What's a Sport and What's Not

Its almost the time for the Olympics again and, once more, people have forgotten what sports are. Why? I don’t know, but when people go around saying that gymnastics, trampoline and high diving are sports, we have forgotten the definition. So what is the definition you ask? Sports are contests of skill who’s outcome is totally decided on the field of play. If you need judges and special, arcane knowledge to tell who won, its a political event or contest not a sport. Period.

A foot race is a sport. Its got rules: start behind the line, don’t go before the gun, stay in your lane, first one to finish wins. Now do the same for synchronized swimming. You can’t because its not a sport. Lets get this straight, it has nothing to do with machismo. Lots of macho stuff is not a sport. Boxing, as done now is not a sport. If it was a sport the boxers would fight until somebody went down for a 10 count.

It also has nothing to do with athleticism. Bowling is very non-athletic, but its a sport. Gymnastics is very athletic but it is not a sport. Nor does it have anything to do with complicated rules. Cricket has complicated rules (I’m convinced nobody understands them) and is a fine sport. High diving has very simple rules and is not a sport.

If you need judges to figure out who won, its a contest, like a dance contest or a cooking contest, but it is not a sport. You know how mad you get when an umpire makes a bad call that decides the outcome of a baseball game and you call the result unsportsmanlike. Why would you have a whole category of events that are unsportsmanlike by their very nature (the outcome is totally determined by the judge) and call them sports?