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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8358/world-records-a-private-matter/

World Records: A Private Matter

August 1, 2008 by

Sports are private activities. If someone does not think the rules are fair, he can start his own alternate governing body (of course, I cannot claim to be the Tour de France or Olympic champion due to current trademark and licensing laws). This happens all the time. In bicycling, there are governing bodies that allow the Obree bike in competitions. These organizations also crown “hour” record holders. That these “hour” records do not carry the same significance as those granted by the more widely recognized organization is not a matter of fairness; it is simply the market deciding in favor of the majority of fans (think Microsoft versus Apple). FULL ARTICLE


Matthew Houseward August 1, 2008 at 12:39 pm

The Greeks had it right: compete naked.

The Olympics should be 100% athletic competition and all the competitors should be naked. Swim naked, run naked, and pole vault naked. I’m still on the fence as to whether bicycling or speed skating will be allowed because they involve some kind of apparatus (or for that matter, pole-vaulting). Technology may be great for other competitive organizations, but the Olympics should return to its roots of pure physical ability.

There should be no sports (ie, Soccer or Basketball)

There should be no Athletic Exhibitions (Half-Pipe Snowboarding and gymnastics).

There should be no games (golf or bowling).

Matthew Houseward August 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm

This is how sport, game, athletic competition, and athletic exhibition should be defined. These definitions/categories took years to sort out in the cafeteria of my fraternity house. I played little part in creating them, but I agree with them whole-heartedly. As always, there are exceptions.

1) Athletic Exhibition – displays of athleticism. Running or jumping can be displays of athleticism. So can breaking large objects, picking up heavy objects, or manipulating the body to perform certain actions. Often these exhibitions are judged. I would simply call this a Judged Athletic Exhibition.

2) Athletic Competition – This is an objectively scored competition between two athletic exhibitionists. Runners compete to see who can run a certain distance the fastest. High jumpers compete to see who can jump over the highest bar. The key is that the competition must be objectively measured in some way.

3) Game – a competitive activity with an objective, rules, and a point system. The point system may be more of a win system. In chess, you don’t really score points, you either win or lose.

4) Sport – An Athletic competition combining elements of a game. Sports involve at least two teams, an objective, a point system, rules, and defense. Soccer, for instance, has all these elements: two trying to kick a ball into a goal (the objective), the players may not use their hands (the rules), and they try to stop the opposing team from kicking the goal through their goal (defense). The rules, the objective, and the scoring are all well-defined and objective, and the players are actively trying to thwart their opponents.

This is where it gets really fun. How are activities classified? Sprinting is not a sport. It’s an athletic competition. Sprinting doesn’t combine elements of a game, like points, and it doesn’t have a defense. Golf is a game, it doesn’t have a defense. Same with Bowling. Gymnastics is an exhibition, often-times a judged exhibition. It can’t be objectively measured, and the point-system that is often applied to it is highly subjective and not based on some objective or measurable feat (like a ball passing through a hoop).

greg August 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I don’t disagree with you Jim, and ASO may just blot out the UCI. Nevertheless, I say Hein Verbruggen really was a putz as far as his technology limit went. It was quite arbitrary.

As a free agent, I say that Boardman holds the record, no matter what you or Verbruggen sez. So there.

Fephisto August 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Wait, the Greeks pole vaulted naked?



Nathan Byrd August 2, 2008 at 4:05 am

By those definitions, I can finally argue for poker as a sport.

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