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What is the most difficult sport to play at a high standard?

simmy

International Regular
I had an argument with my housemates discussing which major sport is more demanding and difficult.

No matter what I threw at them to defend cricket.. they seemed to think that football and tennis were more difficult. Obviously I do not believe this.

So... in a "difficulty to play" order please....

You have: Cricket, Football (Soccer), Rugby and Tennis to rank in an order.

Really looking forward to seeing what people think! :cool:
 

Pratters

Cricket, Lovely Cricket
If we consider which would be the most difficult at the highest level (because high standard is a very subjective term) it has to be football.

There are so many people who play the game and to reach the highest standard is toughest in it on that basis.

If as many people were playing cricket as people play football, would we have had more quality players and would it be more difficult to get into teams?

Definitely. Just look at the West Indies as an example. But strangley India, with almost every one playing the game does not produce as many quality players. Maybe it is due to the infrastructure being poor. But then how come Brazil, with its poor infrastructure manages to produce so many footballers? Maybe because football is a comparatively simpler game to start off with. Partially true but you would imagine you would need much more infrastructure than Brazil has for them to produce the stars they do.
 

Isolator

State 12th Man
When you say "high standard", do you mean competitive on an international level, or just very good?
 

steds

Hall of Fame Member
Football has to be the easiest sport to play in the world, as there's so little range of skills involved. To play it at a high level, you only need to be able to kick, fall over and be a pansy.

I suppose the hardest sport in Britain to reach a high level is yawnion, as if you either
a) Aren't fat
or
b) Can't kick
there's no room for you in the British game. It will also be one of the least demanding games to play, as you know the team playing against you will do one of two things: give it to one of their big heiffers to stick up his jumper or kick. Although, from what I've seen, outside of Britain it's different.

IMO, Tennis and Rugby League would be the most challenging athletically, whilst cricket is a much more specialist skill based. It depends which of those you view is more difficult, but I'd guess it goes summat like

Tennis
Cricket
Rugby League
"Kiwi style" Yawnion
Snooker
"British Style" Yawnion
Socey

EDIT: I interpreted "High Standard" as professional level
 
Last edited:

Scaly piscine

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
simmy said:
I had an argument with my housemates discussing which major sport is more demanding and difficult.

No matter what I threw at them to defend cricket.. they seemed to think that football and tennis were more difficult. Obviously I do not believe this.

So... in a "difficulty to play" order please....

You have: Cricket, Football (Soccer), Rugby and Tennis to rank in an order.

Really looking forward to seeing what people think! :cool:
Starting with the most demanding and difficult...

Cricket
Tennis
Football
Rugby


Football and Rugby are all about athleticism, so they're the easiest in my view - anyone who puts the work in can play at a high standard (unless they're 5 foot nothing or something). There are various positions in football and rugby that don't take a great deal of skill really. With tennis you have to be an athlete AND have a lot of skill. With cricket it's more multi-faceted it's more than just hard work.
 

simmy

International Regular
Im talking International standard. With pressure to perform, regularity of appearance etc all taken into account.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Golf's pretty bloody rock in my limited experience.

I'd say basketball would be up there with Association Football for ease of playing. Mind you, just because they're easy to pick up doesn't mean their necessarily easy to play at a high level. Running is easy, I would imagine pretty much everyone who's able bodied runs or has at some point, but how many can run sub 10 second 100m? In a participation-success ratio I guess you could make a case for sprinting being the most difficult to play at a high level.
 

simmy

International Regular
Yeah its hard to explain what I'm getting at...

Which sportsman, played at the highest level, has the most to deal with. In terms of pressure, skills, decisions, competitiveness etc. ?

Ideally the top sport should include an athletic and physical nature as well as a mental toughness, to succeed. I question the mental toughness and necessary competitiveness of a golfer, hence I did not include this sport in the debate originally.
 

Isolator

State 12th Man
simmy said:
I question the mental toughness and necessary competitiveness of a golfer, hence I did not include this sport in the debate originally.
I would've thought that the physical toughness would be questioned, not the mental part...
 

simmy

International Regular
Isolator said:
I would've thought that the physical toughness would be questioned, not the mental part...
Not necessarily. If you think of the acuteness of the muscle memory involved. Although you are right... its not exactly demanding on either facet.
 

steds

Hall of Fame Member
Isolator said:
I would've thought that the physical toughness would be questioned, not the mental part...
I suppose they'd be able to hit small, round, non-moving objects with a thin stick farther than anyone else....
 

Chubb

International Debutant
Table Tennis is extremely difficult. Professionals are freaks at it.
Snooker requires hours and hours of practice over years and years also needs immense concentration and more mental toughness than you'd think.
But cricket is the hardest, most complex game there has ever been.
 

simmy

International Regular
Good point... Ive always had respect for snooker players... but I dont think either sport is physical enough to qualify into the reckoning. Anyone disagree?
 

Chubb

International Debutant
I can't believe I forgot the most demanding physical sport of all... Pro Cycling. There are very few things tougher on earth than riding the Tour de France or any multi-day event. Imagine climbing five 2000m mountains in one day, then racing against the clock up Alpe d'Huez, then facing six more climbs the day after. I have total respect for any pro cyclist who doesn't use drugs. In fact, there is an argument that it is too demanding, which is why they need to take EPO and stuff.
 

Beleg

International Regular
Good point... Ive always had respect for snooker players... but I dont think either sport is physical enough to qualify into the reckoning. Anyone disagree?
Ever played table-tennis for four straight hours? It's far far more exhausting than cricket, both physically and mentally.
 

simmy

International Regular
Chubb said:
I can't believe I forgot the most demanding physical sport of all... Pro Cycling. There are very few things tougher on earth than riding the Tour de France or any multi-day event. Imagine climbing five 2000m mountains in one day, then racing against the clock up Alpe d'Huez, then facing six more climbs the day after. I have total respect for any pro cyclist who doesn't use drugs. In fact, there is an argument that it is too demanding, which is why they need to take EPO and stuff.
Yes it is incredibly demanding physically.. but again I question the mental side of this sport.

Like rowing for example, a lot of the work is done before "match day" and requires a massive amount of training. There are no real tactics (other than overtaking and pacing yourself), or quick decisions to be made. I believe that it is the ability of a cricketer to make spontaneous decisions that makes the game so interesting. This skill is completely null in cycling (to my little knowledge anyway)
 

simmy

International Regular
Beleg said:
Ever played table-tennis for four straight hours? It's far far more exhausting than cricket, both physically and mentally.
Yeah... hitting a little lightweight ball around a relatively small table is more physically demanding than batting for four hours. :wacko: :dry:
 

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
simmy said:
Yes it is incredibly demanding physically.. but again I question the mental side of this sport.

Like rowing for example, a lot of the work is done before "match day" and requires a massive amount of training. There are no real tactics (other than overtaking and pacing yourself), or quick decisions to be made. I believe that it is the ability of a cricketer to make spontaneous decisions that makes the game so interesting. This skill is completely null in cycling (to my little knowledge anyway)
Watch a mountain stage in next year's Tour.
 

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