Sunday, February 26, 2006

Why Figure Skating Is Not A Sport

A sport needs to have a quantifiable way to determine a winner and a loser. There can be no debate about the scoring system. A ball must go into a goal or through a hoop; a runner must reach home or finish before the others. The winners run faster, jump higher, score more.

this column makes a pretty good point against ice skating (as well as most other Olympic sports that require human judges) being part of the Olympics. The basic gist is just that, a sport needs to have a quantifiable way to determine a winner and a loser and obviously, judged competitions don't exactly have that. It goes on further to say how other factors (such as appearance) plays a factor in ice skating when, how you look shouldn't even be considered in determining who gets the gold medal.

This makes for a pretty interesting sports debate. One that doesn't require you to have specific knowledge on sports, but rather general knowledge that most of you should know anyway. Simplest motion I could think of with regards to this issue would be This house believes that human evaluated competitions should be banned from the Olympics.

If you're wondering how exactly you can argue against a motion like that, think about it in terms of what the Olympics should be and whether or the characteristic of human judges really disqualify competitions like that from the Olympics. Compare and contrast that to other sports which are quantifiable (such as baseball) and determine what really qualifies a sport/competition to be in the Olympics.

Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Islamic Editorial Cartoon Issue

12 satirical drawings, published by the danish newspaper JP, has reached worldwide attention as well as outrage, violence and condemnation in the muslim world (note: terror has not). The drawings have become a symbol of the muslim threat to free speech. Papers all over the world have re-published the drawings, politicians around the globe have expressed their support, and websites all over hyperspace use and display the images in sympathy.

For those of you wondering what the whole brouhaha is, this is a good place to start. From the looks of it, this will be the face of 'debating Islam as an issue' for the next few months.