Dual & Team Sports: Definition & Comparison

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  • 0:03 Dual vs. Team Sports
  • 1:07 Dual Sports
  • 2:49 Team Sports
  • 7:03 Officiating the Game
  • 7:34 Participating in…
  • 8:17 Lesso Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Nemeth

Jennifer is a Registered Nurse with experience in Med/Surg, Orthopedics and Neurology. She also holds a B.A.

Dual and team sports may seem different, but many of their strategies are similar, and participating in one can help strengthen skills in another. In this lesson, learn about the differences and similarities between several common dual and team sports.

Dual vs. Team Sports

As the late, great, world-renowned sportscaster Jim McKay said during the opening of his Wide World of Sports program, sports provide ''the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat''. Both dual and team sports are about competing against an opponent with the ultimate goal to win.

So what makes dual sports different from team sports? As you may already know from experience, team sports involve organized groups of players competing against each other. These include sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball. Dual sports, on the other hand, are played by two people striving against one another. Examples of dual sports include tennis and racquetball.

Some sports can dual and team. For instance, wrestling can be considered both a dual and a team sport, as the wrestler must compete individually on the mat against his or her opponent, but his performance affects the overall team's score.

Dual Sports

It's always fun to cheer on your team or favorite player, but understanding a little bit about the game and scoring can help. Let's take a look at a variety of dual sports.

One major dual sport is tennis, which involves a player using a racket to serve a ball over a low net while the opposing player attempts to return the ball back over the net. In tennis, points are awarded when a serve is failed to be returned. Tennis can be player against player, which is called singles, or it can be two players against two players, which is called doubles.

Another dual sport is racquetball. This game is much like tennis, except there is no net. Instead, the server hits the ball off of the opposing wall and the opponent must try to return the ball, again hitting it back against the wall. In racquetball, points can only be awarded to the server. Much like tennis, racquetball can be played either singles or doubles.

The last dual sport we'll discuss is wrestling, which involved two wresters competing for points. However, wrestling has a complicated scoring system. A fall, or pin, is when a wrestler is able to pin both his or her opponent's shoulders to the mat while exhibiting control. This awards the most points, which is six. An escape from the opponent is worth one point, whereas reversing control is worth two points. A bout is referred to as a major decision when the opponent wins by 8-14 points. If an opponent is winning by 15 points, the match is stopped and the win is considered a technical fall, worth five points. All the points per bout are counted toward the overall team score.

Wrestler Trying to Pin his Opponent
Wrestler Trying to Pin his Opponent

Team Sports

Now let's take a closer look at some different team sports. You may already be familiar with football, an American game in which teams defend their goals and try to score touchdowns on each other to win the most points. In football, a touchdown is when the team moves the ball into the end zone in one of three ways: by completing a pass or running the ball into the end zone; by recovering a fumbled ball in the end zone; or when a kickoff ball remains untouched and is repossessed by the kickoff team in the end zone. Directly after a touchdown is scored, the offensive team has a chance to score either one or two additional points. When the offensive team kicks the ball from the opponent's two-yard line through the goal posts located at the edge of the end zone, they receive one point, known as the extra point; or, if the offensive team decides not to kick the ball, but instead tries to run the ball into the end zone from the 2-yard line, they are awarded two points, called a 2-point conversion.

If the offensive players are unsuccessful at scoring a touchdown, they can try to kick a field goal from any position on the field through the goal posts. If the kicker is successful, his team receives three points. If the defense is able to tackle the offensive player carrying the ball behind his own goal line, he is awarded a safety, which is two points. Football is a full-contact sport where players tackle and block each other; therefore players wear helmets, mouth guards and protective body pads, including plastic padded shoulder pads.

Football and Goal Post
Football and Goal Post

Another popular game is soccer, a team sport in which players try to advance the ball across the field using only their feet, or sometimes their heads. The aim is to score in the other team's net. Goalies are players that defend the net. Goals are points scored when a player advances the ball past the goalie and into the net. Goals are worth one point each.

Youth Soccer Goalie
Youth Soccer Goal Keeper

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