Tod’s Decrees From On High: Decree #1, Sports vs Games

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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72 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    You don’t think Prince Fielder qualifies as very overweight? Or did he learn to pitch in the offseason and I missed the news?

    I agree with your second criteria. But I’d change the first criteria to something more along the lines of physical/athletic ability being of primary importance. This lets golf, baseball, and football in without carving our exceptions but keeps out darts and poker.Report

  2. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    “I ain’t an athlete, lady. I’m a ballplayer.”

    –John Kruk, in response to a fan who saw him smoking, drinking, and enjoying a large meal and commented upon her observationReport

  3. I would just like to savor the irony that, by these rules, I get to call myself an athlete but the Olympic medalists in slopestyle snowboard don’t.Report

  4. Avatar James Hanley says:

    I may have lost faith in R. Tod. 😉Report

  5. I don’t know….I guess I challenge the claim that all sports fall in the category “games.”

    I think some things that I (and Tod) would call “sports” that aren’t really “games.” Say most track and field events, or races. I have a hard time calling them “games,” even though they are sports. Is a 400 meter race a game? I just can’t call it that. That’s especially true if we’re talking about cross-country running or marathon running. I can’t call those games, either. How many others here honestly think of them as “games”? Maybe quite a large number do, and if so, then I might be the outlier. I am, I suppose, appealing to a common-sense notion of “games,” and if that notion isn’t common, then I’m wrong.Report

    • I realize I’m being ueber-pedantic here, but I also challenge the follow part of Tod’s definition:

      It must be a wholly athletic competition against another person and/or team.

      To me, “wholly athletic” leaves unanswered certain questions. What makes something “athletic” in the first place? To me, the term “athletic” privileges the physical–strength, endurance, etc.–but seems to neglect the mental. Most sports I am aware of have a mental component. The hitter and the pitcher are playing something like a mental game with each other, and the person on first trying to steal second is also playing a mental game.

      Perhaps I am too quickly assuming “athletic” means “physical”? After all, you don’t make that claim. I’m the one who’s reading that claim into what you’re saying.Report

      • Athletic competitions require physical prowess, but they can still require mental prowess as well. In most sports I know of, it’s the mental aspects that separate the very good from the great. It’s what makes MJ MJ, and Kobe Kobe.Report

      • Thanks, Tod, that corrects my misunderstanding. But in that case, I imagine that there is a lot of mental acuity necessary for excellence in bowling or shooting or whatever.

        So my question is, is that mental acuity part of the athleticism, or is it something independent of it? If it’s part of the athleticism, then bowling, shooting, etc., are sports, at least to the extent they involve the mental acuity and not something else. If it’s independent of it, then does that mean that the sports you call sports are therefore not “wholly athletic”?

        Perhaps I’m insisting too strongly on the “wholly” part of your definition? My own counterproposal would be to take your own definition, and posit it as an ideal type, to which all other sports can only approximate. In that case, some sports approximate “sport-ness” more than others, so that, say, tennis is more a “sport” than bowling, but they each are sports to some degree.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

        “Athletic competitions require physical prowess, but they can still require mental prowess as well.”

        The stated definition, however, is that a sport must be “wholly” athletic. Unless there is some obscure definition of “wholly” I am unfamiliar with, whereby it means “somewhat,” this explicitly excludes any activity with a mental element.Report

      • @richard-hershberger

        I guess the question then becomes not what “wholly” means but what “athletic” means. Can “athletic” encompass the mental? I think it’s debatable, but I edge toward thinking, yes, it can. Endurance, such as in distance running, is not only a function of strength and physical training. It’s also a function of the thinking the runner brings to the race. I have a hard time of thinking of any “sport”/”game” that doesn’t involve mental activity as well as physical.

        Of course, that all might mean that the “wholly athletic” part of Tod’s definition doesn’t work. And I take that to be your point, if I read you correctly.

        I suppose my preferred definition would sidestep the question of whether athleticism can include the mental and would instead posit some nexus between physical prowess and mental acuity, perhaps with the physical and mental being in a mutually supportive role. By that standard, chess would be safely defined out of being a “sport” because hypothetically, a chess player A could presumably hire a chess-piece mover B to carry out her/his plays and yet as long as it was understood that B was acting at A behest, then we could say that A was playing the game.

        There is probably a way to be further reductionist than I am being now and claim that mental processes are at the end of the day “physical” processes (because neurons). I’m not going to touch that topic inasmuch as I’m not quite ready to throw out my copy of Discourse on Method just yet 🙂Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

        Yup: that was my point.

        I think that much of the problem arises in an attempt to exalt certain physical attributes while denigrating others. The attributes of speed, strength, and endurance are unquestioned. The attribute of control is given little respect. Hence the pitcher with the 98 mph fastball is unquestionably an athlete, but the pitcher who never breaks out of the low 80s, but has pinpoint control, is not. Oddly enough, discussions of their respective ERAs don’t enter into it. Sports such as curling or archery or, for that matter, golf are primarily control sports, and only incidentally speed, strength, or endurance sports. Hence the perennial discussions of whether or not they count as sports.Report

    • I realize that it’s easy to poke holes into others’ definitions, and much, much more difficult to come up with definitions. And one of the reasons I bother to opine on this subject about which I know as little as, say, @russell-saunders (no offense), is that the definition seemed to have been offered in the spirit of making a sport game out of the discussion.

      But maybe the best way for a principled pragmatist to approach Tod's definition/decree is not to poke holes in it, but to take it for a spin and see where it gets us. The definition/decree has problems (what definition/decree doesn't?), but at least it's a starting point. So the next question is, how useful is it?

      I didn't participate in the discussion on Burt's post, so I am missing much of the context here. But I do think that it stretches my tolerance pretty far to call shooting or bowling "sports" whereas the competitions they are in are undoubtedly "games." So, there's that.Report

    • I’m not sure I see not calling those things games, but I think it may be that I was raised bach when those these were called Olympic Games more than they were called T&F by those that didn’t follow T&F.Report

      • And maybe I’m off-base, if not by “common-sense” standards (and I might be off-base there as well), then by the standards of a serviceable definition of “game” you could come up with and apply with adequate consistency.Report

      • To be fair @tod-kelly , I kind of hedged things a bit in my comment. Track and Field does seem more like a “game” to me. The team aspect is much more visible than in cross-country, and there’s something like a rough point and score system.

        When I was in high school, cross country was a separate event from track and field, and it happened in the fall. It had less of what I would call a “game” atmosphere to it. Of course, it was still a competition and there were winners and losers. And there was a team element to it even though I don’t think we tended to regard ourselves as a “team” when it came to the race. Maybe that’s because we weren’t very good and only the good teams had much hope of winning as a team rather than as individuals.

        I see in this comment that I am implying that some “team” element is necessary for something to be called a “game.” I don’t think I agree with my own implication because I can think of some games that don’t necessarily have “teams” in them, either non-sport games like chess, or sport games like tennis.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    I lean towards accepting the definition for one specific reason: it gets us closer to an unambiguous and definitive ruling that American rules football is not a sport but a somewhat entertaining and very complex game played by athletes. My full acceptance, however, would require the definition to establish and maintain that clear distinction with perspicacity and finality. So I regret to inform Tod that his final Word on the matter is humbly rejected.Report

  7. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    What are your thoughts on boxing?Report

    • That’s an excellent question, and one I thought about writing this post.

      My understanding is that technically speaking, boxing has a precise scoring method based on wholly objective standards. It’s also my understanding that it’s accepted that judges don’t always follow those rules, and that the sport is ok with this.

      So maybe we classify boxing as a corrupt sport? Which, I think if we are being honest, we were doing anyway.Report

      • I don’t think the fact that judges don’t always follow the rules is really a mark against boxing’s status as a sport.

        In fact, I think the “wholly objective standards” metric needs to be tweaked. There is some subjectivity almost inherently involved in judging marginal cases. Does X player make it in the in-zone, or was he out of bound? Did the ball land inside or outside the strike zone? Is that soccer player writhing on the ground really injured? Does the fact that a basketball player did anything at all mean that he committed a foul?

        It don’t think my claim that the metric needs to be tweaked is fatal to your definition, Tod. Just that it’s something to consider.

        (I’m not entirely sure why I’m writing so many comments here. I’m not a sports guy by almost any definition….I almost never even watch them on TV., and even then, it’s usually when someone else is watching them.)Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Wow, I’ve actually contributed an “excellent question” on this forum. I have a feeling a lot of people just lost some bets…

        Anyway, as for my opinion of boxing, at its heart it is one of the purest sports around. This would remain true is every bout was settled by knockout. However, human deceny prevents this. Therefore, boxing has been transformed into the cesspool that it is today.

        If you want to see some beautiful boxing, watch Mike Tyson’s knockouts before he lost to Buster Douglas. Especially watch him win the WBC title as he embarrasses <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frKHjgLgsyk"Trevor Berbick in 1986. According the Tyson, the reason he embarrassed Berbick so badly was because Berbick had humilated Muhammad Ali in Ali’s last fight in 1981.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Here is that Mike Tyson / Trevor Berbick link.

        ScarletNumbers regrets the error.Report

      • Freestyle skiing seems less subjective than boxing, so I assume it still qualifies… or is this more about what sports Our Tod likes?Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    In most baseball leagues (the National being one of the few exceptions),Fully half the positions (pitcher, catcher, corner infielders, and designated hitter) require a minimum of athletic ability if there are compensating skills elsewhere.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      @mike-schilling

      While I agree with your overall point, I would argue that catcher is a position that demands intense athletic ability. A guy can still have a less-than-ideal physique, but it requires a unique combination of skills and athleticism to man even half-decently.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

        There have been some very successful, really out of shape catchers. Bengie Molina, Smoky Burgess and Ernie Lombardi come to mindReport

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to Kazzy says:

        The greatest catcher of all time is Moe Berg.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Out of shape? Sure. But minimum athletic ability? That is why I pushback against that part of Tod’s definition. The assumption that athletic ability is limited to the fit and firm is wrong. Have you ever strapped on the tools of ignorance?Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        out of shape catchers?? Tubby, stout, portly….yes. But to be a starting catcher you have to be in good shape just to put out the effort to play 100 games per year with all that involves. A person can be…ummm….less then optimally aerodynamic and still be an athlete in a good shape. It is certainly harder to be an athlete and do athletic things if you are carrying a lot of extra weight. And the more extra weight you carry the less likely you are to be successful. The less athletic players are the ones whose careers end quickly when get injured and as they age. See Howard, Ryan. I say that as a Phillies fan btw. Same things with OL in the NFL, lots of them are carrying plenty of flab on their guts, but they are strong and have many athletic skills.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

        OLs have to be ridiculously agile for their size, or DLs would run right past them. Watching them play is nothing like seeing Bengie Molina trying to beat out a single that rolled all the way to the wall.Report

  9. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I agree with and support your decree.Report

  10. Avatar aaron david says:

    “Bowling, NASCAR, curling, golf, motocross, table tennis, hunting, gun/bow shooting, bass fishing, poker”

    I think you will find that if you actually look into these sports, the people who are truly competitive are by no means overweight/out of shape. It may seem that they could perform in a fat drunken stupor, but the muscle control needed for all of these at the highest levels is intense, and that takes being in shape. I definitely know this is true in motocross and target shooting. And considering what every other race car driver does to keep in shape, I suspect that NASCAR drivers are genuinely serious about maintaining weight and reflexes at peak.

    Poker is as much a sport as chess, and clarity of thought is the most important part. My opinion is that it is a game, ymmv.

    As for boxing, we as a society don’t let fights end naturally, hence subjective judging.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    George Carlin settled this years ago.

    To my way of thinking there are really only three sports: baseball, basketball, and football. Everything else is either a game or an activity.

    Hockey comes to mind. People think hockey is a sport. It’s not. Hockey is three activities taking place at the same time: ice skating, fooling around with a puck, and beating the shit out of somebody. If these guys had more brains then teeth, they’d do these things one at a time. First go ice-skating, then fool around with a puck, then you go to the bar and beat the shit out of somebody. The day would last longer, and these guys would have a lot more fun. Another reason why hockey isn’t a sport is that it’s not played with a ball. Anything not played with a ball can’t be a sport. These are my rules, I make ’em up.

    Etc.Report

  12. What happens when we get into the realm of equipment providing a competitive advantage, said gear being limited to favored teams or individuals (either through manufacturers’ choice, or budgeting)? Say, FINA’s back-and-forth on what would be allowed in the way of swim suits in the 2009 world championships. From time to time the Tour de France has outlawed various equipment improvements after they had been in use for some time. What would the world pole vault record be if competitors had been restricted to the old aluminum poles? What will it be when some spiffy new nano-based material comes in at half the weight and increases energy return efficiency by a few percent, but costs $10M per pole?Report

  13. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Fitness is beneficial to curling. The Canadian men’s curling team (who just won gold) are ripped. That means they can throw the rocks slowly, and then sweep hard to ensure they’re at the right speed – whereas if you just throw hard, you’ve got a good chance of your rock going right through the target and out the other side.

    Ten ends, eight rocks per end = 80 rounds of sweeping per game. It’s genuinely physically strenuous on the arms. Our guys spend a few hours per day of training in the gym, in addition to time spent actually practicing curling.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to KatherineMW says:

      This. I think you demonstrate well that most of the types of criticisms we’re hearing of various athletic activities come from not knowing them well.

      I remember a Simpson’s episode where they showed a World Cup soccer game where two guys just kicked the ball back and forth while the defenders just watched them. And all I could thinks was, “have any of their writers ever seen a real soccer game?”Report

      • @james-hanley

        Good point, but I really liked that episode.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

        I don’t even remember what else was in that one. Maybe you can refresh me.Report

      • I like the commentary the sportscasters made on the games (Kent Brockman bored and frustrated with the apparent inaction and low score), but maybe that’s just my anti-soccer chauvinism (I had a roommate once who watched a lot of soccer games and I heard enough “Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!” and “Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol!” to last me a lifetime. And I’m not a big fan of in-shape people who have not been injured at all writhing on the ground as if in their death throes).

        If it’s the same episode I’m thinking of, the game soon descended into the “Springfield Riot,” and I forget what happened after that.Report

      • (No real offense intended to the game of soccer. It’s no more ridiculous than American “Football” where the ball looks nothing like a foot.)Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

        And I’m not a big fan of in-shape people who have not been injured at all writhing on the ground as if in their death throes).

        Yeah, that’s one thing I hate. It’s not all entirely fake, though. Soccer has a particularly high proportion of collisions that give you the type of owie that is excruciating for a couple minutes, then mostly stops hurting, like when you smack you shin.

        Alsotoo (as Burt would say), some of the faking is to create brief rest periods (for everyone) in a game where the clock doesn’t stop.

        But some is drama, pure and simple, and the chauvinist in me will argue there are distinct regional biases in the level of drama.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley says:

        You! American! Go Write Basketball Game!
        (but… oh, very well.)

        And this is how a professional logistician can
        discuss College Basketball (circa when the
        game was written) with more familiarity than
        most professional announcers (who, after all,
        are chosen more for their ability to speak, than
        for their knowledge of game theory).Report

  14. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    I don’t know if I’d call them “games”, but I’d remove from the definition of “sport” any even where – among high-level competitors – the quality of the equipment has more impact on victory than the quality of the athlete. If you’re winning because your bicycle, uniform, bobsleigh, swimsuit etc. is more aerodynamic than the other team’s, then it’s not you who’s winning. It’s your team’s designers and engineers.

    My preference would be for the IOC to provide standard-issue uniforms and swimsuits (in a range of sizes) and standard-issue bicycles in the summer Olympics. Probably the same for bobsleighs in the winter. Everybody has to use them. Every country that participates in the Olympics contributes to the cost, with the amount they’re charged based on the number of athletes they sent to the last summer and winter games.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Great point, @katherinemw .Report

    • I’m really not an Olympics fresser, but that seems like a good idea, too.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to KatherineMW says:

      3 critiques.

      First, there will still be equipment differences. Standard issue bobsleighs can be prepared differently, particularly the waxing of the skids. The history of auto racing reveals the impossibility of truly evening out the equipment factor.

      Second, you’ll kill much innovation, such as the clap skates used in long track speed skating and the fast suits used in swimming. Heck, even the modern running shoe, which was created by Oregon coach Bill Bowerman experimenting with different compunds for the soal using a waffle iron in his kitchen. Innovation wouldn’t entirely end, of course, but it would slow down dramatically because it couldn’t give anyone an edge and prove itself in competition, so there’d be much less reason to invest in it.

      Third, training and diet innovations are as much the effects of a team of designers as the equipment itself, rather than just being the natural abilities of the athletes. Would we argue for standardizing that as well?Report

      • I think what Katherine is arguing for and what you are critiquing is already what is done and you and she are just arguing about the margins. (To be fair, it’s only after reading your critiques that I came to this conclusion.)

        Concerning no.’s 1 and 2: If there would still be equipment differences, there are now still standardized requirements, or at least I imagine that to be the case (I imagine bobsleds have to meet some requirements to be considered bobsleds). And I imagine there are artificial limits imposed on innovation (the bobsleds aren’t allowed to have rocket motors).

        Concerning critique number 3, the diet and training regimens are still something the athlete has to do him or herself. Even there, there is some limit on innovations (bans on steroids, e.g.)Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Hanley says:

        Re: the 3 critiques: I think the presupposition Katherine is expressing here – one I agree with – is that differences in equipment shouldn’t determine outcomes in what ideally should be a competition between individual talent, training, ability, etc. And insofar as equipment does determine that outcome, it’s not really a competition between individuals anymore (since, presumably, the athletes who didn’t have the advantage of better equipment would have performed better had they had it).

        Determining what constitutes the right balance between these two aspects of determining outcomes is always difficult, since people who compete will want to use every advantage available to them to win, while those of us spectating (or even governing what constitutes “sportsmanship” within that discipline) desire something like a fair and accurate process by which winners are determined.

        Along those lines, almost every sport I can think of where technical innovation can effect outcomes has regulations on the types of equipment competitors can use: auto racing, golf, tennis, baseball, hockey, sailing, etc etc. And the reason is clear, I think: advances in equipment can give an unfair advantage, where “unfair” is determined by a concept of sportsmanship given the discipline in question. (Eg, golf has eliminated anchor putters because using them is considered a violation of the spirit of the game by TPTB).

        In the ideal – or at least *this* concept of the ideal – a sport is a competition between individuals or teams which is solely (in the ideal!) determined by properties the individual brings to the event: fitness, expertise, training, experience, talent, etc, and the outcome is determined by how well an athlete or team performs purely against other competitors fitness, expertise, training, talent, etc.

        That’s one reason I’m disinclined to view American Football as a sport – or a pure sport, anyway: the outcome of those competitions is determined by myriad factors beyond the talent and training of the individuals who actually take the field. The rules are constructed for entertainment value rather than competition between the players; the coaches determine outcomes more than the players do calling the plays being executed; different players play on offense and defense; player substitutions during dead-ball time outs; etc etc. Granted, I know that I’ve just surrendered any claim to being a Real True American for saying that, but that’s how it seems to me. And I *like* watching football!

        In the ideal, sport is a competition between individuals on a level playing field without no input from anyone other than the athletes themselves. Certain concessions are made in violation of that ideal out of necessity or entertainment value or fairness, but it seems to me that as practices move further away from that ideal the game moves further away from an actual sport (in the sportsmanship sense of the word). Some games are intrinsically far away from it, in my view (American rules football), and some actively strive to maintain it by limiting the degree equipment (and other) factors might determine outcomes. It’s a balancing act.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to James Hanley says:

        Second, you’ll kill much innovation, such as the clap skates used in long track speed skating and the fast suits used in swimming.

        So what? This is supposed to be a contest of human athletic achievement. Other than giving one team or another an edge, there’s no benefit in engineering slightly faster swimsuits.

        And training and diet actually enhance the physical abilities of the athletes in question, unlike more advanced swimsuits.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley says:

        Kat,
        I like engineering achievement as well.
        it’s not like we need to make it one or the other.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Figure skating is going to lose most of its fanbase if you replace the outfits with standarized uniforms. Fantasy is a strong element of most fandoms. In figure skating, a lot of the appeal is seeing yourself as a graceful beauty gliding across the ice alone or in the company of a handsome man for a lot of its generally female fanbase. Taking that element of the fantasy away is not going to be popular.Report

      • Avatar Rod in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Those outfits are the only thing that makes watching figure skating almost bearable.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Also, you’d lose the dirty old man crowd.
        You know, the one that watches Cardcaptor Sakura?Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I don’t think you’d need to do this for figure skating. The uniforms are designed for visual appeal, and the scoring’s been standardized so much (x amount for the difficulty of a certain jump or spin, y amount for how skillfully and smoothly it’s done) that I wouldn’t expect them to have a significant effect. They’re certainly not aerodynamic.

        This is much more pertinent to the racing events.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to LeeEsq says:

        As we watched the figure skating it became apparent to me that it doesn’t feel very artistic most of the time. I would favor them just forgoing the obligatory showiness and just do a series of tricks like in the half-pipe.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to LeeEsq says:

        My favourite routines were the ones which were artistic – they had choreography which worked with the music, hand motions that emphasized it, jumps at times that matched the crescendos. And that genuinely does add to the difficulty of figure skating, as well. Carolina Kostner’s short program to Ave Maria was simply stunning.Report

  15. Avatar Pinky says:

    Define “wholly athletic competition” as something that a person does significantly better if they use steroids. (I don’t like the implication of that definition, but it’s apt.)Report

  16. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m open to the interpretation of some things, currently called sports, as non-athletic competitions or games, however I would disagree on suggesting most of the X-Games stuff is not a sport. I’ve been to several of those competitions and there is no doubt in my mind that those are athletes engaging in a sport.

    For purely selfish reasons I would request a clarification of what to call hunting and fishing. We have always referred to ourselves as sportsmen ans we say things like “It isn’t sporting to shoot a duck on the water,” etc but I struggle to think of another term to use. Perhaps we could say ‘outdoor pursuit’ but it definitely transcends mere hobby.Report

  17. Avatar daveNYC says:

    So why is table tennis on the list? You might not need to bench 300 pounds, but ninja like reflexes and good stamina are requirements to compete.Report

  18. Avatar Damon says:

    I too will concur to this definition, with a few minor quibbles, most not worth mentioning, but one.

    US Presidential elections not a sport? Really? It surely isn’t an event that’s meant to decide the “leader of the free world” since you vote. And we all know that voting would be illegal if it had any usefullness. So elections are “games”? On second thought, I can agree with that, although I can’t say much for the entertainment value. 🙂Report

  19. Additionally, your game is not a sport if you have to rely on the aesthetic preferences of judges in order to beat your competition. This means that the following games are not sports:

    *Baseball and American Rules Football did require a judges rulings, since each has one position where you can be paunchy and/or out of shape and still compete at the highest levels. (Offensive linesman, pitcher.) But because the rest of your team has to be athletic enough to cover for this in order for the team to compete at the highest lever, we are declaring each a sport.

    uhh…Report

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