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A competition , also a competition ( Austrian : competition ) or contest , is a struggle for the best performance, for example for sporting , poetic , artistic , musical , technical or other cultural achievements. Latent competitive situations exist in many situations. Sports competitions are particularly popular in the media. In the cultural field, we tend to speak of competitions. There is a real competitive system here. Herman Nohl believes that competition is an educational category that manifests itself in children and adolescents from an early age.


In the field of culture and the cultural economy, competition is important in several ways. On the one hand, ideas and implementation competitions (e.g. urban development , architecture or art competitions ) are specifically advertised in order to award contracts or to solve complex, mostly publicly relevant problems. On the other hand, there is an award for special achievements in the form of awards. One therefore speaks of competition in the cultural sector.

Culture awards

Many cultural prizes are awarded after a competition:

Other contexts

Competitions also take place in more trivial cultural contexts, on children's birthday parties , as contests for advertising purposes or in the form of large-scale events. Be mentioned in this context are in particular beauty contests , art competitions, reading competitions , competitions in bodybuilding , singing competitions, eg. B. the Eurovision Song Contest .

In the hip-hop -Culture staging of competitive situations plays a very important role. Similar to sport, battles relating to rap, graffiti, breakdancing and DJ battles are held.

Mock competitions to obtain free services

In order to save costs for creative work, "competitions" are occasionally advertised in which the participant is supposed to provide work free of charge and the recipient can use it. The prize money is below the usual fees, there are no expense allowances for those involved. One also speaks of speculative work.

Sport as a competitive culture

Wrestlers from Cameroon in a sporting competition

In sport, competition is an essential element. Sport in its current form is predominantly a competitive culture. Sometimes the term sport is even used as a synonym for competition.

Sport in its understanding as striving for the citius, altius, fortius ("faster, higher, stronger") placed a special emphasis on the principle of performance and competition. The playful and staged competition was a constituent element for sport in its original meaning. Thus, sport and thus sporting competition was initially differentiated from other concepts of body and movement culture, such as gymnastics and gymnastics or today's fitness movement , which were (or are) less about competition, which instead The focus is more on collective training or experiencing the body or improving performance or the fun factor . Today, the term sport (in a broader meaning) encompasses all areas of the culture of exercise, but since the establishment of the concept of sport in the late 19th century, the principle of competition has also gained in importance in the culture of exercise.

In a sports competition, several participants (in the case of athletes, their performance ) compete against each other and compete with one another, whereby a result is determined. This can be done in a direct comparison or, in the case of a larger number of participants, by means of an elimination mode in preliminary rounds. The winner then emerges in the final from the best of the preliminary rounds (see tournament form ).

The principle of 'victory or defeat'

While competitive sport was ascribed educational importance up until the 1968s, the sports science congress of 1961 in Göttingen z. B. was positively themed under the heading of competition , this has changed as a result. According to Klaus Cachay , competitive sport is (always) about the principle of victory or defeat . The second is already a loser. He therefore rejects competitive sport for educational reasons, as this is how the majority of athletes have negative experiences in sport. Arnd Krüger contradicted this by referring to the diverse possibilities of how training and competition could be designed in such a way that they could develop a positive educational effect for everyone in the sense of Herman Nohl .

Pedagogy of competition

In his Göttingen dissertation, Kyong-Won Kim distinguished between three types of pedagogical reinforcement through praise and blame.

  • (1) Praise for victory, blame for defeat.
  • (2) Praise for effort, blame for too little effort.
  • (3) Mastery , praise, for development progress, blame for standstill.

The first two variants are the safest way to get a drop-out . If the lead in performance was exhausted by acceleration (biology) , today's winners would become tomorrow's losers, who would then not be prepared for such a development. Praising effort is also of little help, since it is not the effort that matters, but progress in performance, which can also be easy. The comparison with yourself, Mastery , is the decisive factor in the long term. So have z. B. Even after her greatest victories , Steffi Graf did not put herself above her competitors (victory / defeat), but always pointed out that she played her “best tennis” today ( mastery ).

Animal competitions

Competitions also exist with animals as participants. This is often about speed or fighting strength. So there is, for example, dog racing , horse racing , pigeons -Wettflüge and cockfights .

The race of riderless horses is no longer common today and was also known as the parade before the 18th century .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Herman Nohl : The competition in school. In: The education: Monthly for the connection between culture and education in science and life. 4 (1928/29), pp. 521-530.
  2. Hans Netzer (edit.): The competition in education. Beltz, Weinheim / Bergstr. 1960, OCLC 826848868 .
  3. Play and competition : Contributions from the congresses for physical education in 1958 in Osnabrück and 1961 in Göttingen / Ed .: Committee of German physical educators. Congress for Physical Education 1 1958 Osnabrück; Congress for Physical Education 2 1961 Göttingen. Hofmann, Schorndorf 1970, DNB 458187852 .
  4. Klaus Cachay, Edwin Gahai: Need coach education? In: competitive sport . 19, No. 5, 1989, pp. 26-30.
  5. Arnd Krüger : Trainers need pedagogy! In: competitive sport. 19, No. 5, 1989, pp. 31-33. (online at: )
  6. Kyung-Won Kim: Competition pedagogy: Pedagogy of athletic performance in children's competitive sports . Tischler, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-922654-39-8 .
  7. ^ Arnd Krüger, Kyong-Won Kim, Swantje Scharenberg : Competition - Pedagogy - Competence. In: competitive sport. 26, No. 5, 1996, pp. 11-14. ( online in: )


Web links

Wiktionary: competition  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations