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#1 2017-10-29 13:58:44

From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276


Apologies if there's already a thread on this topic, but I thought that the sports played on Mars would be worthy of discussion. I think that, at least initially, sports would be imported from Earth, albeit with some possible adjustments of dimensions to account for space limitations (and depending on the sport, lower gravity on Mars compared to Earth).

Here are some major sports on Earth and comments on how they might be adapted for Mars. I think all sports that use a grassy field will probably take place on some sort of astroturf on Mars.

I, like many Americans, find Soccer to be incredibly boring to watch. Having said that, it is the most popular sport on Earth. While it might not find much use in American settlements beyond a niche, it could be popular elsewhere. The dimensions for a court according to FIFA is between 45 to 90 m in width and 90 to 120 m in length. This translates to 4,050 to 10,800 m^2 in area. (~43,600-116,250 sq ft)

I personally think Basketball will be the most popular sport in early settlements. It was invented as an indoor sport in the 1890s for rainy days and long winters. While there probably won't be that much rain on Mars, the temperatures outside will be mostly winter-like by Earth standards. A basketball court by NBA standards is 94 by 50 ft, or a compact 4,700 sq ft. (~440 m^2) The court can probably be made of any sort of hard surface, increasing its versatility.

Hockey is usually the domain of Canada, the northern US, the Nordics, and Russia. Like those places, Mars can get pretty cold. As such, it wouldn't be as much effort to keep a frozen ice rink year-round as it would be on much of the Earth. Dimensions for an NHL rink (I believe European rinks are a bit larger) are 200 by 85 ft, or 17,000 sq ft. (~1,600 m^2)

American football is the most popular sport in the US, but the least popular of the "Big Four" North American sports outside of it. Canadian football I believe is fairly similar. Rugby (both league and union) is broadly similar, but also significantly different. Perhaps this would be a chance to create a truly unique Martian sport by combining these influences. In any event the dimensions of an NFL field are 360 by 160 ft, for 57,600 sq ft. (~5,400 m^2)

Baseball is the quintessential American sport. It's also very fun to collect and calculate statistics and sabermetrics with it. However, unlike the other sports, the physical differences between Earth and Mars aren't negligible with respect to the sport. The Martian gravity is around a third of Earth's gravity, which means that when a ball is hit it can go much farther. As such, Home Runs might become such a common occurrence that the field would have to be expanded to bring the frequency of them back down to roughly Earth levels. This is manageable, since the MLB doesn't specify a maximum distance of the outfield wall from home plate, so this expansion can occur without any formal rule changes.

As much as I haven't quite wrapped my head around its rules, Cricket sounds interesting as a sport. It is likely impacted by the same gravity differences as Baseball.

The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky


#2 2017-10-29 14:47:12

From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526

Re: Sports

Every sport will be impacted by Martian conditions to some degree or another, but I definitely agree that basketball is a good one for relatively constrained indoor spaces.  The hoops will have to be higher though!

Competitive cycling may also be popular if the suits people are wearing are versatile enough to permit cycling outside.  Baseball strikes me as something at least worth considering as an outside activity too. 

Volleyball would probably transfer pretty well to Mars. 

Otherwise I'm sure Martians will be inventing their own sports left and right to take advantage of the lower gravity.  Given the low gravity you might even look to some more verticalized sports, perhaps with people jumping from level to level in some sort of vertical court in pursuit of a goal (perhaps a kind of vertical dodgeball?)



#3 2017-10-29 18:21:52

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,806

Re: Sports

You are assuming great wealth by all that would pay just for the athelete to only go just to play the games for the entertainment of others as we do here on Earth. Mars will have a long wait to get to that point as its going to take the men of mars much toil to keep themselves alive leaving little time to play.


#4 2017-10-30 15:08:36

From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,343

Re: Sports

I am reminded of "The Big Bang Theory" and sports.


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