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Parrappa's avatar

What do you consider a sport?

Asked by Parrappa (2415 points ) September 4th, 2009

This has been hot topic of debate as of recently among me and my friends. What do you consider a sport?

My side of the argument is that a sport requires athleticism and skill. So this would eliminate so called “sports” like nascar and golf from the list. Both require skill but neither require athleticism like you need in hockey or baseball.

The dictionary.com definition is this “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess”—just incase anyone needed some clarification.

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47 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

Theres no physical prowess in driving a ball a couple hundred yards?

Ivan's avatar

My definition is a little broader. A sport is a competition of physical activities.

By the way, anyone who says that playing golf doesn’t require athleticism has never played golf. NASCAR requires great endurance, both physical and mental. I put auto racing in a similar category as long distance running. It might not require “athleticism” in the traditional sense of the word, but it’s still not easy, and it’s still a competition, so it’s still a sport. Also, auto racing involves much more than simply driving. The pit crew members are legitimate athletes.

YARNLADY's avatar

Many times people who have not participated in an activity tend to discount the amount of effort that goes into it. I would call golf and racing a sport, because of the competetive nature combined with the physical requirements.

I, personally, would draw the line at non-physical activities that are now being called sports, such as video game tournaments, and the televised poker tournaments. However, there are bets placed on these activities, and according to some odds makers, that makes them sports.

Facade's avatar

Cheerleading is a sport. Don’t try to deny it people!

Ivan's avatar

Competitive cheerleading is a sport, in my eyes.

rebbel's avatar

Doing the sex-act also requires athleticism and skill, but i don’t see that appearing on the Olympics soon.
Then again, long-distance-shooting, in my opinion doesn’t require athleticism, but it is in the Olympics.

Parrappa's avatar

@uberbatman, no I don’t believe there is. Why do you think Golf is the official sport of old men? Arnold Palmer played his last tournament when he was 65. At 65, no one is in good shape or even athletic. As long as you can move you can pretty much play golf. How come men who are near retirement age don’t play go outside and play football baseball?

Also, the only reason I don’t think cheerleading is a sport is because it’s based on judges, not absolutes like baseball, hockey, basketball etc.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Sports are competitive activities. You obviously don’t need to have a physique like Adonis to play, but it’s still a sport by definition.
I’m not a fan of NASCAR but I have to admit that is it classified as a sport even if the competitors are all sitting down for the whole thing.

Parrappa's avatar

Sports are athletic activities, not just competitive ones.

Ivan's avatar

Gymnasts rarely compete beyond age 20, and tennis players are usually washed up by age 25. The age at which you are no longer able to compete at a high level has nothing to do with whether something’s a sport.

ragingloli's avatar

the only sport is snooker.

Sarcasm's avatar

A sport to me is a competitive hobby.
This includes soccer, as well as baseball, golf, chess, nascar, and Call of Duty.

ragingloli's avatar

soccer football.

Facade's avatar

@Sarcasm Videos games are sports?

Ivan's avatar

@Facade

Well, there are competitive video game leagues, but I don’t consider them to be sports.

Buttonstc's avatar

In the original dictionary definition (which YOU provided) specifies physical prowess OR skill. It did not say AND.

So why would golf not qualify? It definitely requires skill. Part of this argument was covered a while ago in a case involving a golfer who had to use a motorized cart do to a medical condition in his legs.

The decision was made to allow him to compete using it since the essence of the sport was skill, not endurance walking.

Buttonstc's avatar

Edit. Due to a medical condition.

PS. to any Fluther owners:
When will the ability to scroll the text field in the iPhone be implemented to enable corrections BEFORE posting?

kheredia's avatar

The only so called “sport” that I disagree with is hunting. Hunting is not a sport and should never be considered as such. Nobody should be allowed to shoot an animal just for pleasure.

filmfann's avatar

If NASCAR wants to impress me with driver endurance, they should put 2 hungry kids in the back seat with loaded diapers.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Wii sports
Hey f#$* you! I like to imagine that I’m good at bowling and golf!

Facade's avatar

@Sarcasm I cannot believe that exists…wow

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I actually know someone who’s in the MLG
Wow his grades were shit

ragingloli's avatar

@teh_kvlt_liberal
Perhaps this can be said for all sport people/jocks

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I’m not going to doubt that
And I’m just saying this INDIVIDUAL had shit grades

Facade's avatar

@ragingloli No it cannot.

Sarcasm's avatar

It certainly can be said for many.

iAManEXPERT's avatar

a sport is where there is some sort of physical activity, and or some type of referee or judge

filmfann's avatar

@iAManEXPERT Welcome to Fluther. Lurve.

noelasun's avatar

I was with @The_Compassionate_Heretic, til I started wondering : would fishing be considered a sport? mountain climbing?
If it is a “sport”, where does that put competition in how the word “sport” is defined.

Blondesjon's avatar

Olympic arguing.

I’m going for gold in Vancouver.

Sampson's avatar

IMO, sports are competitive physical activities where there is a clear winner.

Anything that has judges ranking points is no sport.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Sampson. . .I think the cake-ists on Food Network Challenge would disagree with you cold weather, waterproof footwear.

Ivan's avatar

@Sampson

That simply discards all sports in which there is no qualitative “score” built directly into the game. Divers compete against one another in an activity that requires athleticism and skill, but there’s no objective way to tell whether one diver has performed better than another. That doesn’t mean it’s not a sport.

MrItty's avatar

I think this was asked here before, but I don’t feel like going to find my old answer, so I’ll summarize:

A “sport” has to have both athletic skill/ability/prowess and a defined offense & defense. That is, your performance in the activity has to directly affect your opponent’s performance. Two people doing the same thing at roughly the same time, just trying to do it better than each other, is not a sport. Because the only thing that determines the outcome is which out of the pool of possible opponents you randomly happened to be assigned to.

Therefore, all of the following are not “sports”:
racing
golf
gymnastics
cheerleading
dancing
swimming

Those are all athletic competitions, to be sure. They all involve athletic skills that I couldn’t dream of having. But they are not sports.

El_Cadejo's avatar

here is the defintion from dictionary.com
sport- an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Lurve for using dictionary.com!

Sampson's avatar

@Ivan I’m not saying that those ‘sports’ aren’t athletic, difficult, and fun to watch, but I do not think that they’re true sports.

noelasun's avatar

Just because we use the term “competitive sports”. I would say sports as the larger category does not have to be competitive.

Ivan's avatar

@Samson, @MrItty

I think that those distinctions are very arbitrary.

Sampson's avatar

@Ivan YOU’RE ARBITRARY!!!

MrItty's avatar

@Ivan I don’t think you know what the word “arbitrary” means. Those distinctions are very well defined. Maybe my definition is arbitrary. But the distinctions are the exact opposite.

Ivan's avatar

In that, you are picking criteria that must be satisfied arbitrarily.

Fred931's avatar

Hey, if anyone’s interested, ESPN is showing the Atlanta race!

MrItty's avatar

@Ivan Right. As I said, the definition that I choose is arbitrary. The distinctions between what makes a sport and what doesn’t, based on that definition, is not.

Cruiser's avatar

skipping rocks is a great sport and can provide hours of healthy competition between 2 or more players

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