2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Whats a Sport? Understanding college students beliefs of what makes an activity a sport
Matthew J. Karner
Prof. Liz Jorn, Faculty Mentor

There is much debate about the term sport and the aspects that distinguish games vs. activities vs. sports. The purpose of this study was to understand college students beliefs of what are the main differences between activities and sports. Students (n=241, age=19.94.7yrs.) were surveyed using Likert, open-ended and ranking questions. Results indicated that 52.3% believed that competition is the best word to distinguish sports from activities followed by skills (24.9%). A ranking of 10 activities had students choosing basketball as the most representative sport with darts as the least. Competitive cheerleading was the most diversely ranked activity and shows the clear debate about activities that are judged such as gymnastics and dance. Results showed that 65.1% strongly disagreed/disagreed that you can have a sport without physical activity. Only 54.4% agreed/strongly agreed that all Olympic events are sports. Maybe this study will shed light on this controversial discussion among sport enthusiasts.

Keywords: Sport, Activity, Olympics, Skills, Competition

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 5-3
Location: GEO
Time: 3:30

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