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A full-contact game played between two teams of eleven players in protective kit. The safe and inclusive, non-contact version between teams of five players is called ‘Flag Football’.
The ancient art of archery is an individual or team sport traditionally played by shooting arrows at a point-based target. There are almost 150 archery governing bodies across the world, the largest of which are in Europe and Asia.
Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common type of athletics competition is track and field, but also includes road running and cross country events.
A racquet sport played by hitting a shuttlecock across a net, either in a ‘singles’ match between two players, or as a ‘doubles’ match between two pairs. The game has become very popular in Asia and is often dominated by Chinese athletes.
A non-contact sport played on a rectangular court. Opposing teams of five players attempt to score points by shooting a ball into a hoop at the end of the court they are attacking. The sport has been dominated by the United States since its inception.
A precision ball sport similar to bowls or curling; Boccia was designed for players with cerebral palsy but also welcomes any athletes with severe disabilities which affect their motor skills. There are around 350 ranked players around the world.
A combat sport fought by two combatants wearing gloves. The amateur version of the sport, as seen in the Olympic Games, also involves athletes wearing protective headgear. The concept of ‘prize-fighting’ originated in Great Britain and the United States.
A water based sport which involves paddling with a single-bladed paddle. A canoe bears some resemblance to a kayak, but there are several differences between the two sports, with kayaking involving two blades and a different technique.
A bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a circular cricket field outlined by a boundary rope. At the centre of this is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch with a wicket – a set of three wooden stumps – at each end.
Sport cycling involves the racing of bicycles – either on a track or on outdoor terrain, with different variations suiting different styles of racer. Some racers will also compete over a multitude of different formats – known as an omnium.
Dance comes in many different styles and formats and can be enjoyed as a sport, physical activity or performing art.
A team game. Players must dodge or catch balls thrown by the opposition whilst attempting to strike their opponents in the same way. The game has rapidly grown in popularity over the last decade, particularly amongst schools.
Denotes horse riding, including as a competitive sport, as seen in various formats across the Olympic and Paralympic Games – such as dressage, jumping and eventing. Equestrian is also part of the modern pentathlon, first contested in 1912.
A combat sport in which two competitors fight using rapier-style swords, using either the foil, the epee, or the sabre. Based on traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport was born at the end of the 19th century in Western Europe.
The national sport is an invasion game, traditionally played between two teams of eleven players, but can also be played in other formats such as 5v5, 7v7 and 9v9. The game was born in England but has since become the most played sport in the world.
A team sport devised specifically for blind athletes, it is one of only a small handful of sports which features only in the Paralympics and does not have an Olympic equivalent. However, some comparisons can be made to handball or football.
A club and ball sport in which players use clubs of varying sizes and strengths to hit a ball into a series of holes on a course in as few shots as possible. A traditional golf course is played out over 18 holes, either as individuals or in a team.
A movement sport which evolved from a combination of skill-based exercises and types of traditional circus performance. Athletes are asked to demonstrate a combination of balance, strength, flexibility, agility, endurance and control.
A team sport in which two teams of seven players pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team. It came to prominence in Scandinavia and Germany in the late-19th century before expanding across Europe.
A team sport in which two sets of eleven players attempt to score by hitting a round plastic ball with a stick into their opponent’s goal. The sport is occasionally known as field hockey to differentiate it from the North American favourite ice hockey.