Opinion

A brand-new ranking to classify sports

Wikipedia encyclopedia defines sport as “consist[ing]of a normal physical activity or skill carried out under a[n]… agreed set of rules…: for competition, for self-enjoyment, to attain excellence, for the development of skill, or some combination of these. A sport has physical activity, side-by-side competition and a scoring system. The difference of purpose is what characterizes sport, combined with the notion of individual (or team) skill or prowess.”

I classify a sport as an activity that uses a combination of talents, skills and rules. In a sport an athlete must use a combination of coordination, strength, endurance and speed, combined with skill. The sport itself should have a level playing field.

I would like to introduce a system that ranks sports from one to five, where the lower end is a completely subjective event and five would be almost completely objective. The rankings are in no way derogatory to the events but a way to differentiate between them for the sake of argument. At level one would be events such as diving, gymnastics, surfing and ice skating, mainly because their scoring systems are highly complex, and they are so much closer to art forms than other sports. Level two would include events similar to the art/sport of parkour (freerunning). At level three would be the combative sports: boxing, wrestling, tae kwon do and judo, because spectators understand the rules but the scoring depends on the agreement of officials. At level four would be basketball and soccer. Level five includes swimming and athletics. The first two are almost completely devoid of subjectivity because when the ball enters the goal it is understood that points have been scored. The latter two are completely objective because their outcomes are obvious. All other sports would fall in line similar to the examples I have provided.

Now for the non-sports: fishing, hunting, billiards, poker and vehicle racing. Fishing and hunting do not have level playing fields, billiards and poker require no athletic ability (though ESPN would have us believe that). Vehicle racing requires stamina and coordination but the “athlete” in this sense does not do the majority of the work. Manipulating a steering wheel, shifting and hand-eye coordination are its requirements. Granted, some drivers cross train, but this does not make them true athletes. Another sport that requires a machine is cycling. The difference between it and vehicle racing is the amount of true athletic ability used to complete a race. I do not include equestrian or horse racing as non-sports because the horse is the true athlete and should therefore be rewarded for its effort.

I will admit that this is a contentious topic for many. The definition will continue to change over time making this debate more enjoyable.

Vontilla Steven can be contacted at v.steven@umiami.edu.

March 11, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is starting Thursday night for the No. 16 Miami Hurricanes against ...

It sure sounds like redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is going to get his first career start at 8 Thurs ...

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

Theatre arts students open the Ring Theatre’s 2018-19 season with a tribute to the creative genius w ...

UM representatives earned Novice and Junior Varsity categories at the National Opener, one of the mo ...

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement receives a $300,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

Miami junior Estela Perez-Somarriba's 6-4, 6-3 victory over Evgeniya Levashova will be re-broad ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.