What defines sports?

John Morris
Staff writerJohn Morris Staff writer

Column by John Morris

When talking about sports we usually limit our perception to what sports we watch. The first thought is usually basketball, football, track, baseball and soccer. It makes sense since these are the most commonly-seen sports, but there are a lot more things considered as sport in the world.

The definition of sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” By definition, there can be a lot of things under the category of sport. But most of us fall under the basic perception of what an athlete is, which ultimately ends up clouding our perception of a certain sport.

It can be tricky because an athlete is a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise. With this definition, one can be biased in what we consider an athlete and how that dictates what we call sport. All types of sports have some type of preparation. They aren’t all workouts; some are simply strategic and have a lot of mental preparation.

Tennis and golf are common sports of leisure to most people, and they are very well recognized even though they don’t always have the most athletic people in them.

This perception can limit us from enjoying what the world may see as a sport. It could possibly be keeping us away from experiencing these sports as well. These different sports show the different areas of life and sports connects with. Sports like mixed martial arts, not just UFC and the octagon, but traditional martial arts or even Olympic wrestling.

Bowling and bass fishing are sports that don’t get as much recognition, but are still popular. ESPN airs bowling competitions every year.

NASCAR racing is another greatly loved sport, especially in the U.S., as well as the different car racing series overseas, such as Grand Prix.

The Olympic games are good for bringing some of these sports to TV every other year. Sports like gymnastics or ice skating bring some artistic life to the world of sports. For the more extreme group, the Winter Olympic Games or the BMX games are very exciting and thrilling for more risk-taking people.

Hunting sports bring in wildlife and exibit the different ventures that part of sport can take us. Hunting has its own personal TV network where they promote the sport and give tips on what’s good for the season.

Even though this may seem weird and is not your conventional sport, the sport of poker is very big, especially in the United States. Poker tournaments are always on TV and can last for hours.

Sports can’t just be defined as physical. They are also mental. Sports like NASCAR and poker show the mental side of sports.

There are so many types of sports that it will probably be a long time before we can have them all covered. Surely there are more being made, but sports encompass more than the physical aspect. They bridge gaps between different cultures.

There’s a lot we miss when we limit ourselves with social norms and our perceptions, especially like this in sports where there’s a wide array of things the sports world can tap into. This is one of the many reasons we love sports and why the world is better with sports in it. There is no limit to what a person can do in the sports world.