Is darts a sport?
Debate Rounds (2)
I believe that because darts involves skill in order to score points, and that this raw "skill" can be honed by developing and training the muscles in the arm and perfecting the motor neurons in the hand/wrist etc. It is competitive as you are trying to reach an objective before somebody else does, whether that is reducing the score from 301 or simply scoring the highest after three throws. Also it is listed in the BBC sports section and Sky Sports recognize it as a sport. However the Olympic committee do not recognize it as an Olympic sport, but that is a different matter. Because of all these factors, I believe that darts is indeed a sport and a fun one. However I do also believe that it is not a 'traditional' sport such as football or cricket as it is not as aerobic but that does not denote that it is a sport.
The game of darts, especially as described by Pro in a pup setting, is a social interaction meant for recreation. It is a game intended for the amusement of those playing. While darts does contain an element of skill, all sports also have some form of physical exertion. Football, swimming, weightlifting, and running all require physical exertion.
I admit that darts is a skill, and is competitive. But if the definition of a sport is stretched to the point of including darts, then it must also include video games. Both darts and video games require knowledge of the game, hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Both skills can be honed with practice. But neither of these are sports because they are not physical athletic events.
Pro admits that authorities are mixed as to include the game of darts as a sport or just a game. It is not recognized by the Olympic Sports. They should be dismissed for this argument.
A game is a competitive activity involving chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators (1). An athlete is defined as a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise (2). Athletes play sports. Anything else is a game of skill.
The key points I want to address here are:
1.) Recreational games and sports
2.) Physical Exertion
3.) Video games analogy
1.) It is true that darts was originally a game meant for social interaction, born in the 'pub' setting, it was a great way for people to relax and have fun. But through time people have started playing it more seriously, to a higher level and creating paid tournaments and events. Now these factors don't make it develop into a sport, but many of the sports that we know of today were originally games. For example English football originated from the ancient Greek game "harpaston". As long as the game fits the definition that Con kindly stated, it can develop to become a sport. By the same token, the use of the actual word "sport" was used as a noun to describe entertainment and of course games fit under that category. Also the Australians used it to describe a competitive male unbeknownst to them "hold on, sport" .
2.) My next point focuses on Con's argument that because darts has no physical exertion, it is not a sport. I disagree on the basis that because the definition does not state any specific degree of physical exertion required, I can assume that only exertion which is negligible in degree would not fit under that definition. The arm throw in darts would be physical exertion, I would definitely agree that the degree is small when contrasted with rugby, cricket etc. Because of this it fits the criteria. Con has already agreed that darts contains skill, is competitive and can be honed, if you accept my argument on the physical exertion, then darts fits the whole definition of a sport.
3.) Con's video game analogy raises good points, as that is another controversial activity in my opinion. Much like darts it contains very little physical exertion but because of the lack of precision in the definition of sport again it is subjective on the individual if they believe it fits the criteria. Personally I believe the exertion is so minimal that it would be silly to class it as a sport, but it is worth noting that many people believe It should be a sport and than it should even be an Olympic sport . Another analogy I could bring forward is; if archery and shooting are classed as sports, then surely darts should be, as the physical exertion in shooting is also minimal.
4.) Finally, Con believes we should dismiss the authorities decision's, but I believe they may provide corroboration. Yes the Olympic committee may reject darts, but just because something is not an Olympic sport does not mean it is not a sport for there are many sports which do not make it onto the Olympics (cricket, baseball, water-sports, martial arts and squash to name a few). If BBC and Sky both class it is a sport, we already witness two very important sporting organizations strip away the ambiguity and make a decision on its integrity as a sport.
As for Hapraston, the game that football originated from, from my reading it is a very physical and demanding game, and would definitely be appropriately called a proper sport.
2) The degree of physical exertion required for a recreational game to be considered a sport can be argued. However, I hold that this level is well above that of darts and, as I'll address next, video games.
3) Pro and I agree that it would be silly to classify video games as a sport. Darts are of similar physical demands, as opposed to Pro's cited sport of archery, which requires very well developed upper body strength to draw the bowstring.
4) Many reputable organizations recognize darts, many do not. Therefore this argument should be dismissed as equal examples can be cited on both sides. Specifically, the Olympic Committee.
I restate my original claim: an athlete is defined as a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise (1). Athletes play sports. Anything else is a game of skill.
Thank you very much to Pro for this debate and to any readers and voters.
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