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Author Topic: So what makes a sport?  (Read 7193 times)

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Jonathan

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So what makes a sport?
« on: July 01, 2004, 01:04:02 AM »

I threatened that I was going to start this thread. And so I did.

For me, a sport is a physical activity where the outcome can be directly determined by the participants. I say can, not must, because there are always going to be the need for arbiters, and sometimes they determine the outcome, intentionally or not.

Some examples:

Baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, football: Sports

Gymnastics, figure skating: Not sports. The outcome is determined by judges, not the athletes.

Boxing: Sport. You always have the ability to win the bout yourself by knocking out your opponent. You need not rely on the judges' decision.

Auto racing: Sport. You get in a 3400 pound car, drive it around for 500 miles, and then tell me it's not a physical activity. Don't give me that "all they do is turn left" crap. It's a sport. And hell, most racers turn left AND right. Even in NASCAR.

Professional wrestling: Not a sport. The outcome is determined by Vince McMahon.

Amateur wrestling: Sport

Swimming and diving: Swimming is a sport, diving is not. This is the hardest one for me, because I like diving, and it just seems like it should be a sport. But the outcome is completely determined by judges, so it doesn't meet the test. I'm comfortable with my definition, and I'm not going to change it just for diving. A physical activity? Certainly. A sport? No.

Golf: Sport. So long as you walk. If you walk a couple of miles during a round, that sounds like a physical activity to me. If you take a cart and drink a six pack of beer, then you're starting to flirt with pasttime territory.
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Butter

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2004, 08:10:51 AM »

I don't like your "judge" limitation, but I don't have anything better right now.  Give me a few hours.
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Boogieman

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2004, 08:22:23 AM »

Well I think you make a good case.  I have heard the "judges" argument before.  I think I'llbuy that.  My mother inlaw ice skates.  Travles all over the place,  I cant wait to have this talk with her..* I shudder at the thought of her in a skating suit*
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Jonathan

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2004, 09:20:54 AM »

Quote from: "Butter"
I don't like your "judge" limitation, but I don't have anything better right now.  Give me a few hours.

Basically, I put the judge limitation in place because I don't like the idea of a bunch of people sitting on the sideline in suits being the sole determining factor of who wins or loses. I think that should be decided on the "field of play," rather than the judges' table, for it to qualify as a sport.
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"I believe that in the long view of history, the British Empire will be remembered only for two things. The game of football, and the expression 'fuck off.'" - Sir Richard Turnbull

foolsgold

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2004, 09:31:24 AM »

Bike racing, track or road = Sport big time.
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Butter

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2004, 09:50:45 AM »

Yes, the outcome is determined in part by the judges in, say, figure skating.  But if you go out there and fall on your ass 4 times, you ain't gon' win.  So the outcome is not determined SOLELY by the judges.  The athletes have to be fairly decent.  The ordering of the athletes is determined by the judges, but I don't think that makes it NOT a sport.
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Jonathan

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2004, 10:02:53 AM »

Quote from: "Butter"
Yes, the outcome is determined in part by the judges in, say, figure skating.  But if you go out there and fall on your ass 4 times, you ain't gon' win.  So the outcome is not determined SOLELY by the judges.  The athletes have to be fairly decent.  The ordering of the athletes is determined by the judges, but I don't think that makes it NOT a sport.


So what I'm getting from that is the only thing in figure skating you can control is whether or not you lose (by falling down or not falling down). You cannot go out there and guarantee a victory, you can only guarantee a loss.

You could go out there, skate the program of your life, and the judges could still give the victory to someone else who didn't skate as well, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. (A certain result in Salt Lake City comes to mind...)
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"I believe that in the long view of history, the British Empire will be remembered only for two things. The game of football, and the expression 'fuck off.'" - Sir Richard Turnbull

Butter

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2004, 10:14:20 AM »

What about hopscotch?  It's a physical activity where you can determine your own fate, but is that a sport?

Your definition is too narrow.
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Jonathan

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2004, 10:50:20 AM »

Don't you mean too broad? Since it opens the door for hopscotch to be included and all.

Yeah, hopscotch probably isn't a sport, but I have to say it seems to me to be closer to a sport than figure skating.

Maybe I should work Watusi's "risk of injury" clause into the definition.
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"I believe that in the long view of history, the British Empire will be remembered only for two things. The game of football, and the expression 'fuck off.'" - Sir Richard Turnbull

Butter

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2004, 11:02:45 AM »

Quote from: "Jonathan"
Don't you mean too broad? Since it opens the door for hopscotch to be included and all.


I guess so, Cap'n Semantics.

Quote
Yeah, hopscotch probably isn't a sport, but I have to say it seems to me to be closer to a sport than figure skating.


Oh, so you're just high then.  OK.
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Jonathan

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2004, 11:28:21 AM »

Call me crazy, but I think of a sport as something where the athletes actually determine who wins or loses, as opposed to a bunch of old farts on the sidelines who are susceptible to bribery.
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MissKitty

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2004, 11:52:45 AM »

But aren't umpires and referees also susceptible to bribery?  :twisted:
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LanneyD

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2004, 11:55:57 AM »

I have to agree with gymnastics/ice skating/etc not being sports (though I have to say, those take a helluva lot of physical work).  If anything, I would consider them competitions.  kinda like a science fair.
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Jonathan

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2004, 12:00:38 PM »

Quote from: "MissKitty"
But aren't umpires and referees also susceptible to bribery?  :twisted:


Sure, just look at Urs Meier.

KIDDING!

Yeah, I was mad at the guy, and I still think he made the wrong call, but I've found the backlash against him to be both repugnant and embarassing. The guy's under police protection now, for crying out loud! That just ain't right.
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"I believe that in the long view of history, the British Empire will be remembered only for two things. The game of football, and the expression 'fuck off.'" - Sir Richard Turnbull

Butter

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So what makes a sport?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2004, 12:12:50 PM »

MK brings up a good point though.  How many times have you seen a questionable foul call (in soccer, Amer. football, basketball, etc.) at the end of a game that decides the outcome?  That can hardly be considered as the outcome being determined by the participants.  In baseball, you have questionable ball/strike, safe/out calls.  Sure, it CAN be determined by the participants, but it also CANNOT, and that's not the basis for a definition.

I think we need to throw your def. out altogether Jonathan, sorry.

How about the one from dictionary.com?

  1. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.

That's broad as well, but then, I think of sports in broad terms.
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