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Portal:Sports

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Introduction

Sport in childhood. Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills.

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest (a match) is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

Sport is generally recognised as system of 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 organisations 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) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), Go and xiangqi, and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports.

Selected article

Program cover from the game between the Jets and Raiders
The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American football game played on November 17, 1968. The home team, the Oakland Raiders, defeated the New York Jets, 43–32. The game is remembered for its exciting finish, as Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to overcome a 32–29 New York lead. The Heidi Game obtained its name because the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) controversially broke away from the game with the Jets still winning to air the television film Heidi at 7 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone.

In the late 1960s, few professional football games took longer than two and a half hours to play, and the Jets–Raiders three-hour television time slot was thought to be adequate. A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter American Football League rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had ordered that Heidi must begin on time, but given the exciting game, they decided to postpone the start of the film and continue football coverage. As 7 p.m. approached, many members of the public called NBC to inquire about the schedule, to complain or opine, jamming NBC's switchboards. As NBC executives were trying to call the same switchboards to implement their decision, the change could not be communicated, and Heidi began as scheduled. The movie preempted the final moments of the game in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers who missed two Oakland touchdowns that turned the game around.

The Heidi Game led to a change in the way professional football is shown on network television; games are shown to their conclusion before evening programming begins. Special telephones were also installed, with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history.

Selected image

Leon Georget in 1909
Credit: Unknown; published by Bain News Service; restored by Jujutacular

Racing cyclist Léon Georget, known as The Father of the Bol d'Or, in 1909

Selected athlete

Otto Graham holding a football
Otto Everett Graham, Jr. (December 6, 1921December 17, 2003) was an American football quarterback who played for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and National Football League. Graham is regarded by critics as one of the most dominant players of his era, having taken the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955, winning seven of them. With Graham at quarterback, the Browns posted a record of 114 wins, 20 losses and four ties, including a 9–3 win–loss record in the playoffs. While most of Graham's statistical records have been surpassed in the modern era, he still holds the NFL record for career average yards gained per pass attempt, with nine. Long-time New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, a friend of Graham's, once called him "as great of a quarterback as there ever was."

Graham grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, the son of music teachers. He entered Northwestern University in 1940 on a basketball scholarship, but football soon became his main sport. After a brief stint in the military at the end of World War II, Graham played during the 1946 season for the National Basketball League's Rochester Royals, who won the league championship that year. Paul Brown, Cleveland's coach, signed Graham to play for the Browns, where he thrived. After he left football in 1955, Graham coached college teams in the College All-Star Game and became head football coach at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. After seven years at the academy, he spent three unsuccessful seasons as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Following his resignation, he returned to the Coast Guard Academy, where he served as athletic director until his retirement in 1984. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

Selected team

The All Blacks perform the Haka before a match
The New Zealand men's national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in what is regarded as its national sport. The team first competed in 1884 against Cumberland County, New South Wales, and played their first Test match in 1903, a victory over Australia.

The All Blacks are the Rugby World Cup champions, the leading points scorers of all time, and the only international rugby team with a winning record against every test nation they have ever played. The All Blacks have held the top ranking in the world for longer than all other countries combined, and in over 100 years only five test rugby nations have ever beaten New Zealand. The All Blacks have won The Rugby Championship a record eleven times (in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012) in the competition's 16-year history. The All Blacks have won over a record 75% of all rugby matches they have played since 1903 (which is amongst the highest in all International sport) and they were named the International Rugby Board (IRB) Team of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and a record fifth time in 2011. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; three of these are also inductees of the IRB Hall of Fame, and another player is a member of the IRB Hall.

The team's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By their 1905 tour New Zealand were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their All Black name dates from this time. New Zealand traditionally perform a haka (Māori challenge) before each match, traditionally the Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate.

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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Match between France and Tonga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup

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