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I'm having trouble understanding this difference, if anybody could help me out a bit it would be appreciated.

For instance there are many questions and tags on this site about sports, including (two) running tags, a swimming tag and a bicycling tag on the front page of tags here, which would all seem to me to be sports SE questions?

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Sports Stack Exchange is NOT a forum. Some kinds of questions should NOT be asked here:

 - Who is the better [team/athlete/etc.]?
 - Who will win the [event/award/etc.]?
 - Requests for sources/research
 - Fantasy Sports
 - Recreation, Fitness, or Outdoor activities

For the last item, recreation/fitness link here, while outdoors links to the outdoors SE site.

The biggest difference is what is on topic there, such as rules for a sport, etc., would not be on topic here. Bicycling, running, swimming can be sports, but on this site the answer would focus more on the phsyical and training aspects. If you ask a question such as "How long are swimmers allowed to be underwater during a backstroke event", that would be off topic here, but on topic on sports. "How to angle my hand for effective entry in a backstroke" would be off topic there, but on topic here.

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