While art focuses on a form’s aesthetic value, sports are concerned with play and the enjoyment of an activity for its own sake. Pierre de Coubertin and Grantland Rice famously declared that the purpose of sports is to have fun, not win. Moreover, sports are based on the principle that participants should play fair and without predetermined outcomes. Although participants can sometimes break rules to gain an advantage, they should do so only in accordance with the spirit of the game.

Various philosophers have reflected on the nature of sport and the role of exercise in the development of human societies. In Ancient Greece, Plato and Aristotle emphasized the role of sport in human flourishing and argued that the cultivation of physical strength is an essential part of an educated Greek’s mental development. Later, the medievals and Romans pondered the importance of sport in human life. They understood that sports are important tools for the preparation of warriors. Viril’s Aeneid devotes the fifth book to celebrating speed and strength, while highlighting the importance of fitness and preparing for war.

The founders of modern sport were skilled in drafting rules and applying arithmetic principles. These templates have endured into the marketplace and have led to the development of five distinct models of sport. These include territorial invasion, bat & ball, measurement, and adjudication. These five categories are combined to form various kinds of sports. Former British colonies soon adopted homegrown varieties of the five categories. They continue to evolve, but they do so slowly, allowing for an ever-growing list of new varieties.