Sports Encyclopedia

Sports Encyclopedia

If you would like to prepare for school subjects or simply increase your general knowledge, then enjoy our sports encyclopedia. We tried to focus only on very important terms and definitions. We also kept our terminology very brief so that you absorb the concept more quickly and easily.

Sports Glossary (Page 1)


FUMBLE: (American football) A "live" ball that is dropped can be recovered by either team.
LATERAL: (American football) A ball thrown to the side or backward. A lateral that is not caught is a fumble, not an incomplete pass.
INCOMPLETE PASS: (American football) A forward pass that is not caught.
INTERCEPTION: (American football) A pass that is caught by the defense.
RUSH: (American football) Attempt to sack the quarterback or force the pass attempt earlier than desired.
TOUCHBACK: (American football) Balls recovered in team's own end zone during kickoffs, punts, and turnovers can be "downed" and the team then starts the first down at the 20-yard line.
TACKLE: (American football) Forcing a ball carrier to the ground.
HUDDLE: (American football) Inbetween plays, members of a team gather in a circle to receive instructions for the upcoming play.
PUNT: (American football) Kick to the opponent on a fourth down when scoring or achieving a first down is unlikely.
FORWARD PASS: (American football) Occurs from from behind the line of scrimmage and is thrown farther up the field than the thrower.
DOWN: (American football) One of the four opportunties the offensive team has to score or advance 10 yards.
HOLDING: (American football) Penalty for holding a player to impede progress.
PASS INTERFERENCE: (American football) Penalty for illegal contact on a pass play.
FALSE START: (American football) Penalty for illegal movement by offense prior to the snap.
OFFSIDES: (American football) Penalty for team members not on their own side of the line of scrimmage during a snap.
AUDIBLE: (American football) Quarterback calls a different play at the line of scrimmage when the defense appears to anticipate the current play.
FIRST DOWN: (American football) Term used when a new set of downs is achieved. The "line-to-gain" is the line that must be reached for a first down and is marked on the sidelines by the first down marker (colored stick and chain).
LINE OF SCRIMMAGE: (American football) The yard line at which a down begins.
BLITZ: (American football) To rush linebackers, cornerbacks, or safeties into the backfield.
SACK: (American football) To tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of yards.
SNAP: (American football) Transfer of the ball from center to quarterback that starts each play. Also called a "hike.".
PLAY ACTION PASS: (American football) When a quarterback fakes a handoff for a running play before passing the ball. Used to deceive the defense.
ONSIDE KICK: (American football) When the kicking team tries to field its own kickoff after the ball travels 10 yards.
SELF BOW: (archery) A bow made of a single piece of wood.
FREESTYLE: (archery) A bow that has sights. Also, competition conducted with such bows.
RECURVE: (archery) A bow whose tips curve away from the archer.
BARE BOW: (archery) A bow without sights.
QUIVER: (archery) A case for holding arrows.
ROUND: (archery) A certain number of arrows, shot from established distances, in competition. A round is made up of ends, as a baseball game is made up of innings.
QUARREL: (archery) A crossbow arrow.
TIMBER!: (archery) A cry of warning that an arrow has been, or is about to be, released. (Similar to "Fore!" in golf.).
CENTER-SHOT: (archery) A cutout section above the grip that allows the archer to shoot through the center of the bow, rather than from one side.
KISSER BUTTON: (archery) A device attached to the bowstring that touches the archer's lips when the string is at full draw.
SIGHT: (archery) A device on the bow that allows the archer to take aim on the target.
ARMGUARD: (archery) A device that protects the bow arm from abrasion by the string.
END: (archery) A group of arrows that are shot before being retrieved from the target and scored. Usually six, sometimes three.
SPINE: (archery) A measurement of bow stiffness.
RELEASE AID: (archery) A mechanical device that allows smoother release of the arrow.
FINGER TAB: (archery) A piece of leather that protects the string fingers.
FITA ROUND: (archery) A round of 144 arrows, with 36 shot from each of four distances.
FOOTED SHAFT: (archery) A shaft that has a hardwood section on its front end.
BROADHEAD: (archery) A sharpened steel point used in bow hunting.
STABILIZER: (archery) A weight mounted on a bow to minimize undesirable torque of the bow string upon release.
SERVING: (archery) A wrapping of thread that prevents wear on the bowstring.
HANGING ARROW: (archery) An arrow that hangs down because it hasn't penetrated deeply into the target.
SPENT ARROW: (archery) An arrow that has traveled too far to be effective.
FLU-FLU: (archery) An arrow with over-sized feathers, used in bird hunting.
NOCK: (archery) An attachment that holds the arrow in in place on the bow string. As a verb, to place the arrow on the string.
PERFECT END: (archery) An end in which the archer shoots all bulls-eyes.
TACKLE: (archery) Archery equipment.
BRACING: (archery) Bending the bow to place the string in the notches.
CRESTING: (archery) Distinctive color markings on an arrow to identify the owner in scoring.
JAR: (archery) Lack of smooth action in the bow after release.
LIMB: (archery) Part of the bow from the riser (handle) to the tip.
BACKING: (archery) Reinforcement on the back of the bow.
OVER-BOWED: (archery) Said of an archer who is using too heavy a bow. See weight.
CREEPING: (archery) Slight forward movement of the arrow point before actual release.
MATT: (archery) Straw disk behind the target face.
RELEASE: (archery) The act of letting go of the string to launch the arrow.
RISER: (archery) The bow's handle.
EYE: (archery) The end loop of a bow string.
ROBIN HOOD: (archery) The feat of driving the tip of an arrow into the end of another arrow that's already in the target. Named, of course, for Robin Hood's legendary accomplishment.
COCK FEATHER: (archery) The feather that's placed at right angles to the string when the arrow is nocked.
FLETCHING: (archery) The feathers that help stabilize the arrow during flight.
BULLS-EYE: (archery) The gold center circle on a target.
WEIGHT: (archery) The number of pounds of force required to pull the bowstring back 28 inches.
SKIRT: (archery) The part of the target outside the scoring area.
GROUP: (archery) The pattern of arrows shot on target during an end.
ANCHOR: (archery) The point on the face where the archer holds the fingers at full draw.
BACK: (archery) The side of the bow farthest from the archer.
BELLY: (archery) The side of the bow nearest the archer.
LOOSE: (archery) To release.
BAT: (badmington) A common name for the racket.
FLICK: (badmington) A deceptive shot, apparently soft, but transformed into a faster shot by quick wrist and forearm rotation.
SIDE-BY-SIDE: (badmington) A doubles formation in which each partner is responsible for one side of the court.
UP-AND-BACK: (badmington) A doubles formation in which one partner is basically responsible for shots near the net, while the other is responsible for shots nearer the baseline.
DRIVE: (badmington) A hard, low shot that travels almost horizontally.
HAIRPIN SHOT: (badmington) A shot made from very close to the net on which the shuttle rises just over the net and drops quickly on the other side. Often used to return a drop shot.
AROUND-THE-HEAD: (badmington) A shot often used to avoid the backhand. It's similar to the overhead smash, but the shuttlecock is struck on the opposite side of the head from the player's racket hand.
WOOD SHOT: (badmington) A shot on which the frame of the racket strikes the base of the shuttle. Formerly illegal, but legalized in 1963.
CLEAR: (badmington) A shot, similar to the lob in tennis, that is hit over the opponent's head, usually to a point near the back boundary line. The attacking clear is an attempt to score, while the high clear is a defensive shot.
BLOCK: (badmington) A shot, usually from near the net, on which the racket is not swung, but simply used as a "backboard" to return the shuttlecock.
KILL: (badmington) A smash from near the net.
PUSH SHOT: (badmington) A soft shot on which the shuttlecock is gently pushed, with little or no wrist action. More commonly used in doubles than in singles.
DROP SHOT: (badmington) A softly-hit shot that drops just over the net.
ROTATION: (badmington) A system of playing doubles, used only by experts, in which the partners keep circling counterclockwise. Its chief advantage is that it virtually eliminates the backhand.
BASE POSITION: (badmington) An area in the center of the court where a singles player usually wants to be positioned after each shot.
RALLY: (badmington) An exchange of shots leading to a point or service change.
LET: (badmington) An official stoppage in play after which a rally is replayed.
SMASH: (badmington) An overhand shot on which the shuttle travels sharply downward.
FAULT: (badmington) Any violation of the playing rules. Faults include: An illegal service, e.g., one that is done underhand or that does not land in the proper service court. The shuttlecock hits the ground before it is returned. A shot lands outside the boundaries, fails to go over the net, or goes through the net. A player hits the shuttlecock before it crosses the net, or is guilty of a carry. A player strikes the shuttlecock twice, or both players on the same doubles team strike it.
SLING: (badmington) See Carry.
THROW: (badmington) See Carry.
ALLEYS: (badmington) The areas, 1 1/2 feet wide on each side of the court, that are used for doubles play.
BACKCOURT: (badmington) The back third of the court.
COURT: (badmington) The badminton court is 17 by 44 feet for singles, 20 by 44 feet for doubles. There is a short service line, 6 feet and 6 inches from the net, on each side of the court, that marks the beginning of the service court. A long service line, 2 feet and 6 inches from each backline, marks the end of the service court.
FORECOURT: (badmington) The front third of the court.
CARRY: (badmington) The illegal act of catching the shuttlecock on the racket and then slinging rather than striking it. Also called "sling" or "throw".
MIDCOURT: (badmington) The middle third of the court.
RACKET: (badmington) The racket, or bat, has a nearly round face, about 7 inches across, and a long, thin handle. Overall length is about 27 inches and its weight is about 8 ounces.

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