The Instigator
obrya1jr
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Dorb
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Informal: Hockey is "better" than baseball.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2010 Category: Sports
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,948 times Debate No: 12369
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (7)

 

obrya1jr

Pro

The clash of the titans: A United States past time versus a Canadian made sport.

This is my first debate, to please bear with me if it is not professional or in proper format. I will be learning a I go.

I intend on defending the primarily North American sport of hockey in saying that it is a "better" sport than baseball. It has been a long winded argument amongst my friends and I wish to see how the internet feels about it.

I know better is a subjective term, but I wish to break down the argument into a few major points that are both important to the players and the viewers of the sport. These points are: Average televised game length, average time of action, games per season, importance of each game per season, skills required to play, difficulty scoring, and type of team play.

Knowing that calling a sport "better" is changed constantly by context but in general, I feel these are important characteristics that are contained in each sport and I would like to defend that hockey stands to be a better spectator sport and requires more skills (both mentally and physically) for the athletes.

Thank you in advance to my debater and I wish to keep this as mature and information based as possible.
Dorb

Con

This is one of my first debates, too, so we have the great fortune of being able to explore this debating medium together, without worry of using a "professional or proper format."

Although the terms you have proffered are vague and ambiguous, I accept them given that my understanding of what I must do to win is correct, as I outline it below

To win this debate, I will have to show that hockey is not a "better" sport than baseball. For one sport to be considered "better" than the other, you have stipulated two points that must be met: hockey must be "better" as a "spectator sport," and better in the sense that hockey "requires more skills (both mentally and physically) for the athletes."

Because these two points do not correspond to each other in any way that we can measure, I will take it for granted that I will only have to show that one of these claims is false. If I prove that baseball requires as much or more skill than hockey, then I will have won. And if I prove that baseball is as good or better a spectator sport, then I will have won.

Thanks for the debate, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
obrya1jr

Pro

Thank you, opponent, for taking up this debate. I would like to throw out some figures to help shape my approach to the debate.
First off, the comparison of the two games a they pertain to their schedules and times to each other. A baseball season is 162 games long, which means that the importance of each game is only .61% to the season total. In other words, if you lose a baseball game, it does not affect the outcome as a whole as much as hockey. There are 82 games in a season of hockey, which means each game is worth 1.12% (almost double) of the season and would thus lead each game of hockey to hold twice the importance of a baseball game in typical regular season circumstances. With more importance of the game to the season usually brings more emotional value for the spectator.
Another point to be made about the spectator aspect of the sport is the amount of action that each viewer gets to watch compared to the time they get to invest in each game. A baseball game has no time limit, so basically the monotonous past time could theoretically take forever, but for the purposes of this debate I will say that the average game of baseball is around 3 hours.(http://en.wikipedia.org...) The average time of action for "ball in play" is 12 minutes (http://ask.yahoo.com...) which puts the action per game at 6.66%. To put that in perspective, that means for 93% of the game, there is no baseball actually being played. This time is taken up by commercials, throwing the ball back to the pitcher, spitting, and re-adjusting cups. Hockey generally takes 2.5 hours to watch and contains 60 minutes of action (3 periods of 20 minutes). This is a game of 40% action, and when compared to baseball has far less interruptions and far more action for the viewer. With more time of action for hockey, it means that the time invested by the viewer for each game yields more action and thus more potential for excitement.

Now lets move to the athletics of each sport. A baseball and a hockey puck weigh the same (5 oz) and generally reach the same mph during game play (between 70 and 105 mph). As far as the physical aspects oh the game, hockey definitely outweighs the power needed on both offense and defense. Hockey entails skating, checking, fighting, taking checks, deking and playing defense, all while you are on your shift. While you are on your shift, you have to be able to play both offense and defense within seconds of each other, and also play as a team on both offense and defense. In baseball, you take breaks between each offense and defense switch, meaning you have time to mentally prepare and adjust and so on. While you are on offense in baseball, you are no longer a part of a team, you basically just a hitter or a runner. (I won't get into pinch hitting or running because I feel it is just absurd in the first place to have someone of better skill take over for you in a pinch.) As a runner you generally only have to run between 90 and 270 ft at a time. As a hitter you have to hit a ball traveling between 70-105 mph with a bat. Some people say it is the hardest thing to do in sports, but if that is true why are there so many hits? On defense in baseball, you are expected to throw the baseball between 90 and 270 ft once in a while when the ball it hit to you. Other than that it is catching the ball and fielding the ball in typically undemanding circumstances.

Now to really show the difficulty of each sport for the athlete, I will show the scoring numbers in each sport. In hockey, the save percentage for goalies is on average .90. This means that the goalie will save 90% of all the teams shots, and for an individual it is much harder do be in that 10% when you share the ice with 4 other guys. In baseball, a non pitcher averages between .25 and .30 batting average. This means that an individual on offense in hockey has a harder time scoring and being in a scoring position than a baseball player.

That is the bulk of my argument but I would also like to add a few extra points that can be supplementary evidence for my reasoning. Baseball takes 8 breaks between innings where hockey only takes 2 breaks between periods. Ice is a much harder surface to play on. Hockey requires more padding than baseball because it is more physical. The coaches/managers of hockey actually wear respectable clothing in hockey, not the players uniform. Hockey is played indoors so there are rarely if any cancelled games per season and there are no rain delays or rain outs like in baseball. Lastly, any "sport" that can be played more than once in a day (back to back double headers in baseball) isn't really that demanding of a sport anyway. Plus baseball players get paid way too much for what they offer athletically and steroids just doesn't really help their reputation anyway.

So basically, it is harder to score in hockey, it is more physically demanding of its athletes, spectators get more bang for their buck and each game is worth more in the season total which makes for each game more important. If you look at the amount of minutes of action each sport offers per season, baseball averages 1,944 minutes where as hockey offers 4,920 and baseball takes up 5 months of playing every day where hockey is a concentrated action packed sport of athletics and strategy.

That is all I have for now and I am looking forward to my opponents response.
Dorb

Con

Because the burden of proof is on my opponent, I will begin by noting the fallacies in Pro's argument. In doing so, I will negate his arguments.

Pro begins by noting that a "baseball season is 162 games long," whereas there are "82 games in a season of hockey." According to Pro, this means the "importance of each game in baseball is .61% to the season total," whereas in hockey, "each game is worth 1.12% of the season." Pro then claims that with "more importance of the game to the season usually brings more emotional value for the spectator."

This claim is not backed by any evidence. To begin with, the word "usually" as employed by my opponent in his statement negates his argument, as something that "usually" happens is not enough reason to say that the "importance of the game to the season" does without a doubt bring "more emotional value for the spectator." Furthermore, my opponent does not show how "emotional value for the spectator" is related to the value each game has in the season's sum total of game. As a result, even if my opponent's claim were true (and I disagree that it is), Pro has failed to provide any evidence that it is true. The only thing that Pro has show is that there are more games of baseball per season than hockey. This evidence does not demonstrate that hockey is a better spectator sport.

Further, Pro states that "the amount of minutes of action each sport offers" on average is "1,944 minutes" for baseball and "hockey offers 4,920." This shows that Pro is in fact contradicting himself. First, he states that hockey has fewer games and therefore more emotional value. Then he states that baseball has on average less minutes of action. As such, we can conclude, using my opponent's logic, that baseball has more emotional value for the spectator per minute of action. Pro's logic is flawed.

Moreover, because there are more games of baseball than hockey, I would argue that baseball is a better spectator sport: baseball offers the spectator more games to enjoy. In baseball there are more games to watch, and according to my opponent, fewer minutes. This means that each moment in each game has far more importance than each moment in a hockey game. Therefore, by offering more opportunities to be viewed, baseball must be a better spectator sport. As such, I contend that baseball, because it has more games per season, is arguably a better spectator sport.

The next point that Pro argues is that the "action per game" of baseball is "6.66%," whereas the action per game of hockey is "40%." There are a number of problems with this argument. First, this number is the percent of the game in which the ball is in play. Pro confuses both the "time of action" and the "time invested by the viewer for each game" with the amount of time the ball is in play. In baseball, just because the ball is not in play does not mean that the game yields less action and less time invested by the viewer. Second, even if it were the case that there is only an average "12 minutes" of action per game of baseball, it does not mean that there is less potential for excitement in a baseball game. Those 12 minutes can easily yield as much or more excitement for the viewer as the entire "2.5 hours" that the hockey game takes to watch. Pro has thus proven nothing by saying that the quantity of action in baseball is less than the quantity of action in hockey. And finally, my third point on this issue: my opponent's source for his numbers is a question that was asked on "Ask Yahoo," a website where people can ask questions and answer them. As such, my opponent's source is unreliable. Further, his source is not only unreliable because of where it was found, but also because the source itself states that its findings are not "scientific." The source also notes that many viewers "find baseball's leisurely pace relaxing." In other words, baseball is a better spectator sport for those who prefer relaxation to excitement. Pro has not shown how a more exciting sport is a better spectator sport.

Indeed, the QUALITY of the two experiences, that of baseball and hockey, cannot be compared. To say one is a better spectator sport than the other is something that cannot be determined precisely because they are completely different sports. People who enjoy a "slow" sport will enjoy baseball more; people who enjoy a "fast" sport more will enjoy hockey. In either case, it does not prove that one is a better spectator sport than the other. It only proves that one is a better spectator sport for some spectators – and this is something that can be said about pretty much anything.

What can be said, however, is that baseball is a more popular sport than hockey. Baseball "attracts more ticket sales than any other sport in the United States, and is considered the second most popular professional sport" [1]. Therefore, because baseball is more popular than hockey, we can conclude that baseball is a better spectator sport. Again, because more spectators choose to buy tickets to baseball games, the evidence suggests that baseball is a better spectator sport. And therefore, my opponent's resolution is negated.

Source:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Pro's next point is about the "athletics of each sport." I do not know why my opponent is arguing that one sport is more athletic than the other. Pro argued that he would show that hockey "required more skills," not that it was more athletic. They are distinct categories.

Pro then claims that "as far as the physical aspects oh the game, hockey definitely outweighs the power needed on both offense and defense." My opponent makes a spelling error – "oh" – at the same time that he makes a claim that is irrelevant. Again, the amount of "power needed on both offense and defense" does not mean that hockey requires "more skills." The skills that are required for these games are extremely different.

Pro states, "As a hitter you have to hit a ball traveling between 70-105 mph with a bat. Some people say it is the hardest thing to do in sports, but if that is true why are there so many hits? On defense in baseball, you are expected to throw the baseball between 90 and 270 ft once in a while when the ball it hit to you. Other than that it is catching the ball and fielding the ball in typically undemanding circumstances." In this statement, my opponent completely misrepresents the difficulty and skill required to play baseball. To begin, noting that "there are so many hits" does not negate the fact that "some people say it is the hardest thing to do in sports." Those people are correct: hitting a ball that is travelling above 100 mph is one of the hardest things to do in sports. The reason the number of hits is high is because so many baseball players use steroids. In fact, the high prevalence of steroids in baseball suggests that it is such a difficult sport that a large number of professional players have to use drugs to perform at the level required.

And finally, Pro's last argument to "show the difficulty of each sport for the athlete" rests on the "scoring numbers in each sport." Pro argues that because players score less in hockey than baseball, hockey is harder. Pro fails to realize that if it is easier to score, that means both teams will have an easier time scoring. This means that it is equally as difficult to win by score, as both teams face the same kind of challenges as the other team. In other words, although baseball players may "score" more often than hockey players, this only means that the nature of the game is to score more. In Basketball, for example, the players score far more than in hockey or baseball. And yet, would you also argue that basketball requires less skills than both hockey and baseball because it has such high scoring numbers. I argue that baseball thus requires as much if not more skill than hockey. My opponent's argument is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
obrya1jr

Pro

I will re-state and re-strengthen my argument because my opponent did not understand the figures I presented.

First, I will go by sport to make it easier.

Baseball has 162 games per season, with 12 minutes of ball in play per game, yielding 1,944 minutes of potential action per season. The amount of enjoyment each person is subjective to their experience, this debate is not about that though. The bottom line is that, mathematically, for every chance of baseball being exciting to any viewer, hockey offers more chances. Hockey has 82 games per season, with 60 minutes of puck in play per game, yielding 4,920 minutes of potential action per season. Hockey offers more than 3 times the amount of potential action for all viewers of either sport.
Also, because baseball has 162 games in a year, the importance of each game to the season total is .61%. That means the stakes for each regular season game are far less than games in a hockey season. Hockey has 82 games per season, putting the importance of each game at 1.12% (nearly double that of baseball). With each game having more importance to the season, the stakes are higher for the teams in hockey to win and thus puts more importance on needing to win each game.
These are mathematical facts and cannot be negated and there is no flawed logic here.

Con's argument that "baseball offers the spectator more games to enjoy" is subjective to the experience of that person, but as I have shown earlier, the amount of "ball in play" minutes per game is significantly less than "puck in play" minute found in hockey. Although there are more games per season, the totals for the minutes offered for hockey surpasses that of baseball. Con's notion of me contradicting myself is false and should be removed from the debate. I offered mathematical truths for the availability of potential action for the spectators, and there hockey wins.

Here is the source of the same information that Con deemed insufficient:
For length of baseball games and time of action timed by a Sports Illustrated columnist (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com...)

Con's point that, "baseball is a better spectator sport for those who prefer relaxation to excitement. Pro has not shown how a more exciting sport is a better spectator sport," only shows that there are different kinds of preference in the spectators themselves. Sports are naturally competitive and are not known for their relaxing attributes. I agree with Con that the "quality" of each sport is subjective and not measurable (as in people enjoying a slow sport as opposed to a fast sport) but because of the competitive nature of sports, it is apparent that spectators watch sports for competitive action between the teams. Because the quality for each person cannot be measured during this debate, I agree to drop this point.
Also, Con argues that baseball is for those looking for a "slow" and "relaxing" sport, but he later argues that there is a "level required" for baseball players to play at, and this is level of competition is reached through the methods of steroids.
Con points out that baseball ticket sales are higher so it must be a more popular and thus "better" sport. The reason that baseball tickets are so high is because they have so many games. It is far easier to sell more tickets than any other sport in the United States when you have more games than any other sport in the United States. Using Con's logic, football would be the least popular sport because of the lack of ticket sales.
Also, Con says that baseball is the second most popular sport. This is taken out of context from his source. Baseball may be the second most popular sport in the States, but Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada. This point cannot be used to tell whether or not a sport is better because it gets different coverage in different countries.

For my second point that Con did not understand, I will reiterate.
Oxford dictionary defines athletic as: of or relating to athletes; strong, fit, and active.
The skills required to play hockey are more athletic than the ones used in baseball, being that the skills themselves require more strength, fitness, and amount of activity. Please refer to my earlier round for the skills.

On the topic of hitting a baseball being the hardest thing to do in all of sports, Con states, "Those people are correct: hitting a ball that is travelling above 100 mph is one of the hardest things to do in sports. The reason the number of hits is high is because so many baseball players use steroids. In fact, the high prevalence of steroids in baseball suggests that it is such a difficult sport that a large number of professional players have to use drugs to perform at the level required."
Here Con does not actually make the connection between the difficulty and the need for steroids in the sport of baseball. There is not a need for steroids, period. Con also suggests that there is a "level required" for baseball players to play at. This is also false. Con is arguing that people watch baseball for the relaxing style of the sport, yet claims that there is a required level for players to compete at. This logic seems flawed.
Second, the hardest thing to do in sports is not hitting a baseball. The hardest thing to do in sports would be something attainable and has been done before, but less than other things because of its difficulty. I would say pitching a perfect game, striking out 30 batters in a game, or winning the world series 8 times in a row would be harder than hitting a baseball at 100 miles per hour. I would go as far as saying that because a batting average for an average baseball player is around .200, they hit the ball 20% of the time they get a pitch. It seems that in hockey, scoring a goal is harder than hitting a baseball because it happens less frequently.

My final point that is brought up by Con is no negated as he says. In basketball, the field goal percentage for the NBA is around 40%-50% [1] (hockey goalie save percentage is .900 and baseball batting averages are .250-.300) and that just means that it is easier for the professional player of his sport to score in basketball, then baseball, then hockey.

1. http://www.insidehoops.com...

Thank you for the challenge Con.
Dorb

Con

I will begin by addressing my opponent's argument that hockey requires more skills.

Requires more skills:

My opponent states: "Con also suggests that there is a "level required" for baseball players to play at. This is also false. Con is arguing that people watch baseball for the relaxing style of the sport, yet claims that there is a required level for players to compete at. This logic seems flawed."

My opponent believes that my logic "seems flawed," but to seem flawed is not the same thing as to be flawed and to point out the flaws. My opponent has not demonstrated that it is in actuality flawed, as my opponent has not pointed out what the flaws are. A sport being relaxing for the spectator has no relation to the actual skill level required of the players playing the game. As an example, the game of chess. Chess requires an immense degree of mental skill, but for the people watching, it is extremely slow and relaxing (professional games of chess take up to 6 hours with some moves taking up to half an hour alone). There is almost no action in a chess game, and little for the spectators to see, but this does not mean that the skill level required to play professional chess is not high; if anything, it requires more mental skill than almost any other sport (Chess is considered a sport, evidenced by the fact that it is played in the Olympics). And believe it or not, chess is in fact a spectator sport, with many people gathering to watch games.

Furthremore, with respect to my opponent's attempt to measure the skills required in these two sports, I think he misses a very important point. My opponent argues that "in hockey, scoring a goal is harder than hitting a baseball because it happens less frequently." My opponent is talking specifically about the scoring numbers. These numbers cannot be compared, as they are two completely different sports. For example, gymnastics is scored in a completely different way than either hockey or baseball, but it is nonetheless a sport. Can we compare the skill required for these sports by comparing the numbers related to their scoring? To me, this does not seem right.

I suggest, on the other hand, that in reality the skill level required in a sport is determined by the standard set by the other players of the sport, not by the scoring numbers. This is very logical and intuitive. Let me give an example. Imagine that the average baseball player hits the baseball 20% of the time (as my opponent stated). Now, imagine that one day someone comes along and raises the standard; instead of hitting the ball 20% of the time, he hits it 50% of the time. In effect, this player raises the skill level required to play the sport because now the rest of the players must attempt to close the gap between that player's skill level and their skill level. As the players of sports improve, the skill level required to play a sport improves. To play hockey against 10 year olds who can barely play is completely different than playing professional players. Same thing applies to baseball. In other words, skill is defined by how good you can do something relative to other people who also do that thing.

For this reason, the skill level required of the two sports cannot be compared. They require different skills, and to attempt to analyze which sport has a higher standard set is impossible when comparing different skills. For example, imagine attempting to compare how high someone can jump with how fast someone can run. The skill involved cannot be compared. We can say that jumping 4 feet is harder than jumping 2 feet, or that running 20 mph is harder than running 10 mph, but we cannot say that running 20 mph is harder than jumping 4 feet. Comparing different skills is impossible because the standard set is impossible to compare. The resolution is negated.

Better Spectator Sport:

Pro has admitted in Round 3, if I am not mistaken, that I have refuted his resolution, namely, "to defend that hockey stands to be a better spectator sport and requires more skills." Pro writes, "Because the quality for each person cannot be measured during this debate, I agree to drop this point." The specific point in question when Pro writes this is my argument that hockey cannot be proven to be a better spectator sport because it is something qualitative, something that cannot be measured by mathematical numbers. By agreeing to "drop this point," Pro concedes at the very least that which sport is a better spectator sport cannot be quantifiable. Because this is the case, Pro concedes that hockey cannot be proven to be a better spectator sport. And because this is one of the points that Pro needed to prove to affirm his resolution, Pro's resolution is negated.

As to Pro's specific arguments in Round 3, he merely restates the same numerical information that he presented in Round 2. Pro does not actually make any new arguments with this information. He just restates the same claims, namely, that because the ball is in play for a longer period in hockey, that hockey is more exciting and therefore a better spectator sport, that because there are more games in a season of baseball, each game is more important in hockey and therefore it is a better spectator sport. But these are subjective interpretations of quantitative numbers, and these numbers can be interpreted in many different ways. Pro does not offer any arguments as to why the specific quantitative data that he gives lead to the conclusion that hockey is a better spectator sport.

Pro's argument rests on mathematical and quantitative values, but the experience of spectators is a distinctly non-mathematical experience. Spectators experience a large range of emotions and feelings, feelings that can range from excitement to disappointment, tension and relief, anger and happiness, boredom and interest, relaxation and whatever other emotions and feelings that spectators feel. The point is, the experience of a spectator cannot be measured using mathematical numbers and quantitative data. Baseball is a slow sport, hockey is a fast sport, baseball is relaxing, hockey is exciting. This is what my opponent has proved, but proving this does not mean hockey is a "better spectator sport" because my opponent cannot prove that spectators prefer exciting games to relaxing games.

The resolution is negated.

Thank you for this debate. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
GO HABS GO. Lol. I don't even think this should be debatable, hockey is a lot better than baseball.
Posted by obrya1jr 6 years ago
obrya1jr
I feel that Con was only took some of my quotes out of context and only had one original convincing argument, that the two sports cannot be compared. For someone to take a debate about comparing the two sports, seems to be a pretty weak argument to go against it. I kind of wish had someone more willing to debte me than someone who was just looking to negate the argument all together.
Posted by belle 6 years ago
belle
con had a few good arguments but most were irrelevent, and only made any sense by taking things out of context. it really seems like you went out of your way to purposely misunderstand pro. kind of a lame strategy... :P
Posted by studentathletechristian8 6 years ago
studentathletechristian8
Both of these sports "suck" ;)

I've been to several games for each of these sports, and it seems that many hockey players don't have much puck control and are to ready to start fighting while baseball players seem out of shapeeeeeeeeeee.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
I MIGHT take this :p
Posted by xxdarkxx 6 years ago
xxdarkxx
hahahahahahaha if anyone takes this you better tear them apare obrya1jr

Hockey is by far the best sport.
Posted by obrya1jr 6 years ago
obrya1jr
I know, it seems useless to argue but some people out there actually enjoy baseball still. I don't know if it is out of habit or what but I hardly call it a sport anymore.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Hockey is much better. Baseball sucks. Haha.
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