Popular sport

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term popular sport (also recreational sport ) refers to sporting activities that mainly serve to improve physical fitness , to compensate for lack of exercise and to enjoy sport . In this way, popular sport is differentiated from competition-oriented and training-intensive competitive sport . Popular sport is often practiced in leisure time , but also includes school sport and company sport .


There is no uniform definition of the vague term popular sport. The German Sports Association defined in 1975: Popular sport is understood to mean “any sporting activity that is not carried out in a“ competitive ”manner”. However, especially in team sports, competitions are also a matter of course in popular sports.

Wopp and Dieckert (2005) define recreational sport as "sport for as many people as possible" (p. 17), which is characterized by diverse movement responses and makes it "sport for everyone". In a differentiated model, Wopp assumes a “broad understanding of sport, which includes competitions at the lower and middle level” (Dieckert et al. 2005, p. 20).

Recreational and popular and health sport is an essential part of organized company sports in Germany, the German Company Sports Association . It is a member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation as an association with special tasks.

The German Olympic Sports Confederation is currently formulating in general: "[The] sports offer serves people for movement and body-oriented holistic development of personality and strives for health in physical, psychological and social terms."

In addition, there are two slightly different definitions of popular sport:

  • The sport that is practiced across the board, i.e. by different age groups of both sexes. Synonyms are popular sport and mass sport .
  • The entire area of ​​sports that is generally not carried out professionally, including fringe and extreme sports . Amateur sport is synonymous .

In the sporting goods industry, the terms fun sport or trend sport are also used for marketing purposes for new popular sports.

In the GDR the term popular sport was unknown, the term popular sport was used throughout .

Relationship between mass sport and competitive sport

The traditional model is based on a pyramid, with popular sport as the basis and top-class sport at the top. This model has been reduced to absurdity through the early selection of talent . Instead, a multi-pillar model was propagated that takes this separate funding and development into account. So far the most plausible has been a cybernetic model that is based on feedback processes between the areas, since top-class sport can serve as a role model and is also propagated by the media, which creates a pull on children and youth sports in this sport.


Popular sport is part of the Olympic movement under the name Sports for All . The international association for popular sport is the Trim and Fitness International Sport for All Association (TAFISA) based in Frankfurt am Main .

Promotion of popular sport

In order to promote popular sport, various options have been created in Germany to identify good performance. This includes different versions of the sports badge . In 1970 the German Sports Association (DSB) launched the Trimm-dich campaign by the initiators Jürgen Dieckert and Jürgen Palm with the advertising character "Trimmy", which was intended to raise public awareness of sport, exercise and health and aimed at participation in popular sports .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Journal of German Table Tennis Sport , 1976/1 p. 37
  2. ↑ The model of German sport. (PDF; 29 kB) DSB , p. 2 , accessed on December 28, 2019 .
  3. Arnd Krüger : A new structural model of the connection between competitive and popular sport . In: competitive sport . tape 2 , no. 6 , 1972, p. 437–440 ( uni-leipzig.de [PDF; accessed on April 5, 2019]).