Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sport or Game?

Cards on the table: I can't skate.

In fact, any activity that involves wearing blades or free-spinning wheels is just not my element. Actually, it occurs to me that the unifying factor is the word "skate". Ice skate, roller skate, skateboard... whenever I've had to take part, I've always been thankful for having a resilient and well-padded derriere. Floor hockey, road hockey, field hockey, even broom ball (which IS played on ice but in shoes) I'm okay with. Put me on skates and things get silly fast.

So, in an effort to reclaim my Canadian-ness, I took up curling a few years ago with a group of colleagues from the school. I wasn't terrible. I wasn't great. Our rink had good matches and bad ones. Mostly though, I had a lot fun. I don't know that I got a lot of exercise but I participated however the question arises: Does curling (which basically amounts to lawn bowling on ice) count as a "sport" or  a "game"? 

As played by woodland creatures, I think it's a game
Back of the shirt: I think the bunny is the commentator
Today's shirt was a gift from Kerri, sourced from Threadless (yes, again). 

Crazy-athletic friend, Lesley (note the diplomatically placed hyphen), distinguishes between the labels of sports and games. By her definition, activities like cycling, running, and swimming are "sport"s whereas bowling, darts, and (possibly) curling are "game"s. She kind of expects sport athletes to look the part too so there are a few baseball players that live in the grey zone, taking their genre with them to some extent. Basically, to her, if you have a big gut, you are playing a game, no matter how much you are paid to do so.

So where is the line between sport and game? And does it matter to the spectators? Are there activities that straddle the two?