What Defines a “Sport?”

Where do we draw the line for sports? Soccer? Running? Hot dog eating? Golf? Baseball? Cheerleading? Chess???

The definition of a sport has been highly subjective for a while now. Many people argue over which “activities” deserve the title of a sport, and which are simply hobbies.

Dictionary.com defines a sport as an “athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.”

Though “physical prowess” is an extremely general term, we can eliminate many so called sports like chess, math, card games, and things of that sort.

Joey Chestnut wins a competition eating 72 hot dogs Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock (8891664e), New York, USA – 04 Jul 2017

Next up: eating? A lot of people might disagree, but I would not consider this a sport, simply because the “physical prowess” is just pushing your body the opposite way as generally accepted sports.

Action sports like skateboarding, waterskiing, snowboarding, and climbing are sports in my book. They require significant muscle training and physical exertion.

The line becomes fuzzier when we are talking about action sports that have motorized vehicles like motocross and snowmobile racing.

Snowmobile racers

I would venture to say that auto racing like NASCAR and Formula One aren’t really sports. They don’t require as much physical training as I would like to see. Most of the work is put on to the motorized car and not the human.


People have taken part in a long discussion on whether cheerleading is a sport. Many say yes. Many say no. I’d have to say that competitive cheer is a sport. It still requires the “physical prowess” in the definition above, and also a variety of other skills related to teamwork.

Many say golf is not a sport, but it’s a lot harder than it looks on TV. One has to practice and grind daily in order to improve. It takes a lot more skill than one might think to put the little white ball in the cup.

So yes, golf is a sport.

Is baseball though? Jokes aside, baseball is still a sport, even if it does’t require as much physical exertion as a lot of other sports.

Is baseball a real sport?

I doubt that we’ll ever stop teasing baseball players that it “isn’t a real sport” though.

That’s about it! If you agree or disagree with one of the statements above, then be sure to leave a comment below on what activities you think are or aren’t sports.

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1 thought on “What Defines a “Sport?”

  1. I think cheerleading is not really a sport


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