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Leonard Jansen
April 29th, 2004, 03:06 PM
ESPN has come up with a ranking of "toughest" sports and swimming seems, at least to me, to come up a bit short.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

Of course, since it ranks Badminton as equal with Nordic Skiing, it MUST be right. ;)

-LBJ

Leonard Jansen
April 29th, 2004, 03:07 PM
Correction, it was "difficulty" they were ranking, not "toughness." Still...

aquageek
April 29th, 2004, 03:29 PM
Lists are fun to spark some controversy.

I'll tell you this, I agree with boxing and steer rastlin'. I'd rather swim the 400IM naked in the arctic ocean with Ion as my coach and Shaky berating me from a boat than do either.

knelson
April 29th, 2004, 03:57 PM
I just saw that ranking, too, and figured someone would mention it.

Swimming was bound to come out in the bottom half the way they ranked the sports. Let's face it, swimming is somewhat one-dimensional. It's you against the clock (and the others in the pool). There are no plays to remember, no complex choreography, or serious risk of bodily injury. I don't know if that makes swimming less "tough," but it certainly guaranteed it would come out low on their list.

emmett
April 29th, 2004, 03:59 PM
Badminton, as it is played throughout Asia, is a serious kick-yer-ass sport (as opposed to the "backyard diversion" type play you are most likely to encounter here in the US). A bit like the difference between Ping Pong and Table Tennis. It is EXTREMELY physical, very fast and requires very high levels of skill. Playing it well requires easily as much in preparation (technique, conditioning and experience) as nordic skiing or swimming.

Peter Cruise
April 29th, 2004, 05:54 PM
...now, swimming discussion groups, on the other hand, would sometimes fill the bill; toughness, contact sport, etc

Bob McAdams
April 29th, 2004, 06:36 PM
It's interesting that none of their panel of experts appear to have either competed in or coached swimming.

k140j
April 29th, 2004, 10:10 PM
Well, I suppose I hate to say this, but one of the reasons I swim 10,000 yards a week is that I believe even the most intense swimming offers a minimal risk of injury along with aerobic/anaerobic conditioning. I'm thinking the greatest joint impact comes with the flip turn......... But to suggest it doesn't require the skill/technique of some of the other sports on the list offends me (otherwise, why would I swim drills 800-1000 yards a day?).

Having said that, you'll never catch *me* in the ring............. not even strutting around holding the round number over my head. <grin>

Kathy

seltzer
April 30th, 2004, 08:27 AM
Lists are interesting. Swimming suffers in it's ranking because the experts seriously under-rated the flexibility required to excel at the sport and did not include proprioception as one of the ranked skills. Having said all of that would not disagree with boxing as ranked number 1 based on the existing categories.

Leonard Jansen
April 30th, 2004, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by emmett
Badminton, as it is played throughout Asia, is a serious kick-yer-ass sport (as opposed to the "backyard diversion" type play you are most likely to encounter here in the US). A bit like the difference between Ping Pong and Table Tennis. It is EXTREMELY physical, very fast and requires very high levels of skill. Playing it well requires easily as much in preparation (technique, conditioning and experience) as nordic skiing or swimming.

There is no question that badminton at the top level is difficult. The same with table tennis. However, I have yet to see a badminton player at any level need to be carried off by medics due to exertion - something I have seen with nordic skiiers and biathletes. One of the things missing from the study is a "pain tolerance" index.

Besides, the TRUE scale of comparing sports is the Fenton-Surina-Jansen Scale, A.K.A. the PPD index (Pain/Puke/Death index) Each category gets 10 points (1 min - 10 max). It measures how much you can take before your brain melts and leaks out your ears. ;)
Boxing is the champ here as well.

-LBJ

valhallan
April 30th, 2004, 04:46 PM
I agree with Leonard on the puke factor. I've never seen a badmitton player have to run from the court because the game got too intense.

Except maybe on the college level where a stand-by keg of beer is a must for sport that can be played outside on a plush green lawn.:)

aquageek
April 30th, 2004, 07:22 PM
I'm almost certain there are a lot of shuttle-**** related injuries following an especially intense badmitton contest. I do know you can get one heck of an egg on your forehead from a brutal ping-pong ball shot to the dome.

OK, I'll admit it, badmitton can't be a tough sport, it's too darn silly looking. I bet they wear the 1980s NBA hand-me-down uniforms aka grape smugglers.

Matt S
April 30th, 2004, 07:46 PM
1) I don't think this panel was per se biased against aquatic sports because look where water polo (11-T) ends up. I betcha an honest evaluation of synchronized swimming using these categories would put it even higher. However, look at the examples used in the "Key" at the bottom of the chart, and you will get a clear picture of what sports measure up for the folks who completed this list.

2) Please note all you sprinters that you are at 45, whereas we distance swimmers are at 36. Here we have it; pseudo-scientific "proof!" It must be true.

3) These charts and tables are great to start bar-stooling debates, but since people get to pick the criteria and use subjective measurements, they don't "prove" a darn thing to any standard that would survive scientific, peer-reviewed scrutiny.

Matt

valhallan
April 30th, 2004, 08:18 PM
I think the lap swimmers on those Lipitor commercials gave us a bad rap. A fitness swimmer being portrayed by a guy who does advanced dog paddle on national television is down right wrong. I want the 65 year old phenomenon from Indy crankin' out the 100 back in a minute five out there.


Back to the topic.....

How about a 200 fly with the boxing gloves and ice skates on? Now that's a possible ultimate "Tale of The Tape". By the way did I see that Nerf football outranked swimming too?

Laura Groselle
April 30th, 2004, 09:37 PM
"geezer"

ouch

I understand your point but I would call him "a true athlete".

One of our O*H*I*O Masters Swim Club male members (Yoshi Oyakawa) went a 1:06 for the 100 back at Indy and he is 70 years old....

Both men are awesome!!!!!!!

sefswim
May 1st, 2004, 08:14 PM
ESPN is ridiculous. None of any of thier rankings mean squat. They should have called this a popularity poll. EX. #1 Yes baseballs are hare to hit but come on, if bar leagers can play and compete how hard is it? I live in an area of about 300,000 and lots of beer bellied guys and gals can play ball and a lot of other sports listed b4 swimming. I'm willing to bet most could only dream of doing a 50 free in under 40secs. I know tri-athaletes that can't do this. Let's noy even get into doing low 20's and other times in swimimmig which lots of us do.


SWIMMING RULES

valhallan
May 2nd, 2004, 08:03 AM
Laura,

You are right. My apologies. I will refrain from using that word, ...unless it's in the 90 and over group. (The 1:07 now is really impressive!) These two must have been considered speed demons back in their early days of competition. Unless they are late bloomers.:)

Speaking of age, swimmers are probably the few athletes on that list who train and compete well into their "middle age" and beyond. I don't recall ever seeing or hearing about masters anything, except maybe golf. Is that because they don't have orginizations like USMS for other sports?

SWinkleblech
May 2nd, 2004, 05:49 PM
I can't see how anyone can rank sports. Each sport is tough in its own way. That is what makes them unique. No you would never see me in a boxing ring, (I think that ranks as the stupidest sport. What do you get out of knocking each other out?) but how many people can I say will also get in the pool and swim more then even 2 laps without complaining it is too hard. I also know a lot about Equestion too (which is ranked pretty low). I personally jump judged at the three day event in Lexingtion and was totally amazed at what I saw. How many people would get up on a horse and be able to stay on as it jumps over fences around six feet high and four feet wide while going at least 25 miles per hour. I know I can't or even have the guts to do it.

I just don't think there is any comparing of sports. They all have thier different degrees of skills and dificulties.

MegSmath
May 3rd, 2004, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by valhallan
These two must have been considered speed demons back in their early days of competition. Unless they are late bloomers.:)

Yes, you could say that Yoshi had some speed when he was young: he's the 1952 Olympic 100 back champion, and a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame! I've watched Yoshi swim for years in meets in the Great Lakes Zone, and he never fails to amaze. Plus, he's a genuinely nice man!