Is Scuba Diving A Sport?

That was the question a non-diving friend proposed to me, one drunken evening during a party, not long after I began my beloved underwater obsession.

It may be hard to comprehend, but I do actually converse with those that do not scuba dive; admittedly, I am reducing the ratio of non-diver to diver friendships appropriately, mainly due to my consistent rambling about the world of sub-surface delights.

A further testimony is the majority of my friends’ on-line profile pictures all look identical; masked, hooded, have a regulator in their mouth and possess the facial display of a young boy who has just seen his first boob.

The conversation in question was with non-diver Steve. Steve would probably prefer I protect his identity for truly obvious reasons; although I very much doubt he will ever read this, bearing in mind how the discussion about ‘scuba diving is a sport’ finally concluded.

Mid-party, even with Iron Maiden blaring from the stereo, I continued to bore Steve with scuba tales for 20 minutes before he finally cracked declaring;

Scuba diving isn’t a real sport anyway, now leave me alone.”

As a defender of the ocean I couldn’t let such a statement be spoken so lightly; especially after ten tins of Carlsberg, so I probed;

What the hell do you mean? Scuba diving bloody well IS a sport. I’m sporty. Goddamit!

It soon transpired the sole defence to his argument was; a sport is defined by a ‘winner.’ The conversation, admittedly a little hazy now, went something like this:


Me: “So scuba isn’t a sport because there’s no winner? Explain.”

Steve: “Ok, take shooting. There’s a sport. A man walks into the woods with a gun and shoots a duck, the duck falls from the sky; dead. The man is clearly the winner, hence shooting is a sport.”

Me: “Don’t be ridiculous. The duck hasn’t got a gun; how’s that sport?”

Steve: “Firstly, I was referring to the shooter beating the ‘other man’ to the kill. The ‘other man’ also has a gun. Secondly; you are an idiot.”

I was less than impressed by this debate and I vainly attempted to silence my outrage. Steve comprehended the quiet as a moment of weakness, and continued his attack:

Steve: “For something to be considered a sport there must be competition.”

Me: “But…”

Steve: “When you scuba dive is it a race to the bottom?”

Me: “No.”

Steve: “Is it a race to the surface then?

Me: “Well, no, you can’t do that because Boyle's Law states…”

Steve: “Is it to see who uses the most oxygen?”

Me: “It’s not oxygen actually, it’s air and no, not exactly; but if you’re SAC rate is…”

Steve: “Are there scuba teams?”

Me: “GUE dive in teams. Ha!”

Steve: “Do they compete against other teams?”

Me: “Well…”

Steve: “Why DO you go diving anyway?”

Me: “It’s amazing; if you just tried…”

Steve: “It sounds pointless. It’s like getting into a car and staring at the steering wheel, but not starting the engine; you just look around the inside for while, then get out.”

Me: “You’re a dick. Get out of my house.”

Steve: “This is my house mate.”

It was around this time the conversation ended. I had to admit I lost the argument, and that is a rare occurrence as it is very difficult to argue with a fool.

Recovered from my verbal battering, I decided it was necessary to construct a defence for scuba diving; just on the off chance the debate reared its ugly head again.

My first port of call was Google; because as we all know, Google runs the world and has all the answers. It is also so powerful Microsoft Word even changes a small ‘g’ to a capital ‘G’ when you type the word ‘Google’ into a document; mind blowing stuff.

GOOGLE: “sport/spĂ´rt/ Noun: An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.”

Unfortunately that harms my defence dreadfully. Fuck Google; with a capital ‘F’,

Of course, Wikipedia has the answer where Google fails:

WIKIPEDIA: “Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. “

I would kindly draw your attention to the part, and I quote:

“Provide entertainment to participants.”

I don’t know about you, but that sums up scuba diving to me. Ha. Ha. Screw you Google, and screw you Steve.


Approximately 8 months later I saw Steve in the pub. I immediately bounded over boasting:

Me: “Scuba diving is a sport as it provides entertainment to participants.”

Steve: “What?”

Me: “Scuba diving is a sport as it provides entertainment to participants.”

Steve: “You haven’t spoken to me since my party over 6 months ago.”

Me: “Scuba diving is a sport as it provides entertainment to participants.”

Steve: “What are you on about?”

Me: “Scuba diving. [Short pause] It’s a sport.”

Steve: “Oh Christ, not again.”

Me: “It’s on Wikipedia and everything.”

Steve: “Sorry, what does Wikipedia say again?”

I cleared my throat. I stood straight. I proudly rolled back my shoulders forcing my chest out;

Me: “I quote; [short pause] a sport provides entertainment to participants.”

Steve: “So does masturbation.”

Me: “But …”

Steve: “That makes you a *wanker.”

WIKIPEDIA: *The term wanker originated from British slang in the 1940s.[1] Wanker literally means "one who wanks (masturbates)".

I left, went home and promptly deleted Steve from my facebook friends list.


I am sorry to report my friends; scuba diving is NOT a sport, and we are not sporty. 

This would certainly explain why the majority of divers are fat, and would somebody please ring ‘Sport’ Diver magazine; they need a name change.

So, what's YOUR verdict? Is scuba diving a sport?


  1. Untrue, Untrue!!! Diving is most certainly a sport!!Sailing doesn't have to be organized into a race to be called a sport, nor windsurfing, canoeing, white water kayaking or rafting, mountaineering, spelunking, cycling, skiing, hang gliding etc. Even so, there is often intense competition...with ourselves. Even better, to play and enjoy is to win!! My guess is that Steve doesn't spelunk either. :)

  2. I agree with ^

    Def a sport and Steve can go stick his head in a bucket!

  3. Tell Steve he doesn't know what he is talking about...Its a sport! Wikipedia also says that a sport helps provide/maintain a level of fitness. Lifting a twinset def helps you keep fit - maybe steve could try that and then see what he thinks about how unsporty divers are.... :-) The competition is all in your head as you are competing against yourself to become a better diver and you can have fun as well.

  4. Hell, i'm with you guys!

    I'm fairly convinced it's a sport, i'm just struggling getting the evidence together.

    It certainly maintains my fitness level, as you rightly say Griffi98, lifting twinsets and stages is hard work for sure.

    Although i may have to get a trolley for the twinsets soon! :)

    No, Steve doesn't Spelunk.

    I need more evidence - keep it coming folks!

  5. I think doing a activity that burns over 700 calories per hour makes the person doing this activity a athlete and athlete's play sports.

  6. Yeah, the calories burned can be quite high, especially in cold water diving!

    That's why I'm so skinny! :D

    1. *ahem* like most court cases, late breaking evidence often pops up years later well after the statute of limitations have passed... Scuba diving... rock climbing...etc DO have opposing teams: man vs nature! Or diver vs darwin as i like to put it...

  7. Lol! Yes, you could certainly pen it Thwt way; but how do we decide who wins?


    1. May i suggest a good ol fashioned drunken bar room survey? You solve your debate AND get to strike up conversation with that cute lady in the corner over there it's win win bro..ermm or not being that wifebuddy would probably brain you for the attempt.

  8. Ha, ha! Not at all, Wifebuddy is most civilised! :)

  9. its not a sport

  10. It is a sport.. You compete against nature.. You are always competing against yourself to get better air consumption and more bottom time.. If you complete your dive alive with no injurys and you enjoyed it you win, otherwise obviously you lose.. It's considered an extreme sport..

  11. Good to see this post i will tell my friends circle about this post.
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  12. It can be a sport, but for the most part it's just an activity (albeit an adventurous one).
    In a similar way, motor racing is definitely a sport but driving your road car to the shops is not.

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  14. I have read this post. This post is a nice one that we are Learn scuba Diving. That I will inform about your post to my friends and all the best for your future post.
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  15. I never seen post like this on scuba diving topic. I always enjoy to read a kind of posting. Keep it up in future.
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  16. Just read this Andy. Great writing! Cathal


Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!

Safe diving buddy.