Why is Race Walking an Olympic Sport But Dodge Ball Isn't?

I am very curious why race walking is an Olympic sport but why less “awkward” and much more popular sports, such as dodge ball, is not. Every time I watch coverage or read about race walking, it always comes out like something the Onion would produce. See this race walking Olympics clip from YouTube to see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsl53ft0byo

And is it true that golf is going to be included as an Olympic sport, too?!!! I’ve been hearing rumours about that for the 2016 games. Seriously, golf in the Olympics?

I have had it up to the clouds with the antics of the Olympics with what is included and removed. Is it even possible to petition the IOC? It seems like they need some serious competition.

Changes in Olympic sports.

Yes, golf will return in 2016. Rugby sevens will also start in 2016.

In addition to what Pasta said…

Race walking is one of the oldest track sports. Dodge ball isn’t played competitively.

Race walking is in the Olympics because it’s been there for years and is a recognized event in track and field and has been for over a century. You might as well ask why do they run the Marathon in the Olympics.

So what if it looks funny to you (though watching some of the women race walking today made it one of the sexiest looking events of the entire Olympics)?

What criteria are those IOC yahoos using to include golf???

Dodge ball is played competitively. For example: http://www.dodgeballusa.com/

It sure was at my elementary school :smiley:

From the link given in the second post, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_sports#Changes_in_Olympic_sports, polo, tug of war, baseball, and dodgeball have all been removed from the Olympics so why can’t we do the same with race walking? There are orders of magnitude more people that participate and watch those removed sports. And the marathon counts as a legitimate Olympic sport because it is a prestigious event that is respected the world over. The same does not hold true for race walking which is joked about every time it is held.

You might question why the marathon distance specifically is so important but it is the longest running race in the Olympics and the goal is just to finish as fast as possible. It could be 20 miles or 50 miles but it is still a legitimate measure of an athletic skill in the unrestricted sense. Race-walking isn’t. It is a competition where performance is purposely suppressed because of rules about form for no obvious reason. To be fair, some of the swimming categories are the same way. Only freestyle swimming challenges the athletes to get from point A to point B in the fastest way they can.

I would personally do away with all the events that have an arbitrary handicap for no obvious reason but they didn’t ask me.

Do you know dodgeball is popular outside the US? There needs to be worldwide appeal. Baseball was removed because basically only the US, carribbean countries, Mexico and Japan actually play the sport.

I could ask the same of the popularity of race walking…

Well, Sean Connery liked it, and he’s not a Yanqui.

Racewalking is part of the international track and field schedule of events. That’s probably why it can’t be dropped, the IAAF would have to agree.

Moved to the Game Room from GQ.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

It’s played recreationally, not competitively.

Dodgeball needs to get onto this list at Wikipedia before the Olympics would even consider it.

Dodge ball tournaments are played competitively, for example state and national championships: http://www.dodgeballusa.com/events.php

Not clear what you mean by “recreationally” vs. “competitively”. There are more dodge ball competitions than there are race walks.

If sumo wrestling and tug of war have their own international associations, I’m sure dodge ball leagues can come together under one association. :slight_smile:

Why not?

Extremely challenging and competitive at the highest levels…and, perhaps because it’s something a large number of fans/viewers can actually relate to since they themselves play (unlike most every other Olympic Sport - trampolining, anyone? :dubious:), enormously popular (Tiger Woods in 2009 became the first athlete in history to surpass one BILLION dollars in earnings, you know…)

Golf is not athletic, thus it should have zero consideration for the Olympics. I would rather have race walking than golf since race walking, although awkward, is athletic. And more people play soccer than golf.

LOL, surely you’ve never observed a good player (much less competed against one) close up!

I switched channels before the caddy’s finished loading up the clubs on the golf car to drive the golfer around. I must have missed the part where the golfer worked up a sweat.