What is Sport?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by Kyptastic, Mar 24, 2008.

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  1. Kyptastic VIP

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    Sport is a competitive endeavour undertaken for pleasure or reward by individuals or teams according to a set of rules and in some organised form. It may or may not involve physical exercise and it may or may not attract spectators



    A question that isn't asked too much, but when bought up, can provoke extreme debate. Most accepted definitions are broad in nature (such as the above), enabling them to encompass all situations which may arise. Others are more restrictive, excluding non-physical activities of even those which do not make use of a ball.

    So, what is sport? Can it be everything to everyone, or do you think that certain activities do not deserve to be considered a sport?

    Is this a sport?
    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Estonian_Carry_style.jpg]

    Discuss.
  2. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

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    A recreational activity or game that has competition. So yes by that definition, spelling bees can be a sport, Halo can be a sport, Scrabble can be a sport, etc.
  3. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

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    Jun 24, 2006
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    I would add the word 'physical' to that.

    A recreational physical activity or game that has a competition.

    So in that case spelling bees, Halo, Scrabble are not sports.

  4. halibut Ex-Mod

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    Aug 27, 2000
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    Well, what IS Physical?

    Scrabble involves moving tiles. Is that physical? If not, what about darts? That involves throwing small light objects a short distance? As what point does an activity become physical?
  5. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    I'd say when the skill displayed while performing the physical act is a key determining factor in whether or not a participant wins or not (or in determining where they place). So darts would be a sport but chess wouldn't be one.
  6. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    What about competitive computer games in that context then? It would make speedrunning or deathmatching a sport (which I'm not saying I disagree with.)
  7. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    They can be the opposite of extreme sports; hardly sports or barely sports.
  8. JediCouncilMember Jedi Master

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    I think pretty much anything competitive is (or can be) a sport. Whether anyone else would want to watch is another question.

    I'd even classify things like chess, darts, pool, bean bag toss, etc. since they also have extremely competive events for these too.
  9. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

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    Why does it have to be "physical"?

    I think the question that people are really asking is what is a professional sport (i.e. a sport that pays its athletes large amounts of money or, like JCM said, whether or not it's a good spectator sport)
  10. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    Actually, after thinking about it, I think I would classify darts, billards, and such as games as opposed to sports.
  11. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

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    Agreed.

    Chess is also a game.

    Scrabble is a game.

    I don't know how to clarify my view, but that's what I feel a sport is, a physical activity that involves competition.
  12. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

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    They are games but they can be sports too.
  13. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

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    I think each activity needs to be judged on a case-by-case basis, which would then build a history of precedents from which one can draw further conclusions.
  14. Obese_1_Ka-Blooey Jedi Master

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    Making those games "competitive" (ie: creating tournaments, leagues, etc.) doesn't make them sports. That is, unless you have something else in mind.
  15. JediCouncilMember Jedi Master

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    But there is also a mental aspect and skill involved in sports.

    For those that draw the line at some type of physical activity that makes sense, but I think you have to include skill as well. Not that you guys haven't.

    Bowling is a sport but all you do is swing your arm, how is that different then moving a chess piece?
    Darts you also use your arm, is it a sport?
    Golf is a sport, but all you do is walk and swing a stupid club.
    I'd argue Golf is much more mental than physical. Anyone can sit on the green and putt the ball but it takes a skill to be good at it.
    For goodness sake Curling is and Olympic Sport!!!
    How is sweeping a sport? :D
    As is Archery.

    So I guess my point is I'd revise my early post to make sure I added in some type of skill and mental definition.
  16. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I think my requirements of a sport are in line with GR's original post:

    1. Physical activity.
    2. Skill at that physical activity determines the outcome of the event.

    Thus, board games are not. Darts, snooker, etc are. I don't see how they can not be, unless your definition of sport includes some sort of 'athleticism' component.
  17. Obese_1_Ka-Blooey Jedi Master

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    I'll go as far as to take you up on that. In my eyes, what separates a sport from a mere game is indeed athleticism. Therefore, I don't consider bowling or golf sports, and I certainly don't consider darts one either.

    In fact, I see nothing in darts that is more demanding than in board games like chess. Throwing a dart is a physical activity, but is the act of throwing a dart more demanding than moving a chess piece? Ok, to an extent it is, but darts relies on chance no matter the "skill" of the player. I'm not saying that people can become, with practice, extremely good at darts, but I can't include throwing a dart with required skills of sports (namely moving your feet. :p )
  18. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

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    Once again, I think what people are really asking, when asking this question, is what is a sport that can be played at a professional level.
  19. halibut Ex-Mod

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    So what is "athleticism". What's the minimum about af athleticism required to go from a game to a sport, and how do you quantify/measure that?
  20. Obese_1_Ka-Blooey Jedi Master

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    I think you have to measure "athleticism" by relativity to other activities. For instance, basketball or soccer requires much more physically than darts, so that would make those two sports. I wish there'd be an official measurement/unit, so debates about whether golf is a sport would stop. :p
  21. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Darts is no more chance than pitching a baseball. I've seen pro players put 9 darts in a row in a space the size of a dime.

    Is archery a sport? It's the same concept.
  22. Kyptastic VIP

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    It appears that anything that seems like that just anybody could do (such as Darts, Chess or even Table Tennis), is often not considered by many to be a sport.

    But then ideas of what a sport is change over time. Hunting and Jousting were considered the premier sports (amongst the elite) in the middle ages, but you'd be hard pressed to find people who considered them sports now.
  23. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    I have an extremely narrow view of what sport is. Probably being too noninclusive. But, I think about it the following way:

    If it's on ESPN, it has some element of a sport. It's probably either a sport, an athletic exhibition, an exhibition of skill, or a judged contest of athleticism and skill. I see things like baseball and soccer as sports, things like the hundred yard dash or a swim meet as athletic exhibitions, things like darts and poker as exhibitions of skill, and things like gymnastics and figure skating to be judged contests of athleticism and skill.

    Now, like I said, I probably have a point of view that is too narrow, but I view a sport as something that is an exhibition of skill and athleticism, that is decided by means other than a judge. And I'm willing to admit plenty of fault in my view. But it makes things easy for me.
  24. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

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    Decided by means other than a judge? What about diving? that's decided by a judge. Dressage (horse riding) is decided by a judge, Cross country (horse riding) has judges at each jump but most people only know of the time factor.

    Also, I used to say if it was on ESPN it was a sport, but with things like Poker on ESPN now, I don't say that anymore, cuz Poker, like Scrabble and Chess, is a game, not a sport.
  25. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    If it's on ESPN, it has some element of a sport.

    I have to disagree. I think this probably used to be true, but not anymore. A couple years ago (or so), ESPN showed part of a math competition. While I was glad they did (granted, biased view because I used to compete in it 9-10 years ago), its not a sport. Period.

    Spelling bees fall under the same category, as do poker, scrabble, etc.

    Darts I'm still a bit undecided on. Probably count it as a sport, but its still a bit borderline.

    Though I should make clear that at least in my mind, calling something a game instead of a sport isn't putting it down - just in a different category.
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