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Since its inception Sports.SE has been almost completely redundant with F&N.SE. A huge number of questions that have been asked on Sports.SE are on topic either on F&N or on another stack. Because of this redundancy the expertise of the community is split and we either have to stay content with overlap or accept some kind of artificial division of scope. This has been a repeated topic on our meta.

I suggest that we merge Sports.SE and F&N into a new super site for sports, fitness and athletes of all stripes.

  • F&N has already cut most nutrition questions out of their scope so dropping nutrition from the title would not be an issue to them (they’ve already wanted to do this anyways).

  • The previous opposition to this merger has been rendered null by the combination of all sports proposals from Area51 into this site.

  • Consolidating the community around all physical activity will lead to better expert participation and will be much more likely to produce a viable site (which was a primary concern in the merge of all sporting proposals).

  • Currently a single tag, , is close to 20% of the content on Sports.SE and does not contain a single question that is off topic on F&N.

  • While there are some questions that are currently on topic for Sports.SE and off topic for F&N this is a somewhat arbitrary division and with a slight expansion of scope a new Fitness&Sport site could house nearly all questions from both sites with very little being off topic.

  • SE already believes a site dedicated to rules and minutia of sports cannot succeed (this was cited as a primary motivation for the sports mergers), so why not make it a miniscule part of another site rather than a larger chunk of a small site.

  • This should clear up scope confusion on both sites.

    • Fitness has perception issues they are seen as a site for workout buffs and not a site for athletic training. And our comments on this site tend to support that notion. This is primarily an issue with the title not the scope. They are currently trying to clean up the site to fix some of the other perception issues.

    • The only part of Sports.SE that will likely be left in the lurch is the part that deals with fandom. However I don’t think this is a real issue for the following reasons

      • Rules questions are inherently relevant to the participants of the sports.
      • Questions on advanced metrics can be relevant to participants and are certainly relevant to the business side of sports which should be covered in the scope.
      • Questions about things like fantasy sports, trivia and other fan activities (like watching sports, visiting venues etc) are still a question that will have to be dealt with, but it makes for far fewer scope issues than either site currently has.

This merger makes sense and without it both sites are going to continue to have the same issues they currently have. Issues I believe are hurting both sites. Sports.SE’s existence continues the perception issues Fitness is struggling with and there is no sense in having two sites with the same scope without some kind of distinction that goes beyond the arbitrary and confusing guidelines that are currently in place.

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    I'm a Fitness moderator and I support this idea – Ivo Flipse Feb 23 '12 at 16:32
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    I believe all the Fitness mods are on board with this. – Nathan Wheeler Feb 23 '12 at 16:47
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    I am too as well. – Matt Chan Feb 23 '12 at 17:04
  • I'm going to stay non-committal for the moment, until I better understand the scope of sports.se. When I sort the existing questions on the site by # votes, almost the entire first page (votes > 10) are about rules of a particular sport, whereas fitness.SE focuses on performance. – G__ Feb 23 '12 at 23:42
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    It would also be helpful for SE management to weigh in on this. They had some clear directives when Fitness was discussing nutrition scope... – G__ Feb 23 '12 at 23:43
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    This would be sooo goood! – Tonny Madsen Feb 24 '12 at 8:05
  • @Greg: I've done so. – Shog9 Feb 25 '12 at 16:08
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    As a frequent F&N user, I would definitely be in favor of a merge. My favorite questions on F&N are the sports-oriented ones. Many of my favorite general nutrition, strength & conditioning questions are excellent because of their connection to sport instead of general fitness. – Dave Feb 27 '12 at 15:31
  • This won't work. The scope will be much to large, and some things that are on-topic here won't be on a Sports&Fitness site i.e. Sports stats and trivia... – Dynamic Feb 29 '12 at 11:52
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    @Jae those things are barely on topic here. Trivia is already so fine a line to walk that losing it would not be a big deal at all (and this proposal would make good trivia questions on topic, but bad ones would still be bad). Stats is a bigger issue, but an F&S super site could easily manage stats questions, they are a part of participation in a lot of sports now. – wax eagle Feb 29 '12 at 12:31
  • I'm currently undecided. I think both sites can continue side-by-side and then we make the decision in the future. The only caveat to that would be if growth would be compromised by not merging now. – Ste May 27 '12 at 18:11
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I think this is a good idea. "Sports and Fitness" or "Fitness and Sports" is a good solid scope with nutrition allowed peripherally only as it relates to athletic performance.

Nutrition without a strict scope limit will get a ton of junk questions unless you can get a strong nutrition expert community onto it. There's a lot of sports and/or fitness people that know enough about nutrition to give answers related to losing weight or improving athletic performance, but that probably doesn't overlap much with general nutrition expertise. Nutrition should be its own site.

To give an example for a sport that already has a fully-launched site of its own:

Let's say I'm a cyclist. There's either a big organized ride (endurance, hard to finish at all) or maybe a race. Assuming a typical mixed-terrain ride, if I want to improve my speed on that I can:

  • Improve various aspects of my cycling technique (improve pedaling technique, improve techniques for cornering and braking so I can go down hills faster, etc etc)
  • For races, there's various things related to rules. Some races have drafting, some it's forbidden, and there's likely rules around it either way.
  • Change my "fit" on the bike (move saddle, bars, etc)
  • Lose weight
  • Build leg strength
  • Build endurance
  • Work on lactate threshold
  • Build core strength
  • Improve flexibility
  • Make a variety of equipment changes that don't change my positioning (lighter bike, more aerodynamic bike, smoother rolling wheels, various drivetrain changes)
  • Make equipment changes that require more core strength and flexibility (lower handlebars)

All those things work together. Closely together. It's common in cycling to talk about "watts per kilogram" because that's really the key performance metric. Good climbers have a very high watt to kilogram ratio, while good sprinters have a good wattage (basically). And fitting to a more aerodynamic position requires flexibility and strength.

Talking about any one of those things in isolation would be useless. If I improve my power output by 1% and put on 2% weight doing it, I'll do 1% worse not 1% better. A site where all of those things are in scope seems right.

If my goal is to get over that hill as fast as possible, the answers might be the same whether it's part of a race, an organized ride, a casual ride with friends, competing against the times other people have recorded on Strava or me competing against my own best time.

And the answers for handling a long ride will have a ton of overlap, whether it's a competitive endurance event, or just a weekend fun ride with no competition.

However, if it is a race, there may be rules that affect what choices I can make. There's all sorts of equipment limitations in the different types of bicycle racing.

When I'm looking for a place to ask questions about improving my performance, I don't want to have to know whether changing what I eat, equipment changes or specific exercises are my best chance to improve before even asking the question. A single site where I can ask and get answers that cover either or both is great.

Obviously for my actual example, all of that would be allowed on Bicycles.SE. But what about another sport?

For many athletic activities, there's an interlocking overlap between improving your overall fitness, specific fitness targets, equipment, food, hydration, rules, conventions and history.

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    I do think Sports+Fitness makes sense myself, but you actually seem to be arguing in favor of breaking Sports into specific sites like Bicycles. – Matthew Read Feb 23 '12 at 23:03
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    If there's sufficient interest for specific sites, that could work. Otherwise one combined site is probably best. A lot of stuff on Bicycles is basically about the equipment, which is pretty complicated. A decent amount is about transportation things like "how to carry a big box on a bicycle" that aren't really sport or fitness issues at all. – freiheit Feb 23 '12 at 23:32
  • Thanks for clarifying, I agree. – Matthew Read Feb 24 '12 at 3:18
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    I'm strongly in favor of spinning off over-popular sports into their own sites. If Running becomes a monster on Fitness & Sports, then make Running a new SE site. This is how the original SE worked, isn't it? – Dave Feb 27 '12 at 15:33
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    I agree @Dave that we should spin off over-popular sports, but so far I wouldn't call any sports over-popular, by Stack Exchange standards. Any 'healthy' site should get 10-15 questions a day, Fitness with its broad scope isn't even up to that level. So while I agree that popular topics should be able to spin off, I think it would happen after they've proven they're popular and not beforehand – Ivo Flipse Feb 27 '12 at 23:29
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    You say you're in favor of the merge, but then it sounds to me like you want to drop the "nutrition" half of "sports and nutrition." Am I missing something? Why would they merge us if it would make questions that were on-topic there off-topic? – Kevin Mar 3 '12 at 2:54
  • @Kevin: Perhaps you should read the F&N FAQ -- only nutrition as it relates to exercise is on-topic there, not general fitness. That's the "scope limit" that I was thinking of. – freiheit Mar 3 '12 at 6:16
  • @Kevin as you can see in one of our old Meta questions, we've been talking about this for almost a year already. So yes, I want Nutrition removed from the title, but not from the scope – Ivo Flipse Mar 3 '12 at 6:25
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Fitness - as it exists today - isn't a site for sports

We tend to close proposals as duplicates of existing sites when they stand to cover topics already well-covered by those sites - that is, the proposed topic can be considered a subset of a larger field.

This wasn't true of Sports and Fitness. Yes, the sites share some common ground, but a quick glance at the questions proposed - and now asked - for Sports shows little overlap with what exists on Fitness. Even the questions you cite have a rather different focus here than they do on Fitness, which raises the question: if they've been on-topic for the past year, why weren't they asked?

The reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated

We tend to merge sites when one of them is struggling, and would benefit from the larger ecosystem offered on the other site.

It's entirely too early to make that call here. Sports has been in beta for barely two weeks; public beta for just over a week. It did well enough to make it past the private beta - that's a good sign! But the bulk of the effort still remains: the scope needs to be defined, honed, enforced, the community grown, and knowledge on the myriad subjects compiled. Merging won't do anything to make this happen faster - indeed, it would more likely prove to be a distraction.

So focus on making this site work. If that doesn't pan out, if we end up needing to shut it down... Then we'll evaluate salvage options.

But let's not give up just yet...

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    I second his opinion. We should give the site some time before deciding on anything. – jokerdino Feb 25 '12 at 14:23
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    This isn't intended to be "giving up" this is an attempt to make a workable site out of a chaotic mess. Sports.SE is incredibly unfocused with a hazy scope because SE merged numerous sites haphazardly. (including merging participant sports proposals into what was largely a fan proposal). Its not fixable. This is an attempt to make lemonade out of the lemons that Robert generated with the massive sports merge. – wax eagle Feb 27 '12 at 14:48
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    @wax: so you hope to fix the problem of too much merging with... more merging? What makes you think dumping this on Fitness (where "rules" questions are explicitly stated as off-topic in the FAQ) will make the problem any easier to solve? – Shog9 Feb 27 '12 at 15:56
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    @Shog9 this is something fitness has already tried to do. They already cover a lot of the ground this site covers, this would be a slight expansion for them. A lot of the questions here that are struggling to find a footing (fan type things, which so far have tended be bad questions) would be off topic there by definition. The merge issue is something of a separate deal, but yes in this case I do feel a merge is in order because of the way the previous merges were handled (without care for what the sports proposal actually covered). – wax eagle Feb 27 '12 at 16:05
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    Another issue I have is with pointing to the questions proposed. Those questions reflect the original sports proposal. NOT the sports site that launched. – wax eagle Feb 27 '12 at 16:07
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    @wax: what do you mean, "tried to do"? FN already covers training and equipment. They don't really cover rules, strategy, etc. So if by "merge" you mean "close all the questions that are OT for FN and then migrate the rest", I don't see the point. If you mean "expand the FN scope to include this site", then that's really a discussion for FN. – Shog9 Feb 27 '12 at 16:38
  • @Shog9 The idea is to expand the scope of FN (as I understood it). – VPeric Feb 27 '12 at 17:31
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    Indeed, I'd rather see rules, tactics and strategy added to F&N then to have have a separation based on casual vs competitive on the topics where we overlap. Our sites have more topics in common than where we differ – Ivo Flipse Feb 27 '12 at 21:49
  • So somebody should make this same proposal over on meta.fitness.se. Perhaps a fitness.se mod? – freiheit Feb 27 '12 at 23:41
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    If you're gonna discuss this on Fitness, do it with an eye toward specific topics... Or better yet, specific questions. There's already a "Should we include Sports" discussion there, which is pretty much useless since, near as I can tell, it wasn't actually motivated by anyone's desire to ask sports questions. I'd rather see you wait for this site to hash it out, but if FN is gonna do it, they gotta do it right - consider every topic (rules, strategy, history, trivia, culture, people, ...). – Shog9 Feb 28 '12 at 0:34
  • A new insight is needed as this post is 5 years old and most of its content is obsolete. – gdrt Aug 19 '17 at 12:39
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    The entire question is now obsolete, since the content of and division between the sites has grown a large amount in five years (it's grown hugely in just one year, to make the point firmer). @gdrt – Nij Nov 13 '17 at 3:06

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