While the concept of airsoft is straightforward to understand, many people are confused by what it actually is. Is airsoft a sport? Or maybe just a hobby? In this article, we’ll try to address this very issue in detail, as well as answer other related questions. Let’s dive in.
Is Airsoft a Sport?
While there is no clear distinction between what is a sport and what isn’t, airsoft can surely be considered a sport. It requires physical effort, there are strategies involved, teamwork is necessary, and it’s highly competitive. All of this would make airsoft a sport rather than a hobby.
However, there’s a lot of variety in how airsofters play it. It can be played on a very high level requiring a lot of effort and the players to be physically fit, usually by more experienced airsofters. On the other hand, beginners can play it without a lot of strategies involved, even in their own backyard (not recommended). In that case, it can be considered more of a hobby.
3 Reasons Why Airsoft Can Be Considered a Sport
All in all, whether airsoft is a sport or a hobby will depend on how seriously the players are playing it. However, there are some common characteristics that go in favor of airsoft being a sport. Here, we’ll discuss three of them.
Airsoft Requires a Certain Level of Physical Fitness
Airsoft tries to replicate real-life combat. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it involves quite a bit of physical activity. There will be a lot of walking, running, and maneuvering which require players to be at least somewhat physically fit. Of course, individuals who aren’t fit can still play airsoft, but they will be at some disadvantage.
Airsoft Involves Strategies and Intelligent Thinking
Once again, airsoft tries to replicate real-life combat. This also means that there’s a good deal of strategic thinking involved. An airsoft team should have a strategy and plans in order to beat their opponents. This is also true in virtually any sport. Sometimes, a good strategy and intelligent thinking can be enough to overcome a physically dominant or more experienced opponent.
Airsoft Requires Teamwork
Another thing that characterizes many sports is that they involve teamwork. And teamwork is very important in airsoft. Different players within a team will have different roles and responsibilities. Individual effort should be complemented by teamwork in order to come to a victory.
Is Airsoft an Olympic Sport?
No, airsoft is not an Olympic sport. There are only around 30 Summer Olympic sports, and the choice of sports is quite rigorous. Only the most popular sports on the planet can be part of the Olympic program, and airsoft is not among them. The same is true for similar sports and hobbies such as paintball or laser tag, which also aren’t Olympic sports.
Aside from it not being popular enough to be an Olympic sport, another issue is the honor system. In airsoft, players are expected to admit when they’re hit. While this works alright when the goal is to just have fun, the fact that cheating in airsoft is so easy makes it difficult to turn it into a competitive sport.
There are, however, shooting competitions at the Olympics. There are the Olympic sports most related to airsoft. In fact, there are quite a few disciplines involving shooting from air guns. These include shooting from air rifles from 10 and 50 meters, as well as shooting from air pistols from 10 and 25 meters.
There are competitions for both men and women, as well as a mixed team competition. There are also the trap and skeet disciplines. Lately, China is the country that’s generally the most successful in shooting competitions at the Olympics.
Is airsoft a professional sport?
Generally, airsoft is not a professional sport, meaning that there aren’t many professional airsoft teams paying players to play for them, the way that an NFL or NBA team would pay its players. There are a couple of issues stopping airsoft from becoming professional, such as it not being mainstream enough, its honor system, as well as it being difficult to make airsoft enjoyable for spectators.
We already mentioned the honor system and how easy it is to cheat in airsoft. Essentially, all a player needs to do to cheat is ignore that they’re hit. Another issue in airsoft becoming professional is that it’s very difficult to broadcast. Other sports, such as football, basketball, or tennis are played on smaller courts and have a central object that the broadcast will follow (in this case, the ball). So, it’s easy for cameras to capture either the whole court or the part of it where the action is, since the action in these sports is centered in one spot.
On the other hand, airsoft is usually played on much larger areas, and with the action being dispersed all around. Broadcasting such a sport is difficult.
Still, there are some exceptions and certain ways to make money playing airsoft. While it’s incredibly difficult to get there, some airsoft companies are paying players to promote the company. But even if you become one of the few airsofters with a sponsorship contract, it’s unlikely that you’ll earn significant money. It’s likelier that the airsoft company includes airsoft gear as pay for the promotion.
Another possible way to make money by playing airsoft is by taking part in airsoft competitions. There are airsoft tournaments and events offering prize money to the most successful teams. But, once again, it’s extremely difficult to be among the winning teams. And even if you do, the money wouldn’t be that significant, especially since it must be divided between the players. It will also have to cover the expenses related to taking part in the competition, such as the entry fee.
Many players are interested in what airsoft actually is, a sport or a hobby. And while there’s no clear distinction between the two, in this article we presented 3 reasons why airsoft should be considered a sport. We also discussed if airsoft is a professional or Olympic sport, as well as some ways to make money playing it.