What is a Team Sport?

A team sport is a competitive activity in which teammates facilitate the movement of a ball or other object, according to established rules, in order to score points. A number of sports are considered team sports, including baseball, soccer, basketball, handball, and rugby. In addition, some rowing, sailing, dragon boat racing, and track and field events are also considered team sports. The Janssen Sports Leadership Center notes that team sports teach athletes the value of collaborating with fellow players to achieve a common goal, such as winning a competition. In addition, team members are able to develop a sense of community, as they work with the same group of people over time and share common experiences.

Among the unique characteristics of team sports is that they usually have a fixed roster size as specified by the rules of the game or league (e.g., 12 members on a volleyball team, with six players on the court at any given time). However, in some cases, a league or a particular team may reduce the maximum roster size for financial reasons or other exigencies.

Another notable feature of team sports is that they are played on a local field, rather than a national or international arena. This has been attributed to the fact that teams are familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the local stadium and field; have more practice opportunities on their own home turf; can better adapt to the local weather, lighting, and wind conditions; have local fans cheering for them; and are less debilitated by long flights between away games.

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