The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers. (delascabezas) wrote,
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.

sports vs. games

an interesting debate came up this weekend.

what is a sport? what is a game? what delineates between the two?

i view sports as a subset of games. there are no sports i could think of that are not a game at some level. however, there are plenty of games that are not sports. the person i was debating saw sports and games as totally different creatures, whose differences were defined by skill vs. sweat.

the argument was about baseball - basically, the person i was arguing with put baseball (we are talking pro ball here) on par with darts or chess as a game of skill, rather than a sport. her definition of a sport was caloric burn during the sport's performance and "working up a sweat". personally, i think that for every david wells, there are a half-dozen athletes in top physical condition. it was definitely a weak point to defend though, that wells competes with/against professional athletes. i tried to offset with some Babe Ruth. That was shot down by the fact that bowling is a sport.

at any rate, i disagreed heartily at the delegation of baseball to the title of a game. sure, there are ball-players out there who are not "working" 1/10th as hard as some of the more intense sports during the course of a game. that being said, in order to be on the field and eligible to be in the game, they need to be top-notch athlete, even if only in a specialty.

there was also some excellent discussion of game pace, and strategy vs. tactics in any competitive situation.

to me, what has always defines a sport vs. a game is this: when athletes participate in/execute the game with seasoned coaches, the anticipation of the outcome of the game is heightened for the participants, and, in heightened tenfold for the audience. i could give two shits about watching a bar league softball game. they are a lot of fun to play in, but they are also easy to blow off. not so much for a pro baseball game. same could be said for toss around football, or a pickup game of soccer. while i realize my personal definition has some gray areas, it doesn't seem to have held me back over the years. restricting the delegation of sport/game to sweat/cardio workout- no sweat/cardio workout seems pretty thin.

i'm not here to debate what the original argument was about - i think considering professional baseball anything other than a sport is just silly - by the definitions of the words sport and game alone, you are left with little room to argue.

as with all things though, you are left with plenty of room to interpret - what is your interpretation?


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