What defines a sport? Is fishing a sport? How about video game tournaments?

Steve

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I actually don't like Hungry Hungry Hippos. In fact, I lost interest in the game by the time I was in 2nd grade.

I'm just bringing it up because the way I define "sport" would include it. Success in Hungry Hungry Hippos requires two physical attributes: speed and timing.

Do you have a definition of "sport" that excludes Hungry Hungry Hippos, but includes billiards and darts? Because I'll be happy to adopt it if you do.
I mean, I've only posted it three times now, including at least twice in direct response to you, my man.

I think, when you boil it down to the bare essentials, sports are activities that meet the following:
  1. Played competitively
  2. Organized into some kind of league
  3. Requires some kind of physical skill
So, chess is a game because there is no form of physical skill, and in fact, you can play entirely electronically of, if you're smart enough, without even a board.

Auto racing, golf, tennis, curling, bowling, etc are all sports.

eSports are also sport:


I think if hungry hungry hippos is ever organized into leagues, it would be a sport. Until then, even though there is a physical element, it's a game.

Horseshoes, darts, billiards are all sports because they are often played in leagues or organized competitions. Regarding Hungry Hungry Hippos, it seems like you really... really like that game for some reason. But dude. It's not a sport.

And in related news, while chess is not a sport, chess boxing certainly is:

 

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I mean, I've only posted it three times now, including at least twice in direct response to you, my man
Got it, but I'm having a hard time buying the "organized into leagues" part.

I think it makes sense that whether or not something is a "sport" is determined intrinsically by the activity itself, not what is done with it extrinsically.

Think about it: let's say that an organized league for a particular thing was just established this morning at a 10 am. You yourself don't play for this league, but you do play it as a leisurely activity. You yourself played this morning from 9 am to 11 am. Would you then say that for the first half, you were not playing a sport, but you were in the second half?

Like I said, what determines whether or not something is a sport needs to be intrinsic to the activity itself.
 

gpseymour

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I think, when you boil it down to the bare essentials, sports are activities that meet the following:
  1. Played competitively
  2. Organized into some kind of league
  3. Requires some kind of physical skill
So, chess is a game because there is no form of physical skill, and in fact, you can play entirely electronically of, if you're smart enough, without even a board.

Auto racing, golf, tennis, curling, bowling, etc are all sports.

eSports are also sport:

The competition part is hard to stick to (though that's certainly what first comes to my mind). Does golf cease to be a sport if playing alone? Perhaps it does.

I'm not at all certain about the requirement of a league. I think touch football is still a sport when some friends just get together to play a game.
 

Steve

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Got it, but I'm having a hard time buying the "organized into leagues" part.

I think it makes sense that whether or not something is a "sport" is determined intrinsically by the activity itself, not what is done with it extrinsically.

Think about it: let's say that an organized league for a particular thing was just established this morning at a 10 am. You yourself don't play for this league, but you do play it as a leisurely activity. You yourself played this morning from 9 am to 11 am. Would you then say that for the first half, you were not playing a sport, but you were in the second half?

Like I said, what determines whether or not something is a sport needs to be intrinsic to the activity itself.
Right on. I can't think of an activity that we would normally consider a sport that doesn't have some level of organization to it. Regarding the idea that someone could create a league this morning, and thus it is a sport... I mean it depends on whether there is actually organization and a league.

But, yeah, if I actually organize a real tiddly-winks league, where there are players who compete in some kind of structured environment, I'd say it counts as a sport. So, to answer your question, is it possible for a non-sport to become a sport? Yes. 100%. Once again, eSports are a great example. Playing FPS or other online games was not a sport 30 years ago. But they organized the activity into competitive leagues and what was once a game is now a sport.
 

Steve

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The competition part is hard to stick to (though that's certainly what first comes to my mind). Does golf cease to be a sport if playing alone? Perhaps it does.

I'm not at all certain about the requirement of a league. I think touch football is still a sport when some friends just get together to play a game.
It's always a sport because the competitive element is always there, even if you choose not to engage in it. Same with football. Playing catch is not a sport, but playing football is.
 

gpseymour

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It's always a sport because the competitive element is always there, even if you choose not to engage in it. Same with football. Playing catch is not a sport, but playing football is.
That seems like an artificial distinction, then. If golf leagues went away, golf would no longer be a sport. Same for every other sport. But I suppose most distinctions are just our way of categorizing, so if your categorization of sport requires the organized competition, then that's a key distinction.
 

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The thing about sports is that we know a sport when we see one. We also know something that is NOT a sport when we see it. But it appears to be impossible to come up with a definition of the word that includes 100% everything we perceive as a sport, and excludes 100% of the things that we don't.

Funny litte story: A friend of mine once said that he plays darts and bowls better when he's drunk. Basically, if a game can be safely played by people who are drunk, it's not a sport. Of course, this definition is too funny to be seriously adopted, although one can argue that it does make some logical sense.
 

Steve

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That seems like an artificial distinction, then. If golf leagues went away, golf would no longer be a sport. Same for every other sport. But I suppose most distinctions are just our way of categorizing, so if your categorization of sport requires the organized competition, then that's a key distinction.
That's all true. It's artificial. In the words of the Mighty Thor, 'All words are made up."

And also, yes, this is about categorizing things. :)
 

drop bear

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Right on. I can't think of an activity that we would normally consider a sport that doesn't have some level of organization to it. Regarding the idea that someone could create a league this morning, and thus it is a sport... I mean it depends on whether there is actually organization and a league.

But, yeah, if I actually organize a real tiddly-winks league, where there are players who compete in some kind of structured environment, I'd say it counts as a sport. So, to answer your question, is it possible for a non-sport to become a sport? Yes. 100%. Once again, eSports are a great example. Playing FPS or other online games was not a sport 30 years ago. But they organized the activity into competitive leagues and what was once a game is now a sport.

So tag would be a game. Competition tag would be a sport.

 

Steve

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So tag would be a game. Competition tag would be a sport.

I'd flip that to say, because there is a competition Tag, it is a sport. Full stop. You may not play in a league, but if you're playing tag by the rules, as a competition, it's sport not game.

Functionally, at this point, how is tag different from other sports?
 

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Unless you do it on the street, and then it's serious... deadly serious. In my youth, I played football on the streets... to the death.
We grew up playing football, tacke football, tag football, flag football in college.

In our neighborhood, as teens, if we were too lazy to go up to the college field, we'd play in the street. The huddle was like "Go up to the Burke's car, cut towards the hydrant, button hook at the pothole."

My favorite route. :)
 

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I'm not sure what you're describing... do you mean chess piece? That doesn't count because you could just as easily play the game online or even by text without a board at all.
Oops, yep I meant chess not chest 🤣

Yeah fair enough
 

Steve

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We grew up playing football, tacke football, tag football, flag football in college.

In our neighborhood, as teens, if we were too lazy to go up to the college field, we'd play in the street. The huddle was like "Go up to the Burke's car, cut towards the hydrant, button hook at the pothole."

My favorite route. :)
That's exactly how we did it.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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We grew up playing football, tacke football, tag football, flag football in college.

In our neighborhood, as teens, if we were too lazy to go up to the college field, we'd play in the street. The huddle was like "Go up to the Burke's car, cut towards the hydrant, button hook at the pothole."

My favorite route. :)
Sounds about right, except no flag football in my neighborhood.


When I was recovering from a broken leg around 13ish years old, basically the second I got out of the boot, I started going back to the field at the end of the block to play football with my buds. Got my mom to sign off basically saying that it's close by, all people that she knew, and a good way for me to get back to using it while being able to rest. Also informed her it was touch football.

A year ago I informed her that we were playing tackle, and hard tackling at that. If this was the first of such revelations, she probably would have been mad...
 

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This is where we get into the "exertion" question. My understanding is that racecar driving is pretty physically demanding. So, back into that morass of vagueness.
Funny thing about that. Check out this link to the Top 10 oldest drivers to ever compete in NASCAR:


Oldest NASCAR driver to compete was Hershel McGriff, whose last race was in 2018 at the age of 90. Numbers 2 and 3 were in their late 70's, and number 10 was Jeff Green at the age of 57 in 2020.

You can compete at the professional major league level in racecar driving at the age of 90. You can't do this in basketball or football. Hell, you probably couldn't even get together with friends to do it at that age.
 
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