Is Sport an Art?


Sport is a form of physical exercise or recreation that aims to express or improve the physical fitness, mental well-being, or social relationships of a person. It can take place alone or in groups, and often involves competition at a variety of levels.

Historically, the term was used to refer to any competitive activity that involves physical exertion and is played by individuals or teams. In modern usage, it refers to any activity that is performed for a competitive purpose and that requires skill and practice.

Purists consider sports to be an art because they yield aesthetic pleasure from good play. They appreciate feats of athletic excellence irrespective of which team or athlete delivers them.

Conventionalism focuses on the governing rules of a specific game, such as soccer or basketball, and uses them to define right and wrong conduct in that particular game. It also provides a framework for analyzing how rules are applied in different contexts, such as professional versus amateur players.

While some philosophers have suggested that sport can be a form of art, others have not. For example, Kevin Krein (2008) and Tim L. Elcombe (2012) have argued that, like art, sports convey values and meanings external to the game itself. However, sport does not represent a person’s personal struggles or existential dilemmas, as art does. Rather, it represents a group’s or society’s collective interests and beliefs in a certain way.