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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?

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51 Comments

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a sportttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

OK SportsCenter, no physical activity? You know how hard it is on your parents to drive for four hours straight, no bathroom breaks, no snacks? Imagine doing that at 150 MPH on average. Not to mention, though they do have fans, they do not have air conditioning. It can reach 130 degrees inside those cars. Also, there is a championship, so you can tell who wins.

good point but i disagree about it the parents in Nascar you have adrenalin going through you which you dont have just driving down the highway

kooooooooooooooool

Me too.

I'm with you

awesome article!! so what do you think-- is cheerleading a sport? it is actually harder than it looks.

Heck Yeah Cheerleading is a sport they double spins and triple flips in mid-air

cheerleading is NOT a sport

Great Article by the way

Running? Yes. Gymnastics? Yes. NASCAR? Definetly. Chess? Hmm..... I love to play chess, and I have always joked about it being a sport, but i guess it isn't. But NASCAR definetly is. I know I am probably going to get some comments against this, so let me put up my argument right now. Well, maybe I won't. I'm better at defending. If you disagree with my conclusion that NASCAR is a sport, tell me, and tell me why.

NASCAR guys don't just have to be able to last for the full race under normal conditions, but they need to be strong too. One of the most common problems with racecars is a loss of power steering. Translation: go out to your car and try turning the wheel with the car off. Can't? Now try doing that for four hours straight at a high speed, knowing that at any moment a wreck can happen right in front of you and you'll have to move fast. It's a sport.

@ sportscenter dude that is ridiculous, "it's bad for the environment!" lets not drive cars AT ALL then. or build houses cause we have to cut down trees. or lets not eat chicken because it kills the chicken!!!!!

good point BowlingBunny

Well,I don't really like some sports.I like soccer and baseball but not
gymnastics.See Ya!

OK SportsCenter, no physical activity? You know how hard it is on your parents to drive for four hours straight, no bathroom breaks, no snacks? Imagine doing that at 150 MPH on average. Not to mention, though they do have fans, they do not have air conditioning. It can reach 130 degrees inside those cars. Also, there is a championship, so you can tell who wins.

Besides, you have to have the mental ability to pay attention to a hundred things at once. Where is the guy behind me? When do I go in for more fuel? Is the oil temperature to hot? How much is pizza gonna cost if we win...
And SportCenter, luck? First of all, I don't believe in luck, but you would need a LOT of luck to win five championships in a row, as Jimmie Johnson has.

NASCAR is a waste of money and gas

Yes, NASCAR is a sport but gymnastics is not. No one wins in gymnastics. Personally i think it is only a sport if someone wins WITHOUT A JUDGE, and if it involves anything physical. Except like in cheerleading where you have judges. They decide who wins, and in any other sport the players decide who win by how they play. Not like a referee or an umpire though a judge who gives out points.

ok, first of all, i am not TOTALLY dissagreeing with you. but no, nascar does not involve physical activity. besides, i just dont see the point of it!!! it is mere luck. if you happen to drive 500 miles without getting bumped or maintaining top speed, you lose. how disapointing is that? and it is bad for the environment. but yes, they do cover it on espn ( i have no idea why, though!!!)

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