My Definition Of A “Sport”

My Definition Of A Sport

Isabella Rosenberger


What is the definition of sport? Some describe a ‘real’ sport as a competitive activity that requires physical exertion and mental stamina. But I’d like to offer a new categorization of sport that determines an activity’s real relevance in the sporting world by how that activity is won. 


Various sports such as Hockey, Basketball, Football, and Soccer rely on predetermined rules that players follow to win the game. However, other sports such as Gymnastics, Diving, Figure Skating, and Skiing are judged by possibly very biased people who determine who has earned the trophy. Some even vouch for non-movement activities, such as video gaming, to be counted in as a sport. 


Now, many people argue that to be an athlete, to participate in sport, you must meet a certain level of physical ability. Yet, nearly no sport is exactly like another in the sense that they require specific abilities for different tasks in each sport. So what’s the standard? What level of physical exertion must be met to be considered a sport? 


I’d argue that, if by definition, a sport is a competitive activity that can be won or lost due to rules that cannot be changed, we’d have to eliminate many sports, such as gymnastics and figure skating, that require thousands of hours of practice and an unmatched amount of skill and precision. On the other hand, Golf, a win or lose based on rules sport, might not be seen as such a physically demanding sport as those previously mentioned. Like, Golf, Tennis is another rules-based sport that isn’t always seen as a rigorous sport like football or soccer. 


I, personally, think the rule of thumb should be, if you can go to the Olympics for it, it’s a sport. But for argument’s sake, let’s put all of these activities under the title of “game”. Because at the end of the day, that’s what Football, Soccer, Tennis, Golf, and others are, a game.