Can sport be seen as a form of art??

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by MushroomHead, Jun 12, 2002.

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  1. MushroomHead Jedi Knight

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    May 28, 2002
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    Is it possible to see sports/some sports as forms of art?

    Some sports initially seem closer to art than others for example figure skating, which is similar to ballet which is seen as an art form. Following this reasoning can other sports be seen in the same way?
  2. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    There are two basic types of sports: those based on violence, and those based on form. Football, soccer, basketball, even golf are all the competitive, physical things. Stuff like figure skating and swimming, while they can be competitive, are judged by form rather than by points, and are more likely to be seen as art. I'd argue that fencing is actually more in the form than than the violence category, but that's neither here nor there. However, there can be art in violent sports. A good football player can take a typical play and turn it into art if he does it well. I guess.
  3. MushroomHead Jedi Knight

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    Thanks, that was the kind of answer i was hoping to get, :D .
    I don't really know if I personally would see sports as art, i just thought it may be interesting to discuss.
    You define sports into violence and form, would it not be possible for people to see violent sports such as boxing as a form of art (I personally hate the sport), it could be seen to represent conflicts, it could be seen in the same way as a theatrical piece where both parties use their skills to flow around their stage with each action having a carefully thought out reaction??
  4. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    both parties use their skills to flow around their stage with each action having a carefully thought out reaction

    No. If you have to stand there and think about your reaction, you're already beaten. You've got to be well-drilled enough that your muscles automatically react. If you're standing there getting punched in the head and have to think, "well gee, what's the proper counter," you're in trouble. You need to be able to throw back instinctively.
  5. MushroomHead Jedi Knight

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    May 28, 2002
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    Actually everything they do is still planned out/thought out, it may be done before a bout in training or whatever, if they where to fight as a pure reaction to being hit, they really wouldn't get very far. Each reaction may be instinctive but it is only that because of the thought that goes into the training to make it instinctive, therefore each move contains a great deal of thought.

    EDIT: I repeated myself but am too lazy to do a proper edit.
  6. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    I wouldn't say that sport is art, but many sportsmen and women are artists, who can turn their physical ability into perfection. Personally I can get the chills when I see a perfect ski jump, but what kind of art would it be, performing art?

    I think that the search for perfection is what makes sport and art similar, with artist spending all their time involved with their actions. I guess that's also what makes both sport and art attractive, that we can admire the beauty and the hard work behind both, maybe knowing that we will never be able to achieve it as good as the one we are admiring.
  7. Rilina Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2000
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    Hmm, interesting question. I personally don't think that sport is a form of art, but I do believe that there can be artistry in sports.

    I'll use examples from hockey, which happens to be the sport that I follow. At the end of 60 minutes of play, the game comes down to one thing: who won? Whichever team scored more wins the game. In other words, I personally define sport by its competitive aspect--whether team vs. team, individual vs. individual, whatever.

    On the other hand, when I watched certain hockey players, I'm awed by their skills and abilities. Wayne Gretzky comes to mind--so does Mario Lemieux. Some players are just beautiful skaters, and it's fun to watch them zip around the other players. Other plays make amazing plays--the blind pass, the perfect shot--and there's certainly an amount of artistry in what they do.

    But in sport I think the competition comes first and the artistry is a very distant second. In the NHL, it doesn't mean much if you're a great skater or an amazing goal scorer if it doesn't ultimately end up helping your team. In the arts, it's not about winning or losing; artistry itself is the raison d'etre. In sports, winning or losing is everything.

    I always get a little nervous when sports start defining their competition by artistry. Figure skating comes to mind, especially after this year's Winter Olympics. <hoping I won't get flamed by figure skating fans> Is Michelle Kwan an athlete? Sure--she does some incredible things out there. Does she exhibit artistry? Certainly. But when you're given points according to "artistic merit", you open the door for bias. The fact that the competitive aspect is not based on something concrete (a scoreboard, a timer, a tape measure, etc) but on something more subjective (a judge's opinion) makes me uncomfortable. Though I definitely enjoy watching figure skating, I'm not sure if I consider it a true sport.
  8. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    I always get a little nervous when sports start defining their competition by artistry. Figure skating comes to mind, especially after this year's Winter Olympics. <hoping I won't get flamed by figure skating fans> Is Michelle Kwan an athlete? Sure--she does some incredible things out there. Does she exhibit artistry? Certainly. But when you're given points according to "artistic merit", you open the door for bias. The fact that the competitive aspect is not based on something concrete (a scoreboard, a timer, a tape measure, etc) but on something more subjective (a judge's opinion) makes me uncomfortable. Though I definitely enjoy watching figure skating, I'm not sure if I consider it a true sport.

    That's just it -- it's about the form. It's not about a distance or a speed. Most people look at skating, or gymnastics, and think "ooh, ahh." But if you yourself are trained in skating, or know what to look for, that graceful move may look downright clumsy. I'll admit there is some bias among judges, but there are very specific things they're looking for. It's not just, "I didn't like it." ANd you can't honestly tell me that no refs are biased, either, or a hockey team or whatever.

    It's things like fencing or swimming that are kind of right on the line for me. Yes, they are about the competition; making the bst time, killing the opponent. But they're also just as much about the form. Not in practicality, but as a sport, it's about doing things correctly and precisely -- which is not the case so much on, say, a hockey or football field. There it's, Do what you gotta do to get the ball/puck to the other end.
  9. Rilina Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2000
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    [i}That's just it -- it's about the form. It's not about a distance or a speed. Most people look at skating, or gymnastics, and think "ooh, ahh." But if you yourself are trained in skating, or know what to look for, that graceful move may look downright clumsy. I'll admit there is some bias among judges, but there are very specific things they're looking for. It's not just, "I didn't like it." ANd you can't honestly tell me that no refs are biased, either, or a hockey team or whatever. [/i]

    Oh, refs can totally be biased. But sports with refs generally aren't structured so that refs determine the winner or loser. Yes, there have been some notorious bad calls in sporting history that have decided the course of a game. But refs in hockey or football don't get together at the end of a game and decide "Well, I think Team A played harder/better so they win." They look at the scoreboard.

    I used figure skating as an example because of the whole thing at the Winter Olympics. They aren't just give scores based on form. There's the "technical merit" and the "artistic merit" score--and the artistic side has more weight in the event of a tie. It's a sticky question in figure skater--who should be the winner? The skater with the flawless routine? Or the skater with the more difficult (depending on your opinion), perhaps even more artistic routine (also depending on your opinion), who makes mistakes? Lots of judges at the Olympics chose the latter. That's what doesn't make sense to me.
  10. Vaderbait Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 26, 2001
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    Sports= Anything that uses scoring and not judges (or both, as long as there is solid number scoring like time, goals, etc.)


    And yes, it is an art form. The strategy involved, the skill of actually playing. Look at hockey for example: have you seen those guys skate? (most of them anyways), they are VERY talented in quick decision making and such.

    So yes, it can be viewed as an art.
  11. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    And yes, it is an art form. The strategy involved, the skill of actually playing.

    That's what I have a problem with. In my mind, art is mostly aesthetics. Strategy and skill are also highly involved in warfare, but there's not a whole lot of beauty there (unless you count the money shots in war films).
  12. Killer Ewok Jedi Grand Master

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    Ever tried theatresports? Now that's the very definition of artistic sport!
  13. Gandalf the Grey Jedi Grand Master

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    I was just watching old Pelé highlight reels. Put a football on the mans feet, and he was every bit as much an artist as Michelangelo or Beethoven. He was the best, and he made it look easy.
  14. SPECTOR Jedi Knight

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    Jun 2, 2002
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    I really surprised none of you have mentioned Martial Arts. All martial arts, with the noteable exception of Jeet Kun Do, are based on forms. All are a combination of Mastadge's definitions. Whether it is the soft, flowing arm strokes of traditional Kung Fu or the breaking kicks of Tae Kwon Do, they are all aspects of the art of the human body.
  15. StarBlazer Jedi Master

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    Dec 2, 2001
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    I do consider things like figure skating, gymnastics, and dancing as sports. Sometimes. Take gymnastics for example. Points are deducted from the perfect ten based on things such as form breaks, falls, out of bounds, overtime, etc. Most of these errors are obvious, and so gymnastics has a mostly accurate scoring system. In this way, it's a sport. But there are instances where judges prefer a certain way of movement, and the scores reflect that judgement. In essence, they are judged on their form. In this way, gymnastics is an art form.

    However, I believe that athletes in sports such as these have to work harder than athletes in traditional sports. There's really not one set way to do things in artistic sports. Also, these sports take a great toll on the body, because it's used in unusual, and often stressful situations frequently. Speaking as a former gymnast, and a current dancer, these sports require just as much sweat and toil as football and soccer do, sometimes more.


    *SB*
  16. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Where can you draw the line, some example from the world of skiing: Ski jumping, jump as long as possible, and get style marks, there isn't just the athletic performance that is important, but does that make it an artform? I think that is even more complicated than in sports where there is only judges or refs, liken in gymnastics and figureskating.

    And isn't art a kind of competition, artists compete against each other, if you aren't good enough you wont be able to survive on your art, just like an athlete that isn't good enough can't turn professional.
  17. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

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    May 21, 2000
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    Some sports can be seen as art. For example Gymnastics could be seen as a performance art(especially the discipline of moving around the mats with a ribbon or ball).

    However, I would argue that most sports are not art but the term "art form" can and is often used to describe an element within particular sporting events.

    We then come to the tricky problem of the definition of art which is a whole new ball game. Excuse the pun! ;)
  18. Rilina Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2000
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    Vince Lombardi famously said, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." This is the sort of mindset that defines sports, in my opinion--the competitive impulse. It doesn't matter how the run is scored in baseball--on a beautiful home run, a bloop single, an error--they all count the same. A touchdown in football (American) can be scored on a Hail Mary pass or a goal line scramble--but both still count. Even in sports that are judged on form (ski-jumping, diving, what have you), in the end it matters less how well you dived than if you dived well enough to defeat your competitors. You can dive perfectly in practice, but that doesn't mean anything unless you can pull it off at the swim meet as well.

    In art, I think the opposite is largely true. In the artistic mindset, it matters how things are done. It doesn't matter who sees it, how it measures up against other art. It's the act of doing--the creative impulse--that matters. That's the only thing. You can't just finish the dance; you have to dance the dance well. You can't just paint anything; you need to paint well--but if you paint well, it doesn't matter if no one else ever sees it. Most of the artists in this world will never be professional or even get attention, but I still would say that person painting in her garage is still an artist. Art doesn't have to be the winner or have to be recognized--it just has to be art.

    Sports can contain artistry, just like art can require athleticism. But that doesn't make all sports into art, and it doesn't make all arts into sport.

    I think we have an instinct to try to classify sport as art because we feel like that makes sport better. But that's not true at all--sport wouldn't be any more (or any less) important for being a form of art. We take nothing away from sport by saying it is not a form of art, just as we take nothing away from art to say it is not a form of sport.
  19. MoldyBread Jedi Master

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    Aug 10, 2000
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    I remember in the movie armageddon, bruce willis' charachter said "Drilling isn't a job - it's an art."

    That made me laugh.
  20. darthsecret Jedi Padawan

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    May 28, 2002
    I think the training of the body in athletics can be viewed as art. The artist or athlete is taking a blank or raw canvas (the body) and transforming it both aesthetically and internally. Kind of like molding clay. Each muscle is sculpted and shaped to perform a certain task as perfectly as possible. When I see world class athletes I look for the artistry in their bodies.
  21. Aanix_Durray Jedi Master

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    Dec 29, 2001
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    Anything that requires discipline, training, and self-control can be an art.

    ~~Aanix
  22. Vaderbait Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 26, 2001
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    Someone mentioned art having to be aesthetic. Well, paintings are pleasing to my eyes, but man, to watch some of those hockey players completely outskate defenders...that's something pleasing.
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