>def. of sports

>def. of sports

Post by CJarr » Sat, 27 Jan 1996 04:00:00


>I don't know what we should call them, but I don't think they're sports.
>understand that ballroom dancing will be demonstrated at the upcoming
>Olympics for possible inclusion in future Olympics.  Does that make
>ballroom dancing a sport?  Being an Olympic event does not make it a
>sport.  Granted, the above mentioned events take athletic ability, but
>they are not sports because how well you do is based on the opinion of

For what it's worth, I agree with you.  I have lots of respect for the
ability of figure skaters, gymnasts, etc... but I too am not convinced
that they actually should be considered "sports" or at least not lumped in
the same sports classification as sport during which you have some object
measure of winnning (ie, the clock in track, distance in field events,
points in fencing and most other sports).  I know that there are
guidelines, and even absolute rules about what gets how many points in the
"subjective" sports like gymnastics, but there's an awful lot that's left
to the discretion of the judges.

One could argue that that the referee's job in foil and sabre is rather
subjective too, but I don't think it's the same nature.  It's more like
the a referee in basketball deciding whether or not a certain contact
between players was a foul or charging or mearly incidental.  And for
"travelling" what's the definition of a "step"?  Can a player just "skip"
down the court with dribbling as long as he doesn't cross his feet?  I
doubt a ref would let him get away with it, but he didn't really take any
"steps" did he?  The nature of calling the action in foil and sabre is of
a similar nature.  The subjectivity is in whether a particular action
meets the requirements for what that action is supposed to be, but no
points are awarded based on that, but rather on the actual success of that
action.  There is not "judgement" in determining the success of the action
- either you hit or you didn't.  Either it was on target or it wasn't.
And we have these friendly little scoring machines to help us know which
of those things occurred.

>Can you imagine winning a fencing bout not because you had the
>most touches, but because your fencing looked better (in the opinion of
>the judges) than your opponent<<

Just as a bit of info: I was reading On Fencing by Aldo Nadi, and
apparently until shortly before this century, in competition you had to
fence in front of a panel which would judge your form... all but the best
fencers (who no one would dare criticize) had to display some measure of
good form before they could even hope to place well in competition.  At
that time, good form was a end in itself, rather than just a means of
scoring as it is today.

Chip Jarred