1. Sports games are generally practiced between individuals or teams, where the players interact to achieve an objective which consists in moving a ball or similar item according to a set of rules, in order to score points. Most sports games appeared as competitive sports in the 19th century, though many of them had been played in some form much earlier. There are games of international importance, as football, basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, ice-hockey etc., and national games, which are popular only in certain regions or countries, like rugby and cricket in Great Britain and the British Commonwealth of Nations, American football and baseball in the United States etc.
2. Sports games are practiced all over the world in the form of recreation, participant sport or a spectator sport. They need special equipment and facilities to be played and demonstrated, and form an essential part of the world’s industry, involving building and production, instruction and training, mass media and entertainment.
3. Football,orsoccer, is the most popular of all ball games. Football requires strength, will-power, persistence and endurance. Each team consists of 11 players: a goalkeeper, forwards, halfbacks and fullbacks. Football is played for about 90 minutes, two halves of 45 minutes each with additional time minutes added by referee, the interval being 15 minutes. The team that scores the greatest number of goals is the winner.
4. The homeland of modern football is England where in October, 1863 the first football association was formed and the rules were worked out. The first international soccer match was played in 1872 between Scotland and England. Now more than 140 countries belong to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA).
5. Football is one of the favourite sports games in Belarus. Belarusian football team «Dynamo» was the champion of the USSR in 1982. At present Belarusian footballers play for the best European clubs, and Belarusian football clubs are represented in Euro Cups as well.
6.Volleyball is a popular recreational game and a competitive sport. Volleyball as a recreational game is played indoors and outdoors on any court. The competitive volleyball is divided into volleyball and beach volleyball. Beach volleyball is played outdoors on a sand court with two players in a team. Normally volleyball is played indoors on a court made of wood or other indoor surface material. There are six players in a team.
7. In a standard game the teams are arrayed in two rows on each side of the net. The game starts with a serve by the right back of the serving team. Each team tries to hit the ball to the floor of the other team’s court and to make it difficult for the other team to return the ball. Every team scores a point each time the ball touches the other team’s floor or whenever that team hits the ball more than three times. Volleyball games are played in three or five sets, until the score of 25 points with 2 points advantage is reached in every set, with the exception of the last one, in which 15 points are sufficient for the victory.
8. Volleyball was invented in the USA in 1895 by the physical fitness instructor William G. Morgan. The first international volleyball tournament was held in Paris in 1931. In 1946 the International Volleyball Federation was formed (FIVB). In 1961 volleyball was added to the program of the Olympic Games.
9. Basketball is the world’s most popular indoor sport. The history of basketball began in 1891. It was created by PE teacher James Neismith of the Springfield College, Massachusetts, USA as an indoor game to occupy the students during the winter months. The first basketball match was played on March 2, 1892. In 1932 the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) was founded. Basketball appeared at the Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin.
10. The National Basketball Association (NBA) founded in the USA in 1949 is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. NBA players are the world's best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
11. Basketball is a fast and exciting game played between two teams of five players. Basketball requires teamwork, quick reaction and great endurance. A team wins by scoring more points than the opposing team. Players score by shooting a large inflated ball into baskets hung at the height of 3 m 05 cm above the ground at each end of the basketball court. A player can advance the ball toward the basket only by dribbling or passing the ball to a team-mate. Each team also tries to prevent the other team from scoring. Normally, a team consists of two guards, two forwards, and a centre.
12. The game lasts for 40 minutes (48 minutes in the USA). It is divided into four 10-minute quarters (12-minute quarters in the USA), with a halftime interval of 10 or 15 minutes. A game cannot end in a tie, and additional 5-minute periods are played until one of the teams wins.
13.Handball is a no-contact game played either outdoors by two opposing teams or indoors by teams of 7-a-side (6 field players and a goalkeeper). It is played with one or two hands by catching, passing, and throwing the ball. The aim is to score by throwing the ball into the opponents goal. The playing time is 2 halves of 30 minutes. Two referees with equal authority shall be in charge of each game. They are assisted by a timekeeper and a scorekeeper.
14. Handball or handball-like games were played all over the world in antiquity, but handball as it is played today was first introduced in about 1890 by a German gymnastics master, Konrad Koch. After the First World War it was adapted to Association football rules and became a popular activity in Western Europe as a regular sport in schools, clubs, colleges, and universities. The International handball federation founded in 1928 governs international handball. During the 1928 Olympic Games a demonstration handball match was played. Men’s field handball was played at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin at the special request of Adolf Hitler. It was removed from the Olympic Program until it returned as team handball in 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Women’s team handball was added as an Olympic discipline at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.
15. Handball has undergone a significant change in its development. Until 1952 field handball (11-a-side) was the main version of the game, indoor handball (7-a-side), also called team handball being played almost exclusively in Scandinavia. Since then, the indoor version has gained more adherents, so that the position nowadays is reversed: team handball is played all over the globe, the field game only in certain countries of central Europe.
16. Since 1956 handball is the game which is played in Belarus. The first handball team was organized in February 1956 for men, and in 1957 for women in the Belarusian State Institute of physical culture Aleksander Korshakevich, handball player of the Minsk Sport Army Club won a silver Olympic medal being a member of the USSR team in Moscow, 1980. The Olympic awards (gold medals) won Belarusian handball players Aleksander Korshakevich, Georgi Siridenko, Aleksander Tuchkin, Konstantin Shaovarov, Youri Shevtsov in Seoul, 1988. At the Olympic Games in Barselona Andrei Barbashinski, Andrei Minevski, Michail Yakimovich won gold medals.
17. Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams with six players on the ice. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Each team has a goalkeeper who tries to stop the puck from going into the goal. Ice hockey is a full contact sport and injuries are a common occurrence. Protective equipment is mandatory and is enforced in all competitive situations.
18. Hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada, and it’s most believed that modern hockey is evolved from outdoor stick-and-ball games adapted to the icy conditions of Canada in the 19th century, where the first organized game was played on March 3, 1875 in Montreal. Professional ice hockey has existed from the early 20th century. Hockey has been played at the Winter Olympics since 1924.
19. Hockey is most popular in Canada and northern parts of the United States and Europe. In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men. While there are 68 total members of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), 162 of 177 medals at the IIHF World Championships have been taken by these seven nations: Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States. The best Belarusian hockey teams play in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) that is an international ice hockey league in Eurasia and the successor to the Russian Super League and the Soviet League, and was launched in 2008 with clubs from the post-Soviet states.