Competitive activities wish to be included, respected as sports

Carrolls competitive cheer team who won first at state last year. Photo from Carrolls school website.

Carroll’s competitive cheer team who won first at state last year. Photo from Carroll’s school website.

While many activities such as football, soccer, baseball, swim, tennis, and basketball are recognized as sports by nearly everyone, others have been debated for years whether they should be included or not.

Some of the activities debated are hunting, e-sports (video games), chess, cheer, dance, marching band, and show choir which are the activities that will be discussed in this article.

People who are involved in these activities are usually arguing for them to be including as sports.

First, here is a definition. Oxford Dictionary defines a sport as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

The activities that would qualify as sports based on that definition are competitive cheer, dance, marching band, and show choir.

They are the only activities out of the list above that cause physical exertion, competing, and entertainment.

That of course is only the case when they are being evaluated by that definition which can vary from dictionary to dictionary.

I do agree with the Oxford definition though, and I think it is a very good standard to measure whether an activity should qualify as a sport or not.

Although e-sports are not included, I think that they have become a separate category.

Since they are labeled as e-sports, it is already determined that they are a sport of some kind, but they are not grouped together with other sports since they are so different in nature.

E-sports meet all of the requirements except for physical exertion which is why they deserve a different category since they are involving the challenging of the mind.

The main argument that has been presented for why competitive cheer, dance, marching band, and show choir should not be classified as sports is because they involve music which should not be involved with sports.

I strongly disagree with this point because music being involved does not change the fact that they are still experiencing physical exertion, competition, and providing entertainment.

If swimmers had to swim in rhythm with a song in the background for their competitions would that make swimming not a sport?

The involvement of music should not determine whether something is a sport or not.

In addition, members of competitive cheer, dance, marching band, and show choir work just as hard if not harder than members of traditional sports.

Most people don’t know how much work they put into all of their competitions until they are a part of it themselves.

Overall, even though there are many different definitions for what a sport is, I think that the best three requirements are highlighted in the Oxford Definition which are physical exertion, competition, and entertainment.

The measure of what makes something a sport should not be based off of what is generally seen as a sport.

Try being a dancer, marching band member, show choir member, or competitive cheerleader and then tell me whether they deserve to be called sports or not.