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There were lot of queries after my thread on diminishing "play" in Indian families. So this is another thread about differences in play, game and sports.

English language has three distinct words - play, game and sports.
My mother tongue Marathi has only two words Khel and Kreeda and they are used interchangeably.
Hence this thread about how these three are totally different.
Sports -
This is a civilised version of war. Designed to avoid bloodshed but continuing with expression of death, violence. Essentially a sublimation of aggression.
Sports has very clearly written and internationally agreed rules. Except few talented youngsters, only adults
are allowed to participate.
Like armed forces, soldiers, i mean players are chosen early, trained extremely well. There is lot of R&D about techniques and instruments. Sports can not happen without referees /umpires.
Special diets, training , exclusion of other activities and special instruments that have no real life use whatsoever at all.
Huge amount of money is involved and like war, commercial establishments involved in "promoting" the sport benefit most of all people involved.
Sports is the only aspect of human activity where rules are agreed upon by even enemy countries. And it always happens at designated time, specially created place and with spectators.
Game - games have local rules. They are mostly flexible and usually players agree on a set of simple rules quickly before starting the game. There are no professionals and no training involved.
Instruments of games can be a bit specialised but have multiple uses. For e.g. a deck of cards can be used for various games and even magic tricks or play house building for kids.
There is no money involved (money is for sports). Pleasure of playing and joy of winning are sole rewards. Some games may use sports material and try to imitate real sports, e.g. kids playing football or cricket in whatever small place available with imaginary goalposts.
Play - this is totally in mind. Entire aim of play is to imitate and recreate real life situations or fantasies using symbolic material.
More ambiguous the material, better scope for imagination (hence educational toys are shit).

Daily use stuff is borrowed and used as instrument of play and it all goes back to regular use after play.
Some adults indulge children by providing similar looking replicas of real life stuff (kitchen set, doctor set, etc) but it is not a prerequisite. A child can imagine entire stage, instruments and even participants!
Replaying expereinces and fantasies till they are assimilated in mental structure is the real sim of play.
Voting with life, identifying with adult roles, trying out various solutions is real play. It is almost like enacting a dream!
Sometimes others are allowed to join play. Trusted playmates are playful adults are allowed in play but usually it is a solitary activity.
Play is intense learning so it is never to be disturbed and and no adult interference is desired.
Many children look exhausted after play because it is work.
Adults almost dont under stand play at all but desire it all the time hence - art, theatre and cinema :)
So, this is how play, game and sports differ.

Please dont insult these individual beautiful activities by yung the terms loosely and interchangable.

As the umpire says in cricket, "well gentlemen, lets play"
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