I like darts. It requires skill and co-ordination and it’s fun. I like to play it in the pub. Like anything that requires skill and co-ordination, I’m not very good at it, so I admire anyone who is. Thanks to the wonders of Modern Technology I am able to watch men playing darts on the television.
This is great, but it bothers me that it is always televised under the banner of “sport”. It is not a sport. You would have to be mental to consider it so. It consists of standing in one spot, throwing sharp sticks at a circle of cork. It can be played in a pub. The men who play it professionally until very recently did so whilst completely battered. It is not a sport. It is a game.
I’m not trying to devalue darts or in any way suggest that professional darters are not worthy of praise or acclaim. I just dislike the way the word “sport” is thrown around. There are many things that are not sports. Throwing stones at ducks is not a sport. Shredding paper is not a sport. Fishing is not a sport.
I believe the majority of activities currently accepted as sports can be moved into one of three categories:
1. Games – anything requiring skill and having a competitive element in which the participants do not run or otherwise cause themselves (or others) to sweat
2. Hobbies – anything that passes time and is generally undertaken alone (no, not that)
3. Racing – anything that involves getting from one point to another quicker than other people whilst in or on a vehicle or animal (humans racing each other whilst running or swimming is obviously sport)
These definitions are not absolute and allow some room for movement, but on the whole they should cover everything. Below is a list of things that are not sports, divided into the above categories. This list is not exhaustive and nor could it be – it would have to include every activity a human could possibly undertake and would take hundreds of years to compile.
I will add to this list from time to time. If you have any suggestions or require classification on an activity then please Tweet me. I had to turn off comments on the blog because of all the spam. (Creating spambots is definitely not a sport.)
- Table tennis (ping pong)
- Table football (foosball)
- Air hockey
- Rhythmic Gymnastics
- Weightlifting / body building
- Synchronised Swimming
- Figure skating
- Hunting (including fox hunting)
- Formula 1 (and all other forms of car racing)
- Moto GP (and all other forms of motorbike racing)
- Horse racing
- Greyhound racing