What makes a sport a “sport?”

With many different perspectives, here’s what makes an activity a “sport”

We have all heard the age-old debate of what should and shouldn’t be considered a sport. Most often, I hear this debate when referring to sports such as cheerleading, dance and marching band. 

Considering I have played many varieties of sports in my twenty-one years of life, I thought I would put my own twist on the opinion of what constitutes a sport.

I could go into the logistics of the definition of a sport, but in my opinion, there needs to be some caliber of athleticism and the option to compete in some form with one another. 

It shouldn’t be considered a sport if you are not striving to improve what you are doing through competition with others who are also engaging in the same activity. Competition is important to incentivize players to want to improve and continually grow in their sport to hopefully move to higher ranks and classes. 

With this in mind, there are many things that I do consider a sport that most people would not. These include cheerleading, marching band, ping pong and track and field among many others. All of these require some component of physical activity, and they are usually competitive sports in some way. 

Therefore, they meet the requirements, but only if there is a competitive aspect. There are some exceptions that exist, such as being ranked according to a system or competing against past performances. 

Some people believe that non-competitive dance is not considered a sport because there is no other group that they are competing against. 

I believe it should be considered a sport because you are practicing with a goal in mind. 

You are constantly trying to better yourself and past performances with practicing. In addition, while your entire group is not competing, you are competing with the other people within your dance class. 

Most people also believe that a sport needs to include a ball of some sort, but in my opinion, this is not the case. 

This could be because most of the popular sports involve a ball of some kind. According to Sports Show, a dedicated sports blog that covers the top latest and trending sports, out of the top ten sports, eight have a ball of some sort. 

In my opinion, a sport does not exclusively have a ball. As long as the activity involves athletic ability and there is a specific goal in mind for the person involved, then I would consider it a sport. 

Many prominent sports in fact don’t use a ball of any kind. Some examples of these include swimming, weight-lifting, boxing and fencing. And those are just a few examples of sports we wouldn’t question as sports.

The line of sport versus non-sport can be pretty vague because every sport is different. Every type of activity with physical activity, however,  deserves a fighting chance to become a sport if they feel as though they are one.  

Just because people in the marching band don’t seem like your typical jocks, doesn’t mean they don’t put as much work into what they do. Only the people that are doing the activity know just how much work they are putting into what they do, and people not in the activity have no right to try to judge the effort levels of whether it is or is not a sport.

~Kaitlin Sanata, Staff Writer~


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