What is a Sport?

Bliss Bergmark, Staff Writer

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What do skydiving, chess, NASCAR, bowling, and dart throwing have in common? They, along with many other activities, are self-proclaimed “sports”. These activities are greatly debated by many, since some people consider them to be sports, while others acknowledge them only as pastimes for recreation.

   According to Google, a sport is classified as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”.

    “A sport is something that has a ball and point system.” said Matthew Loeffler (‘19).

   But, how exactly does one interpret physical exertion? For example, a person racing a marathon exerts much more energy than a person playing a game of baseball, yet there’s no doubt that both running and baseball are sports.

   So why are activities like bowling or dart throwing cast to the side? After all, one must exert some amount of energy when releasing the ball or dart. Not to mention that both can be played in competitive atmospheres, such as the World Tenpin Bowling Championships or the World Darts Championship.

   Similar to basketball and football, chess is also an activity in which the main objective is to defeat the opponent and win the game. Along with that, chess matches, like basketball and football games, can attract hundreds of thousands of fans who are eager to watch and be entertained by the quick-paced matches.

   Furthermore, people, like NASCAR racers, can turn their hobbies into profitable professions. Hockey stars who play in the NHL make up to about ten million dollars per year, while talented NASCAR drivers can make up to, approximately, twenty million dollars per year.

   “If you consider a sport to be physically exerting, then NASCAR is not a sport. But if you consider it to be a competition, then NASCAR is a sport.” said Mary Tincher (‘19).

   Despite the terminology and definitions the world uses to determine which activities are sports and which are not, a true sport doesn’t need to be defined by physical exertion, competition, or salary. People know a real sport when they see one.

   That’s not to say that every single person in the world will agree upon which activities are sports and which are not, it just means that if a majority of people consider an activity to a sport, it probably has the right to be called a sport.

   “The dictionary says anything that’s competitive is a sport, it even includes chess. But I think when somebody is doing something that requires physical activity, then they’re playing a sport.” said Emmy Swyers (‘20).

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What is a Sport?