Most of us know enough about the meaning of sports to talk about them with others. However, when we study sports, it helps to precisely define our topic. For example, is it a sport when young people choose team and play football in the streets or when people of various ages spend an afternoon learning and performing tricks in a river? These activities are different from what happens at FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games. These difference become significant when parents ask if playing sports builds the character of their children, when community leaders ask if they should use tax revenue to fund sports, and when school management ask if sports are valid educational activities.
The question we pose assists the enquirer to move towards critical questions by working through more practical question that we ask ourselves in the context of sports. These questions also border on the moral issues that relates to sports development. We can agree and elaborates further on the nature of this concepts that will give us a clearer understanding of the nature of sports tournaments. For example, what (if anything) is wrong with using performance enhancing drugs (PED)? Is it cheating? What is it to cheat? And what’s wrong with cheating? Is it dangerous? Many sports are dangerous, some can even be life-threatening. So, what’s wrong with something’s being dangerous? And even if it is dangerous, does that give anyone aside from the athlete him or herself the right to stop the athlete from using PEDs? Is it unnatural? What does ‘natural’ mean in the context of human beings? Lots of things we do are ‘unnatural’ in some sense.
Another examples: what is the difference between an amateur and a professional? And why does this distinction matter? Do amateur play for ‘love of the game’, while professional earn money? Can’t someone who earns money, even lots of money, playing a professional sports also or even primarily play for love of the game? Should collegiate athletes be paid? Are collegiate athletes exploited by their institutions? Do the pressures of professionals or collegiate athletes place an alienating barrier between the athletes and his or her sports?
When we debates questions like these, we often hits barriers to understanding the ethics of sports and tournament and more fundamental ones like, should anyone dictate to an adult what he or she does with his or her own body? What is the distinction between natural and artificial? What is exploitation? What is alienation? These questions will help us to know the true nature of sports and tournament.