Seven Sorts of Sports

We saw some guys yesterday playing some Bocce-ish game, and I asked Becci if she knew the rules of Bocce, which I can never remember. She said “I don’t know exactly…you hit a ball out onto the field, and then other people come through later and knock your ball outta the way…like shuffleboard and all those kinds of games”.

That got me thinking, and I thought some more about it this morning while I was running…there are really only seven types of sports, I think. Seven classes, if you will.

This has nothing to do with travel, by the way, except maybe that this taxonomy of sports is meant to include all the world’s sports. These are just random thoughts from the road. In this case, they aren’t even travel-related.

The seven classes of sport:

Best / Most.20140520-130213.jpg Running the fastest. Jumping the farthest. Riding your bike the fastest / farthest. Lifting the most weight. Score the most points on the balance beam. All of your classic Olympic sports fit into this branch of the taxonomy. In general, these sports are low on strategy, and high on athleticism. These are probably your oldest sports. Do the most, the best, the fastest.

Beat Up the Other Guy.20140520-130301.jpgAll of your combat sports are in this lot. Boxing, MMA, Taekwondo, Judo, Jousting, etc. Perhaps the second oldest group of sports?

Score Goals / Defend Goals.20140520-130328.jpgI / my team have a ball or a ball proxy; you and your team try to stop me from scoring while I try to score. Antics ensue. Strategy can play a role (Football) or not (Soccer). All of today’s big money sports are in this group.

Hit Things With Sticks.20140520-130359.jpg There is probably some overlap with Score Goals here, but this includes all of your bat and ball games, like Cricket and Baseball, as well as Golf, Stickball, etc. Is Hockey in Score Goals / Defend Goals, or in Hit Things With Sticks? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Knock Things Out of the Way. 20140520-130425.jpgThis is where we came in, I think. Shuffleboard, Bocce, that thing I play at bars. Any sport where you can score by placing your items, and you can affect your opponent’s score by moving her items, falls in here.

Back and Forth. 20140520-130447.jpgThese are all of the sports where a ball or ball proxy gets knocked back and forth by two teams until something happens to cause a score or a disqualification. All your net sports fall in here, as well as handball and squash.

Hit the Target. 20140520-130510.jpgSomewhat like Best / Most. Perhaps a sub-category of Best / Most. This group includes all of your shooting sports, hunting, archery, etc. I think Darts goes in here as well.

Discuss and comment!

Categories: John, Thoughts on the Road

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