Sports & Recreation

Physical contests and recreational games have long played a part in human society. In both team and solo sports, the human body has been pushed to its limits in the name of improving athletic performance and in order to break record upon record. The ancient Olympic Games are an early example of the contests in which humans have engaged to showcase physical prowess. In modern times, sports and games have evolved into a lucrative and competitive industry, while other leisure activities, such as card and video games, can be competitive or just serve as a way to unwind or socialize.
Browse Subcategories

Featured content, May 16, 2022

A ball swishes through the net at a basketball game in a professional arena.
Why Are Basketball Hoops 10 Feet High?
Athletes of all ages play organized basketball with hoops that are 10 feet off the ground. Why is that?
Demystified / Sports & Recreation
Doping in sport concept, olympic
Olympics: A Survey of Banned Substances
Learn about the major groups of substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List.
Companion / Sports & Recreation
Bolshoy Ice Dome during ice hockey Men's Prelim. Sochi 2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games
7 Ways Hosting the Olympics Impacts a City
How does hosting an Olympic Games change a city?
List / Sports & Recreation
Whitfeld sixCard editor of the London Field W.H. Whitfeld published this bridge problem in 1885. South is declarer and has the lead with hearts as trump. With a sophisticated finesse, South can win every trick. South begins by leading the ace of diamonds, which, depending on what the opponents discard, opens a possible finesse of North's jack of diamonds. Next, South passes the lead to North with a spade that North trumps. North then leads the last heart, and South discards the 10 of clubs. With the lead of the last trump and then the ace of clubs, the defenders are presented with an insurmountable dilemma. East must hold two diamonds or South takes the last two tricks in the suit by discarding a spade. However, in order to hold on to two diamonds, East must discard the jack of spades, which in turn would force West to hold the queen of spades. Since West also needs the queen of diamonds and the jack of clubs to avoid losing a trick, a discard from any of the three suits will allow South to win all of the remaining tricks by an appropriate discard.
bridge
bridge, card game derived from whist, through the earlier variants bridge whist and auction bridge. The essential features...
Encyclopedia / Sports & Recreation

Sports & Recreation Quizzes

Children kicking soccer ball  (football; sport)
“Football” Means “Soccer” in This Quiz
When did the English national team win the World Cup? Who was the first British football player to be knighted? See how many...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
"Siyavush Plays Polo before Afrasiyab" folio 180v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp by Abu'l Qasim Firdausi; painting attributed to Qasim ibn 'Ali, c. 1525-30 Tabriz, Iran. Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper.
Quick Quiz: The Facts About Polo
When the game was first invented, polo was played mostly by nobility—but you don’t have to be a royal to take this quick...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
The peloton, including Thomas Voeckler-Europcar, passing the Col de Val Lauron-Azet during the stage 9 of Le Tour de France on July 7,2013. (cycling, extreme sports)
Quick Quiz: All About Cycling
What stimulant did 19th-century cyclists start using to improve their performance? Who was the first non-European to win...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
St. Louis Blues defenseman Erik Johnson carries the puck up the ice during a recent game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Massachusetts; date unknown. (ice hockey)
Quick Quiz: On The Ice
We won’t give away the contents of this quick quiz just yet. Just be ready to get out on the ice, shoot a few pucks, and...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
Close-up of a roulette wheel with the ball on black number 17. (gambling, games of chance, gaming)
Quick Quiz: Card Games and Games of Chance
Where did the 52-card playing deck come from? What numbers can you roll to automatically win a certain dice game? Bet on...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
Chess pieces on game board.
Check and Checkmate Quiz
What is the standard design for chess sets used in competition? Who was the first woman to write a book about chess? See...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
Auto racing. Formula One. F1. FIA Formula One World Championship. A race car on the track at Nurburgring, a motorsports complex in Nurburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
All About Auto Racing Quiz
Who was the first Formula One champion? Who was the first driver to exceed 200 miles per hour? Speed through this quiz to...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
People in a gym in martial arts training exercising Taekwondo, the trainer has a black belt.
Quick Quiz: Martial Arts
Where did tae kwon do originate? Which martial art means “empty hand” in Japanese? Get your team—or just yourself—ready to...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
Green Tennis Ball on a tennis court
Game, Set, Tennis! Quiz
Game, set…tennis! Jump onto the court to test your knowledge of tennis players, tournaments, and history with this quiz.
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
Field of race horses at the clubhouse turn during the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville Kentucky May 5, 2007. Thoroughbred horse racing
All About Horse Racing Quiz
And they’re off! Will you win, place, or show? With this quiz, you can compete in all things horse racing without having...
Quiz / Sports & Recreation
Image Gallery
Sports & Recreation
Never Miss a Day in History
Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers delivered right to your inbox.

Sports & Recreation Subcategories

Tom Brady; Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football
Although baseball has traditionally been seen as America’s national pastime, gridiron football has made its own indelible impact on the American sports landscape. Decades of informal, student-organized collegiate games ultimately gave rise to a thriving college football scene and to the hugely popular professional version of the game. Despite early and continued concerns about the game’s violence, gridiron football eventually became the United States’ leading spectator sport, and it has achieved a degree of international popularity through television.
Articles
Suzuki, Ichiro Baseball
Although the United States can be credited with developing several popular sports that were adopted internationally, it is baseball that Americans have traditionally recognized as the “national pastime.” Baseball’s early history was interwoven with and reflective of major social and cultural cleavages, but the sport also proved to possess great unifying power, as the experience of playing, watching, and talking about baseball became one of the nation’s great common denominators. Additionally, we have baseball to thank (or point fingers at) for the continued status of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as one of the best-known songs among Americans.
Articles
Wilt Chamberlain Basketball
Basketball, game played between two teams of five players each on a rectangular court, usually indoors. Each team tries to score by tossing the ball through the opponent’s goal, an elevated horizontal hoop and net called a basket.
Articles
Sidney Crosby; Nicklas Lidstrom Hockey
Ice hockey, game between two teams, each usually having six players, who wear skates and compete on an ice rink. The object is to propel a vulcanized rubber disk, the puck, past a goal line and into a net guarded by a goaltender, or goalie. With its speed and its frequent physical contact, ice hockey has become one of the most popular of international sports.
Articles
Xavi Soccer
Football, also called association football or soccer, game in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their bodies except their hands and arms, try to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball and may do so only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores more goals wins.
Articles
Michael Phelps Olympic Sports
Olympic Games, athletic festival that originated in ancient Greece and was revived in the late 19th century. Before the 1970s the Games were officially limited to competitors with amateur status, but in the 1980s many events were opened to professional athletes. Currently, the Games are open to all, even the top professional athletes in basketball and football (soccer).
Articles
(Top) Obverse side of a silver denarius showing caduceus and bust of Mercury wearing winged petasos; (bottom) on the reverse side, Ulysses walking with staff and being greeted by his dog Argus, in a fine narrative illustration of Homer's Odyssey. The writing on the reverse gives the name of the moneyer under whose authority the coin was struck. Coins of this type, called serrati, were produced at the mint with cut edges to combat counterfeiting. Struck in the Roman Republic, 82 bc. Diameter 19 mm. Games, Hobbies & Recreational Activities
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Other Sports
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles