What Defines a Sport?

Anthropology, Economics, History, Sociology etc.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

What Defines a Sport?

#1  Postby pawiz » Jul 06, 2010 5:17 pm

What is a sport? There are so many activities that fall under the label of "sport".

Some involve physical abilities such as the capability to run faster or jump higher than your competitor (100M, Cycling, High Jump).

Some are a mixture of physical plus subjective judgments (e.g ski jump, ice dancing, gymnastics).

Some sports involve the control of a machine to see if you can make it go faster than another machine under the control of another person (F1, nascar, Bobsleigh, Luge).

Others seem to classify as a sport even though there might be skill involved, the physical elements are not primary (darts, curling).

Is chess a sport?

Is poker a sport (it's on ESPN enough)?

What about ice dancing where they seem to be judged on how nice their uniforms look as well as their ability to spin?

If ice dancing is a sport, what about ballet or interpretive dance?

What are the essential elements that qualify an activity as a sport? The question is not as easy as it sounds.
It is my deeply held belief that (insert name of favored deity here) is a complete fuckwit. Please respect my beliefs.
User avatar
pawiz
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Paul
Posts: 676
Age: 55
Male

Country: United States of Jebus
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: What Defines a Sport?

#2  Postby tuco » Jul 06, 2010 5:32 pm

Competition - tournaments/leagues and preparation - training.

Yes, chess, poker, ice dancing, and (online) gaming are sports to me.

No, ballet is not a sport to me.
tuco
 
Posts: 15550

Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#3  Postby Ickypedia » Jul 06, 2010 6:32 pm

If it's competitive and is based on arbitrary rules it's a sport.

What I'm wondering is where you lot keep your World Cup threads ;P
User avatar
Ickypedia
 
Name: Eirik
Posts: 126
Age: 35
Male

Country: Norway
Norway (no)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#4  Postby Tbickle » Jul 06, 2010 6:38 pm

pawiz wrote:What is a sport? There are so many activities that fall under the label of "sport".

Some involve physical abilities such as the capability to run faster or jump higher than your competitor (100M, Cycling, High Jump).

Some are a mixture of physical plus subjective judgments (e.g ski jump, ice dancing, gymnastics).

Some sports involve the control of a machine to see if you can make it go faster than another machine under the control of another person (F1, nascar, Bobsleigh, Luge).

Others seem to classify as a sport even though there might be skill involved, the physical elements are not primary (darts, curling).

Is chess a sport?

Is poker a sport (it's on ESPN enough)?

What about ice dancing where they seem to be judged on how nice their uniforms look as well as their ability to spin?

If ice dancing is a sport, what about ballet or interpretive dance?

What are the essential elements that qualify an activity as a sport? The question is not as easy as it sounds.


Oh, I've had many a discussion on this one generally starting from the discussion if NASCAR is a sport or not or if the drivers are considered to be athletes.

I've generally argued that a sport needs to be a competitive event, with some amount of established rules, that requires more physical activity than merely sitting and where the human participant's physical actions need to be more important than the equipment used to play it. Poker, not a sport, it's a competition. NASCAR, not a sport but a running track race is. Ballet? Maybe, but I've never heard of any competitive ballet events.
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
-Thomas Paine
User avatar
Tbickle
 
Posts: 3919

Holy See (Vatican City State) (va)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#5  Postby Tbickle » Jul 06, 2010 6:40 pm

Ickypedia wrote:If it's competitive and is based on arbitrary rules it's a sport.

What I'm wondering is where you lot keep your World Cup threads ;P


Scrabble is a sport?
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
-Thomas Paine
User avatar
Tbickle
 
Posts: 3919

Holy See (Vatican City State) (va)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#6  Postby Ickypedia » Jul 06, 2010 6:54 pm

Tbickle wrote:
Ickypedia wrote:If it's competitive and is based on arbitrary rules it's a sport.

What I'm wondering is where you lot keep your World Cup threads ;P


Scrabble is a sport?


If played in a league or tournament, sure...

http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/01/29/scrabble-is-a-five-lettered-sport/

One of many links provided by a quick search on google... it might not be internationally recognised, but I fail to see what lacks for it to be considered a sport? Unless anybody can come up with a prerequisite which Scrabble doesn't have, nothing but elitism keeps it from being one.

It's not sport if me and my mates have a kick around with the football... not really... when I play with my University side, it's sport. :)
User avatar
Ickypedia
 
Name: Eirik
Posts: 126
Age: 35
Male

Country: Norway
Norway (no)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#7  Postby Tbickle » Jul 06, 2010 7:19 pm

Ickypedia wrote:
Tbickle wrote:
Ickypedia wrote:If it's competitive and is based on arbitrary rules it's a sport.

What I'm wondering is where you lot keep your World Cup threads ;P


Scrabble is a sport?


If played in a league or tournament, sure...

http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/01/29/scrabble-is-a-five-lettered-sport/


See, I would still disagree based on my own subjective requirements. A league or tournament would be better than a couple of people just playing for fun.

One of many links provided by a quick search on google... it might not be internationally recognised, but I fail to see what lacks for it to be considered a sport? Unless anybody can come up with a prerequisite which Scrabble doesn't have, nothing but elitism keeps it from being one.


It's not elitism, it's just trying to apply a set of criteria.

It's not sport if me and my mates have a kick around with the football... not really... when I play with my University side, it's sport. :)


Now here I don't understand the difference. You're still playing competitively although under different circumstance and pressure to win with your friends compared to your university team, but what is it that makes the one a sport and the other not?

Also, what would you say is the difference between a sport and a competition or are the synonymous?
Last edited by Tbickle on Jul 06, 2010 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
-Thomas Paine
User avatar
Tbickle
 
Posts: 3919

Holy See (Vatican City State) (va)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: What Defines a Sport?

#8  Postby pawiz » Jul 06, 2010 7:28 pm

tuco wrote:Competition - tournaments/leagues and preparation - training.

Sudoko and crosswords qualify by this definition
It is my deeply held belief that (insert name of favored deity here) is a complete fuckwit. Please respect my beliefs.
User avatar
pawiz
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Paul
Posts: 676
Age: 55
Male

Country: United States of Jebus
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#9  Postby bdcarlitosway » Jul 06, 2010 7:32 pm

I`ve always asked myself this question. I always conceived of sports as a physical activity but then again chess is considered a sport and it doesnt involve too much of that. So I wonder what is the definition.
Life becomes much easier when you master the skill of farting silently
User avatar
bdcarlitosway
 
Posts: 502
Age: 34
Male

Country: Guatemala
Guatemala (gt)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#10  Postby Ickypedia » Jul 06, 2010 8:00 pm

Tbickle wrote:
Ickypedia wrote:
Tbickle wrote:
Ickypedia wrote:If it's competitive and is based on arbitrary rules it's a sport.

What I'm wondering is where you lot keep your World Cup threads ;P


Scrabble is a sport?


If played in a league or tournament, sure...

http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/01/29/scrabble-is-a-five-lettered-sport/


See, I would still disagree based on my own subjective requirements. A league or tournament would be better than a couple of people just playing for fun.


What are your subjective requirements? Your second sentence there I don't quite get.... A league or tournament would be better how? It makes it more competitive, certainly... which is why I said that's part of what makes it sport.

One of many links provided by a quick search on google... it might not be internationally recognised, but I fail to see what lacks for it to be considered a sport? Unless anybody can come up with a prerequisite which Scrabble doesn't have, nothing but elitism keeps it from being one.


It's not elitism, it's just trying to apply a set of criteria.


Again, which criteria?

It's not sport if me and my mates have a kick around with the football... not really... when I play with my University side, it's sport. :)


Now here I don't understand the difference. You're still playing competitively although under different circumstance and pressure to win with your friends compared to your university team, but what is it that makes the one a sport and the other not?

Also, what would you say is the difference between a sport and a competition or are the synonymous?


It's not really competitive if it's just me and my mates... Yes, we want to win. But there's no title or trophy at stake. It's not arranged by any official organ. It's not officiated. Take your pick.

Or we could all just agree that language is imperfect, and that people's concepts and notions don't correspond perfectly to words :D
User avatar
Ickypedia
 
Name: Eirik
Posts: 126
Age: 35
Male

Country: Norway
Norway (no)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#11  Postby Tbickle » Jul 06, 2010 8:15 pm

Ickypedia wrote:
It's not really competitive if it's just me and my mates... Yes, we want to win. But there's no title or trophy at stake. It's not arranged by any official organ. It's not officiated. Take your pick.

Or we could all just agree that language is imperfect, and that people's concepts and notions don't correspond perfectly to words :D


I completely agree. It's all subjective, but I've always found it to be an interesting discussion although not a highly important one. It's just always interesting to see how people define it.
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
-Thomas Paine
User avatar
Tbickle
 
Posts: 3919

Holy See (Vatican City State) (va)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#12  Postby Ickypedia » Jul 06, 2010 8:32 pm

Oh, I agree. Though I rarely get to wheel out my viewpoint... people who like discussions like these tend to dislike sports ;P
User avatar
Ickypedia
 
Name: Eirik
Posts: 126
Age: 35
Male

Country: Norway
Norway (no)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#13  Postby Tbickle » Jul 06, 2010 8:37 pm

Ickypedia wrote:Oh, I agree. Though I rarely get to wheel out my viewpoint... people who like discussions like these tend to dislike sports ;P


Actually I love sports, I just don't understand why some events are called sports or the participants athletes. As I said earlier, it has generally come up to me by way of people talking about auto racing as a sport, and I usually argued that it wasn't.
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
-Thomas Paine
User avatar
Tbickle
 
Posts: 3919

Holy See (Vatican City State) (va)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#14  Postby tuco » Jul 06, 2010 8:41 pm

pawiz wrote:
tuco wrote:Competition - tournaments/leagues and preparation - training.

Sudoko and crosswords qualify by this definition


So? If they do, they are sports to me, yes.
tuco
 
Posts: 15550

Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#15  Postby Ickypedia » Jul 06, 2010 8:41 pm

Tbickle wrote:
Ickypedia wrote:Oh, I agree. Though I rarely get to wheel out my viewpoint... people who like discussions like these tend to dislike sports ;P


Actually I love sports, I just don't understand why some events are called sports or the participants athletes. As I said earlier, it has generally come up to me by way of people talking about auto racing as a sport, and I usually argued that it wasn't.


I wasn't levelling that claim at you. Either you care for a sport or you're a semantic pedantic, otherwise I'd assume you'd nevermind what the definition was ;) Racing I don't quite get either, despite my dad being a motorcycle racer before my time. My definition accepts it, though... I do reserve the right to call it a silly one, mind ;P
User avatar
Ickypedia
 
Name: Eirik
Posts: 126
Age: 35
Male

Country: Norway
Norway (no)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: What Defines a Sport?

#16  Postby Berthold » Jul 18, 2010 12:29 pm

This should be an olympic discipline. :mrgreen:
Berthold
 
Posts: 479
Age: 70
Male

Austria (at)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#17  Postby Blackadder » Aug 10, 2010 6:58 pm

Tbickle wrote:
Oh, I've had many a discussion on this one generally starting from the discussion if NASCAR is a sport or not or if the drivers are considered to be athletes.

I've generally argued that a sport needs to be a competitive event, with some amount of established rules, that requires more physical activity than merely sitting and where the human participant's physical actions need to be more important than the equipment used to play it. Poker, not a sport, it's a competition. NASCAR, not a sport but a running track race is. Ballet? Maybe, but I've never heard of any competitive ballet events.


If you think driving a race car round a track at near 200mph is "merely sitting" then you clearly don't know much about it.

My personal definition of sport is any competitive activity that demands strenuous physical exertion and where the winner is determined by objective results, not by judges. The word "strenuous" is of course open to interpretation. I would define it as requiring strength, speed, or stamina as a bare minimum.
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
User avatar
Blackadder
RS Donator
 
Posts: 3776
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#18  Postby levesqueiroq » Jul 19, 2011 1:16 pm

excellent OP

its a question that never seems to be asked by the olympics committee. what a collection of arbitrary events that is

if shooting is a sport (where you get to lie down in some instances) is a sport, then surely darts (you have to stand up show endurance of drinking loads of beer, well you do in my pub) is one too.

i think there is a snobery and the word 'sport' needs to be properly defined. maybe there should be 'competitive sport' where the aforementioned strength stamina etc comes in and then 'mind sports' or something similar for chess poker etc and then work out properly how to classify all competitive activities. as really you coudl argue most things people do in their leisure (within reason) could be deemed sports

there is a totally unfair bias toward cycling and swimming at the olympics. if you're good at either, then you can clean up! as a lot of competitors have done recently, im thinking the thorpedo and chris hoy
"Man was made in Gods image" no no no, "God was made in mans image"
User avatar
levesqueiroq
 
Name: Wesley
Posts: 225
Age: 39
Male

Country: England
England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#19  Postby zulumoose » Jul 19, 2011 1:27 pm

How about this for a definition, which I have just made up.

A sport is a competitive activity based on guided physical movement, especially where training is employed to acquire competitive advantage.
User avatar
zulumoose
 
Posts: 3627

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: What Defines a Sport?

#20  Postby Jumbo » Jul 19, 2011 1:42 pm

If you think driving a race car round a track at near 200mph is "merely sitting" then you clearly don't know much about it.

Indeed.

There is a large amount of physical exertion involved in getting a high performance car around a track at professional racing speeds. It subjects the body to a lot of g force and heart rates of drivers are through the roof for extended periods of time. They need physical stamina to cope with this and the fitter the driver the more of an edge he will have. Add in the very high cockpit temperatures in many cars at many tracks and drivers lose large amounts of fluids during a race too. An unfit driver will also tend to lose mental focus due to simply coping with what the car is putting them through which degrades their competativeness greatly.

Its not a coincidence that say Jenson Button does triathalons in his spare time or Mark Webber rides ridiculous distances on his bike.

Motoracing though it involves using machinery is a very physical activity and personally i would class it as a sport.
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm

1. Write down the problem.
2. Think very hard.
3. Write down the answer.
User avatar
Jumbo
 
Posts: 3599
Age: 41
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Social Sciences & Humanities

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest

cron