Sample Classification Essay: Sports

Essay Classification Essay

Sports is one of the most popular past-times throughout the world. A lot of people train to become professional athletes or play various sports for recreation, and still more, watch games played by professionals. "Sports" is defined as forms of physical activity that, through casual or formal participation, expresses, maintains, or improves physical fitness and has an element of competition (Cohen et al., n.p.). Some sports have been around since ancient times, such as running, javelin, wrestling, and so on (“The Sports Events,” n.p.). However, over the years, through human evolution, newer sports emerged and became popular, such as basketball in the late 19 th century and, more recently, skateboarding and snowboarding. Although all of these sports require intensive training and skills, not all of them are the same. Each sport falls into a specific category that differentiates it from others. The different types of sports will be discussed in this classification essay —traditional sports, extreme sports, and Esports. This classification essay shall discuss the three types of sports and provide examples of sports belonging to each category.

Types of Sports

Traditional Sports

Traditional sports are sports that have been around for a long time. These sports have a long-established history and, having been played for possibly centuries, have strict rules enforced. Over the years, additional rules or modifications to the rules may have been made, but the essence should remain the same. Furthermore, these traditional sports often have their own leagues or organizations in addition to being recognized and included in the International Olympics (Maguire, n.p.). These international organizations are in charge of establishing the rules of the game for their respective sports. Educational institutions also invest heavily in athletes of traditional sports, which is why a lot of students train in their early years to get sports scholarships, contributing further to their popularity. Traditional sports are commonly known and played throughout the world, with some variations in popularity per region.

Traditional sports fit the description of sports explained in the introduction section of this essay, which is one of the stark differences from the other two categories of sports. It includes physical activity and elements of competition. Moreover, traditional sports may involve casual or formal participation. It can also be further divided into individual sports (e.g., boxing, figure skating), partner sports (e.g., table tennis, badminton), and team sports (e.g., soccer, football). Examples of traditional sports include those that were played during the ancient Olympic games like running, wrestling, discus throwing, boxing, and so on. However, more recently developed sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, football, tennis, rugby, cricket, and gymnastics to name a few, also fall under the umbrella of traditional sports.

Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are a newer category of sports. Extreme sports is the term used to categorize sports that are characterized by “predominantly competitive activity within which the participant is subjected to natural or unusual physical and mental challenges such as speed, height, depth, or natural forces” and where “unsuccessful outcome is more likely to result in the injury or fatality of the participant more often than in a “non-extreme sport” (Cohen et al., Conclusion). Extreme sports are, thus, often associated with adrenaline rush and thrill-seekers. The excitement that comes with extreme sports is the risk that comes with it. For this reason, experts describe extreme sports as including both physical and psychological exercise (Cohen et al., n.p.). However, it also involves a level of competition, especially for sports that have been organized with the competition. However, very few are included in the Olympics, which is one of the primary ways sports gain recognition in the public. Extreme sports that have been included in the Olympics include skateboarding and surfing. Many extreme sports have their own organizations and leagues that have established rules and are patronized by many. One great example of an extreme sport that has become highly competitive is skateboarding.

Extreme sports, like traditional sports, require rigorous training, very specific skills, and often, specialized equipment. These types of sports are quite different from traditional sports but are, nevertheless, an exemplary way of demonstrating physical and mental prowess. Examples of extreme sports are skateboarding, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, rock climbing, and skydiving. These sports are considered riskier and more dangerous by nature than traditional sports.


A more controversial category of sports is E-Sports or Esports, which, until today, is the subject of debate. Esports is short for “electronic sports”; as the name suggests, this category represents competitions for computer-based video games. For this reason, Esports are primarily associated with and are popular among youths. 

In essence, Esports are video games played in an organized competitive environment. Games played in this category range from single-player first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arenas, battle royale survival, and virtual reconstruction of physical or traditional sports (Leroux-Parra, n.p.). Two of the most popular video games played in Esports nowadays are League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA) (Leroux-Parra, n.p.). Because Esports involve story-based video games, many argue that they are not physical enough to be considered sports. Proponents of Esports, however, argue that it requires as much training and involves as much competition as other sports. 

Like traditional sports and extreme sports, Esports has been franchised as well. There are teams and corporations that sponsor players and leagues where these teams and players compete. Esports may not seem to agree with the traditional notion of “sports” but it does require physical exertion and skill and is competitive in its own right. Like traditional sports, Esports has a horde of players and fans supporting it.


Sports are, without a doubt, ingrained in our culture. There are many sports played all over the world. Some of them have been around longer than others and require different sets of skills. With the numerous types of sports played, it is only natural that categories of sports emerge. The three categories of sports are traditional sports, extreme sports, and Esports. Each category has unique characteristics, but they all fall under the wider category of sports since they all involve physical exertion and competition. Although not all these categories of sports are welcomed freely, they all provide an excellent avenue for exercise and recreation.

Works Cited

“The Sports Events.” International Olympic Committee, n.d., 

Cohen, Rhonda, et al. “Defining Extreme Sport: Conceptions and Misconceptions.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, no. 1974, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01974.

Lerroux-Parra, Marc. “Esports Part 1: What are Esports?” Harvard International Review, 24 April 2020,

Maguire, Joseph Anthony, “Sports.” Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d.,

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