Yesterday at school, my friends and I were arguing, or more like debating. It was intense, and I really felt frustrated, perhaps due to the fact that it was me alone against everybody else. So what set off this debate? The first thing was the International Olympic Committee. Just recently, the committee has decided for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil to remove wrestling and substitute in rugby and golf. Now, rugby, I’m totally fine with that. I definitely can see how it’s a sport. But wrestling for golf? Seriously? Golf, I believe, is no way a sport. To me, it’s more like just an activity. Unfortunately, (and this is the second thing that set off this debate) my friends didn’t agree. You see, all the friends I debated with yesterday are in the golf team and devoted to golf. To them, no golf, then no life.
So we debated, and I felt as if I lost. But it did get me thinking about this question- What is a sport? After debating with my friends, I did sort of understand why people still see golf as a sport. It is hard after all to swing a heavy club at high speed and aim perfectly at a tiny ball. (I’ve tried golf before; never really liked it). Yet, in this post, I will attempt to redefine what a sport is.
First of all, a sport has to be physical. Yes, chess and poker are mental sports, but they are not true sports. Therefore, I will count them out of the picture. Perhaps the broadest (and most-agreed) definition of a sport is anything requiring more than usual physical activity. This would then include golf. But would one truly consider working out in the gym a sport? To me, that is not a sport, that is just an exercise. This definition I feel is too general; we need to narrow it down.
Perhaps a sport is any activity in which there is action involved. Sports such as basketball, tennis, and soccer, definitely fit this category. So are swimming and running. However, this would exclude golf and weight-lifting. Golf is just pretty much walking and putting, while weight-lifting is just lifting heavy things up. I actually like this definition of a sport.
But this is my favorite definition- a sport is an activity in which more than one stroke is involved. For example, let’s take the sport of basketball. In basketball, there isn’t just shooting. There’s also passing, hand-eye coordination, charging past defenders, dribbling, catching, etc. There is a variety and multitude of different strokes, if you will. Each individual stroke by itself is not basketball, (in other words not a sport); they are just exercises. Now, let’s take golf. Golf by itself does not have much variety. It’s pretty much just swinging a club. Yes, there’s long-range putting and near-range chipping. But to me, they are the same stroke, because they both exercise the same muscles. So in a sense, golf is not a sport, but rather an exercise.This can be said for running and swimming, too. In running, it’s just moving your legs; there are no other strokes. So cross country, track&field, and running should not be considered sports by this definition; they are exercises. Same thing with swimming.
Basically, a sport moves more than one muscle, while an exercise can move one or more. To me, this definition is the most accurate. Of course, who am I to say what a sport is? Whether or not I do have this right, no matter what I will always stay convinced that golf is not a sport.