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Rhea proposed changing the name of the site to Fitness & Well-being. However, after looking at some of the discussion on Area51 I suggested a different title:

Fitness & Sports

I'll reiterate my points from Area51: We already have things like:

  • running,
  • weightlifting,
  • swimming,
  • martial arts,
  • cycling,
  • general exercising advice,
  • injury prevention,
  • rest & muscle recovery,
  • nutritional advice

Basically the list goes on and on! Half of our questions would be on-topic or duplicates on any of the separate sport sites, since a lot of exercises to prevent injuries, training or diet advice is more general than specific to one type of sports.

In most cases, what sets a form of sport apart is often the type of gear they need, which unless its about general advice on how to pick something, would be a shopping-recommendation, which are generally off-topic on all SE-sites. As for the tactical aspects, other than being highly subjective in most cases, by simply ignoring forms of sport you dislike would mean you'd never see them in the first place.

What's more important is that we all exercise. You might be an archer or a rock climber, but what do you do when it rains? You go to the gym and work on your muscles, so you'll be better next time. You may be a football or hockey player, but you'll still have to do endurance runs to maintain your condition. Spot a trend? We have more in common then what sets us apart.

If Nutrition is on-topic for our physical fitness site, I see no reason why other forms of sport would be. That also means we would welcome the baggage that comes with any form of sport, such as the gear, training schedules or exercises and tactics/ruling. To me as long as it's about performing a form of sports, it should be on-topic

Anyone who's worried about losing track of the interesting questions, here some perspective: Stack Overflow has 3500 questions/day, Super User as the second largest site has 130 questions/day, Mathematics as the largest Stack Exchange site has only 'only' 61 questions/day. Worrying about not being able to find interesting questions to answer, when you have tags to filter them would only become a problem if we get bigger than Super User over night. Everybody who claims it's a problem mistakes the SO chaos with how it works on any other Stack Exchange site.

Actually we already cover this scope, so I propose to make it official!

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    that's a massive change in scope IMHO – Jeff Atwood Mar 31 '11 at 7:18
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    Well @Jeff have you looked at the type of questions we already get? I see no reason why asking questions about different sport activities would be any different. Besides, if we don't get official responses on Area51, we have to do ask for them somewhere :P – Ivo Flipse Mar 31 '11 at 7:22
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    I suppose there's no hope of revisiting this? Currently, we have a whole 4 questions per day on average, which is, well.. hmm. I don't think a broader site would be bad, we'd quickly develop experts for a particular sport (eg. on SO I mostly watch just Python questions and don't care about anything else), and there's a positive networking effect. And, as below, a micro-interest site doesn't help anyone. – VPeric Jul 10 '11 at 10:36
  • Perhaps we should analyze the tags/questions to see how they are distributed over the different topics and point out that the current image of the site doesn't attract the right kind of questions. Perhaps the team can weight in @Jeff or @Robert – Ivo Flipse Jul 10 '11 at 10:54
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Most of those topics are already on topic for a physical fitness site (general exercising advice, injury prevention, rest & muscle recovery, nutritional advice).

As for the specific sports, in as much as someone interested in any sort of physical activity has a question about exercising or nutrition… their questions are welcome, too.

But enumerating all the activities that have a strong component of physical fitness, and covering it under the umbrella of a generalized "we all exercise" site just trivializes the broad interests of those groups.

Only a small fraction of these interests (martial arts, cycling, swimming, etc.) are about exercising or even training. These are competitive activities with a broad range of interests of their own:

  • When a rock climber wants to ask about an effective avalanche kit;
  • Or a competitive runner wants to know which is the best shoe to buy;
  • Or a soccer enthusiast wants to understand the intricacies of going off sides;
  • Or an archer wants to know the advantages of carbon core over wood core;

… you don't want to tell these passionate audiences that their proposal has been closed as a duplicate of an exercise site.

This theme keeps playing itself out in many, many subjects. My feelings about broadening Physical Fitness to subsume all sites about sports is essentially the same as these other cases: The preeminent author (or collector) of comic books does not want to hang out on a Graphic Designer's site. A Hindu looking for authoritative guidance about his deeply-held religious crisis does not want to go to a generic Religion site … And when an athlete wants to know how David Beckham curves the ball around a defensive wall into a goal, you don't want to tell them to go to the Fitness & Nutrition site.

You can take this merging thing too far until you end up with a half-dozen sites about everything.

  • How is that broad interest any different from Stack Overflow? I have a feeling that a lot of users will hold off their questions, in the favor of their favorite sport proposal even if it's about more general exercise. Our current title and perceived scope also doesn't invite these users to come with their questions to us. If you look at the questions we've had so far, I think your examples would be the exception not the rule. Would this even warrant a whole separate SE-site? – Ivo Flipse Apr 1 '11 at 19:18
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    I would prefer such communities to show they have a critical mass in their Sport and if they do, they can spin off into a separate site through Area51 where they can specialize themselves. Besides how would we address the overlap between the sites? Or decide what's the most atomic proposal is? Is it Athletics or would you break those up into Pole Vault jumping and 100m Sprinters? And as a final point: what about those who do practice multiple forms of exercise? Are they supposed to become members of 4 sites and where do they go until their favorite sport launches? – Ivo Flipse Apr 1 '11 at 19:27
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    The premise that a topic may not warrant a separate site does not mean we should shoehorn it into this one. A hypothetical site about Sport [X] would hopefully have more to talk about besides exercising... or it will not be a site. Exercise questions -- even if they are about a specific sport -- are fine here. But I would not want to close down all proposals about sports because we have an exercise site. The scope of questions that they would want to ask outside of physical fitness makes it a very awkward fit here and, as @Jeff said, "a massive change in scope IMHO." – Robert Cartaino Apr 1 '11 at 20:28
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    I agree we should let Sport-specific proposals have their own chance on Area51. But how do you we make sure that interested users with exercise questions don't mistake us for some gym-only site? – Ivo Flipse Apr 1 '11 at 21:25
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    after thinking more on the matter: Any suggestions for improving the image of our site towards the rest of the network, because we seem to mostly attract bad nutrition and weight lifting questions. That's not the intended scope either now was it? – Ivo Flipse May 2 '11 at 19:19
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Although this is a massive increase in scope, I really think its a welcome one.

Because my involvement in the fitness site is casual interest (ie I'm not a personal trainer and working out isn't a huge subject for me), I personally wouldn't mind (in fact, I'd like to see) questions and answers about all kinds of sports.

My reaction to topics like:

  • When a rock climber wants to ask about an effective avalanche kit;
    • COOL! Maybe I'll try that someday.
  • Or a competitive runner wants to know which is the best shoe to buy;
    • Applies directly to me
  • Or a soccer enthusiast wants to understand the intricacies of going off sides;
    • Cool
  • Or an archer wants to know the advantages of carbon core over wood core;
    • I've always wanted to try archery!

My point is, none of my reactions would be "GET THAT S*** OFF THE SITE!!"

Although each of these topics is "off-topic" in the current scope of the site, they are very welcome additions to the site and I'd be all the more interested to browse the site if the site had such questions.

I think SE needs to move away from smaller (ie lower traffic) micro-interest sites and towards larger Walmart-style sites (has everything).

The only way micro-interest sites could gain much momentum is if there were a lot of experts and enthusiasts champing at the bit to get on them (ie stackoverflow.com). As it turns out, sports enthusiasts... don't exactly seem to spend much time ON the internet.

  • I completely agree, while I understand @Robert's sentiment for not wanting to hold off other proposals, I think it doesn't make sense at this point of time to have multiple exercise/sport related sites. We already have a problem getting a critical mass, let alone if Running was ripped out of it. – Ivo Flipse Apr 23 '11 at 5:14
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Hi Ivo,

I think would need some sort of buy-in from the SE team (Robert or someone else).

I also suggest that a discussion is placed on area 51 so those people who have sports type proposals can provide their input.

I think this site has some good quality questions, however it would be more likely to survive and grow with a change in scope.

I know you view it as being already in scope, however if was a true Fitness & Sports site, it needs to be made official by closing down all other related proposals.

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How feasible would it be to expand the scope of Fitness to include Sports in addition to Nutrition, and then if the site gets flooded with a glut of sport-specific questions, spin them off into their own miniseries, er, individual SE site? Otherwise the Fitness site will always be devoid of true athletes who are focused on their individual sports.

  • I comment here, as I don't want to ask the following in a more visible (and possibly inappropriate) place: "Which sport is most like ultimate frisbee?"... the motivation is a desire to track in-game stats. Ultistats app is not ideal, so I was considering a hockey or basketball app (maybe even field hockey or lacrosse). Anywho, if you can answer, great, but I'd really just like to know where to ask! Thanks. – The Chaz 2.0 Feb 5 '12 at 3:26
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    You could try asking the question on F&N. I'd answer it, but I bet it would get closed. – Dave Liepmann Feb 5 '12 at 4:28

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