The Encyclopedia of Sports and the International Olympic Committee are among the reliable sources that consider swimming a sport. However, there’s a bit more to it when it comes to answering the question of whether or not swimming is a sport, which is a debate that’s been going on for years. Nonetheless, we make an attempt to provide some answers by diving into this topic below.
Swimming for competitive purposes can take many forms. It can involve amateur competitions in high school or college. It can also involve competitions with more serious stakes, like what’s common with events that could result in a shot at an Olympic medal. Realistically, most competitive swimmers fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. The point is, if you’re swimming competitively at any level, swimming can be considered a sport. According to the Global Association of International Sports Federations, a “sport” is defined by characteristics that include:
• Having an element of competition
• Not relying solely on the element of luck
• Having no unreasonable health risks for participants
The Encyclopedia of World Sport further defines a “sport” as a competition involving two or more individuals or teams. There must also be a primary goal of victory, which should be determined by participants’ physical abilities. For competitive purposes, swimming typically checks all of these boxes. Therefore, when taking the criteria mentioned above into consideration, swimming is absolutely a sport.
A more casual approach to swimming doesn’t exactly meet all the qualifications for being considered a sport, at least going by the criteria stated above. It also depends on why you’re swimming in the first place. For example, if you’re casually swimming at the beach or in a saltwater pool in your backyard, swimming would be considered more of a recreational activity than a sport.
We say this is a grey area of sorts because there are different ways you can swim for exercise purposes. For instance, if you work out in the pool to practice for competitions, swimming could be considered sports related. However, swimming could be classified as simply a water-based form of exercise if it’s done purely for exercise or fitness purposes.
Ultimately, swimming can take many forms as far as how it’s enjoyed and classified. Generally, if it’s competitive in nature, it’s a sport. Otherwise, it’s more of an activity or form of exercise. Regardless of how it’s enjoyed, swimming can be a part of your life in any way that’s right for you. What’s also great about the fluidity of swimming in terms of how it can be classified is that it allows you to:
• Do what’s comfortable for you at any given time
• Enjoy the many mind-body health benefits associated with swimming
• Have a great excuse to invest in a backyard pool
If you’re looking for the perfect way to boost your physical and mental health, swimming can be exactly what you need. As an award-winning swimming pool contractor San Diego families and businesses have trusted for more than four decades, San Diego Pools can create a custom pool for you that offers a great way to exercise as well as a place to relax and get away from it all. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.