Definition of Sports

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Jul 25, 2005
:D Anything but Cheerleading.
Wow - looks like we've got our very own Dane Cook on the board.

We'll save you a spot on the sidelines sometime. I'm sure the cheer and pom squads (who have been, by the way, more consistently ranked among the nation's Top 5 than the football or basketball team ever have) wouldn't mind changing your perspective.
Oct 3, 2006
Pryor, OK
My daughter practices her "non" sport 4 days a week. (she's only 12) It's not so much about the cheers, but the stunts involved. Sorry guys, but the cheerleaders are athletes.
Jun 6, 2007
Never said they arent athletes. My girlfriend was a cheerleader. I made fun of her for it all the time, and she made me go train with her one day. I say "made" but would any guy turn down four hours in a gym with girls in spandex shorts and sports bras? I do respect the ability to stunt. But the whole CHEERLEADING, yelling and clapping and chanting is why i consider it to not be a sport.
Jul 25, 2005
I'm not one to mince words, but I was under the impression that the definition of "sport" is: an athletic activity requiring skill and often of a competitive nature.

By that definition, I would most certainly think cheer and pom would be considered a "sport".
Jun 6, 2007
I'm not one to mince words, but I was under the impression that the definition of "sport" is: an athletic activity requiring skill and often of a competitive nature.

By that definition, I would most certainly think cheer and pom would be considered a "sport".

Could be... I agree with the whole points scored not awarded argument though.:D
Jun 6, 2007
Not because they aren't awarded during games that they are cheering at. Because in competition they dont score points. A judge awards the points.

Pokit N

Cashing Checks & Snapping Necks!
A/V Subscriber
Sep 29, 2006
South Elgin, IL
Please I hope no one was offended by any of my comments above. I have plenty of respect for cheer and pom. Like I said I just like to give my wife a hard time about it.
May 6, 2005
I would give them the distinction of being a sport when they go to their own competitions. It is scored by judges; same as boxing, gymnastics, and a host of many other sports.

However in the setting of cheering for football, basketball, wrestling and when they perform at pep rallies and is in it's non-sports form and is cheerleading in its original form.


Lettin' the high times carry the low....
A/V Subscriber
Oct 31, 2005
I am going to go along the lines of mcwilliams and the judging angle.......

I do not classify anything that is judge dependant entirely as an atheletic sport. In other words boxing has judges but one can be knocked out or have the towel thrown in thus not going to the cards.......skating, gymnastics, cheer are all completely judge dependant. In addition the three I listed above are scored also on an artistic factor that is entirely subjective which is a death blow in my book. Two can compete and if one is a 9.8 flipper and the other a 9.75 the 9.75 can win if their grin is cheesier.......that is where the sport side stops. If you can't win it on your own it isn't a true atheletic contest.

That being said that doesn't preclude the fact that a lot of cheerleaders esp. the tumbling girls have a great deal of atheletic ability. I dated an OSU cheerleader and she was extremely dedicated to the cause and she had a great deal of skill and ability so I respect the act.......but as long as the judges score your enthusiasm and you have to perform with a fake goofy smile it ain't a "real" sport.
Feb 10, 2004
Tulsa, OK
Cheerleanding and Pom are not sports! Marching Band isn't sports. Lasik surgery is not sport. The all inclusive pc people need to get over it! Man is this a slow time for sports if you are not a baseball fan or what. Watching the cheerleaders and pom even sucks when your own daughters are that age.
Those Mom's with college age kids are sure a lot better looking now!
Aug 21, 2005
for those that say competitions where points are awarded dont count as sports, then you have to remove boxing from the list. i dont think any of you would say that boxing is not a sport, but by your definition it isnt. just because you can get knocked out for a definitive win, doesnt erase the fact that every match is scored by judges and many bouts are decided by judges alone.


It's not dying I'm talking about, it's living.
Jun 28, 2007
Merriam-Webster on line defines sport:

a : a source of diversion : RECREATION (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in

By definition cheerleading, bowling, golf, football, etc are all sports! Just because it is something that you don't especially like, or isn't macho enough for you does not make it not a sport.
Feb 12, 2007
Lawrence, Kansas
Hey guys - long-time lurker but rare (ever?) poster.

I've had this debate a lot with my friends and here's the (rough) definition of "sport" I've come up with. Mind you, this doesn't make a "sport" and better or worse than a "game" or an "athletic competition," they're just different things. So, here goes.

A sport must...

1. require athletic physical exertion (spending 12 hours at the poker table, while perhaps gruelingly tiring, doesn't count as athletic physical exertion).

2. have direct or indirect contact between opponents. Examples include tackling in football (direct) or a ball being hit back and forth in tennis (indirect). Using the same apparatus in gymnastics would not count.

3. have its outcome determined by the players rather than judges. While some would argue that referees "judge" a basketball game, I'd argue that instead they are there to enforce the rules, rather than determine a winner. Yes, I also understand that this probably eliminates boxing as a "sport."

4. NOT take in to account "artistic" merit in determining a winner. Anything where you can literally earn style points is right out.

I believe those are all of the parameters I have so far. Thus, here are some examples of non-sports that I think many would argue are sports:

Swimming (athletic competition)
100m dash (athletic competition)
Boxing (glorified fighting)
Golf (game)
Ice skating (artistic competition)
Bowling (game)

Once again, not trying to say "sports" are better than "athletic competitions" or "games," just different.

I'd love to hear some feedback about this definition (Merriam, Webster, Oxford English be d*mned!).


Territorial Marshal
Dec 19, 2006
Funny how this thing has morphed...I had asked what made a sport a sport because we now have freaks from California winning gold in snowboarding and i wondered what had caused the increase in sports considered for Olympic events. I mean you have hurling, rifle marksmanship, kayaking...all kinda funky if you consider the classic sports, track, wrestling, field events, swimming figure skating is in, in gymnastics the girls do stunts with sticks that have streamers on the ends. Interesting how/who decides on what is going to be an Olympic event...kinda like the Guiness Book of World records. I saw a deal a few nights ago where 4 guys were trying to throw pizzas as high as they could without it going past a 45 degree angle. Literally anything can now go in there, especially if you think of something that nobody else ever're the first so you now hold the record. Apparently there is no limit to what can be an Olympic sport or in the book of world records.