Is ______ a sport?

Being an athlete, you are faced with many questions, debates, arguments, and sometimes even blood-lettings regarding sports. One such issue that surfaces quite often is…”Is _____ a sport?” Well, here at SmittyCity we have spent endless hours putting together a definitive list of “sports” and “not sports” for you the reader. Please feel free to reference SmittyCity for any and all arguments…that is what we are here for.


  • football
  • basketball
  • baseball
  • soccer
  • hockey
  • lacrosse
  • tennis
  • rugby
  • track & field
  • boxing
  • golf
  • softball
  • squash
  • wrestling
  • volleyball
  • field hockey
  • cycling


  • cheerleading
  • billiards
  • bowling
  • curling
  • fishing
  • poker
  • extreme “sports”
  • martial arts
  • table tennis
  • rodeo
  • darts
  • archery

* These lists are not open for debate..however..if you would like to add to either list, feel free to do so.


32 Responses

  1. a sport is an athletic game. you have to have a clear winner, a clear loser and a simple objective manner in which to decide that winner. If there is a judge assigning points that can make a descion on the outcome of the event. Not a sport. If its not athletic. Not a sport. If you dont compete directly against someone else not a sport.

  2. what about badminton

  3. what about croquet?
    what about midget tossing?

  4. what about synchronized swimming?

  5. Figure skating= not a sport.

  6. under matt’s definition nascar would be a sport, and you left out horse racing, which is a sport!

  7. Ah no you didn’t. NASCAR is so a sport. Those guys have to be amazing athletes to do what they do. You take a an almost 90degree bank at 200mph and tell me you don’t have to be an athlete. I rock the NASCAR scene. You need to blog a retraction before I up and smack you, SMITCH is broke.

  8. Nascar drivers are no athletes…you can make a case for the horses, but not the jockeys….both are out.

  9. Your telling me jockeys arent athletes? Go back and watch the tape from this years Preakness when Jeremy Rose was holding on by Afleet Alex’s mare and rode him to victory. Those are small men who have to control a thousand pound beast! It takes precision, strength, and endurance. If that is not the definition of an athlete I don’t know what is. A jockey’s horse is like Lance’s bike!

  10. a jockey’s horse is nothing like lance’s bike…number one: the bike is not alive. number two: the bike doesn’t do 90% of the work. Number three: you’re wrong.

  11. As much as I don’t think NASCAR or horse racing are sports, I have to agree with colby and gotch that both drivers of NASCAR and jockeys are athletes. And to correlate a bike and a horse is just crazy, horses do much more than a bike does (great point, Smitty). Personally I believe Lance does more on a bike than Pat Day does on a horse… but that’s me, I am sure colby will disagree but if not, cool!

  12. let me clarify: any jockey does have a heck of a responsibility in guiding the horse, using their strength and precision. It seems tough and something only a true athlete could do (all though they are midgets). However, to ride a bike hundreds of miles up and down the largest hills of Europe requires a little more precision. For example, when they are in tight quarters on skinny streets along side of hundreds of other riders. Also using their leg strength and endurance to pedal (not just ride on top of) their bike up and down, and up and down those huge hills is probably one of, if not the toughest thing to do in any sport today. So yes they both are extremely tough and hard-working athletes, but Lance and any other bike rider that even attempts the Tour De France has a definite step up on ANY jockey. They are both mighty impressive though…

  13. I do not disagree that Lance has to do more but don’t read too much into the comparison. I was simply stating that just because an athlete has a tool they use in their sport does not mean they arent an athlete.

  14. besides track, what sport is there that a tool is not used? Thats not the issue. If we are calling jockeys athletes because they guide huge chunks of mass with precision (which is amazing…don’t get me wrong), and if we are calling NASCAR drivers athletes because they do the same with metal and tires…then we must also call all pilots in the world athletes as well. They are guiding even bigger objects at even faster speeds with even more precision. Being an athlete is more than just knowing how to do something really well. See my point.


    Pronunciation: ‘ath-“lEt, ÷’a-th&-“lEt
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlEtEs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest
    : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina

    First off, it clearly states in the etymology that athlete comes from Greek in which a person who contends for a prize or a contest. Do Nascar drivers and jockeys not compete for a prize? yeah, i know go ahead and make the point that the cars or the horses are the ones competing but so are the jockeys and drivers, thus making them athletes…

    Secondly, if you read the definition it says athletes are people who are trained and skilled in exercise, games, and sports requring stamina, agility, and physical strength. Both jockeys and drivers use much stamina, drivers do have some physical strength and need for agility in driving, but not nearly as much as jockeys. So whether or not we come to the conclusion that NASCAR or horse racing are sports or not, they are still skilled in exercise or games (with “a clear winner and loser and a simple objective manner to decide that winner”, thanks Matt)

    Third, you can’t compare a pilot and a jockey or driver as athletes except for the fact of him guiding a massive object, but he does not have to have physical strength, agility, or stamina in order to fly a plane, therefore a pilot is nowhere near an athlete, while drivers and jockeys are.

  16. number 1: Noah Webster was a recluse who put together a book full of all the words he could obtain. He is hardly the person to define what an athlete is. I don’t care what you, webster, or woodyard have to say…you cannot define an athlete…you can only pick them out.

    number 2: you are wrong, john, in your assesment of pilots. They do with a plane exactly what jockeys and drivers do with thier respected tool. When is the last time you saw a buff nascar driver or jockey…or one who could run the 40 in under 5 seconds. I don’t know for sure, but I would venture to say that a fighter pilot is pushed to the max more so that either of the “athletes” in discussion when it comes to stamina, endurance, and skill. So yes, they do compare.

    number three: competing for a prize can not be a qualification. just think of all the people that we would then have to deem athletes.

    Case and Point: The word “Athlete” cannot be defined. And as for our argument…it will never be more than opinion.

  17. I left the computer and then came back five minutes later because I had a thought. If I were to concede this argument, which I am not ready to do, I would say that horse racing could be labeled as a sport. However…I would never agree that jockeys are athletes. And to answer your obvious objection, no, horse racing being a sport does not automatically mean that jockeys are atheletes.

    But…as of now…and I don’t forsee my view changing…although I am always open to an argument…horse racing is not a sport in Smitty City.

  18. okay, GREAT CASE AND POINT. this will never be won of course but we are all entitled to opinions. I still think in order to be a jockey or a driver there is a substantial amount of more training they must do than a “normal” pilot does with the exception of fighter pilots. As much as I hate horse racing, i believe it’s a sport by all means and jockeys train and work as hard as most athletes racing in around 8 races a day (according to Colby). as for nascar, I could concede that it’s not a sport very easily but I dont think that i will. no more arguments from me though, i’m done.

    As for great athletes, anyone who reads this lets get a poll on who believes is the greatest athlete of all time???

    My answer: Lance Armstrong without a doubt… maybe this will spark a new debate?

  19. back to smitty’s argument concerning pilots and jockeys 40 times. You considered golf a sport, therefore John Daly woujld be considered an athlere….what do you think his 40 time is?

  20. smitty said that just because they are in something considered a sport doesn’t make them an athlete… see his point about jockeys and horse racing in the 17th comment. but running a good 40 time doesn’t constitute an athlete anyway, it helps though in the argument but there are many “athletes” with a bad 40 time.

  21. john,

    after careful consideration (i’m serious), I also believe that Lance is the greatest athlete of all time. no bias either. In a close second…I think i would go with Jackie Robinson, who was a four sport athlete at UCLA and was all-america in three of them. Besides he obvious acheivements on the diamond, he was incredibly gifted in a lot of other areas (for example: he averaged 12 yrds per carry in 1939 as a running back at UCLA)

    *I appreciate the friendly dabates on this blog…it was fun.

  22. i didn’t know all that about jackie robinson… you could also throw in Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, and any other players that played more than one sport and were great at their respective sports.

  23. me and a buddy from my team were talking about deon the other day…he told me that deon was running between 4.06-4.17 40s when he first entered the league.

  24. Forget this athlete crap. Fine, maybe drivers and jockeys are not athletes, but I believe the original argument was what is and is not considered a sport. A sport is anything that involves, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.” By this definition from Racing, Cheerleading (When in competion), bowling, curling, etc. are all sports. I know you probably don’t agree, Smitty, because these sports are redneck or not manly by your standards. It is the same thing with your aversion to guys wearing thong sandals. I understand your view on sports and don’t have any bad feelings towards you. You still are the man in my eyes. Gotch out!

  25. there is no one who has the authority to define the word athlete…especially some internet dictionary.

  26. Just so people like the writer of the previous anonymous comment know.(I hate anonymous comments by the way) is a database of many dictionaries like Webster, American Heritage, etc. So, I believe it is a creditable source. Also, again the argument is not about athletes, but rather what is and is not considered a sport.

  27. No one posesses the authority to define “sport” or “athlete.”

  28. You make no sense (Anonymous Commentor)!!! Of course words can be defined. If words can not be defined then a shoe can be called a car and vice versa. Your argument is not valid. God has given us the ablity (and the authority) to reason and make definitions based on logic. You are obviously not logically in your argument.

  29. gotch, yes the original argument was about sports BUT we slowly started arguing (in a good way) about athletes and who or who isn’t so both the sport issue and the athlete issue are fair game here… i hate anonymous comments too by the way, people can’t be man enough to say who they are and let us know what they really think with their name being known. just a bunch of pansies in my opinion

  30. haha, just kidding that last “anonymous” comment was really me! aren’t i just so funny? dang i wish God didn’t bless me with such a great sense of humor, but since He did I will use it in whatever way I can to bring honor and glory to Him and Him alone. Amen.

  31. You crack me up, wiley!!!

  32. okay gotch,

    define god…define “good”…define “smart”…define “courage”…define “poise”…these are all words that cannot be define, they can only be acknowledged.

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