Sports are a wide-range activity that can be practiced by individuals of all ages and abilities. In the past, most people only considered sports as contact sports; contact sports such as football (soccer), rugby, basketball and American football, but in modern society, sports can include more disciplines like gymnastics, fencing, hockey, tennis, track and field, swimming, sailing and many others. There are several different ways to play sports. One can play a sport by one’s own ability, or one can participate in organized sports leagues or competitions. Sports can either be played individually, or in teams where players compete with each other.
Sports in Renaissance Europe were characterized by physical contests, often involving wrestling, boxing and archery. Sports were almost mandatory for children, and while most games played for recreation, some were serious sports requiring tremendous physical strength. These sports were not limited to the Renaissance, as we know it today, as there were also organized athletic leagues throughout the European continent. The most common game in Renaissance Italy was tennis, while football and hockey were regularly played during courtship and religious ceremonies. One thing that did differ from one region to the next was the degree of physical exertion required from participants.
Today, sports are recognized as a common and safe activity, especially compared to more strenuous activities like hiking, mountain climbing or motorcycling. People of all ages from all over the world play sports to stay in shape, as well as to have fun. Modern technology has even allowed the sports activities to be recreated or even adapted for modern purposes. People even use sports equipment to stay in shape. For example, some people use elliptical trainers, treadmills and even free weights to build muscle mass.