Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Anti-Competitive Sports

Can't we all just get along?
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Sports are so competitive. Everyone's always trying to outdo everyone else---slap a puck into someone goal, stuff a ball into someone's basket, be the first to drive a ball into a hole... Aside from the repressed sexuality of it all, it's so tribal, so 20th century.

As we continue our evolution as a species, I believe it's time for some anti-competitive sports, where the object is to see how much one team can benefit the other team---how many nice things they can do for them, how much easier they can make the other team members' lives.

Life is challenging for us all (for example, reading this and trying to make sense of it). This holds doubly true, however, for those unfortunates who, usually through some type of childhood neglect or manipulation, are endlessly compelled to demonstrate their prowess at specific, oddly contrived physical activities in order to feel significant.

We can't change anyone, but we can serve as examples. If it's really that important to these people, let's help them do it. "Please, feel free to take this ball, run all the way down this field here, and deposit it in my end zone." Ack, the sex again---you can't get away from it. But at least this way, it's consensual. That's progress.

Ander, Jan 17 2008


       Join a book club, for chrissake!
DrCurry, Jan 17 2008

       //the object is to see how much one team can benefit the other team// - that sounds pretty competitive to me...
hippo, Jan 17 2008

       I like this idea a lot. In the work place, competitiveness is the most damaging factor after gossip. When someone thinks they are competing against a colleague it's as well for their employer to just dismiss them on the spot...   

       ...unfortunately schools and society teach competitiveness instead of teamwork. In the ideal classroom the brightest student should only be entitled to his grade if he has spent time helping the weaker students, without prompting.   

       I'd like to see people in their final year at University being told that they've all failed because they've not helped to tutor and support their weaker coursemates to the extent that many of them failed. They learnt the course but not the lesson.
vincevincevince, Jan 17 2008

       All bets are off.
theleopard, Jan 17 2008

       //unfortunately schools and society teach competitiveness instead of teamwork.//

It's not necessarily either / or. Many sports involve individuals collaborating in teams to defeat another group of individuals. The set-piece nature of football (American, not soccer) is an obvious example. Perhaps the best form of sport is one where teamwork is required and opponents are optional; yachting, for instance.
angel, Jan 17 2008

       Yachting is a good example - give the prize not to the fastest, but to the person who gives the most support, help, advice and encouragement to the weaker yachts in the race...
vincevincevince, Jan 17 2008

       This sounds like a Monty Python routine: "And the ball is still lying on the grass in midfield, and Johnson is motioning to his opponent to kick it first, but noooo, Smith is now bowing to Johnson, begging him to kick it first; and now Johnson has stepped away from the ball and he's - yes, he's beckoning Smith to kick the ball to his goal, but - incredible! Smith has taken 10 paces to the side, inviting Johnson to take the kick! What's Johnson - he's curtseying! Ladies and Gentlemen, Johnson is curtseying to his opponent, submitting all initiative, leaving the ball wide open for Smith to kick into the goal, this is the most noncompetitive gesture ever witnessed so far in the championships - but wait! Could it be? Smith is - he is! He is LYING PRONE in the middle of the field to show his non-aggressiveness. How will Johnson top this gesture?
phundug, Jan 17 2008

       We already **have** non-competetive sports. Mountain climbing, bird- watching, and non-combat macramé are prime examples.   

       People compete in sports because they enjoy competing. People who don't enjoy competing don't do competitive sports.   

       Non-competetive football was tried in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2008

       Tai Chi is non-competetive. The object is just to be come better. Not better than anyone else; just better than you were before.
8th of 7, Jan 17 2008

       Exactly, and an excellent example. The root-pruning, the branch-training - all for its own satisfaction.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2008

       No, that's not Tai Chi, that's Banzai .... or is that the one with the paper folding ?
8th of 7, Jan 17 2008

       No, you're thinking of sushi.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2008

       Oh yes. Anyone for a slice of origami ? It's quite fresh.
8th of 7, Jan 17 2008

       I like a bit of origami on a pizza, but they do tend to overdo it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2008

       I prefer to cut my pizza into miniature decorative zen-like tree shapes.
RayfordSteele, Jan 17 2008

       I cut my pizza into better shapes than you do.
hippo, Jan 18 2008

       PC, collectivism, and chronolatry in one idea! Ugh! [-]
Ned_Ludd, Jan 18 2008

       What a load of codswallop. The idea is fine, if you sign on to the underlining dogma ie competition and competitiveness is bad. Competitiveness is intrinsic in human nature. Traditionally, for BOTH sexes, just with different methods. Pretty sure we would have al been eaten by big toothy critters a couple hundred millenia ago if we weren't competitive.   

       Are we trying to devolve the human race?   

       Anyhow, there are plenty of examples of noncompetitive sports/activities above.
Custardguts, Jan 21 2008

       Stadium 21's is a great anti-competive sport, but we are still banging out the details...
4whom, Jan 21 2008


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