View Poll Results: Which of these do you consider a "major sport"?
Gridiron (American) football 78 88.64%
Association football ("Soccer") 65 73.86%
Baseball 79 89.77%
Basketball 79 89.77%
Hockey 71 80.68%
Golf 44 50.00%
Tennis 40 45.45%
Boxing 20 22.73%
Auto racing 29 32.95%
MMA 10 11.36%
Rugby 16 18.18%
Cricket 18 20.45%
Olympic sports 26 29.55%
X Games 3 3.41%
Pro wrestling 2 2.27%
Horse racing 10 11.36%
eSports 3 3.41%
Something else 3 3.41%
Nothing 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2020, 07:05 AM
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What do you consider a "major sport"?


That's pretty much it.

Poll in a second.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:30 AM
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It would help if you gave a little guidelines to what context you are speaking of. In my home country? Region? Worldwide? Or is it completely up to person answering the pole.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:13 AM
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If it has stadiums covered with the names of businesses who spent millions for the naming rights, it's a major sport. I'm not sure how serious I am with this quip.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:36 AM
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Yeah, context? Cricket is a major sport in many countries but certainly not in the USA.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:43 AM
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Yeah, context? Cricket is a major sport in many countries but certainly not in the USA.
This. It's entirely context-dependent.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:57 AM
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MMA is borderline and I didn't vote for it. Boxing & horse racing have declined so much I was tempted to not include them, but 100+ years of importance, I decided they deserved a vote. Cricket was an easy yes. Is Rugby really a major sport anywhere?
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:36 AM
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E-sports is now considered a major sport.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:52 AM
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Is Rugby really a major sport anywhere?
It definitely is in Ireland, according to my Irish friends.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:00 AM
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The only one I would definitively rule out is Pro Wrestling. I don't thing even Pro Wrestling thinks Pro Wrestling is a sport (it's certainly athletic. but not a sport)
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:48 PM
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E-sports is now considered a major sport.
Not by anybody that matters.

Of course, that just reignites the debate between "sport" and "game."
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:46 PM
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Is Rugby really a major sport anywhere?
Rugby is certainly big enough to qualify as a major sport in the UK, Ireland, France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and a few of the the Pacific Island nations.

In fact, in New Zealand and the Pacific islands, Rugby's not just a major sport; it's the major sport.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:25 PM
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Several of the items in the list aren't even sports at all.

E-sports isn't sport, because although it's a game, it's not physical.
Auto and horse racing arguably aren't sports, because they depend more on the ability of the car or of the horse than of the human. Though I suppose you could argue that horse-racing is still a sport for the horses.
"Olympic sports" isn't a sport, because it's a whole bunch of different sports. Likewise for "X-Games". And actually, that applies to "e-sport" and "auto racing", too.
Pro wrestling isn't a sport because, while it is athletic, it's not competitive.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:58 PM
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Is this where we cite George Carlin's rules about what is and is not a sport?
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:35 PM
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I voted the first 5, I struggled with golf a bit but excluded it, though it could be.

To me for it to be a major sport it's a sport that has a annual series and championship which has a regular following and very loyal fans who get personally involved to the degree a fan can, and even go a bit crazy when their team wins.

Football, soccer (internationally if not do much in the US) and baseball are the bigger of them, hockey and b-ball certainly in that also.

Golf I don't see fan loyalty that often, though I'm not into it and I said it maybe could be included. Tennis just doesn't have the following, Boxing I also considered, however it seems like people move in and out of boxing fandom more then loyalty. This 3 however I note are not team sports (though tennis could be), and perhaps I'm considering a team aspect in sports when I should not.

Auto racing is a weird one and certainly takes skills and endurance to is a sport. It also has a loyal following. I feel it is not bog enough.

Horse racing depends a lot on the horses, and less of a human competition. Also not big enough.

Olympics, too rare, so while it's major and lots of those other things, it just happens too infrequently.

Pro Wrestling, may have been big enough back in the late 80's, but it's more of a performance.


Everything else on the list is not big enough, some have additional issues like e-sports.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:57 PM
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Auto racing is a weird one and certainly takes skills and endurance to is a sport. It also has a loyal following. I feel it is not bog enough.
NASCAR is often touted as being the boggest US spectator sport of all.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:25 PM
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Or is it completely up to person answering the pole.
I take it you're voting for auto racing?
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:27 PM
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The only one I would definitively rule out is Pro Wrestling. I don't thing even Pro Wrestling thinks Pro Wrestling is a sport (it's certainly athletic. but not a sport)
Vince McMahon and the Undertaker successfully lobbied New Jersey to have Professional Wrestling declassified as a sport in order to avoid a tax on professional sporting events.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:41 PM
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Several of the items in the list aren't even sports at all.

E-sports isn't sport, because although it's a game, it's not physical.
Auto and horse racing arguably aren't sports, because they depend more on the ability of the car or of the horse than of the human. Though I suppose you could argue that horse-racing is still a sport for the horses.
"Olympic sports" isn't a sport, because it's a whole bunch of different sports. Likewise for "X-Games". And actually, that applies to "e-sport" and "auto racing", too.
Pro wrestling isn't a sport because, while it is athletic, it's not competitive.
Who designs and builds the cars? It's people. It's a combo athletic and engineering sport.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:58 PM
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Went by sense of feel, but... for me... I would have added 'College football'.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:40 PM
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I almost said "Olympic sports" in addition to the ones I named (mostly at the top of the list), but decided that it is not the sports themselves that matter, but the Olympic nature of them. No one much cares about diving or gymnastics or downhill skiing or curling, except when the Olympics roll around, but that's not the sports, that's the Olympics. So I left 'em out.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:07 PM
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NASCAR might be an engineering contest, but engineering contests aren't sports.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:40 AM
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At least 3 people so far think the world's #1 sport with a bullet is not a "major sport"
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:46 AM
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At least 3 people so far think the world's #1 sport with a bullet is not a "major sport"
Your math is faulty, 49 people voted in all, so it looks like 9 didn't vote for what I call Soccer. (40/.8163) = 49

I assume you meant soccer. If the voter is taking an American-centric view, it is legit, if a world view it is not. Myself I voted for soccer as I was trying to take a worldview.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:51 AM
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FYI criteria for making the poll list was simply "Does ESPN cover it?" I went to ESPN.com, looked at their navigation ribbon, and copied down all of the unique sports listed. It's certainly not comprehensive, and "Olympic sports" is admittedly overly broad and ambiguous.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:12 AM
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Football, basketball, baseball, and hockey come to mind. They are the traditional ones. Internationally, soccer is the biggest, but not here.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:28 AM
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:34 AM
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I was confused by "Olympic sports". Does that mean the Olympic Games themselves, or the sports that, as Ulf the Unwashed pointed out, we only really pay attention to in Olympic years - figure skating, track and field, swimming, et al? The Olympics are a huge deal, of course, but sports like synchronized swimming, fencing, and bobsled only register on the public conciousness every four years. (That said, 200,000 people came out to watch the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta two weeks ago.)
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:36 AM
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I voted Olympics assuming it meant the Olympics. In the aggregate, of course it's a major sport.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:36 AM
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I voted for the usual suspects- the top five, plus golf, MMA and olympic sports. I chose golf, because it's something a surprising number of people watch on TV, even if they're not necessarily golf enthusiasts and go to tournaments, etc... MMA because it's sort of its own subculture, and is VERY popular in certain crowds.

Olympic sports was chosen with the caveat of "during the Olympics". I mean, nobody really watches most of the Olympic sports outside of the Olympics, but most everyone keeps up with the Olympics every four years, so while it's periodic, it's definitely major.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:54 AM
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I was confused by "Olympic sports". Does that mean the Olympic Games themselves, or the sports that, as Ulf the Unwashed pointed out, we only really pay attention to in Olympic years - figure skating, track and field, swimming, et al?
I assumed it was the latter, since all the other poll options refer to sports themselves, not the events at which those sports are played.

"Baseball," for example, includes the World Series and Little League games.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:04 AM
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Kabaddi?
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:49 AM
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I assumed it was the latter, since all the other poll options refer to sports themselves, not the events at which those sports are played.

"Baseball," for example, includes the World Series and Little League games.
True, but then, as Chronos noted, “Olympic sports” comprises a wide range of competitions, from bicycle racing to skeleton to archery. None of them as popular (at least in the US) as basketball or football, but varying hugely in their audiences. In 2018, the last year for which I could find data, the US Fencing Association had 31,000 members, only 16,000 or so who were competitive. That’s approximately the size of the field for this year’s Boston Marathon, which is just one race amongst hundreds in the US every year - the Peachtree Road Race alone, draws 60,000, and turns away thousands more. While neither fencing nor marathoning can be compared to, say, the NBA in terms of fanbase, clearly road racing is a much more popular sport than fencing.

In fact, given the tens of thousands of foot races that take place every year all over the world – from 100 mile ultramarathons to local 5Ks and fun runs – I think an argument could be made for considering running a major sport.
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  #33  
Old 03-12-2020, 12:08 PM
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FYI criteria for making the poll list was simply "Does ESPN cover it?" I went to ESPN.com, looked at their navigation ribbon, and copied down all of the unique sports listed. It's certainly not comprehensive, and "Olympic sports" is admittedly overly broad and ambiguous.
ESPN has commercials. Does this make marketing a sport?
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:13 PM
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ESPN has commercials. Does this make marketing a sport?
"Commercials" is not a category on their navigation ribbon. I don't have any issue with criticism, but how about you actually read what you're quoting before you criticize it, hmm?
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:24 PM
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A 100 mile ultramarathon and a 5k are both clearly sports, but I'm not sure I would say that they're the same sport. There will be almost no overlap between those who are good at one and those good at the other.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:22 PM
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What are these 'major sports' you speak of? I look around, and I don't see any major sports!
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:28 PM
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NASCAR might be an engineering contest, but engineering contests aren't sports.
Nascar is NOT an engineering contest since all the cars are the same, essentially. But I would still call it a sport because, you know, It's a motorSPORT. Says so right in the name.

And anyone who says drivers aren't athletes dont know jack about motorsports at the highest levels. Formula 1 in particular.
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  #38  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:59 PM
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I voted for the American big four, soccer, rugby, tennis, golf, cricket, Olympic sports and something else. My something else is Australian Rules football. I've been to Melbourne, it's pretty damn major there

Motorsports and MMA/boxing both seem a different category to me, not sure I can explain why.

I follow WWE, but it's not a sport.
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:54 PM
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Certainly, being a race car driver involves certain skills, that the pros have developed to a much greater degree than most of us have. And maybe those skills are, at least in part, athletic. But it's still not primarily an athletic contest. If some guys are shooting a cheap, generic basketball on a public-playground court, and Lebron James suddenly shows up for a pick-up game, he's still going to absolutely dominate, even with the cheap equipment. But put a top race driver in a cheap beat-up car, he's not going to be able to do anything near what he can do in a top-end precision-engineered race car. The equipment makes a huge difference.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:00 PM
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The equipment makes a huge difference.
Most motorsports go to great lengths to make sure there is no difference in the equipment. Drivers are on a much more level playing field than, say, horse jockeys.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:59 PM
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A 100 mile ultramarathon and a 5k are both clearly sports, but I'm not sure I would say that they're the same sport. There will be almost no overlap between those who are good at one and those good at the other.
By that logic, American, Canadian, and flag football are all different sports. I suppose it depends on how you define a particular sport.

Every footrace, from the six-day, 156 mile Marathon du Sable to a 50 meter sprint, has the same winning condition: cross a specified distance, faster than anyone else. And in the same manner - on foot, moving your legs as rapidly as you can.* Me, I'd call that the same sport, just as I'd call rugby league, rugby union, and rugby sevens the same sport.

Also, most ultrarunners start out by running track, some of them quite well. Sage Canaday won the 2008 Ivy League 10,000 meter championship before switching to ultras. Since then, he's won the Tarawara 100K, the USATF 100K championship, the Lake Sonoma 50K, and a handful of others. Jim Walmsley, who holds the course record for the Western States Endurance Run, made it to the NCAA nationals in the 3000 meter steeplechase while at the Air Force Academy. Your argument that there's not much overlap between track and distance runners holds more water if you look at sprinters and middle-distance runners, but there are plenty of 5,000 and 10,000 meter runners who've successfully jumped up to marathon and ultra marathon races.

*Yes, I know there are some time races, where the goal is to complete the most miles in a set time. Nitpick.
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  #42  
Old 03-13-2020, 02:20 AM
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Every footrace, from the six-day, 156 mile Marathon du Sable to a 50 meter sprint, has the same winning condition: cross a specified distance, faster than anyone else. And in the same manner - on foot, moving your legs as rapidly as you can.* Me, I'd call that the same sport, just as I'd call rugby league, rugby union, and rugby sevens the same sport.
I don't know about the rugbies you mention, but I'm comfortable calling the footraces of vastly different lengths different sports because the training is completely different for a sprinter than it is for a marathoner. So different it's almost like they're completely different sports.
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:23 AM
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Most motorsports go to great lengths to make sure there is no difference in the equipment. Drivers are on a much more level playing field than, say, horse jockeys.
This depends heavily on the series. I prefer the ones that DO allow engineering innovation.
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:26 AM
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Certainly, being a race car driver involves certain skills, that the pros have developed to a much greater degree than most of us have. And maybe those skills are, at least in part, athletic. But it's still not primarily an athletic contest. If some guys are shooting a cheap, generic basketball on a public-playground court, and Lebron James suddenly shows up for a pick-up game, he's still going to absolutely dominate, even with the cheap equipment. But put a top race driver in a cheap beat-up car, he's not going to be able to do anything near what he can do in a top-end precision-engineered race car. The equipment makes a huge difference.
This whole post is pointless garbage. And in no way discounts motorSPORTS as a sport.
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:47 AM
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We can debate if motorsports is "major" or not if you like (f1 is 2nd globally only to soccer) but to not count it as a sport at all is completely ridiculous.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:34 AM
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I consider the main sport to be watching various sports, such as https://odds.am/ and bookmakers. Always interesting.
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:01 AM
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I don't know about the rugbies you mention, but I'm comfortable calling the footraces of vastly different lengths different sports because the training is completely different for a sprinter than it is for a marathoner. So different it's almost like they're completely different sports.
Well, ish. I mean, sprinters still do roadwork, to build up aerobic fitness. Distance runners, including ultramarathoners, do speed workouts on the track.

This isn’t a hill on which I’m prepared to die, but, as I said in my last post, I’d call ultras and sprints the same sport – or, better, variations on the same sport, just as NFL and CFL football are variations on the same game – since they have the same fundamental aim: cover a distance, on foot, faster than anyone else. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, you could argue that there’s a fundamental difference in that ultrarunners don’t run the entire course – they do have to power hike. Still, they’re running the majority of the race.

Again, it depends on how broadly you define a “sport”. Your Mileage May Vary seems especially apropos, in this case.
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:55 AM
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Quoth snfaulkner:

This whole post is pointless garbage.
Then it should be easy to refute, right?
  #49  
Old 03-13-2020, 10:18 AM
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This whole post is pointless garbage. And in no way discounts motorSPORTS as a sport.
I voted for NASCAR, but capitalizing SPORTS in motorsports doesn't really support your point. You can argue including the word sports like eSports is showing they're not really sports.

NASCAR is every bit a sport as Golf. It takes a special skill, that requires a lot of training to make top levels. The biggest difference between NASCAR & eSports, is that eSports hasn't been around all that long and isn't really well established yet.

If we want to make criteria of physical strength, skill & agility for true sports, it will eliminate a lot of sports. I think major just implies a really large audience.

So NASCAR yes, Golf yes, eSports, not yet. Boxing slipping, Horse racing slipping, MMA not quite there.

Pro Wrestling has the audience, but admits to not being a sport. It is staged. The Wrestlers still need to be in good shape and get hurt often, but not a sport.
  #50  
Old 03-13-2020, 10:42 AM
Acsenray is offline
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I would classify E-sports, auto racing, and golf as games but not games that are sports.

Boxing I would just call a barbaric competition, like duelling, neither game nor sport, because the ultimate goal is to physically assault another human being until E is unable to stand. I don't know much about MMA, but if a goal is to knock the other person senseless, then I'd classify it like boxing.

Competitive (amateur?) wrestling is a sport. Professional wrestling is a performance, kind of like Blue Man or Cirque, not a sport or a game, because the outcome is decided in advance.
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