Football (the sport and the ball) is a noun.
James Naismith invented the game of basket ball. However he did work for Luther Gulick and it was Gulick who set him the challenge of creating an indoor sport that promoted team work. Gulick played a big part in promoting basketball as a sport and has been referred to as 'the Godfather of basket ball'
Her ability to score the ball
Hockeys a contact sport. Hitting is part of the game.
A national sport is a sport or game that is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. As such, Cameroon has no 'official' national sport; although on every level imaginable the country is transfixed by football... soccer if you are from North America.