Sports facts for kids

Written by steve johnson
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Sports facts for kids
Facts about sports for kids (Cute little blond boy playing baseball. image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com)

A sport is any physical activity that has normally been turned into a game containing a certain set of rules. Aside from being fun to do for many people, sports provide a good way to spend time, be healthy and build friendships. There are many types of sports kids can get involved in and learning about different sports is one of the top ways to create interest and awareness among them.

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Basketball

Basketball is one of the most loved sports throughout the world. A basketball game consists of two teams trying to win by getting points for shooting the ball into the ring, or basket.

The game of basketball originated in 1891, invented by physician James Naismith. It gained popularity throughout the 20th century and now exists in the form of several professional leagues across the globe, as well as an Olympic sport. The top athletes in the sport play within the NBA, or National Basketball Association.

Each game is now played for a total of 48 official minutes divided up into 12-minute quarters. Including fouls, half-time and timeouts, games usually last from two and a half to three hours.

Each team has five players. A player on one team must get the ball past the players of the other team by either passing it to his teammates, dribbling it or trying to get it into the basket by shooting it. The team that gets the most points for shooting the ball into the opposing team’s basket wins.

Baseball

Baseball is another team sport but is played with a bat and a small ball. Each team has nine players, and they all get alternate turns "at bat.”

A member of the team who is at bat must hit the baseball pitched by a player from the opposing side and then run around the three bases in an attempt to get home without being tagged “out.” Players can stop at any of the bases if there is a threat of being tagged out. They must wait on the base until a teammate hits the ball and gives both of them an opportunity to advance further.

Baseball is thought to have its roots in England where some early predecessors were similar to the game we know today; however, baseball did not find its true calling until its popularity boom during the latter half of the 19th century in the United States. Baseball continued a steady popularity rise during the 20th century, staying strong during the turn of the millennium.

Swimming

Swimming is a very popular recreational activity and sport. Some types of swimming involve certain techniques while underwater, while others allow competing with other swimmers by finishing a course in the least amount of time. Swimming has many health benefits since it requires a tremendous amount of exercise.

Professional swimming dates back to England, where the first swim races were held as sport during the early 19th century. Within London, six artificial pools existed, as well as the National Swimming Society, which helped contribute to the sports popularity. Swimming ultimately found itself an Olympic sport in 1896, including men's 100-meter and 1500-meter freestyle competitions. Women's swimming later made its debut in the Olympics in 1912. Today, as of 2010, the Olympics has 32 different types of swimming races.

Skiing

Skiing involves the use of skis—long, flat planks strapped to the feet—while travelling over snow. Though it was originally a means of transportation, it is considered a sport and recreational activity today.

As a sport, it can require the competitors to race over a snowy course or trail, with the winner reaching the finish point first. Some competitions also involve exhibitions and “show techniques” to impress the judges, with the best skier winning the competition.

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