Critical Essay on Sports
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Free Critical Essay on Sports
“Sports are institutionalised competitive activities that involve vigorous physical exertion or the use of relatively complex physical skills by individuals whose participation is motivated by a combination of personal enjoyment and extrinsic rewards” (Coakley 1998). Under certain conditions the physical activity known as ‘touch rugby’ is considered a sport; at the same time there is critical evidence and opinion that states that touch rugby is also considered recreation, play or even work.
To prove that touch rugby can be defined as a sport it is important to understand exactly what Coakley meant in his definition of sport. The theory of sport as being institutionalised generally includes that the rules of theactivity are standardised and an official set of behavioural and procedural guidelines is established. The rules enforced are taken over by official regulatory agencies. These could include a variety of organisations, from a local rules committee to a highly centralised national or international rule-sanctioning body. The organisational and technical aspects of the activities become very important, with competition and rules enforcement, the activity becomes increasingly rationalised in order to improve chances of success. The learning of game skills becomes formalised. This occurs for two major reasons: concern with success grows and guidance from experts is sought and the activity becomes more complex and so must be systematically learned. (Adapted from Coakley, 1998) Therefore these definitions show that an activity such as touch rugby can easily be classed as a sport according to Coakley. The game has organisation type ruling, enforced rules within the activity, formalised learning of set game rules and in a sense is an institutionalised sport with regard to clubs and competitions.
Touch rugby is basically a game made from rugby and is played in schools for example as a lunchtime activity. This activity is preferred in some situations as it is not as physical as the game of rugby and this is why it has become very popular over the years as anybody can play and not just athletes or sports people. But if this is the case then does this mean that touch rugby can be considered not that of a sport but that of a recreational activity or leisure type game. Well there are a range of competitions around New Zealand even regional competitions where there are representative teams competing for a title of best regional team, therefore under certain conditions and theories touch rugby may definitely be considered a sport. It can be considered a sport as it contains standarised rules, organisational and technical aspects of the activity, and normalisation of learning of game skills and also in most cases an official regulatory agency responsible for enforcement of rules.
Touch rugby is a take off game of our national sport rugby therefore if you consider and compare this comparison of a sport to such sports as cricket which is without a doubt a world renowned sport and takeoff games such as 6 a side cricket or cricket max which is played within New Zealand and international. Using cricket as an example it is worth noting that one-day cricket is actually a take off of test cricket and over the years and decades has stated itself firmly as a sport. Therefore touch rugby as a game similar to that of rugby and based on similar rules could be argued that it is only a recreational type game played ‘just for fun’ but indeed can be classed as a sporting event under certain conditions. These important discussions could be argued as many of these take off sports were made for a reason which may have been for inclusion of other participants into a safer sports environment in the case of rugby. In other sports like cricket other games were probably made to make the game shorter and more fun for everyone with simpler rules. Many of these games have been used in schools in New Zealand to help promote sport within the school system particularly rugby and cricket.
Touch rugby is a sport according to many definitions of sport but could it be considered recreation, play or work and when would it be considered these. To be recreational or even leisure does this mean that it has to be the opposite of that of sport for example does it have to be non- institutionalised and not have standardised rules? This idea can be argued but the general term for sport is about effective organisation and elite performance where as the definition of recreation is about mass participation and occasional or spontaneous involvement. Touch rugby could then be considered to be recreation as all around the country there is mass participation as it has become very popular among New Zealanders. When you think of the term recreation and what it means most people will associate it with fishing and those kind of non-active participant activities, but what about comparing it to the sport of golf which is a sport but would be considered by many to be more of a recreational activity in which there is a lot of people many older and young participants playing the game and therefore being mass participation all over the world. Therefore the point being made is that recreation could be considered the kind of activity that is not very strenuous on the body physically and therefore be classed in a different category as a sport but in fact there is a clear link between the two.
Could the physical activity ‘touch rugby’ therefore then be classed as ‘play’? The term play is generally thought about as what children do for fun, it may not be thought about as in the context of sport except for that of ‘playing sport’. It is important to remember that aspects of sport including these critical points of what can be considered a sport; leisure and even play are talked about and debated by many. Most sporting activities could be debated as being sports as well as another context as there are many school yard games that could be considered play that are take offs or shortened versions of other games. Touch Rugby is definitely one of these, probably first played in the school yard which would than have been just a game and now has transformed into a worldwide sport played at a top level.
Does the fact that a physical activity that is now a well known sporting event was once just a game mean that it is now a sport and no longer a game where the terms play, recreation and even leisure could be associated. Many games that were indeed just games, many of which came from other sporting events evolved over time to now be known as a sport itself such as touch rugby could and should be known still as a sport as well as a recreation activity, play and even work if there is money involved.
So what constitutes a sport or game being known as work? Surely this term would be used in many professional era games by where the sport becomes the athlete’s job as they spend much of their time participating in this event. But does the term work only work in effect of those professional athletes. Maybe it could be considered work for those other than athletes, the people such as managers, coaches etc who are involved in that given activity. In the case of the main topic in this discussion of touch rugby it has evolved and could be considered work probably not for the athletes as much as the case of the management and everyone involved in the running of teams and only at top levels of the sport.
In conclusion many sports could be considered other genres as well and it’s sometimes a case of much discussion and debate on the topic to analyze the aspects to consider. To most average people all sports could be regarded as play and recreation as you would normally associate these words such as work, play and recreation with the term sport or even physical activity. Maybe it would be important to discuss the relevance of the term physical activity, as it is a much more complex and broad term in relation to the word and meaning of sport to an average person. By using other sports as an example it is easy to compare and contrast the ideas of one sport with another, this makes it easy to consider what is sport and could it be considered any thing else including recreation. Therefore the sport or game of touch rugby could be considered in many different categories as it is one of many games that have evolved over the years and become more popular and an increasing number of participants have joined in and a surprising number of participants are from a range of age groups and both males and females are playing.
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