What truly makes a sport? Is it all about how much you push your body to its limits, or do games that require skill and brains count too? Were looking at bowling, darts, and poker to see whether these wallflower sports are thought of in the right way.
Sport means sweat
If doing a sport means working up a sweat, then perhaps these activities should be considered games instead. After all, many of the people who are at the top of these activities are not always what people would consider an athlete. You might find that a professional bowler does sweat but is that not more because the bowling alley is hot?
In darts, the most the players move is from their throwing spot to collecting their darts from the board. Then in poker, the competitors spend the majority of their time sitting down, until they lose their money and it’s time to leave. Does that really make them a sport?
While these sports might not be the most athletically demanding, they still require a lot of dedication to become good. Darts and bowling are almost like the ultimate games of skill, and to be good at them, you need to spend years of your life practicing them. That same mentality is required to succeed in sports like football, basketball, or athletics.
Dart players and professional bowlers need to condition their bodies to stand up to the constant throwing they do, and that requires training. A dart player throws over a thousand darts in practice every day, and they could probably hit many of the targets with their eyes closed.
Poker players also have to practice over and over again to understand all of the permutations when their cards are dealt. It takes so much time to understand the cards that it’s just like training for any other sport. Then, just because you know the game doesn’t mean you’re good at it, as you also have to pit your wits against other top players.
One thing that really makes a sport compelling is the level of competition. It pits the best in the world against each other while people watching can only imagine being as good as the stars. Darts, bowling, and poker all have high levels of competition, and they aren’t game that anyone can be good at right away. They take skill but also it needs someone with an athlete’s winning mentality to truly succeed in them. Winning is everything in these sports, just like it is for any pro competition.
Any good sport needs plenty of people watching to cheer their favorites on. Darts fills arenas with thousands of people all on the edge of their seats as the stars focus on hitting tiny little targets. Any time something great happens, there is a loud cheer from the crowd.
This is the same in bowling which gathers big crowds as they marvel at the skill levels on show from the best players. Poker is watched on television and online by people from all corners of the world. It is a universal game that brings followers from everywhere because of how accessible it is.
There are huge stars in all of these sports that draw huge followings from their countries and regions. The best in the world at bowling, darts, and poker might not look like your typical athletes, but they are definitely considered sports stars by those who follow them.