is played. Unquestionably, it arouses excitement and enthusiasm, and extreme ambition that one's own side should succeed, but it also ought to lead to friendliness, and that is what is needed in India. East will always be East, and West, West, but the crease is not a very broad line of demarcation – so narrow, indeed, that it ought to help bring about friendly relations.     

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Jannik Blair in 2012

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2011 Ladies singles champion Petra Kvitova  with the Rosewater Dish trophy

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