Is Michael Brown’s Definition the Right One?
Any definition of sport can be highly controversial. In most practical terms, sport is operationally defined as the identification of a series of activities (usually organized around a particular sport) characterized by recognized standards of performance and reputation that depend on agreed criteria. In other words, sport includes a group of activities that are organized to test an individual’s ability to do something specific.
Organized sports are the most common examples of sport. They include football, ice hockey, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, cheerleading, track and field, motor racing, swimming, cheerleading, sailing, motor biking, surfing, skiing, cycling, gymnastics, fencing, football (Gaelic and English), cricket, hockey (North American and European), rugby, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf and many other popular games. Each sport requires physical exertion, skill, speed, flexibility, balance and endurance, and some have specialized rules to define how its participants can perform with respect to the competition.
Darts is another example of a popular pastime. On a global scale, dart throwing is a sport that involves throwing a dart at a dartboard or against a wall in competition. The sport originated in Great Britain and is now enjoyed all over the world. It is a popular indoor activity, although outdoor tournaments are held regularly, particularly in countries with large communities and sports clubs. Competitors try to throw their darts as accurately as possible within a set time limit.
Many people enjoy darts because it is a low-risk, high-skill sport, which can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Although it is played mostly by men, women have taken up the sport as well. The basic rules of darts include throwing three darts with each point being converted to a ‘dart’ – the game’s currency. Each participant is also required to wear protective gear, such as protective eyewear and padding. The sport has evolved over the years to include other types of throws and evolutions in equipment, but remains largely focused on the darts themselves.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) defines the following sport or competitions as being an Olympic sport: swimming; boxing; tennis; hockey; gymnastics; sailing; swimming and cycling. The definition excludes non-Olympic sports like table tennis, due to the lack of a universal regulation, and other competitions not specifically mentioned. This leaves the field open to any discipline that meets the necessary qualifications and can be proven to be a genuine sport.
Michael Brown’s definition is an inclusive one that should define both the participation in sport and the way people participate in sport. Sport, as a whole, provides a forum for people to express their creativity, improve their physical fitness and health and to compete against others. Participation in sport requires a commitment to the sport itself and to maintaining the integrity of the sport through fair play. Brown’s definition of sport may need to be refined and more clearly defined in the future to allow for the different kinds of activities that people engage in today.