The Stucture and Rules in Sport

You are here

The Stucture and Rules in Sport

All sports have rules. In fact, it is the rules of a sport that define that sport. They also make sure fair competition can take place.

The purposes of rules are to:

  1. Give structure to the sport.
  2. Enable sports to be played smoothly.
  3. Ensure the safety of the participants.

The rules are divided into two types; primary rules and secondary rules.

The primary rules define the structure of the activity; the size or shape of the area, the number of participants, the type of equipment required and the objective of the activity.

The secondary rules ensure that the activity is safe and fair for the participants involved.

They include rules like offside in football, no tackling around the neck and head in rugby and the boat on a port tack giving way to a boat on a starboard tack in sailing.

There are also unofficial rules in which nothing is written down, but they are an accepted way of behaving. This is sometimes called etiquette and includes such things as shaking hands with an opponent after a game, acknowledging a good shot or apologising for a poor, wining shot.