Sports are basically governed by rules or traditions, which ensure consistent fair play, and let each participant know who is the victor. In organised sports, official records of performance are kept, and for most popular sports, these statistics can be widely announced in sports news, or occasionally even announced publicly. In fact, professional sports like football and baseball have their own newspapers that publish official news of player performance and statistics regularly, allowing readers to follow them.
Amateur players on the other hand often have no such restrictions and their personal records may not even be acknowledged by official bodies. Amateur competitions are generally more informal, with players often meeting in pubs to practise and hone their skills. It is often in these competitions that players’ records are made public, as the organisers strive to foster more participation by those not formally involved in the game.
Sports players do not need to reveal their personal details on public record books, as their professional colleagues do. This is not because they are untouchable, but because they do not want to be embarrassed or punished by fellow players, either for cheating or breaking any rules. This also applies to athletes of different disciplines, such as track and field runners, marathon runners, Olympic athletes, etc.
Even professional athletes often keep their own personal records, which give insight into their training, performance, injuries and general health and fitness levels. Amateur athletes have very limited access to such records. However, there are some sports where there is a lot of interest in these records, such as in the case of professional baseball or football players. Some even go to the extent of hiring private investigators and hiring sports law firms to seek out records and information regarding individual players.
In many cases, these personal details and records are then used to judge players, or even to decide winners. Professional athletes can be accused of cheating when their personal records have been tampered with, even though this is rare. However, most of the time, these records are available for public scrutiny.
There are a lot of reasons why athletes want to keep their personal records private, including the fear that someone may cheat, or that their team or league will be unfairly treated due to unfair treatment. Sometimes, personal records can be useful to encourage people to take up the sport more enthusiastically. or to encourage people to watch the sport more carefully.