The FAQ currently says:

Sports - Stack Exchange is for participants in team and individual sport activities.

However, it's obvious that people are asking questions about sports that they're only watching, and that's totally accepted by this community. So, I suggest the following wording:

Sports - Stack Exchange is for participants and observers of team and individual sport activities.

  • See related...
    – user527
    Aug 8 '12 at 4:14
  • @Sancho. Voting on meta is different. Votes up show agreement and votes down show disagreeme.nt. It doesn't affect your reputation. For what it's worth, I'm upvoting it because I agree
    – Ste
    Aug 8 '12 at 9:21
  • 1
    @Sancho Agreed, but I prefer, "...participants, enthusiasts, and observers..." For example, I don't participate in the NFL, but I'm not merely an observer either. I do fantasy football, and use stats/performance to predict outcomes of upcoming games. That would make me an enthusiast, right?
    – user527
    Aug 8 '12 at 13:53
  • @Sancho To keep it simple, I think "observer" is fine.
    – user527
    Aug 9 '12 at 13:23
  • 3
    I have changed the FAQ as wanted. Aug 10 '12 at 12:55

I vote yes to the change.

Imagine "Bill" turns up and asks "How many points does a soccer team get for a win?"

Do we care if Bill plays football or just watches it? I don't. Take each question on its own merit, in my opinion. If it is applicable to a wider audience then it's fair game.

We have had a few questions on Formula 1 - I don't think anybody asking was an F1 driver. And I don't think the Olympics questions were all asked by Olympians.

I hope the points above don't come across as sarcastic - I'm just trying to illustrate the point that we have some quality questions and answers here about rules, etc. which have been asked by fans rather than participants.

It's not noise to me and should, rather, be welcomed.

  • 5
    Nope, you've nailed it. We are both a site for fans and a site for participants. This is the scope we were given when SEI merged all of the A51 participant sports proposal into the fan proposal. I've embraced it (I opposed it quite vehemently initially), and it's time for our FAQ to come around.
    – wax eagle
    Aug 8 '12 at 15:19

The whole concept of Stack Excahnge (or at least how I perceive it) is that it is all aimed to help the whole community - regardless of a persons status. If a person is interested in finding out more information on a given subject then they can head to the appropriate site.

If you try to prevent people asking questions if they are not directly involved in the question then there is too much restriction on member participation.

Also, where do you draw the line. I play football in a local league (non-professional), does this mean I cannot ask a question about the premier league for example? What if I am interested starting to play a different sport but I don't fully understand how it works? I would want to find out more information before I made a decision to go and play it somewhere.

The way I see it is this is a sports site, so people should be able to ask questions regarding sports providing it meets the golden rule that the question may be useful for other viewers too.

In short, I agree with the change. Although my natural assumption, as a Stack Exchange user in general, was that this was a site for anybody interested in sport anyway.


As Ste and musefan suggested in their answers, this site shouldn't limit their scope based on a person's status. Thus, I suggest the following:

Sports - Stack Exchange is for those interested in team and individual sport activities.

  • I don't disagree with the suggestion. It just feels like it's missing something distinctive...
    – user527
    Aug 9 '12 at 15:09

This is a main problem of this site! We sit between two seats...

See Sports.Stackexchange - don't we need actually two separate stacks for this? for another take on this...

The original idea of the site - as I understood it - was to have a site where users could ask - primary technical - questions about competitive sports. Without too much noise about trivia, shopping and gossip that can easily be googled.

From the beginning, we therefore assumed the users would be active participants with a personal involvement in the sports. As noted by waxeagle we discussed the setup quite a bit with the SE people in the beginning.

If we change the FAQ as suggested, my fear is that non-trivial technical question will drown completely in trivia or noise - especially all sorts of questions that could easily be answered if just the OP would google a little.

And the questions that are in fact answered, will often be with a simple reference to an external site (possibly along with a quote). And this I personally feel, is not in the spirite of SE in general...

So I vote no to this change unless we also very specifically describe the type of questions we will accept...

EDITED to remove a very unfortunate misunderstanding...

  • 1
    @Sancho Re non-participants - you are of cause right! Non-participants are welcome! Aug 8 '12 at 10:23
  • @Sancho re off-topic questions - until we have a general consensus on what is exactly on-topic I/we only closed the most obvious questions :-) Aug 8 '12 at 10:44
  • Granted, we have seen a larger number of these questions the last two months... With vacations, the various cycling tours and the Olympic Games, that is to be expected. Aug 8 '12 at 11:08
  • 2
    @TonnyMadsen So, "non-participants" are welcome, yet can't ask questions about a given sport because they're not participants?
    – user527
    Aug 8 '12 at 14:26

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