Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Difference Between a Game and a Sport

As I was driving home tonight I was listening to the Fan 590 (sports talk radio for those of you not living in Canada) and the host of the night show started talking about Golf in the Olympics. He said that he didn't believe golf should be an Olympic sport and he also claimed that Golf isn't a sport. He believes that golf is a game due to the fact that golfers aren't what he would consider "athletes." I found this criteria grossly insufficient so I thought of my own and my method for determining whether something is a game or a sport will end all debates.

The way to determine if something is a game or a sport is simple. If an athlete from another sport can come into a different league and be one of the best players than that is a game. If not it is a sport. I realise that is poorly worded but just stick with me for a bit.

I will use volleyball as my first example. Volleyball is not a sport. It is a game and this is why. If LeBron James decided he wanted to play volleyball then within one week of practice and training he would be the best volleyball player around and would easily represent the USA at the 2012 summer Olympics.

James is 6 '8 and can more than likely jump higher than any volleyball player out there. Tell me he wouldn't dominate volleyball as the best net presence ever. He would block every shot anywhere near him and would destroy the ball when he went for spikes. He also has great lateral movement, speed, and long arms which would help him get to balls better. Basically he is the perfect volleyball player.

Because LeBron could so easily make the switch to volleyball it means that volleyball is not a sport. Could LeBron become the greatest hockey player in the world in one week? Never. What about baseball? Not a chance. Tennis? Unlikely. These are all sports.

You don't even have to confine yourself to just LeBron James either. Countless NBA, NFL, and MLB players could easily make the jump to volleyball. Give me a starting lineup or Yao Ming, Shaq, Kobe, LeBron, Larry Fitzgerald, and Carl Crawford and I guarantee they win gold with little to no training.

Volleyball isn't the only example however. Lacrosse is another activity that is mislabeled as a sport when really it is a game.

Make an all-star team of all the people who currently play professional lacrosse and I bet they get dusted by an assortment of athletes from other professional sports.

The system is fool proof.

If athletes from other sports couldn't make the jump and dominate then the activity can properly be labeled a sport and not a game.

This would settle so many arguments between people at bars as when Curling came on you could realise that it is indeed a sport as not anybody can just show up to a rink and curl well. The important part is the word 'well.'

Anybody can show up to a tennis court and hit a ball around but not just anyone could dominate in tennis with little or no training.

So everyone out there who curls, Brent Rohrer, and has to constantly stand up for your sport you now have a theory to back you up. And to everyone out there who plays volleyball or lacrosse sorry but you don't play a sport. You play a game.

Feel free to leave comments to rip apart this theory. I look forward to them. Or if you can think of more games that are mislabeled as sports comment on that.

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Anonymous said...

you sir are a genius

Anonymous said...

You know what they say there's a thin line between madman and genius and you stumbled all over it. Have you ever even tried to complete a lacrosse pass at a standstill let alone on a full run I'm guessing you played little to no sports by your fervent interest in basketball and other professional games, have you even seen a mens pro volleyball player leap they have hops too and I hate volleyball but I'm not ignorant enough to know it takes skill that the best athletes can't learn in a week games and sports today go far beyond your small view of the athletic world trust me I know I've been too the level before pro and after college(not semi- pro)Here's a clue: Think Northwest, Nike, University Best athletes in all sports across the board. Expand your mind bro.

Anonymous said...

Amazing analysis. If only everyone in the world could think like you