Redefining Sports versus Games

Submitted for your approval, a simple new way to answer the age-old question: “Is it a sport?”

A sport is anything that has separate divisions for men and women.

So, most olympic events are sports. Equestrian isn’t. Nascar isn’t. Spelling bees and math bowls aren’t. Chess isn’t. Speed chess isn’t. Boxing chess is. Bowling and golf are. Football (both kinds) are dominated by men at the highest levels, but at lower levels, there are separate leagues for girls or women for casual play.

Since this is a discussion about terminology, I didn’t put it in the Gameroom.

Moderator’s Note: The Game Room isn’t just a place to play word games; it’s also the place to discuss sports and games.

Moving from Great Debates to the Game Room.

I don’t agree in principle. All you’re defining as ‘sport’ are activities that have sexual prejudice or serious physical contact.

Tennis has both male, female and mixed events. Is it a sport?
Chess has Open, Male and Female championships. Is it a sport?
Football (and golf) are dominated by men at the highest levels: do they have separate divisions?
If a Theocratic Government refuses to allow women to play, does that make everything sport?

Tennis is a sport. I wasn’t aware there was a separate Women’s Chess Championship, so that definitely throws a wrench into my idea. Is it a saving grace that male and female chess players are ranked on the same scale?

Golf has separate divisions, witness the PGA and LPGA.

Women’s soccer is an olympic sport.

There’s apparently a National Womens Football Association.

It’s an interesting point about certain societies banning women from play. I guess I was drawing from real life examples, not hypotheticals.

My definition is physical activity requiring defense.

Not a sport: golf, bowling, auto racing, NBA basketball (;)), anything in the Olympics under the heading of track and field or aquatics

Sport: Ultimate frisbee, football (all types), baseball, hockey, road racing on bike or foot, etc.

Auto racing certainly requires defense, and is certainly physical. Matchplay golf, and to a different extent strokeplay requires defense, and is certainly physical.

Giving it some more thought, poker and chess are two activities where men and women often directly compete against each other, despite some women’s only events. I don’t consider those to be sports. My phrasing may need work.

I think most video game tourneys are co-ed, but there may also be some that are women-only. It may be that the women-only events are designed to promote interest from more women to join the activity (poker / chess / video games).

How is a 10K on the road different than on a track?

I think there are too many overlapping factors to make a definite split.

runner pat: Isn’t the OP making a definite split? Or do you disagree with how that split occurs?