Controversy over ESPN Hardest Sports Rankings


Christian Agathis, Sports Editor

Delbarton students often debate over which of the sports they play is the most difficult. Athletes who play various sports are convinced that their sport is the most difficult, and this phenomenon exists throughout the entirety of the Delbarton athletic program. However, ESPN cleared up this debate when they posted a ranking of sports in terms of difficulty, taking into consideration many factors as judged by professional analysts. This list has sparked minor controversy throughout the United States, but major debates throughout Delbarton’s campus.

The factors used to determine a sport’s difficulty are numerous. They include endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, nerve, durability, hand-eye coordination, and analytical aptitude. Clearly, almost all facets of a sport were covered by the ESPN professionals, leaving no room for dispute about extraneous factors. ESPN calculated, subjectively, each sport’s requirement of each of these factors out of 10. Then, they added the values together and the highest sum is the most difficult sport. This process, again, leaves little room for error.

ESPN’s hardest ten sports (out of 60) rank in the following order: boxing, ice hockey, football, basketball, wrestling, martial arts, tennis, gymnastics, softball/baseball, and, finally, soccer, which makes hockey the “most difficult” sport offered here at Delbarton.  Several popular Delbarton sports landed in the top-10, but Delbarton students dispute the order. In fact, the Sports Debate Club here at Delbarton heatedly discussed whether basketball or baseball is more difficult, likely because baseball players did not like their ranking at #9. While this is mostly subjective, many ESPN professionals came up with this list in an objectively mathematical way, at least appearing objectively analytical.

Whether you want to see where your sport ranks or are just interested in which sports are considered relatively “difficult” or “easy,” check out the link below to view the list.