A debate rages on where to draw the line between what is technically a sport and what is a hobby (with golf and auto racing fans most adamantly defending their sport and athletes). As opposed to getting into that quagmire, let’s assume that everything is a sport that has some combination of strength and skill (so NASCAR and golf count, but chess, video games, and babysitting do not). When you think of athletic sports, these are the opposite!
(ranked from most athletic at #1 to the least athletic at #10)
Just missed the cut: figure skating (just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t a sport), equestrian (this is tough yo, still a sport even though riding a horse is so 1800’s), and kickball (tons of fun and tons of injuries for 20-somethings playing while drunk).
Time to settle this debate . . . athletes get hot chicks and have you seen what Tiger’s ex Elin Nordegren looked like? How about Amy Mickelson?
This can certainly be classified as easier than it looks, hell, I speed to work every day and you don’t see me winning any trophies. These guys are essentially driving a bomb at 200 miles per hour about three inches from some other hillbilly driving a bomb, no wonder they sweat more than an NBA player. One question: how do they pee during a 3+ hour race? That is a sport onto itself.
Bowlers hurl a 15-20 pound ball like a hundred times a match. I did Wii bowling and my arm hurt afterwards. Bowling’s prestige takes a beating because you can be a fat slob and be a professional. Kudos to The Big Lebowski for bringing a new generation to the sport, seriously they should put the movie in the Bowling Hall of Fame.
Table Tennis (ping-pong)
Hate to go with two movie references in a row, but Forrest Gump showed me that you can fight communism by smacking the hell out of a tiny white ball. Ping pong has been driven away from bars by beer pong (Beirut is a stupid name), so now nobody cares enough to argue its merits. I prefer beer pong over table tennis anyway. At least you can gamble over a game of beer pong. Then again, maybe table tennis betting is the next big thing.
A rich, old guy sport probably isn’t that well-known (you smack a wooden ball through a wicket in the ground with a big wooden mallet) it’s an enjoyable pursuit if your country club has a regulation croquet diamond. Oh, your country club doesn’t offer croquet . . . that’s weird, but where will your children learn to be pretentious douchebags?
This is where we get really close to the sport vs. not-a-sport line, I’ll give these marksmen a shot (get it!??! It’ a pun!!) at stating their case here. You do not need a tremendous amount of physical strength to pull a trigger, but you need to aim at something far away, so that’s tough, right? Whatever, they have their own show on the History Channel . . .
Imagine you live in a world where croquet is too hard to organize and play, imagine a sport where striking a ball is deemed too strenuous, imagine a world where you can smoke a cigar, drink a Bellini and still compete in this sport. . . you don’t have to imagine anymore that sport is bocce ball and that world is Italy (complete with an aging workforce, a stagnant economy, and an entitled populace . . . . oops).
Darts & Billiards
I am going to group these two together for the sole reason that they are bar games. At some level, there are probably darts and billiards competitions, but these games are almost custom-made for dive bars and drunk people. While these two are barely sport-worthy, the fist fights caused from drunken disputes certainly are.
Funny Car Driving (drag racing)
Founder of Funny Car racing: “gee whiz, that there race car driving is fun, but wouldn’t it be more fun if we got rid of all dem turns? Oh yea, the race should only be about 10 seconds long too, I got shit to do later. Now where’s my hot sister at?” I feel like mastering the start of MarioKart 64 is tougher than pounding the gas pedal and shifting gears a couple of times.
For the layman, curling is a sport where you gently slide a large stone on a piece of ice while your teammates happily brush ice particles at it or away from the path or something like that. Look, I am sure it took a lot of loop holes and bribes to make this into another event where Americans run up the medal count, but don’t try to convince me that curling club from Bemidji, MN are athletes.
- Why is there a debate about what constitutes a sport?
- Many people have different perceptions about what activities require the right combination of strength and skill to be classified as sports. Some view certain activities merely as hobbies or pastimes.
- How was this ranking determined?
- This ranking is a subjective list based on perceived athleticism from most athletic (#1) to the least athletic (#10).
- Why don’t chess, video games, and babysitting count as sports here?
- For the purpose of this content, we’re assuming that a sport requires a combination of strength and skill. While chess and video games require significant skill, they don’t necessarily involve physical strength.
- Are there any sports that narrowly missed this list?
- Yes, figure skating, equestrian, and kickball were among those that just missed the cut.
- Is NASCAR really that challenging?
- NASCAR drivers operate vehicles at extremely high speeds in close proximity to other cars, which requires immense skill and nerve.
- Why are darts and billiards grouped together?
- They’re both commonly played in bars and are often associated with casual gaming rather than professional sport competitions.
- What is curling, and why is it considered less athletic?
- Curling involves sliding stones on ice while teammates brush the path in front of the stone. Though it requires skill and precision, some don’t view its participants as being highly athletic.
The debate about what activities can be classified as sports is subjective and varies from person to person. However, when considering the combination of strength and skill as the criteria, a wide variety of activities, from golf to curling, can be seen under the umbrella of sports. While some may argue the athletic value of certain activities over others, it’s clear that each sport or hobby requires a unique set of skills and talents. Whether you’re speeding around a track in a NASCAR race or sliding a stone in curling, there’s no denying the dedication and passion that enthusiasts bring to these activities.