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Edison Insider

Don’t judge a sport by its cover

Photo courtesy of Izzy Cano
The 2021 Westfield High School gymnastics team placed 2nd in the Union County finals under the coaching of EIS Physical Education teacher Amanda Diaz.

What sports do you play? Are they sports or just fun activities to do outside of school? Many people in our society have debated and had controversial thoughts about what constitutes a sport. According to the definition of a sport, sports are an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Do you agree with this? We featured some activities that cause controversy when called a sport. 


Some of the most debated “sports” are cheerleading, gymnastics, and dance. According to a study on cheerleading, they say, “In 2016, the International Olympic Committee designated cheerleading as a sport and assigned a national governing body. Additionally, 30 states recognized competitive spirit as a sport in the 2021-22 school year, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Participation Survey” ( Bennet ).

Although many people said that they didn’t consider cheerleading as a sport, it is the Olympic Committee that cheerleading is indeed a sport. According to an eighth grader at Edison Intermediate school (EIS), Katelyn Bassolino, “I do think that gymnastics and dance are sports but they have  to be competitive. On the other hand, town cheer isn’t a sport because there is no competition.” 

Most people agreed with Katelyn, saying that a sport is something that has set rules for scoring, requires physical activity, and has a winner. 


Additionally, Kellie Rice, who writes for The Lamp Online stated, “Gymnastics is recognized as an Olympic sport, so there is little room to argue that it is not one. But competitive cheerleading and dance have room for debate. There is a level of athleticism needed for all three and the training required is huge. In competitive dance, each judge scores dances out of 100; in cheer, routines are scored on aspects like pyramid, stunt difficulty and execution, and tumbling. Unlike sports such as basketball or baseball, there are people deciding how well you do rather than points attributed to whether you score a basket or not. This makes people believe that these activities are not sports since humans are the deciding factor and not a point system” ( Rice ). 

Overall, gymnastics is definitely considered a sport, while dance and cheerleading are left up to people’s opinion. 

Hardest vs Easiest

Many people have different opinions on what is the hardest vs. easiest sport. According to ESPN.com “pound for pound, the toughest sport in the world is boxing. That’s the sport that demands the most from the athletes who compete in it. It’s harder than football, baseball, basketball,

Mia and Grace Brodo attending 6th and 8th grade at EIS, both dance and agree that it is definitely a sport. (Photo courtesy of Mia Brodo)

hockey or soccer or cycling or skiing or fishing or billiards or any other of the 60 sports we rated” ( ESPN ). 

This proves that when different sports are ranked by the skill, practice time and many other things boxing is the hardest. This may be true in this article, but other people may have different viewpoints on the difficulty of sports. According to Mr. Matthew Varley, an eighth grade social studies teacher at EIS, “The hardest sport is probably basketball, and the easiest is bowling. I think that bowling is the easiest because it took me the least amount of time to master.” 

Mrs. Jessica Herrera, an eighth grade science teacher said, “I think the easiest and hardest sport depends on each person individually. What one person might think is the hardest sport, someone else might think it is the easiest.” 

In summary, there have been many debates about what a sport is and the comparison between the hardest and easiest sport. The word sport has so many different definitions and criteria in our society. People’s physical strengths lie all over the place, from loving sports so much and doing them all the time to barely having anything to do with them. Sports are sports, and activities are activities, but where do you draw the line?

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About the Contributors
Lidia Wright
Lidia Wright, Writer
Lidia Wright is a writer for the Edison Insider. In her free time, she participates in track and field, volleyball, and soccer. Lidia plays the cello and likes to listen to music. She is an avid reader and has a cat named Roger. She loves lasagna and used to live in Germany for two years. She has two older sisters and is in 8th grade. Lidia adores vacationing in Vermont and Germany and wants to visit Japan and Costa Rica someday. She is so excited to write for the Edison Insider this year and learn to interview and write articles!
Sadie Soriero
Sadie Soriero, Writer
Sadie Soriero is a writer at Edison Insider. In her free time she listens to country music and Taylor Swift. She aslo plays field hockey, dances, and enjoys hanging out with friends. Her goal for this year is to master punctuation. She enjoys chocolate ice cream, raviolis, and fruit. As fun as Journalism is, her favorite season is summer where she can go to her favorite place, the beach. When at home, Sadie loves to hang out with her fluffy dog, Teddy. Her favorite TV shows are Modern Family, Outer Banks, and The Summer I Turned Pretty. When she is older she wants to become a lawyer. She is so excited to write for the Edison Insider.

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