Sports are an integral part of our culture and give many of us a reason to cheer and jeer. Learn about the history of sports and how your favorite sports really work.

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In timed Olympic events, the difference between gold and silver can come down to a fraction of a second. You won't find that kind of accuracy in your typical wristwatch. Find out about the systems (and backup systems) that keep Olympic timing honest.

By Lacy Perry & Kate Kershner

The Olympics aren't too far off so get ready! This article chronicles the history of the Olympic torch reveals how it is designed to stay lit through all weather conditions and follows its path from Olympia Greece to the Olympic Games.

By Stephanie Watson

Super Bowl Sunday is a football fan's nirvana. It's when the NFL champion is decided once and for all. But the day is about way more than just football.

By Kevin Bonsor & John Donovan


It's training camp time -- are you a would-be football fan? Or maybe you just want a refresher on the rules? We'll tell you how the plays work, how to keep score and how large a football field really is. Hike!

By Kevin Bonsor

Need a refresher on the rules of America's favorite game? This article explains the rules, equipment and scores.

By Kevin Bonsor & Joe Martin

Free agents, restricted free agents, compensatory picks and good old Mr. Irrelevant... what does it all mean? It's NFL draft time! Find out how NFL teams fill positions in this annual event.

By Kevin Bonsor

The men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments send millions of college basketball fans into a frenzy each year. Find out how teams get a ticket to the "Big Dance" and how the match-ups are selected.

By Kevin Bonsor & Dave Roos


The squeak of the shoes the roar of the coach the jab of the elbow! To many of us basketball is the American pastime. Whether you're just getting into the sport or you're a fan looking for a refresher our primer will bring you up to speed.

By Kevin Bonsor

Splat! You're hit -- covered in brightly colored paint. Who shot you? Your friend, who was tracking you silently from tree to tree. Who came up with this game, sport or phenomenon we call paintball? Many trace its origins to military training -- are they right?

Karate is an incredible art form, built on the concept of merging body and mind into a defensive weapon. See how karatekas use this merger to break wood and cinder blocks with their hands and feet.

By Tom Harris

When Mark McGwire hits a home run, the distance the ball traveled is always announced on the scoreboard and on television a few seconds later. How do they know how far the ball traveled, and what techniques do they use to figure it out?


When every fraction of a second counts, a false start can completely change the outcome of a race. How are officials quick enough detect a false start?

If you've ever been to a bowling alley, you know that one of the coolest things is how the pins get reset. How does it work? Take a peek at the machinery behind the scenes.

By Shel Brannan

With the recent NFL draft, players are now negotiating contracts. Learn how the NFL's salary cap works, and how teams work under the salary cap with trades, signing bonuses, and other financial maneuvering.

By John Perritano

Paintball has developed into a worldwide phenomenon. Players hunt opponents, take aim and splatter them with paint-filled “bullets” in guerilla-style faux warfare. If you've never played, you may have wondered what it's all about…

By Tom Harris


Baseball fields often have checkerboards and other patterns mowed into them. How can I create the same effect with my lawn?

There's a reason why some of the quarterback's passes miss their target and others land perfectly in the receiver's hands -- it's physics! Learn the science of football and take a look at the game from a whole new angle.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Ballparks are just as trendy as clothes and hairstyles. Today, a new trend in stadiums has led to the demolition of the Kingdome and the likely demise of the Astrodome. The latest trend in sports stadiums is the retractable-roof stadium.

The virtual first-down line that you see in many televised football games is something of a computer-generated miracle that home viewers have come to love. Find out how this line gets "painted" on the field without painting the players.

By Shel Brannan


The pole vault originated in Europe where men used the pole to cross canals filled with water. In this article we will learn a little bit about the history of pole vaulting and then explore the physics of the sport.

By Karim Nice

If you have been watching competitive fencing at the Olympics or in a college match, you know that fencing is an unusual sport, and it uses some very interesting equipment for scoring! Learn the ins and outs of different types of swordsmanship!

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

It seems as if hardly a day passes without a sports star being busted for using performance-enhancing drugs. Even with the sophisticated random and mandatory drug testing in most sports, a lot of athletes still think taking them is worth the risk. Why is that and how do these drugs really work?

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Kevin P. Allen

If you didn't grow up tossing a baseball around, you may wonder how that amazing curveball is thrown. This article explains how it works and how to throw one yourself.


Golf clubs incorporate an amazing amount of technology in a streamlined design. Clearly, teeing off with a driver isn't like teeing off with a big stick. So what are the factors that influence golf club design?

By Curt Franklin

Have you ever been ice skating in Florida? How do they keep the ice from melting? And how do they get the lines and the logos into the ice for a hockey game?