agonal contest

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A ritualized contest in which an individual or a team attempts to establish physical superiority over the opposition. Agonal contests offer the means of determining social rank, recognizing excellence, and according honour to an individual, an institution, or even a nation. For example, the success of a national team in a world championship or the Olympic Games is held by many to reflect national character and to serve as an index of moral superiority. All sports are to some extent agonal contests, but the amount of honour won depends on many factors, including the status and ability of the opponents, the importance of the contest to the peer group of the participants, and the value of the prize.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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