Can Sports Be Considered Art?

Once or twice I’ve come across people who love the overlap between the arts and sports and try to find common grounds. I’ve actually had an interesting debate with a friend of mine. She’s a painter, but that’s not important. We were debating whether sports can be considered a form of art. Or, rather, can sports be art? Here’s my two cents on the subject.

Traditional View

The blunt and obvious answer would be an emphatic No. Why? Because it is hard to imagine a football score as anything more than a chance for one of the teams to play in a more important match or win the season. There are many people that hold this viewpoint, and consider sports from an analytical, almost scientific perspective. After all, it is the reason why sports betting and websites like bet365 online sports betting are so popular nowadays.

However, this view snakes the mistake of viewing football and other sports only as competitive and revenue-raising. It completely disregards sports that are not done professionally. It’s as if you are not an athlete if you are not making money off of it.

In addition to that, I have to admit that there are sports that cannot possibly be art. I’ve mentioned football. This is subjective, so take it with a grain of salt, but I see nothing artistic about sports like football, basketball, golf, soccer, and so on. There is beauty, tactics, synchronized teamwork, and physics and math, but no art.

Artistic Sport Disciplines

However, I would argue that there are sport disciplines that are art or, at the very least, artistic. Take synchronized swimming. It’s ballet in water, but it is also an Olympic sport. There is also rhythmic gymnastics, which combines dancing with athletic prowess. And let’s not forget figure skating which is also a combination of dancing and acrobatics with the addition of balancing your body on a pair of blades. In this sense, yes, sports can be art.

Art In Sports

It goes both ways, actually. As there are sports that incorporate art, so there is art that incorporates sports. Though, it would be more precise to say that there are physical education and athletic capabilities in certain arts.

Ballet and other forms of dancing require not only a heart that can stand heavy cardio but also arms and legs that are more flexible and enduring than those that belong to average people.

There is also aerial silk acrobatics, which is a form of art and on display as such. You cannot deny the skills and strength of athletes that dance in the air with only a piece of cloth stopping them from free-falling.

Bottom Line

In the most rigid of definitions, sports are not art, nor can they be. However, this applies only if we look at sports as competitive disciplines and nothing more. We also have to look at art as something that is done exclusively with the mind to believe this.

I believe sports can be art and art can be sports. The two beautiful disciplines have so much in common, not least of which is the fact that we use both to better ourselves and the world around us.