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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: The definition of sports should include athletes of all strenuous activity

Makenzie Miller

Football, basketball, baseball — I’m sure these, among others, are what come to mind when someone mentions sports. I see these and raise you: chess, skateboarding and marching band. One could argue that those are sports, too. 

If you ask Oxford Languages, the definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill, one regulated by set rules or customs in which an individual or team competes against another or others.” The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has jurisdiction over recognizing activities as sports. 

So according to the above definition, skateboarding and marching band are both a sport but chess wouldn’t be; however, according to the IOC, chess is a sport. 

There is even an esports event hosted by the Olympics, though it is separate from the Olympics at a different date, which ties to the IOC categorizing esports as a sport. So where does the true definition lie?

Do you see how confusing that is? What about sports that don’t involve the traditional form of physical activity, like Scholars Bowl or Academic Decathlon — competitions that instead test one’s knowledge and mental stamina? 

I personally think that Scholars Bowl and Academic Decathlon should be considered sports. Now, before you hate on me, hear me out. 

The Academic Decathlon is an annual competition consisting of seven multiple-choice tests, two performance events, and an essay. In Scholars Bowl, matches are typically 4 hours at minimum, and can go up to seven or eight depending on how many bonus questions need to be read. Now, I want to see a football player or skateboarder sit in a room face-to-face with competition and quickly answer increasingly difficult questions. If they get one wrong or happen to interrupt the moderator, their team loses points. 

I know that non-traditional sports like Scholars Bowl don’t involve the often life-altering injuries that traditional sports do, but I don’t think that should diminish them as sports. 

All I’m saying is that the days of football, basketball, and baseball being the first thought of sports should come to an end. It’s only fitting that other sports have a chance in the spotlight.

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About the Contributors
Maleah Evans, Reporter
Maleah Evans is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. They previously worked as a copy editor. Evans is a sophomore, majoring in history with a minor in anthropology. They plan to pursue a career as a museum curator.
Makenzie Miller, Illustrator/Designer
Makenzie Miller is an animation major and a first-year illustrator on The Sunflower. She is from Eureka, Kansas, and enjoys not only art but also cartoons, video games, softball, and literally any type of animal. She hopes to one day be a storyboarder/concept artist for an animation company.

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