Art is a nebulous term. What one person describes as art might be seen as another as anything but. While the borders of art will continue to be debated for the rest of human history, it’s important to keep in mind that the concept itself is a flexible thing.

Art can be visual, audial, or derived from a static or kinaesthetic body, among many other sources. It is this kinesthesis that we want to take a look at today, as we wonder exactly where the lines lie between sport-based competition and artistic expression.

As a starting point, we can all agree that some forms of sporting competition are in themselves effective representations of art. Figure skating is one of the most well-known examples of this, combining components of physicality and allure into a unified whole.

As shows, the artistic expression contained within a skating performance can be taken from both a still image and the moving performance as a whole. The undeniability of this art form also raises questions as to scoring systems utilised by the judges.

The difficulty of moves and physicality might be somewhat objective but art is an inherently subjective concept, making impartial assessments a questionable pursuit.

On a far more visible sphere, there is football, the most undeniably popular sport in the world. Art within this game is born far less from flourish and more from the brilliance which comes from well-practiced collaboration and rapid adaption.

A turn from a draw to win can come quickly and without warning in a game of football, with an execution of actions which combine unpracticable adjustment with perfect precision. Where in this act could we draw the line between an act of professional sportsmanship and artistic expression? Some would say they are one and the same, while others would forever consider the two aspects separate.

The BBC takes a look at this at, with some prime examples.

On a less outwardly expressive level, there is the potential which could be found in more intimate forms of games. Card games like poker and blackjack, for example, require a level of strategy and induction which could easily fall within the purview of art.

Take any of the types of blackjack on websites like, and consider how a player might succeed here. Coming out the victor in a session on one of their forms of blackjack involves coming up with a system based on odds, but gut feeling and instinct also play an important part.

Playing at the highest level in games like this means adopting your own methodology, of expressing where you draw the lines in a manner which nobody else can perfectly emulate.

Quantifying that which separates art and sport is not something we could presume to accomplish, but in asking the question itself we can at least gain some deeper appreciation of sporting accomplishments and individuality. Art is personal; it depends on who you are and what you appreciate.

Whether you consider any sports at all to be worthy of being called art is up to you and, by art’s subjective nature, at least on this personal level, you cannot be wrong.