Saturday, April 19, 2008

Question of the Week

Kristi, San Diego, CA
Subj: Sports or not?
Hey Ryan, what's the definition of a sport? Do you think that Poker can be considered a sport?

Excellent question, Kristel! According to the eggheads at Merriam-Webster, a sport is “a physical activity engaged in for pleasure.” By those less than rigorous standards it’s hard to see how poker qualifies. After all, the most strenuous part of the game is keeping your cards aloft, and most players don’t even bother to do that.

If you’re looking for a real sport you should turn your attention to chess boxing, a brand new hybrid in which competitors alternate between capturing pawns and clubbing the snot out of each other. According to the rules put forth by the World Chess Boxing Organization (, a typical match involves 6 four-minute rounds of chess and 5 two-minute rounds of boxing, with a one minute break between activities. If the chess game ends in a stalemate, the opponent with the higher score in boxing wins and if there is an equal score, the opponent with the black pieces wins. My hope is that Chess Boxing will eventually give way to other creative hybrid sports like Sumo Ski Jumping, Full Contact Crazy Eights or Drunken Gymnastics. Just imagine the possibilities!