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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is a Sport?

This is a common discussion between sports fans.  Is golf a sport?  Tennis?  Horse Racing?  Nascar Racing?  Poker?

According to a sport is "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature".

I love sport and think it is a very important part of fitness.  Sport is not only a place to showcase your fitness level but also a great way to improve your fitness level.  Sport is challenging, fun and competitive.  Sport teaches you how to work with others, how to handle adversity and how to set a goal and work to accomplish your goal.  

So lets get back to the matter at hand.  What is a sport?  First, lets go over some that we will have little disagreement over.  The following are definitely sports...

  1. Football
  2. Basketball (yes, even womens basketball!)  I'm just kidding!  But really, the WNBA is brutal to watch!
  3. Hockey (ice, field and others...)
  4. Tennis (and other racket sports)
  5. Lacrosse
  6. Soccer
  7. Track and Field 
There are others, but these are some of the big ones.  There is little argument all the above activities involve athleticism and require skill or physical prowess.  Now lets look at some of the fringe activities.  I call them activities because they may be sports, but you could argue against them...

Is Baseball really a sport?

Is golf a sport?
Baseball and golf could be viewed as activities or games.  These activities do require skill.  Sometimes a very high amount of skill.  I know I could never hit a 90mph fastball!  But are these activities athletic?

Here are a few activities that are definitely NOT Sports

Fishing is not a sport!
Streaker racing maybe, but horse racing?  Sorry, animal sports don't count!

Sorry Ricky Bobby, you may be competitive but driving fast is not a sport.  SHAKE AND BAKE!

Debating whether an activity is a sport or not is a lot of fun, but in the end all that really matters is if you are having fun.  Don't be afraid to try new activities.  New activities will challenge you and you may learn a thing or two about yourself.


is Cheerleading a sport? I think you have to be somewhat athletic to do what they do, and they do go to competitions... I personally don't participate in it and don't have an opinion either way. Is Gymnastics a sport? Cheerleading involves some types of gymnastics. Gymnasts are like the epitome of athletic, same with a lot of types of Dancers. What about curling? It's in the Olympics, but are they athletic, or just skilled??

I think a lot of them are tough to decide. At some levels they are sport, and at others not so much. Baseball I think should be considered a sport for the most part. There is a lot of skill and moving around if the person is motivated. The good players are very athletic. Top cheerleading squads (dance squads) I would say is a sport as well. They will do a 3 to 5 minute routine with tons of movement. Curling, Golf, bowling etc. I would consider as competitive activities.

Gymnastics: Definitely

Cheerleading: As much as it pains me to say... Yes. At least competitive chearleading, not pom pom waiving cheerleading. It requires athleticism and skill.

I agree with Chuck on Curling, Golf, Bowling etc... I think they are more competitive activities rather than sports. A sport must require athleticism.

That's why Baseball is a tricky one for me. Athleticism helps, but is it a must? I guess turning on a 90mph fastball does require athleticism, so I suppose it can be categorized as a sport.

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