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Sports are a great way to keep active and have fun. They also help children learn important life skills such as teamwork and leadership. However, they are often controversial and have been shown to influence young people in socially destructive ways.

The History of Modern Sport

In the 19th and 20th centuries, modern sports emerged worldwide as a result of the rapid diffusion of scientific technologies and industrial manufacturing. During this period, technicians invented new games to specifications, and athletes trained systematically to achieve their physical maximums.

The emergence of modern sports can be seen as part of a larger process of globalization, whereby nations have sought to market themselves throughout the world. This globalization has facilitated the growth of national and international sports organizations, standardized and widely accepted rules and regulations, and regular international competitions.

As a result of these processes, the world is now divided into core, semiperipheral, and peripheral blocs of sports powers (see Figure). The central block consists of the United States, Russia, western Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

In contrast, the peripheral bloc includes many Asian and African nations as well as a few former Soviet-bloc states. These groups have struggled to challenge the dominance of Western sports and have won some rights to play them.

The emergence and diffusion of modern sports can be seen as bound up in complex networks and interdependency chains that are marked by unequal power relations. This is because European and North American societies have been hegemonic in sports, and the emergence of Asian and African cultures has challenged hegemonic masculine notions regarding the content, meaning, control, organization, and ideology of modern sports.