As you might expect, from a title like that, this is going to be one of my arrogant, opinionated posts where I explain why everyone else is wrong. In other words, this is a blog post.
For some time, it seems as if people have been getting confused about what is and isn't a sport. I would like to take this opportunity to clear things up.
There's no point in calling everything that is a game a sport. Nor is there any point in calling any physical activity a sport. We have different words for these things to help us distinguish between them.
The difference between a game and a sport is that a sport is dependent on physical activity of the participants in the game. Chess, bridge and poker can all be played over the internet, with mice and keyboards, in remote locations, with no fundamental change to what's going on. The same cannot be said for cricket, table tennis or rugby.
E-sports can be considered a category of their own, where physical skill is required but physical presence is not. Whether these count as sports or not can be dealt with some other time.
The difference between physical activity and a sport is the lack of a game element. A game involves two or more players, in a situation where what one player does affects the other(s).
So a sport requires two things:
- Physical activity with two or more players
- Interaction between the players in that what one player does affects what the others do.
For this system, I have split the physical aspect of a sport into two separate areas: athleticism and technical skill. Some sports (e.g. darts) can be performed at the top level with virtually no athleticism (although you still need an arm). But more obviously sporty sports, like tennis, require high levels of athleticism. Similarly, some sports require very precise and wide-ranging technique (e.g. cricket) and others need far less technique and a more reliant on athleticism (e.g. powerlifting).