Introduction To The Philosophy Of Sport By Reid Summary

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In Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport, Heather L. Reid explains how sport and play relate and some of the characteristics that are similar between the two. Although debates remain whether sport and play should be connected, the two cannot be totally separated because they share too many commonalities that ultimately add benefits to sports. Thus, if sports are taken too seriously, then they lose some of the value that is earned through being a form of play (Reid, 39). While some philosophers believe that associating sport with play demeans the true value of the activity, I believe that sport actually receives additional benefits when it mimics play in certain ways. Reid characterizes some of the aspects of play as, “voluntary, extraordinary,…show more content…
Sports can become “serious” in many aspects, including the example of parents forcing sports on their kids. Reid notes, “We do know of children forced by overbearing parents to play little league baseball…[which] fails to capture the true spirit of play” (Reid, 35). Thus, sport in this case has lost the values of being able to voluntarily choose to participate in the sport. The parents have taken sport too seriously when it comes to little league and perhaps viewed little league as a starting point for a future baseball all-star, instead of the value of sport, in and of itself. Additionally, with added “seriousness,” comes less fun in the sport. Reid references Randolph Feezell to explain this phenomenon, “Once pleasure goes out of sports, an athlete will quit playing. This observation seems to be confirmed by the popular athletic saying ‘I’m going to play until it quits being fun’” (Reid, 41). Consequently, not only does the play-like quality of sports involving fun dissolve when sports become too “serious,” but can also lead to sports being left all together. In the end, sports lose valuable qualities of play such as voluntary and fun when taken too

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