Because I have no clue
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
What makes a something a sport?
I stumbled across this question when trying to stay upright on the treadmill at the gym. I forgot my earphones and was forced to watch the silent gym TVs. I needed some form of entertainment to be able to handle the boredom that is running in place for 30 minutes. But honestly, I only made it to 15 before packing it in.
The gym TV in front of treadmill number six had the 2017 World Darts Championships where dudes in polo shirts played a classic bar game for hundreds of thousands of Euros on the table. I needed to know if these middle-aged men with beer bellies wanted to be known as athletes. Back in the ’80s, competitive dart throwers were allowed to binge drink and smoke on live TV while throwing for the grand prize, which I think is a talent all in itself.
This championship was playing on TSN Sports, which, if the name didn’t give it away, is a sports channel for all of your competitive needs. It led me to this question, which I still am unsure of what the answer is: Is competitive dart-throwing a sport?
If so, then what exactly is the criteria that legitimizes something as a sport? I say legitimize because it appears to me that many quasi-sports want to have the comfortable label of being called a sport. The label of something being a “sport” somehow allows for it to be internationally recognized, so I get why people competing in throwing darts, equestrian, and even golf, all may argue that they play sports. I believe that there is an activity hierarchy when it comes to sports. Undebatable sports such as soccer, hockey, or basketball are held up more so as definitely sports compared those that are on the borderline of being a sport and an activity because of the culture surrounding sports. But to me, they’re all just different forms of games.
According to a quick Google search, a sport is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Now, depending on if you believe that all four aspects of that definition are required for something to be called a sport, that might make it easy to cross off a bunch of semi-sports just because they don’t fulfill the entire criteria. Things like throwing darts, golf, and equestrian may all be thrown off the sport list just because they aren’t the most physically exhausting activities. However, I think that these should be included at sports, because of the skill it requires to become good at these things.
If three out of the four aspects are fulfilled of the Google search definition, then it should be called a sport. So what if competitive Overwatch tournaments lack physical exertion? They still require a lot of fine-tuned motor skills, people competing on teams against one another, and many would argue the tournaments themselves are pretty entertaining.
Bottom line is, just let activities be. If people want them to be called a sport, let them. I really doubt that it will impair other sports if things like equestrian, golf, throwing darts, and Overwatch tournaments are put under the umbrella term of “sport.”