Portal:Sports

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The Sports Portal

A collection of balls used in various sports

Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability. Sport can be practiced for health, for leisure or competitively, in the latter case often with spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, both from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.

Sport is generally recognized as 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 organizations 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) recognizes both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognizes five non-physical sports, although limits the amount of mind games which can be admitted as sports.

Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first, or by the determination of judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression.

In organized sport, records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sport news. In addition, sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sports drawing large crowds to venues, and reaching wider audiences through sports broadcasting.

Selected article

Australian cricket batsman Bill Woodfull faces a Bodyline field in the 4th Test match in Brisbane, 1933.
Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman. A bodyline delivery was one where the cricket ball was pitched short so as to rise towards the body of the batsman on the line of the leg stump, in the hope of creating leg-side deflections that could be caught by one of several fielders in the quadrant of the field behind square leg. This was considered by many to be intimidatory and physically threatening, to the point of being unfair in a game once supposed to have gentlemanly traditions, but commercialisation of the game has subsequently tended to elevate the principle of 'win at all costs' above traditional ideals of sportsmanship.

In the Test matches, Bradman countered bodyline by moving toward the leg side, away from the line of the ball, and cutting it into the vacant off side field. Whilst this was dubious in terms of batting technique, it seemed the best way to cope with the barrage, and Bradman averaged 56.57 in the series (an excellent average for most, but well short of his career average of 99.94), while being struck above the waist by the ball only once.

Although no serious injuries arose from any short-pitched deliveries while a leg theory field was set, the tactic still led to considerable ill feeling between the two teams, with the controversy eventually spilling into the diplomatic arena. Over the next two decades, several of the Laws of Cricket were changed to prevent this tactic being repeated. Law 41.5 states "At the instant of the bowler's delivery there shall not be more than two fielders, other than the wicket-keeper, behind the popping crease on the on side," commonly referred to as being "behind square leg". Additionally, Law 42.6(a) includes: "The bowling of fast short pitched balls is dangerous and unfair if the umpire at the bowler's end considers that by their repetition and taking into account their length, height and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on the striker...".

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Jacques Plante in 1948 with the Citadelles Québec Hockey Team
Joseph Jacques Omer Plante (January 17, 1929 – February 27, 1986) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. During a career lasting from 1947–1975, he was considered to be one of the most important innovators in hockey. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963; during his tenure, the team won the Stanley Cup six times, including five consecutive wins.

Plante retired in 1965 but was persuaded to return to the National Hockey League to play for the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1968. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970 and to the Boston Bruins in 1973. He joined the World Hockey Association as coach and general manager for the Quebec Nordiques in 1973–74. He then played goal for the Edmonton Oilers in 1974–75, ending his professional career with that team. Plante also wrote extensively on hockey. He wrote hockey columns starting early in his career and was published in La Voix de Shawinigan, Le Samedi, and Sport Magazine. He alienated local reporters by writing a column for the local paper during his time as coach of the Quebec Nordiques. His seminal work, Goaltending, was published in 1972 in English, with the French edition (entitled Devant le filet) published in 1973. His reputation as a teacher spread, and he traveled to Sweden in 1972 at the invitation of the Swedish Hockey Federation, teaching the top goaltenders in the country and their coaches and trainers.

Plante was the first NHL goaltender to wear a goaltender mask in regulation play on a regular basis. He developed and tested many versions of the mask (including the forerunner of today's mask/helmet combination) with the assistance of other experts. Plante was the first NHL goaltender to regularly play the puck outside his crease in support of his team's defencemen, and he often instructed his teammates from behind the play.

Plante was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978, was chosen as the goaltender of the Canadiens' "dream team" in 1985, and was inducted into the Quebec Sports Pantheon in 1994. The Montreal Canadiens retired Plante's jersey, #1, the following year.

Selected team

The Miz, left, and John Morrison as World Tag Team Champions
John Morrison and The Miz were a professional wrestling tag team and former WWE Tough Enough contestants. The team was compried of John Hennigan, going by the ring name John Morrison, and Michael Mizanin, going by the ring name The Miz. The team worked for World Wrestling Entertainment on its ECW brand, but also appeared on the SmackDown and Raw brands due to ECW's talent exchanges with those brands during their tenure as a team. The team had no official name, although they had been referred to as "The In Crowd" or "The Dirt Sheet Duo", after the name of their online webshow.

They first began teaming together in 2007. John Morrison and The Miz, originally rivals, became partners as a result being paired together and winning the WWE Tag Team Championship, making the title exclusive to the ECW brand for a brief time. They eventually dropped the title in July 2008. During their title reign, Morrison and The Miz developed a gimmick that resulted in the duo being given their own webshow, The Dirt Sheet, and their own in-ring interview segment of the same name on ECW. In December 2008 they won the Slammy Award in the category for Tag Team of the Year and won the World Tag Team Championship. The team split in April 2009, after the Miz was drafted to the Raw brand and Morrison was drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2009 WWE Draft.

In October 2009, WWE premiered a new pay-per-view event based around inter-brand matches. At the time, The Miz was the second-tier champion on Raw after winning the United States Champion and was subsequently booked against SmackDown's Intercontinental Champion, John Morrison. In the build up to their first match since splitting, the two hosted a one-off edition of The Dirt Sheet on the October 16 episode of SmackDown. The Miz won the bout. The following month at Survivor Series, Miz captained a team of five wrestlers against Team Morrison in a five-on-five Survivor Series elimination match and once again bested his former partner. Soon after, Miz continued his ascendency and won the WWE Championship.

Selected quote

Nelson Mandela in 2000
Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.     
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2009 game between Kashima Antlers and Singapore Armed Forces FC

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