Years ago, I read a quote by Ernest Hemingway, where he said that:
Whether that quote is accurate, or apocryphal, is subject to wide interpretation. Whoever said it, I think that what they were referring to, is that in bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering there is a better than average chance of personal injury or death. Certainly motor racing has become more safe since Hemingway lived, but it still claims its share of victims.
Of course, the English language has changed some since the early half of the 20th Century, but words still mean things. And, I prefer the imagery of a sport requiring, if not blood, then the very real possibility of blood.
I'd occasionally get into debates when I worked in the high school, because I ate lunch with the coaches, and when they were talking about sports, I'd drag out the Hemingway quote and ask what sports they were talking a bout? Football? It's a game. Basketball? That's a game too, and more particularly, a girls game. If girls play it, it's a girl's game. Invariably, one of the coaches would ask about baseball, and I'd tell them that baseball is a past-time, in fact, the national past time and it is a mens game. Softball, of course, uses different equipment, different rules and a different field entirely.
Invariably the soccer coach would get his feelings hurt. Too bad, so sad. Soccer is purely a girls game. I don't know why the bother to separate it into genders. Same equipment, same field, same rules. It's a girls game, shot through to the core.
I bring all this up because I'm working through some things in my own mind. There are bound to be differences between sport and recreation, or between sport and a game. We're well advised to keep our minds ordered and our language precise.