RCMS students debate what is a sport

What students consider sports, what they don’t, and why

Anay Bansal exercises on his stationary bicycle during the pandemic.

Anay Bansal

Anay Bansal exercises on his stationary bicycle during the pandemic.

Dhara Mudras, Writer

“You can make anything into a competition, but a sport is physical activity,” eighth grader at RCMS, Samantha Shuster said. 

As things go back to normal at RCMS, students debate what is and what’s not a sport, for reasons from artistry to competition.

A main activity debated whether it’s a sport or not is chess. Ella DeFede, an eighth-grader at RCMS on Xtreme team, said that while it’s difficult, it’s not a sport.

“A sport is something that is competitive and physical,” she said.

Emily Kim, an eighth-grader also on Xtreme team at RCMS, and Sawyer Busby, also an eighth grader on Voyagers at RCMS, both agreed chess wasn’t a sport either, because it’s not active.

Ella said she didn’t consider figure skating, cheerleading, or dance to be sports either, because they don’t compete in the same way as other sports. She also said that the way points are calculated in those events, if they are, is subjective and not the same as an activity where you score goals or touchdowns.

She added, “I’m not trying to be rude by saying they’re not a sport, but they’re not in the same category as football or basketball.”

Emily thought artistry didn’t have much of an affect on whether something is a sport or not.

“Something can be athletic and difficult and have artistry,” Emily said. “It’s still a sport.”

Emily brought up rhythmic gymnastics, figure skating, and ice dancing as things that have artistry but require athleticism and practice to be good and win at.

“I think anything that has you doing something active, enjoyable, and something people like to watch is a sport,” Sawyer said.

Ani Avetisyan, an eighth-grader on Explorers at RCMS, said that she did think figure skating and dance were sports, and people might not only because they’re not traditional and viewed as hobbies instead by some.

“Anything you do consistently and that gets you active can be a sport,” Samantha said.

Practice was something that most people seemed to think was important in a sport.

“It takes a lot of work to be good at a sport, and if you compete once a month, practice never, it’s not a sport that you can say you do,” Emily said.

Training for Samantha’s sports, diving and basketball, means that she practices 5-6 times a week. Emily’s sports, volleyball and figure skating, means she practices about 3-4 times a week, but has to continue to exercise and stay in shape all throughout the year to maintain her coordination, balance, and aim for volleyball. Sawyer’s sport, soccer, means he has to practice 4-5 times a week and commit to a balanced and healthy diet.

“Board games, chess and card games aren’t sports. Things you can pick up in a day and close to master aren’t sports,” Ella said. “You can start playing volleyball and be amazing and win your first game, but you still need practice to learn how to serve and other things.”

“Diving and doing one flip at the pool isn’t diving as a sport, unless you practice it,” she said.

While Ani had her own thoughts about what counts as a sport, she thought it was unnecessary to ruin fun activities by bringing it up constantly.

She said, “If it’s not a sport, it’s still valid. You can have a good time doing anything.”