T Nation

Sports vs. Games


I'm really curious as to what qualifies something as a sport or a game. My lifting parter tries to tell me that the difference is that, in sports, the adjective for engaing in that sport is the name of the sport itself(in wrestling you wrestle, in running you run etc.) and that you play games (a soccer player, a baseball player)and that there is no qualitative difference in difficulty between sports and games.

I think it sounds like a good definintion, but under this rule golf is a sport. Can you guys help me determine a definition of what makes one activity a sport and another a game? Thanks




while Game sport thing can be argued down until feeling are hurt and lawn bowls players end up feeling insulted. We can agree dressage is not a sport or a game it is dancing for horses


golf is a sport, it requires skill related fitness at a very high level and its very competitive. it requires power and co-ordination.

however it does not require health related fitness.


I would have to disagree and say that golf is definitely not a sport, especially if a fat, out-of-shape drunkard(John Daly anyone?) can compete and win professionally. Sure, it takes skill and coordination but so does painting, so would you say that is a sport as well?

I hope nobody thinks hunting is a sport as well.


wtf is wrong with you guys ? you do know of book called a dictionary yeah ?

hunting was a sport before anything else you could possibly mention.


Except for fighting, of course...the only real sport.


The dictionary is an inexact science - at best. Its use is expedient only so that everyday life doesnt descend into hair-splitting and semantics ... which, of course, is the whole point of this thread. So lets just play along.

And by the way, I dont care what the dictionary says, golf is not a sport.


Let's throw poker out there for being the best sport around.

And please note I say that with sarcasm.


There is no way that we can qualify MMA and poker as remotely similiar. They cannot fall under the same definition. However, I think we could create an excellent sport/game letting poker players and MMA artists fight and watching the outcome.


Etymologically speaking, they both means takin pleasure in an activity. Game is Old Saxon/Old Norse. Sport is Anglo-French. The formal difference in meaning is that game implies a common activity while sport can be individual or common.

Now what that has to do with the present discussion...... :wink:


of course poker is not a sport its based on luck, patience and judgement.

it doesnt matter if a fat guy can be good at golf, sure look at strongman, weightlifting and powerliftering in the heavy classes, there all fat and could lift a lot when they are drunk.

go play golf against a pro and then say its not a sport.


Loads of people think powerlifting is not a sport because it reuires no skill. They see it as "just going to the gym"


Anything that doesnt use a ball in not a sport, except powerlifitng and UFC..




There is a fine line, and I agree, it is semantics. Football is definetly a sport, but I may play a pick up game with my pals.

Ping pong, a game, when played in a competition, becomes a sport.

Chess, poker, and spelling bees are not sports, but watch ESPN (the sporting network) and you will see it.

Now, if we want to veer from the oringinal topic, discuss the difference between sports and atheletics...


There used to be this "fat, out-of-shape drunkard" that played baseball at a pretty high level. I think his name was Ruth. But, then again, baseball's probably not a sport either, right?


stuff like golf and poker were called "sport" centuries before football or mma existed. that is just plain fact. that's what the word means.

sport is essentially anything which isn't work. a "sportscar" is a the vehicle you use for pleasure. a "sportscoat" is the coat that isn't your work coat. hunting for food is work. hunting for recreation is sport. lifting stones to build a wall is work. lifting for strongman is sport.

there's nothing about the meaning of "sport" that requires demanding physical activity or even competition. why do you think "sporting goods" stores are full of fishing rods and hot-seats ?


I think my dad said it best
" if you can play it while wearing a panama hat its not a sport"


i love that movie, but your dad was wrong.


This makes the most sense.