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Contesting Online Speak Out

Speak Out: Sport or not?

One contester asked "Is contesting truly a sport? What other "sport" requires the direct and active participation of non-competitors?"

36 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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Anonymous on 2002-04-12
I don't have a problem with asking the question - "What other sport requires the active participation of non-competitors?" The question does not necessarily prove or disprove whether or not contesting is a sport. The interesting point here is that indeed ham radio contesting is unique in all the world precisely because it DOES require the active participation of non-competitors .. and it (frequently) has that participation on a worldwide basis. That's actually pretty cool. Again .. whether or not it's a sport is almost inconsequential .... both sides of that debate are doomed to a never-ending disagreement. :-)

Anonymous on 2002-04-11
If you want it to be a sport, then it's a sport. If you want it to not be a sport, then it's not.

Sports, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. That said, we will never see K1AR on the cover of SI, now, will we? Which is perhaps a good thing. ;=)

Anonymous on 2002-04-11
The question asks, "What other "sport" requires the direct and active participation of non-competitors?"

Why is this trait being singled out?

Anonymous on 2002-04-11

What does the immediacy of the results have to do with contesting being a sport? Why would having immediate results be the gating event to achieve "real sport" status?

This issue is not the only thing differentiating contesting from "normal" sports. Why focus on it?

Anonymous on 2002-04-11
Marathoners that drop out before the finish line ... ahh... that's all well and good ... BUT .. the marathon race itself does NOT require their active and direct participation. Those who "win" the marathons don't need the drop outs to help them .. they may need the other top marathoners to push them to go faster though. It takes stamina to stay up late and finish homework or to travel on an airplane on an overseas trip too... but neither is a "sport". Nice try ... but nobody has yet successfully answered the question .. at least the second part of the question that has been posed.

Anonymous on 2002-04-11
What about all those guys that come out to "participate" in marathons and drop out by the 5th mile marker? Who are the real sportsmen there -- only those that cross the finish line? Contesting for 48 hours can require a lot of stamina too.

k3yd on 2002-04-11
Well, there's the Running of the Bulls in Spain . . .

G3TMA on 2002-04-11
With sports such as football or baseball the spectators know who has won as soon as the game has ended. Would the spectators be prepared to wait up to a year after the event to know the result?? The technology exists to allow real time contest scores to appear on the Internet. The spectators could then see who is winning and know the result as soon as the contest ends. If contesting could achieve this kind of immediacy it could then be clasified as a sport. You never know the clashes of the multi-multis could be reported live on prime time television! Regards Ian G3TMA

Anonymous on 2002-04-09
Chess ... a sport? not sure ... regardless of pundits ... I'm sure that top flight chess players can indeed break out in a sweat.

Nobody has been able to identify a "sport" where there are large numbers of non-competitive participants (human variety) required in order for the sport to exist.

The GOOD thing about ham radio contesting is that it occurs on a worldwide basis and does indeed attract very large numbers of non-competitors. That makes it a unique activity in all the world ... but just saying it's a "sport" still doesn't make it so.

n9rv on 2002-04-09
As a competitive activity in which people seek to excel, contesting is certainly a sport. Sports aren't all physical, after all. (Ever break a sweat playing chess?).

Contesting is unique (I think) as a sport in that it requires the participation of thousands of people, from the entire spectrum of experience, equipment, and ability, to support this competition. If you are a top flight golfer, you grab your clubs and show the world how good you are. But if you are a top flight contester, you've got to arrange to get a bunch of other people to turn on their radios and work you in order to excel.

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