Sports are a common source of emotion for people around the world. They are not just an expression of pleasure, but also a source of identity for individuals and nations. These feelings are expressed through invented and nostalgic traditions, flags, anthems, and ceremonies. Moreover, many sports are played in foreign countries, so participants often come into contact with other cultures. This, in turn, reinforces cosmopolitanism, but can also feed ethnic defensiveness. For example, cricket, a sport played in South Asia, reflects the country’s postcolonial and imperial past, and has acquired many distinctively Indian attributes.
Sports are usually governed by rules and customs to ensure fair competition and consistent adjudication of a winner. Winning is often determined by physical events, but in some sports, the outcome is determined by a team of judges. These judges use both objective and subjective measures to determine the winner. A team may win a game if the team has the most points by the end of the game.
The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe broke up state-sponsored elite sports. As a result, western European nations began to emulate their eastern European competitors. They built vast training centres and sponsored scientific research.