Skip navigation

4.2.3. Various sport categories. Reading comprehension.

Sports can be placed into groups or categories or families because they share a similar basic structure and also the same principles in performance and tactics. In the United Kingdom, The National Curriculum for Physical Education places sports and sporting activities into the following categories:

  1. games
  2. athletics
  3. gymnastics
  4. outdoor and adventurous activities
  5. dance
  6. other

The first category is called games. This could be further divided into three subcategories: invasion games, net/wall/racket games and fielding/striking games. Invasion games, such as hockey, football, basketball or rugby, involve a team which has to invade an opponent’s territory. They do this by crossing over the half way line so as to be able to score a goal or point. Net/wall/racket games, such as volleyball, badminton, tennis, table tennis or squash, involve playing the ball (or shuttlecock) back to the opponent in such a way that the opponent cannot return it. This way, a point is scored. The last subcategory is fielding/striking games, such as baseball or cricket. In this case, one team acts as the fielding side, while the other team acts as the batting-striking side. The aim of the fielding side is to get the batting-striking side out before they score too many runs.

Athletics, the second category, is concerned with distance and time, the highest jumps and the furthest throws. Since distance and time are linked in competition, the first to the finish line wins. Downhill skiing, cycle racing and swimming races could be placed here, because they are also decided on the first over the line (the fastest over a distance).

The third group is gymnastics. These activities include floor work, vaulting, parallel bars and other apparatus work. During a competition, participants are judged on the basis of the quality of movement and movement replication (their performance should be as close to a textbook performance as possible). Other similar activities (judged in the same way) include high board diving and trampolining.

The fourth group includes outdoor pursuits: activities such as climbing, canoeing, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and mountain biking. The fifth group is dance. Dance could be defined as choreographed movement, usually performed to music. It has many varieties and forms: ballroom dancing, folk dancing, ballet dancing or jazz dancing. Dance is usually performed for pleasure, but ballroom dancing can also be performed in a competition against other dancers. In the last group we can place sports that cannot be placed into the groups previously described. There are subgroups even in this category. Shooting, bowls, archery and golf form a family of their own: they are called target sports. Boxing, judo, karate and fencing form another category: they are called combat sports.

Reading comprehension

  1. Which sports are placed into the same category?
  2. Can you name some categories?
  3. What are invasion games?
  4. What kind of games are baseball and cricket?
  5. Which category is concerned with distance and time?
  6. How are gymnasts participating in a competition judged?

Enable JavaScript