Settling the debates: is it a sport or not? (2023)

Settling the debates: is it a sport or not?

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    We were all in the discussion. The question of certain things comes up and the debate becomes, "is this a sport or not?"

    Well, it's time to settle these debates once and for all. There are three criteria to be considered a sport. Here is the dictionary definition ofSport:

    An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against others for entertainment

    From this we deduce three things. First, it must have some level of "physical exertion", and from that I infer actual athletic exertion. The typing I'm doing right now requires physical exertion, literally. In sporting terms, however, this physical exertion should be more than minimal.

    After thinking about it, I think you could put it that way. If you can improve your performance by improving your conditioning, it's a sport. Sure, some people might do it even though they're not in shape, but they'd do better if they were in shape. In other words, if you can physically train for it, it meets that aspect of the definition. It's not just the actual effort, it's the skill that's being exerted.

    Second, there must be an actual physical "ability". By this I mean that there are individual elements that can be developed to enhance a larger skill. For example, in soccer, catching the ball is a skill. Batting a baseball is a skill.

    Some may be wondering what the difference is between effort and skill. Batting a baseball is a good example of both. Working on your swing will help you hit the ball better. If you work on your strength, you can hit the ball harder. Ergo, hitting a baseball requires both skill and skill.

    Sport often requires a mental aspect, but practically everything. Having a physical ability doesn't make something a sport.

    Third, there must be a competition to see who the winner is. If there is no competition, it is not a sport.

    Based on that, we're going to examine 10 "sports" to see if they are or notYes, reallySport.


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    ESPN may offer poker, but that doesn't make it a sport. It's not even close.

    Does it require physical exertion or skill? No .

    Is physical skill required? no

    Is there a competition? Yes. At least that part is there.

    Other than that, there really isn't much to say. Have you ever seen someone do "face workouts" to keep their poker face in shape? Have you ever seen someone practicing moving their poker chips? Even if they did, it wouldn't make them a better player.

    Conclusion: Poker is not a sport.


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    Does bowling require physical exertion or skill? Yes, but minimally.

    Does bowling require physical ability? Yes, and more than some think.

    Does bowling have a competitive element? Absolutely.

    Bowling is a sport, but it's on the lower level of "sport". It all depends on how you define the "physical ability" part of things. While there is an element of physical exertion, it's not great.

    However, as you get stronger you can get better as it can make all the difference which weight ball you can throw. Certainly the skill part is there. There are many hours of practice between a 150 bowler and a 250 bowler.

    Conclusion: bowling is a sport.

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    Is physical exertion required? Yes

    Is physical skill required? Yes

    Is there a competition? Yes

    NASCAR is definitely a sport. The physical abilities required to succeed may not be the same as, say, an NBA player, but real physical exertion is required. NASCAR drivers can lose anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds in one race. This is physical exertion.

    The eye-to-hand coordination required for racing is amazing - and at a level not possessed by the average Joe on the road. Yes, you might be able to drive your car, but that doesn't mean you can compete at such a level. Driving requires practice, making it a skill required for competition.

    Conclusion: NASCAR is a sport.


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    Is physical exertion or skill required? Yes

    Is physical skill required? Yes

    Is it a competition? Yes

    When Phil Mickelson was in better shape, his game got better. There are a number of ways physical attributes play a role. Getting stronger can help your drive. Being in good shape can mean better stamina, and when you're on the 18th hole, a bit better stamina can help.

    There is no question that skill is required. Hitting a ball into a hole 500 meters away with a crooked stick takes practice!

    Is it a competition? Hopefully!

    Conclusion: Golf is a sport.


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    Is physical exertion or skill required? Once in a while

    Is physical skill required? Once in a while

    Is it a competition? Once in a while

    Fishing is all about the context, whether it's a sport or not. When I was living in Minnesota in the middle of winter, people would pull their trucks out onto the ice, pull out their tents, and pitch them.

    Next, they drill a hole in the ice and drop a line. Then they crank up the generator, plug in the TV, and drink beer and ice fish. This is not a sport.

    Grabbing a cooler, throwing it on the rowboat and paddling to the middle of the lake where you get drunk with a leash in the water is not a sport.

    Neither requires skill or effort and has no competition, so it's not a sport.

    Reaching in a 50 pound tuna in a fishing tournament is another matter. Fishing is only a sport if it is a sport. Otherwise it's just an outdoor hobby.

    Conclusion: Fishing is sometimes a sport.


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    Is physical exertion or skill required? Yes

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    Is physical skill required? Yes

    Is it a competition? Once in a while

    Cheerleading is all about context. If there's a cheerleading competition, it's a sport. There's no question that all that jumping and flipping and whatnot requires both physical ability and skills that are honed over time.

    If they're in a cheerleading competition, that's a sport. If they're actually cheering for a sport, it's not a sport. This raises another question.

    Who cheers on the cheerleaders at the cheerleading competitions? The backup cheerleaders?

    Conclusion: Cheerleading is only a sport if it is a competition.

competition food

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    Is physical exertion or skill required? Yes

    Is physical skill required? Yes

    Is it a competition? Yes

    The fact is, competitive eating does indeed qualify as a sport. These guys are actually trying to exercise and spend time in the gym to do things that will improve their ability to eat copious and obscene amounts of food. They have training cycles and everything to get their stomachs right for a competition.

    Granted, it's not what we normally think of as conditioning, but it's a kind of conditioning.

    It requires skill. Takeru Kobayashi changed the whole nature of it by introducing technique.

    There are reasons we have trouble accepting it as a sport. First of all, one usually thinks of sport and assumes that more calories are lost than gained when “playing”.

    The other thing is that watching most sports is a numbing experience, not austere.

    Verdict: Competitive eating is a sport (albeit a gross one).

Competitive Gaming

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    Is physical exertion or skill required? no

    Is physical skill required? Yes

    (Video) Settling This Debate

    Is it a competition? Yes

    Say what you will about competitive gaming, but no, it's not a sport. I don't care how many hours you've logged on Playstation or how good you've gotten, it doesn't make you an athlete.

    What exercises can you do to improve your game performance? Yes, that sums it up.

    Conclusion: Competitive games are not sports.

competitive dance

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    Is physical exertion or skill required? Yes

    Is physical skill required? Yes

    Is it a competition? Yes

    If you have never seen such broadcastsyou think you can danceand when you see what dancers can do at the highest level, you might not appreciate the incredible athleticism a dancer requires. The amount of strength, endurance, condition and skill is on par with professional athletes.

    When you add the competitive element, it becomes a real sport.

    Conclusion: Competitive dancing is a sport.

Professional wrestling

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    Is physical exertion or skill required? Yes

    Is physical skill required? Yes

    Is it a competition? no

    Sorry, just because there are belts and matches and "winners" and "losers" doesn't mean there is competition in professional wrestling. If it's a script, it's not a competition.

    While there is a segment of the population who will happily try to convince themselves that it is not fake, most of us know that it is fake. Those of us who don't want to fool ourselves into believing that one can "cheer" for or against a given outcome know what it is, an exhibition.

    Certainly the physical ability, agility and athleticism are very real, but if it's not really a competition, it's not a sport.

    Verdict: Professional wrestling is not a sport.

    (Video) Settling This Debate - Pt. 2


Is speech and debate a sport? ›

Speech and debate is an academic sport governed by the NSDA that offers numerous competitive events for students to compete in.

Why debate is not a sport? ›

Sports, by definition, require some physical exertion to them. The only real debates are about things like billiards and auto racing and gymnastics. Billiards, for example, requires physical dexterity, but it doesn't really require physical exertion.

Is debate an intellectual sport? ›

Debate is like an intellectual sport where you have to learn the skills to win. For example, in order to win a debate round, you need to have a full understanding of the topic you are debating about.

What is not considered a sport? ›

Games not Sports

Games such as chess, poker (and other card games), billiards/pool game types games (carom billiards, cribbage (pool), cushion caroms, cutthroat etc) may not be considered a sport by everyone. A game like marbles has the physical skill to be a sport, but lacks regular competition.

What qualifies as a sport? ›

Oxford Dictionary defines sport as "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or a team competes against another or others for entertainment". By the latter definition, hunting does not qualify as a sport because it does not involve competition.

What activities are considered as sport? ›

A human activity involving physical exertion and skill as the primary focus of the activity, with elements of competition or social participation where rules and patterns of behaviour governing the activity exist formally through organisations and is generally recognised as a sport.

Is it a sport or not a sport? ›

The simple answer is that in the United States, we use the noun “sport” to talk about any contest or game that involves physical activity. When we talk about “sports” we mean the plural form of the noun. That is how we talk about basketball, football and baseball as a group.

What are some sports debates? ›

These are the Top 30 Arguments and Debates in Sports, as argued by the fans.
  • College Basketball One-and-Done Rule?
  • AAU or NBA? ...
  • What Is the Most Unbreakable Record in Sports? ...
  • BCS or Playoffs? ...
  • Can Soccer Become the Fifth Major Sport? ...
  • Is the NFL Getting Soft with the Concussion Rules? ...
  • Will Tiger Win Another Major? ...

Why are games not sports? ›

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a sport as a physical activity engaged in for pleasure. While playing a video game requires skill and some coordination, it does not incorporate enough physical aspects to be a sport.

What skill is debate? ›

Debating will help you develop critical thinking skills that are essential in daily life. Critical thinking is the ability to make well thought out and reasoned arguments while also questioning the evidence behind a particular conclusion or stance.

Which sport is best for brain? ›

Team sports such as footy, netball, water polo and basketball are fantastic for this. Secondly, brain development is enhanced by sports that require balance and coordination of the two sides of the body, so both hemispheres of the brain. BMX, mountain biking, swimming, martial arts and gymnastics are ideal for this.”

Are athletes born or made debate? ›

If you are a person with genes that respond better to training, then you may become “great” without having been born with “athletic genes.” However, this doesn't disprove that athletes are born because it is those genes that you are born with that allow you to make yourself into a great athlete.

What are the three 3 types of sports? ›

The different types of sports categories are: Individual Sports. Partner Sports. Team Sports.

What are 4 types of sports? ›

Here are the different types of sports:
  • Air Sports. Air sports include a vast domain of aerial activities done as sporting events.
  • Athletics. Athletics refers to sports events that test the athlete's endurance, strength, and speed. ...
  • Ball Sports. ...
  • Board Sports. ...
  • Combat Sports. ...
  • Cycle Sports. ...
  • Gymnastics. ...
  • Ice Sports.

Is yoga a sport yes or no? ›

It has been declared as a competitive sport in the country in 2015. The practice of asana can be very physically challenging, and the words “effort and ease” are mentioned in the Yoga Sutras: Sthiram Sukham Asanam, yoga posture is an expression between effort and ease.

What determines if a sport is a sport? ›

A sport is an activity involving physical exertion, skill, and competition. Based on this definition, any activity that meets all three requirements are considered sports.

Why is it called a sport? ›

The word "sport" comes from the Old French desport meaning "leisure", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining".

What's the difference between a sport and an activity? ›

A game involves more than one person and a sport pertains to only an individual's skills and performance. A physical activity, Sport is carried out under an agreed set of rules. Sport is related to recreational purpose, either for self-enjoyment or competition or for both.

Is weight lifting a sport? ›

Weightlifting is an olympic sport, and has been contested in every Summer Olympic Games since 1920.

Is Music considered a sport? ›

Making music is a physical activity. Playing the flute doesn't (normally) involve any running or big jumps, but it does require the movement of many many muscles - in your face, your tongue, your fingers, for breathing and blowing.

Is cheerleading a sport yes or no? ›

But unlike football, cheerleading is not officially recognized as a sport — neither by the NCAA nor by U.S. federal Title IX guidelines.

What are the 6 types of debate? ›

Some of the most common types of debate include team policy, cross-examination, Lincoln-Douglas, spontaneous Argumentation, public forum, and parliamentary debates. These debates are differentiated by topics, the number of debaters, time limits, and access to resources.

What are the most common debates? ›

Most Controversial Topics List
  • Gun Control.
  • Abortion.
  • Religious Freedom.
  • Animal Rights.
  • Vaccines.
  • Privacy Rights.
  • Free-Market Capitalism.
  • Global Climate Change.
Sep 20, 2022

What is discuss in sports? ›

discus throw, sport in athletics (track and field) in which a disk-shaped object, known as a discus, is thrown for distance. In modern competition the discus must be thrown from a circle 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) in diameter and fall within a 40° sector marked on the ground from the centre of the circle.

Is sport just about winning? ›

This is because sport is not just about winning or losing. It is about a shared experience, a shared contest, and it represents values that bring out the best in us as people – ultimately we are in competition with ourselves first and foremost.

What sports are no longer played? ›

Since the first modern Games in 1896, 10 sports have disappeared completely from the Olympic schedule. These are croquet, cricket, Jeu de Paume, pelota, polo, roque, rackets, tug-of-war, lacrosse, and motor boating.

Do sports matter in life? ›

Sports teach courage, resilience, and grit

Sports can teach kids to lead, to follow, to take responsibility, working with others, sportsmanship, and so much more. Every athlete, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to learn lifelong skills through sports, and every athlete deserves the opportunity to do so.

Is debating a life skill? ›

Communication has always been one of the crucial life skills that aids people in all aspects of their lives, be it personal or professional. Communication plays a key role in sustaining collaborations and building a strong profile for the professional world.

What makes a strong debater? ›

Being a good debater requires a mastery of facts and issues, and the ability to put them together in a coherent and convincing manner.

Is debating a useful skill? ›

Debate is a valuable activity for students of all skill levels. Debate teaches useful skills for other academic pursuits and life more generally. Most obviously, debaters build confidence speaking in public and expressing their ideas eloquently.

What sport is good for mental health? ›

Team sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and volleyball can be beneficial to mental health from a physical activity and social perspective. Forming friendships through hobbies has been known to help with depression and ease social anxiety.

What sport makes you smarter? ›

Tennis games make players sharper due to their ability to spot their opponent's weaknesses and adjust their gameplay accordingly. In addition, tennis forces your brain to grow due to the pressure put on it and, in turn, creates new neural connections that make you smarter.

What does the Bible say about being an athlete? ›

Now risen from the dead Jesus Christ calls us to play to his glory. Romans 12:1-2 urges us to: 'Offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship'. That means that sport is an area of life that can be offered to God as an act of worship.

Is sports a skill or talent? ›

A consensus that is usually generated by this question is that skills are the facets of the game you learn and develop, and talent is natural ability.

Which birth month is the most athletic? ›

For example, Deaner et al. studied elite Canadian junior team players and found that 40% of the players were born on January, February or March. (3). Other studies have stated that players born during that time are four times more likely to make it in the big leagues (4).

What is the newest sport? ›

Bossaball is a ball game between two teams, combining elements of volleyball, football, and gymnastics with music into a sport. It is played on an inflatable court featuring a trampoline on each side of the net. The trampolines allow the players to bounce high enough to spike the ball over the net.

What are the 6 major sports? ›

This article is a list of teams that play in one of the six major sports leagues in the United States and Canada: the Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) ...

Is walking is a sport? ›

walking, activity that ranges from a competitive sport, usually known as race walking, to a primary and popular form of outdoor recreation and mild aerobic exercise.

What is Speech and Debate considered? ›

Speech and debate is an academic activity typically available to students in middle school, high school, and/or college. Similar to athletic sports, speech and debate activities are challenging, competitive in nature, and require regular practice, coaching, dedication, and hard work.

What are the 3 types of sports? ›

There are so many sports available in the world nowadays, but we can categorize them by the numbers of players, the three main categories are individual sport, dual sport and team sport.

What skills do you get from debating? ›

Learning to Debate and Public Speak reaps life long benefits.
  • Develop excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Develop excellent critical thinking skills.
  • Develop effective tools for research, organization and presentation.
  • Develop strategies to overcome fears of public speaking.

What is the main purpose of debate? ›

The primary goal of a debate is for students to generate effective critical thinking into primary issues in the given topic.

What type of learning is debate? ›

Debate is actually a form of training and professional preparation, because in addition on how to persuade others, it leads to open-mindedness, critical and logical thinking. It also teaches learners many communication skills such as management, teaching and training.

What is the #1 sport in the world? ›

Soccer is the world's most popular sport. It is played by more than 20 million people in more than 140 countries.


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