Ball games (or ballgames), also ball sports, are any form of game or sport which feature a ball as part of play. These include games such as football, cricket, baseball, basketball, and American football. Such games have diverse rules and histories and are of mostly unrelated origins. Ball games can be defined in several broad types, and generally try to measure how well a player can hit a ball:
- bat-and-ball games, such as cricket and baseball. These measure the quality of a hit by looking at how much running a ball-hitting player can accomplish before an opponent can retrieve the ball.
- Racquet and ball games, such as tennis, squash and ball badminton. These are based on players trying to hit the ball to an opponent in such a way that the opponent can't successfully hit it back.
- Hand and ball-striking games, such as various handball codes, rebound handball, and four square.
- Goal sports, usually team sports such as basketball, water polo and all forms of football, lacrosse, and hockey (except ice hockey which is a goal sport but is played with a hockey puck). These are based on players being split into teams who have a "goal" in their own separate half of the field, with the ball being driven into the opposing team's goal to score points.
- Non-racquet net sports, such as volleyball and sepak takraw.
- Target sports or precision sports, such as bowling, lawn bowls, croquet, and golf, as well as cue sports, including snooker, pool, and other forms of billiards (the sport of curling, which uses a stone rather than a ball, is classified with target or precision sports for some purposes). These are based on hitting the ball into a certain target(s), with the quality of the hit usually measured by how few hits it requires to get the ball in/through the target(s).
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