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Hobby vs. Sports: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Hobby refers to a leisure activity done for enjoyment, while sports involve physical exertion and skill in competitive settings.
Hobby vs. Sports

Key Differences

Hobby is a leisure activity pursued for pleasure and relaxation, not necessarily requiring physical exertion. Sports, on the other hand, typically involve physical activity, competition, and a set of rules.
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Nov 29, 2023
Hobbies can be diverse, including activities like gardening, painting, or reading, which may or may not involve physical activity. Sports are inherently physical, demanding physical skills and often teamwork.
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While hobbies are generally non-competitive and self-driven for personal satisfaction, sports are inherently competitive, often with organized competitions and formal rankings.
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Hobbies can be solitary or social but are usually not governed by formal rules or organizations. Sports are often played in teams or in structured individual competitions, with formal governing bodies.
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In hobbies, skill development is self-paced and for personal achievement. In sports, skill development is often aimed at competing and excelling in a structured environment.
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Leisure activity for enjoyment
Physical activity with skill and competition
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Physical Exertion

Not necessary
Typically high
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Competitive Element

Mostly non-competitive
Inherently competitive
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Social Involvement

Can be solitary or social
Often involves teams or formal competitions
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Skill Development

Self-paced, for personal satisfaction
Aimed at competing and excelling
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Formal Organization

Less formal, more personal
Often governed by formal rules and bodies
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Primary Purpose

Pleasure, relaxation
Physical fitness, competition
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Typical Settings

Home, clubs, informal gatherings
Sports fields, arenas, competitions
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Hobby and Sports Definitions

Hobby

A recreational activity not pursued for financial benefit.
She considers playing the piano more as a hobby than a profession.
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Sports

An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which individuals or teams compete against each other.
Football is a popular sport played worldwide.
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Hobby

A personal and non-competitive leisure activity.
Collecting stamps has been his hobby since childhood.
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Sports

Physical activities governed by a set of rules or customs.
Tennis is a sport that requires both skill and physical endurance.
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Hobby

An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
Her hobby is painting landscapes on weekends.
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Sports

Athletic activities requiring skill and physical prowess.
Swimming is a sport that is also an excellent form of exercise.
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Hobby

A pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in for relaxation.
His hobby of bird watching brings him great joy.
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Sports

Structured forms of play, usually competitive.
She excels in the sport of track and field.
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Hobby

An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
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Hobby

Any of several small falcons of the genus Falco, formerly used for catching small birds or game.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

Often sports (used with a sing. verb) Such activities considered as a group
Sports is a good way for children to get exercise.
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Hobby

An activity that one enjoys doing in one's spare time.
I like to collect stamps from different countries as a hobby.
Take up a hobby
Give up your hobby
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Sports

A usually challenging activity undertaken for amusement
"the sport of trying to eat [a bratwurst] with anything fewer than four paper napkins" (Jane Kramer).
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Hobby

(horses) An extinct breed of horse native to the British Isles, also known as the Irish Hobby
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Sports

Fun; amusement
Balanced on the curb just for the sport of it.
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Hobby

Any of four species of small falcons in the genus Falco, especially Falco subbuteo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

Mockery; jest
He made sport of his own looks.
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Hobby

A small, strong-winged European falcon (Falco subbuteo), formerly trained for hawking.
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Sports

An object of mockery, jest, or play
Treated our interests as sport.
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Hobby

A strong, active horse, of a middle size, said to have been originally from Ireland; an ambling nag.
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Sports

A joking mood or attitude
She made the remark in sport.
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Hobby

A stick, often with the head or figure of a horse, on which boys make believe to ride.
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Sports

One known for the manner of one's acceptance of rules, especially of a game, or of a difficult situation
A poor sport.
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Hobby

A subject or plan upon which one is constantly setting off; a favorite and ever-recurring theme of discourse, thought, or effort; that which occupies one's attention unduly, or to the weariness of others; a ruling passion.
Not one of them has any hobbyhorse, to use the phrase of Sterne.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

(Informal) A fair-minded person, especially one who accepts teasing or difficult situations well
Be a sport and show me where you caught those fish.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hobby

An auxiliary activity
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Sports

(Informal) A pleasant companion
Was a real sport during the trip.
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Hobby

A child's plaything consisting of an imitation horse mounted on rockers; the child straddles it and pretends to ride
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Sports

A person who lives a jolly, extravagant life.
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Hobby

Small Old World falcon formerly trained and flown at small birds
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Sports

A gambler at sporting events.
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Hobby

An informal activity or interest pursued for enjoyment.
Gardening is a hobby that also enhances her home's beauty.
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Sports

(Biology) An organism or a part of an organism that shows a marked change from the parent type, typically as a result of mutation.
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Sports

(Obsolete) Amorous dalliance; lovemaking.
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Sports

To play or frolic
Children sporting in the waves.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

To joke or trifle
"Lear ... in a storm, half mad, sported with by the gods" (Cynthia Ozick).
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

To wear or have on one's body, especially prominently or ostentatiously
Sports diamond earrings.
Sports a tattoo.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

To have as a prominent feature
A car sporting a new paint job.
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Sports

Of, relating to, or appropriate for sports
Sport fishing.
Sports equipment.
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Sports

Designed or appropriate for outdoor or informal wear
A sport shirt.
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Sports

Plural of sport
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Sports

Standard spelling of sport, the class of physical activies
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Sports

To participate in sports; typically used by a person with little interest in the subject to derisively elide details of the activity in question.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sports

Competitive physical activities often recognized as games.
Basketball is a widely followed sport in many countries.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are sports always competitive?

Generally, sports involve some form of competition, either against others or as a personal challenge.
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Are all sports team-based?

No, there are individual sports like tennis or golf, as well as team sports like soccer or basketball.
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Can a hobby turn into a professional pursuit?

Yes, some hobbies can develop into professional pursuits, but they generally start as leisure activities.
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Is physical fitness a primary goal of hobbies?

Physical fitness can be a benefit of some hobbies, but it's not the primary goal for most.
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Can sports be played as a hobby?

Yes, many people play sports as a hobby without professional or competitive intent.
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Are sports always organized with formal rules?

Yes, sports typically have a set of formal rules and often a governing body.
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Can a hobby involve team activities?

Yes, some hobbies can be social and involve group participation, though they're usually non-competitive.
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Are hobbies limited to certain age groups?

No, hobbies can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
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Do sports always require special equipment?

Many sports require specific equipment, but some, like running, have minimal requirements.
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Is a hobby always a physical activity?

No, a hobby can be a non-physical activity like reading or painting.
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Nov 29, 2023

Do hobbies have formal rules?

Hobbies usually don't have formal rules like sports; they're more about personal enjoyment.
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Are hobbies always solo activities?

No, hobbies can be either solo or group activities.
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Is a sport considered a leisure activity?

While sports can be leisurely, they are generally more structured and competitive than typical hobbies.
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Can hobbies be competitive?

Some hobbies can have competitive elements, like gaming or amateur sports, but they're usually less formal than professional sports.
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Do hobbies contribute to physical health?

Some hobbies, especially those involving physical activity, can contribute to physical health.
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Do sports require training and coaching?

Competitive sports typically require structured training and coaching.
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Is physical strength a key element in hobbies?

Physical strength is not typically a key element in hobbies, unlike many sports.
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Are there professional leagues in sports?

Yes, many sports have professional leagues and competitions.
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Are there international competitions in sports?

Yes, sports often have international competitions like the Olympics.
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Can hobbies be done indoors?

Many hobbies, such as crafting or reading, are ideally suited to indoor environments.
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Nov 29, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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