Categorizing sports

I was in the shower, you know, down time for the ol' noggin, so I decided to create more of my world by naming, categorizing, applying value judgments to things. In this case, sports. For example, soccer and hockey are really the same game- you’re trying to get the ball (or puck) down the field and put it in the goal. So soccer and hockey go in the same category.

At first I was amazed at how few categories there are. Then I was amazed at how many. Without further ado, here are the categories as I have decided them:

Football-type: Soccer, Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee, Football, Basketball, Rugby, Lacrosse, Water Polo, Team Handball, Tlachtli
Clearly the most popular category.

Race-type: Track, Cross Country, Cycling, Downhill Skiing, Speed Skating, any other kind of race
The idea is to cover a lot of ground, either through a course or just straight, as quickly as possible. Sometimes hardly even a sport, like track: it’s difficult, but come on, running as fast as you can? It’s not very original.

Tennis-type: Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Handball, Volleyball
These all have the objective of making the ball land twice (or once) on your opponent’s side. Racquetballish games differ only in that both sides are in the same court.

Gymnastics-type: Gymnastics, Figure Skating, and a lot of the “extreme sports” like half-pipe snowboarding and skateboarding
These are a bit different in that the winner is determined by a judge (or panel of judges)

Baseball-type: Baseball, Softball (if that’s a different game than baseball, which I’d argue that it’s not), Cricket
Why so low on the list? Really, they don’t make sense. Hit a ball and run around bases? Who the hell came up with that?

Fighting-type: Boxing, Wrestling, Fencing
Again, simple. But we have to classify these somehow. Mano a mano games in which the object was once to kill the opponent.

Golf-type: Golf, Bowling, Curling, any kind of target shooting
Well, these are obviously pretty different, but the objective in all of them is to do something difficult that requires precision over and over again. Also, your opponent can’t really affect your score at all.

Any I missed?

It should be noted that sports don’t necessarily fall into one category, although most do. For example, the Best Sport, freestyle mogul skiing, is race-type and gymnastics-type, because speed and judges' points both matter.

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