In June 2005, Country Life magazine published a report claiming that school sports days have become excessively competitive due to overbearing and "over-zealous" parents, who place too much pressure on their children to succeed.
Sports day, called undōkai (運動会) in Japanese, is usually held on a Saturday or Sunday in Japanese schools.
During weeks preceding the sports day, students practice their events which they would like to show their parents and friends, within their class of physical education, which often includes tamaire, performances by the school band and presentations by various school clubs as well as individual and group competitive events.
These practices, and the sports days themselves, normally take place on the schools' fields, which provide little relief from the heat and sun.
Some schools have responded by scheduling their sports days during cooler months and by encouraging their students to drink water regularly.
They can include straightforward sprints and longer races for all age groups as well as egg and spoon races.
Three legged races are run as well as sack races, wheelbarrow races, and parent and child races.Elocution and debating are held in Hindi, Urdu and English.Intra class and interclass competitions in these events are held once a year according to a pre-announced schedule.These sports days are held between the various houses in a particular school.In India, many traditional games such as Kho-Kho and Kabaddi, March-past are played.Since the mid-1990s, a number of schools and education authorities have banned photography and filming with video cameras at sports days and other school events.Some authorities cite general privacy issues as justification for the ban.Others have raised concerns about pedophiles, which in turn has sparked accusations of hysteria and moral panic.Many parents have expressed anger at being unable to take photographs or videos as souvenirs of these events, and the ban has been criticised by some as a paranoid over-reaction to public concerns about pedophilia and child safety issues. These include games like football, cricket, throw ball, dodge ball, volleyball, track and field, basketball etc.Sports day's popularity extends to the point that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar's Emir is casually seen participating in events.Many large organizations have sports days for their employees.