Which Sport is the Toughest of Them All

Hannah Yan Han

Today I looked into the level of skills required by 60 different sports to find out how tough some sports are.

10 different skills are rated

Looking at the distribution of the skills required, we can see most sports tend to require a higher level of endurance rather than analytical aptitude.

Narrowing down to the sports that require the highest or lowest level for these skills, we can observe auto racing requires much analytical aptitude and nerve, while good hand-eye coordination is essential for baseball/softball.

Next we rank these sports from the toughest (boxing) to the most leisurely (billiards and fishing) based on the total scores across 10 skills.

Each color refers to the corresponding skill above

While a tough sports like boxing or ice hockey requires high-level of multiples skills, it doesn’t mean other sports are easier, as they could require extremely high level of a particular skill but not many of the others.

Here are some sports that emphasize particular skills, such as sprints where speed is more important than anything else, and weight-lifting which requires mainly power and strength.

Then there are also sports that may not be as high-impact as boxing, but nevertheless require well-rounded skills.


This is #day88 of my #100dayprojects on data science and visual storytelling. It can also be found in RWeekly. The code can be found on my github. If you like it, please share it. Suggestions of new topics and feedbacks are always welcomed.

Hannah Yan Han

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#100daysproject on data science and visual storytelling ✈️🗺️

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