Is it a sport or isn’t it???

Alexis Pomponio

A common controversy that has been around for a long time is what is considered a sport?  This debate has been around for years. But has it ever actually been answered? And why does this even matter?

According to a survey, 100% of people consider hockey, lacrosse, gymnastics, tennis, football, cross country, swimming, soccer, baseball, and softball to be a sport. 11% considered marching band a sport, 63% considered karate a sport, 72% considered ping-pong a sport, and 63% considered school cheerleading to be a sport. Similarly, 90% considered dance a sport , 81% considered biking a sport, 90% considered competitive cheer a sport  and 90% considered track a sport . One may ask themselves why is this, and what is the reasoning behind these answers?

The reasoning that was given for if something is a sport was along the lines of the activity being not competitive, not enough physical activity or not enough training. With this reasoning, what is considered a sport or not does not make sense. For example, school cheerleaders practice for hours in the summer with intense conditioning; therefore, that logic falls flat.

Similarly, only certain activities are counted for Canfield High School’s gym credit. School-affiliated sports including marching band are counted for gym credit, but popular activities such as dance, gymnastics and karate not counted for any gym credit. These sports require just as much work and training as school sports, but student athletes who participate in these are required to take gym class in order to receive credit. 

Many students wonder why outside activities do not count for a gym credit. Taylor Morgan a sophomore at Canfield High School is a dancer. She comments on if outside sports should receive gym credi , “Yes, because we put in more hours in a week than some sports do. And our season is all year rather than a couple months”.  Dancers practice for hours a night almost everyday, but the school still requires these students to take a gym class. 

Assistant principal Mr. Shields explained that this is a state rule, not a school rule. The state of Ohio requires students to take gym for credit or students to participate in a school-affiliated sport. So if you participate in a sport such as gymnastics outside of school, you are still required to take a gym class in order to receive school credit. Canfield High School offers many in-class options for gym credit such as Fitness for Life, Weightlifting and Competitive Sports. 

Even though the activities mentioned above are not counted for school credit, they can still be considered to be sports. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a sport is defined as, “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” 

Therefore, in any sport you choose to participate, as long as you are working hard, it involves physical activity, and you are learning a skill in order to compete or show off in some way, you are participating in a sport. 

Many students at Canfield participate in sports outside of school. There are many dancers, gymnasts, and even people who participate in karate. No matter what sport a student participates in, they should be considered dedicated student athletes. I think that students who participate in these kinds of sports work just as hard as the athletes who participate in school affiliated sports. These students also deserve as much recognition for their hard work, as well as being accepted as athletes, just as others are.