Airsoft is known as a popular sport which is actually a simulation of military activities. In airsoft, realistic weapons and tactics are used and players participate in mock combat. But why is it called a sport? While you are running around with guns (I go to airsoftgunguy.com for the best airsoft guns and gear), communicating, and generally acting as a team, the community is surprisingly split on the matter.
Many players think that airsoft is not a sport. There are a few reasons for this opinion. Here are some of the reasons:
No standardized set of rules
First of all, there is no clear winner in airsoft. Every airsoft field is different. The rules, games and objectives are different in every field. When you go from one field to another, the rules change. Some people add in extended respawn time, or a limited amount of respawn, or they may just do the game differently. There are so many different ways you can play the game, which is a good thing. But airsoft is not a sport because there is no standardized set of rules.
No clear winner or loser
In a sport, there should be time period in which whoever gets the most points wins. Airsoft is based on people calling their hits. Sometimes, winning an airsoft battle depends on the type of airsoft game that you play. If you play a deathmatch style of game, it is considered that the last man standing is the winner. Your team tries to take out the enemy team. But in reality, things do not go the way they are expected to. Another popular game type is VIP, in which you have to escort somebody from one side of the field to the other without them getting injured. The rules are different for each game and the eligibility for being the winner is not set in stone.
No standardized equipment
When you are playing a sport, you have standardized equipment. For example, when you play basketball, the rims are always 10 feet. The size of the basketball is also fixed. If you go to China, they have the same equipment. Rims will still be 10 feet. Wherever you go, the equipment is standardized. The athletes are the variables. But that is not the case with airsoft.
No standardized field size
Sports should have standardized fields. All the sports such as baseball fields and tennis courts are standard. But when it comes to airsoft, the size of the field differs from venue to venue. No standardization is required. The field size varies wildly. There are fields as small as 14 acres and as large as 142 acres. That is another reason why airsoft is often not classified as a sport.
Standardization is what really makes a sport a sport, rather than a hobby. In that logic, airsoft is not a sport, it is a hobby. That does not mean that airsoft is not enjoyable. That simply means that airsoft is not a sport because of the lack of standardization.