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Julia Maddock

A Sport or Not a Sport? 51

  • Posted by: Julia Maddock
  • March 31, 2011, 12:43 PM

Is it a sport or not? This debate was brought to mind when one of my fellow reporters here at SI Kids, Adam Apsan, interviewed a runner at the New York Marathon. After that interview, I noticed that a post was made to the reporter’s blog that stated “running is not a sport”… Huh?

There seems to be an ongoing debate – is running a sport? Is NASCAR a sport? Is gymnastics a sport? How about cheerleading? Well, a Federal Court has actually ruled that cheerleading is not a sport! So what really makes a sport anyway? Is it how much physical activity is involved? Do you have to be on a team? Does coverage by a sports network make it a sport? Or does having a championship making it a sport? The questions go on and on….

One might wonder, does NASCAR or poker involve physical activity? Some would say not much, yet others say NASCAR involves a lot of physical activity! Poker and NASCAR have championships and they are both covered by ESPN!

While some people will say a sport has to be an Olympic game to qualify as a sport, there are others that will claim archery, swimming, diving and weight lifting are not sports.

Personally, I think there are several requirements to being a sport:

1. It has to involve some physical activity, more than just placing a card on the table. If placing a card on the table is a sport, why isn’t the great game of chess a sport? You have to move the pieces, and sometimes you have to jump with the knight!

2. There is some sort of championship or competition that can determine who the “best” in that particular sport. Come on, aren’t sports more fun when we can guess about who will be or deserves to be the next champion?

3. You have fun playing the sport! I think this is what really turns something into a sport. You have fun playing; it doesn’t matter if it’s football, golf, bowling, kick ball, or even dancing.

I’ve had many friendly conversations with my family and friends over this topic and everyone seems to have an opinion. The dictionary defines a sport as: “Physical activity for pleasure.” So tell me, what do you think makes a sport?

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (71 votes)


I think nascar is a sport cause in Shaq Vs. when Shaq raced tony dale ernheart jr. he said it was one of the most phyascal sports in the world. I think cow surfer is awsome.

i think that poker is not a sport because all you do is look at cards, and by the way just because it is on espn dosent mean it is a sport because there are spelling bees on espn and a spelling bee is not a sport.
But i do think running is a sport because there is a lot of physical activity in it.

I think cheerleading is a sport, but go fish, hmm. WELL, hmm. YA!

Cheerleading is not a sport. A sport has to have a team and winner. Cheer leaders do not compete. They just cheer. On the other hand, running is a sport hands down.

as a girl i dont like cheerleading i am more of a softball girl i play in city leauge and i am the hind catcher and it is reall fun being the hind catcher!!!!! i dont know any thing about cheerleading it is not a sport like softbal:)!!!!!!!

Exactly Cheer is so far from a sport , but running is definitly. I agree with you.

Cheerleading, I think is a sport. It is fun for them and for the crowd. It has competitions. They even have a state wide championship. Running is a sport because it involves a lot of well running. You have to train hard for a marathon. It is involved in triathalons, too. How is poker covered by ESPN the world may never know!

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ok let us think about this if cheerleading is a sport then that means that at a football game two games are going on at the same time? no no no that does not work, cheerleading is not a sport period.

poker the opposite of a sport

Running is a sport but water volleyball or aka water polo should not be a sport

Have you ever actually played REAL water polo, or have you only done a pathetic imitation done in 4th grade gym class? If you had ever played real water polo you would know that Water Polo is the hardest sport in the world. You are required to tread water without touching the bottom for 40 minutes for starters, you have to swim as fast as any swimmer, all while being drowned, punched,kicked,scrached,and having your suit grabbed at the same time, do you have and idea how hard it is to pass with a 300 pound female that would make highschool football players run crying to mommy on top of you trying to drown you!?

I agree NASCAR should STOP. First of all it is a waste of gas. Gas pollutes earth. And these days gas is very expensive. I dont think racing is a sport because all you do is sit in a car, push a pedal with your feet and turn a steering wheel. (and also you dont burn any calories like REAL sports.

dude we already are so there is only one way to stop foriegen oil dependency is to be pounding the ground in alaska the cost and every were else possible!!

First, take another look at NetMouses post.
Done doing that? OK then, moving on. this year NASCAR is promoting ethanol, which is made from corn. They have a new fuel formula that is ten percent ethanol. If we used it, it would make us more independent of money-sucking Middle Eastern oil giants.

I guess running is a sport,but I don't think cheerleading is a sport.At running,you get sweaty and you get tired.But cheerleading?I'm not sure.Oh man!I'm getting confused(they should have not posted this!)!

cheerleading and dancing are pretty close together so not a sport

that is cool

Dude... Cheerleading is most defiantly a sport! Come on, gymnastics is a sport, isn't it? And cheerleading is basically gymnastics. I rest my case.

Cheerleading is not a sport.

To be a sport it must require some training/ physical ability. It must have a clearly defined winner that is not determined by judges alone (I won't go with the championship thing, because College Football opperates on a "championship" format determined by a computer, not the play of each team, yet who wouldn't consider it a sport?). I also think there should be something other than the athlete himself trying to prevent him from doing what he's trying to do- not like golf.

i agree with you

goaliecornerback is wrong

nascar and running are sports. cheerleading or poker, not so much. gymnastics is close to not being a sport because it is to close to being a form of dancing

first if poker is a sport would not that make video games sports they have pro video gamers,AND they have a championship, so that being said poker is not a sport neither is dancing or cheerleading. in the mariam webster online dictionary is says,a sport is. a physical activity engaged in for pleasure. So that being said i have three things that make a sport, 1. it has to PHYSICAL.
2. it has to involve competition.
3. it has to NOT be something that people do, (i know this is not worded right because sports are fun but...) people can not do it for fun (such as dancing or poker) and btw nascar is a sport.

I agree. If Poker was a sport, that would make Go Fish a sport.

nascar is a phyisical sport. imagine sitting in a car and fighting off 800 lbs of force at 200mph and keeping your car untouched for 500 miles. can you do that?

Id puke after two minutes! Ha ha ha!

it must be crazy!

hec no

Not to mention the All-Star race. At lest most of the drivers give at least 90%. Can't say the same for NHL. Or NBA. Or MLB. Or NFL...

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