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View Full Version : Is Height an Advantage in Every Sport?


kimbahpnam
01-17-2009, 04:10 PM
I can't really think of any sport where height is not an advantage. Maybe in some sports height is less of an advantage (I'm thinking soccer), but still an advantage no less.

RoddickAce
01-17-2009, 04:11 PM
Fishing and weight lifting :).

Feņa14
01-17-2009, 05:15 PM
Depends really. Scrum halfs in rugby are generally quite small...

meowmix
01-17-2009, 05:20 PM
gymnastics. it's the reason the world was outraged over china's alleged use of 14 year olds in the olympics.

Mick
01-17-2009, 05:28 PM
if you are 6 feet tall, you are not going to be a world class jockey :)

Nanshiki
01-17-2009, 05:56 PM
Not really an advantage in bike or auto racing... and extra weight is a severe disadvantage.

dave333
01-17-2009, 06:00 PM
Height is usually always an advantage if you have the agility, or body type to take advantage of it (like NBA players or Usain Bolt, who is tall but has a lot of fast twitch muscle fibers). However, tall people usually don't have that agility/body type. However, it's safe to say they get a pretty big advantage if they are comparable to shorter people in every other case.

Except in certain cases of course, like jockeying or gymnastics. Actually, the chinese girls thing was probably due to their extra flexibility compared to older girls. But being short is probably an advantage for an event like the rings, where being short means you don't need as much muscle to balance your whole body horizontally.

SystemicAnomaly
01-17-2009, 07:51 PM
A low centre of gravity is advantageous for wrestling. For 2 wrestlers in the same weight class I imagine that the shorter guy has something of advantage.

For other sports there is often an optimal height range, especially with regards to certain positions on a team. Elite male badminton players are often a bit under 6 feet tall usually with taller players being just over 6 feet (1.8 meters). In baseball, pitchers & first basemen tend to be taller than shortstops & catchers (altho' there can be quite a range for the latter).

BullDogTennis
01-17-2009, 09:28 PM
soccer it can be an advantage if you still have the speed to go with it. football its an advantage all around if you have the speed. racing, not an advantage. jockey deff a disadvantage.

for most sports it WILL be an advantage IF you still have the athletism and the speed to go with it.

Okazaki Fragment
01-17-2009, 09:29 PM
Fighter pilots

Nanshiki
01-17-2009, 09:33 PM
....that's not really a sport....

But you can't be too short or too tall.

Actually, for Harriers you apparently couldn't be taller than like 5'8" back in the day.

crash1929
01-17-2009, 09:34 PM
emmit smith's shorter height helped him elude defenders

Noveson
01-17-2009, 09:38 PM
emmit smith's shorter height helped him elude defenders

Being a running back is I think the only position in the NFL where it would be an advantage to be shorter, generally. Because generally most shorter people are quicker, harder to hit, and harder to see. Being short in most other positions would be a big disadvantage, such as qb, wideout, db, etc.

Okazaki Fragment
01-17-2009, 09:43 PM
....that's not really a sport....

But you can't be too short or too tall.

Actually, for Harriers you apparently couldn't be taller than like 5'8" back in the day.

Sure it is. Haven't you heard of training exercises and war games? Just because it's not a popular sport due to the prohibitive cost of the equipment doesn't give you the right to disparage it as "not a sport."

kashgotmoney
01-17-2009, 11:54 PM
tennis, height doesnt matter.

if you are short, better footwork and better smaller steps... if you are tall, better serves but lack of movement. but with good technigue, you can have the best serve

35ft6
01-18-2009, 12:04 AM
^ Height is an advantage in tennis. That's a loaded statement, but undeniably true. I think 6'2" is about ideal, allows for a good combination of movement and stroke leverage.

Rickson
01-18-2009, 12:19 AM
Definitely a disadvantage for jockeys, but that's because they need to be extremely light.

SFrazeur
01-18-2009, 12:21 AM
It sure isn't in horse racing, if you consider that a sport.

EDIT: (Darn, Rickson beat me to it. Gee I'm slow at typing tonight.)

-SF

Rickson
01-18-2009, 12:23 AM
Which reminds me, there's no advantage on the keyboard either.

BreakPoint
01-18-2009, 12:35 AM
Shooting, archery, skiing, gymnastics, curling, bowling, figure skating, luge, bobsledding, and diving are just a few sports I can think of in which height is not a major advantage.

Rickson
01-18-2009, 12:46 AM
Height's not a huge advantage in baseball either.

SempreSami
01-18-2009, 12:57 AM
Really tall people would struggle to fit in a Formula One car, but at the same time, short arses like Maradona and Messi are really good dribblers of the ball because of low centres of gravity.

Height can be an advantage for seam bowlers in cricket too.

Rickson
01-18-2009, 01:00 AM
Height is a disadvantage in midget wrestling.

SempreSami
01-18-2009, 01:35 AM
What about dwarf tossing?

my_forehand
01-19-2009, 06:44 AM
Karlovic world no.1

tennisdad65
01-19-2009, 06:52 AM
In tennis it helps with the serve. Though, the greatest server in tennis was 'only' 6-1, and there have been lots of taller players. However, if he was 5-9 instead of 6-1 , his serve would have been good but not the greatest.

Rickson
01-19-2009, 09:26 AM
Height is an advantage for the tosser, but not for the tossed.

YULitle
01-19-2009, 09:31 AM
Cycling. Shorter fellas are better at climbing, in general.

max
01-19-2009, 09:31 AM
In hockey, it's easier to play offense; you can skate tighter circles and weave around much better if you're short.

Gemini
01-19-2009, 09:32 AM
Shooting, archery, skiing, gymnastics, curling, bowling, figure skating, luge, bobsledding, and diving are just a few sports I can think of in which height is not a major advantage.

Gymnastics and Diving in particular. People with smaller bodies almost always will spin and flip faster than their larger counterparts.

joshburger
01-19-2009, 09:33 AM
why wasnt the wimbledon final ivo karlovich and john isner(who had 19 aces in a set that he lost yesterday). instead it was 2 guys whoa re 6-1. so skill technique and talent are more im portant than height, but height is stioll very helpful

TennisNinja
01-19-2009, 11:56 AM
For the most part yes, especially the more mainstream ones.

Shangri La
01-23-2009, 11:10 AM
I believe many sports are best played with an ideal height (range), like tennis, sprint, gymnastics, and diving etc. While some sports appeal to a wide range of height, like basketball.

Rickson
01-23-2009, 12:00 PM
What? Basketball is definitely better suited for the tall. Tennis is much better suited for a wide range than basketball for sure.

HeilBarney
01-23-2009, 12:15 PM
Only the most popular sport in the world, football. In football Pele and Maradona, the 2 greatest, were short.

GPB
01-23-2009, 12:25 PM
Shooting, archery, skiing, gymnastics, curling, bowling, figure skating, luge, bobsledding, and diving are just a few sports I can think of in which height is not a major advantage.

Darts! Nobody has said darts yet! Or billiards, either.

Noveson
01-23-2009, 02:25 PM
What? Basketball is definitely better suited for the tall. Tennis is much better suited for a wide range than basketball for sure.

Definitely not. All the best players in tennis are within 3 or 4 inches of eachother. Meanwhile you have the 6'0" Iverson still scoring 30 a game and the 7'1" Shaq dominating.

Shangri La
01-23-2009, 02:40 PM
What? Basketball is definitely better suited for the tall. Tennis is much better suited for a wide range than basketball for sure.

Here are some numbers:

Look at the top 10 ATP players. Davydenko is the shortest at 1.77m, Del Potro is the tallest at 1.98m. Thats a range of 21cm. Then take a look at 09 NBA all-star lineup. Yao is the tallest at 2.29m, Iverson/Paul are the shortest at 1.83m. Thats a range of 46cm. 2nd tallest Shaq (2.16) is taller than Iverson/Paul by 33cm.

Noveson
01-23-2009, 03:35 PM
Here are some numbers:

Look at the top 10 ATP players. Davydenko is the shortest at 1.77m, Del Potro is the tallest at 1.98m. Thats a range of 21cm. Then take a look at 09 NBA all-star lineup. Yao is the tallest at 2.29m, Iverson/Paul are the shortest at 1.83m. Thats a range of 46cm. 2nd tallest Shaq (2.16) is taller than Iverson/Paul by 33cm.

Thanks for bringing some numerical merit to my argument.:)

SempreSami
01-23-2009, 03:37 PM
Only the most popular sport in the world, football. In football Pele and Maradona, the 2 greatest, were short.

Cruyff was 5'11''

Rickson
01-23-2009, 03:48 PM
In tennis, you have Ollie Rochus at 5'5 who can actually beat some tall guys and you have Ivo Karlovic at 6'10. That's a difference of 17 inches! The little guy in basketball has little to no chance of beating a true big man in a one on one. Tennis is definitely suited for all sizes compared to basketball and this is indisputable.

Noveson
01-24-2009, 04:33 PM
In tennis, you have Ollie Rochus at 5'5 who can actually beat some tall guys and you have Ivo Karlovic at 6'10. That's a difference of 17 inches! The little guy in basketball has little to no chance of beating a true big man in a one on one. Tennis is definitely suited for all sizes compared to basketball and this is indisputable.

Obviously it's not indisputable because it is being disputed.

You argument makes no sense. Has Rochus beat Karlovic? No. Who is the tallest guy he has beaten?

One on one is not basketball. The point is short guys have a much larger impact in basketball than they do in tennis. And so do very tall guys. Much larger range in basketball.

Rickson
01-25-2009, 12:34 PM
This thread is about height giving an advantage in sports and it's pretty safe to say that height gives one a huge advantage in basketball. Height gives players some advantage in tennis, but it doesn't mean nearly as much to a tennis player as it does to a basketball player. A short tennis player who is equal in skill to a tall tennis player has a good chance of beating him in tennis, but a short basketball player who is equal in skill to a tall basketball player has no chance at all of beating him in b-ball barring injury. Dispute this if you can. I dare you!

Underhand
01-25-2009, 02:20 PM
Not in beer drinking contests.

am22fcw
01-25-2009, 02:24 PM
it is way easier to be short playing hockey. take zdeno chara for example he isnt the most agile player out there.http://www.jwrworkings.com/hockey.jpg

Noveson
01-25-2009, 07:19 PM
What? Basketball is definitely better suited for the tall. Tennis is much better suited for a wide range than basketball for sure.

This thread is about height giving an advantage in sports and it's pretty safe to say that height gives one a huge advantage in basketball. Height gives players some advantage in tennis, but it doesn't mean nearly as much to a tennis player as it does to a basketball player. A short tennis player who is equal in skill to a tall tennis player has a good chance of beating him in tennis, but a short basketball player who is equal in skill to a tall basketball player has no chance at all of beating him in b-ball barring injury. Dispute this if you can. I dare you!

No actually we were arguing about your claim that tennis is better suited for a wide range of heights. Which is false. Your not-so-subtle change of subject wont change that fact. Also you keep acting as if basketball is one on one. Shorter guys have their own place on the basketball court.

Rickson
01-25-2009, 07:22 PM
There are short guys with some game like Iverson, but would Iverson be better at 6'6 or 6'8? I think there's no question he would be better.

akoni
01-25-2009, 08:48 PM
if all other factors are equal, skill, agility, speed, etc. than height is an advantage most of the the time. however, that is not always the case. in basketball you get players who fall into "tweener" sizes and are often not to successful in the nba, i.e. 6'3" shooting guard or a 6'7" power forward. in football a running back's pad level is quite important and you typically have defensive backs guarding wideouts six inches taller because of their speed and ability to make a quick cut. in tennis i see 6'-6'2" as an ideal height. given the dimensions of the court, racquet, etc. there appears to be diminishing returns the taller a player gets, i.e. his/her ability to hit a low ball or take short, quick steps. saying an athlete would be better off if he or she was taller is all relative. allen iverson at 6'6" would be a typical nba shooting guard, but his ability to change directions quickly, weave through defenders, and easily draw fouls on bigger men would all go away.

Steady Eddy
01-25-2009, 08:57 PM
Since this is on its 3rd page, I'm not going to read the entire thread. Don't like it? Suffer. :twisted:

Of course height is an advantage in basketball. Ever notice how it's a game of giants? Sports where height isn't an advantage, or even a disadvantage: horse jockey, baselining in tennis (lotsa baseliners like Rosewall and Chang aren't very tall, tall tennis players usually have a good serve, but don't like to rally as much because their height makes them akward), and running back in football, (look at a football roster, quite often the running backs are under 5-8, being low to the ground makes them hard to tackle).

chrisplchs
01-25-2009, 09:38 PM
running back in football, (look at a football roster, quite often the running backs are under 5-8, being low to the ground makes them hard to tackle).

That is only a partial truth. Shorter backs are more common because they tend to get injured less and because they can squeeze through the hole better to gain an extra yard or two. and by hole, I don't mean a path but probably an 18-24 inch square in mid air that lead through to gain extra yardage.

That said, the best running back in the NFL right now is AP and he's 6'1", which is quite tall when compared to the prototype running back. Each position in the NFL have different prototype size and shape.

lethalfang
01-25-2009, 09:49 PM
In tennis, you have Ollie Rochus at 5'5 who can actually beat some tall guys and you have Ivo Karlovic at 6'10. That's a difference of 17 inches! The little guy in basketball has little to no chance of beating a true big man in a one on one. Tennis is definitely suited for all sizes compared to basketball and this is indisputable.

There are always outliers.
Muggsy Bogues 5'3
Gheorghe Muresan 7'7

If they play one-on-one, I'm going with Muggsy Bogues.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_3mfWoJ0KM9Y/R_9XIRj2Y0I/AAAAAAAAGTo/64qdMmi8smE/Manute+Bol+n+Muggsy+Bogues.jpg

Noveson
01-25-2009, 10:30 PM
There are short guys with some game like Iverson, but would Iverson be better at 6'6 or 6'8? I think there's no question he would be better.

Once again you are making statements in no way related to your first. And I am not so sure IVerson would be better. I think he would lose his quickness(his whole game) if he were that long. Nobody can be as quick as he and as long. If anything itd be an equal tradeoff.

Rickson
01-25-2009, 10:50 PM
Ever heard of a quick guy named Pippen? How about his "somewhat famous" teammate? They are 6'8 and 6'6 respectively.

akoni
01-26-2009, 12:21 AM
i don't think anyone is denying the fact that a taller player can't be quick and have the skills of a guard, but there are tradeoffs. a taller player can't make the same sharp cut, it will take him at least a couple more paces to reach his top speed down the court, he won't weave thru traffic easily, he'll have a difficult time guarding the opposing 6'1" pg, etc. in other words, his overall game will change. in a game of one on one, a shorter player will most definitely lose to a taller player with equal attributes. but basketball is a team game, if it wasn't there wouldn't be any sub 6'6" players in the nba.

and fwiw, you have to remember that pippen played in a day where players 6'8" and above were seldom fast. put him in today's league and he's probably just a hair faster than the guys just as tall as him.

ShooterMcMarco
01-26-2009, 12:52 AM
Shooting, archery, skiing, gymnastics, curling, bowling, figure skating, luge, bobsledding, and diving are just a few sports I can think of in which height is not a major advantage.

I couldn't imagine a dude that is 6'10" curling.

maverick66
01-26-2009, 01:24 AM
You argument makes no sense. Has Rochus beat Karlovic? No. Who is the tallest guy he has beaten?

http://www.atpworldtour.com/3/en/players/headtohead/?player1=Rochus%2C+Olivier&player2=karlovic

he has beaten him so mister smug attitude you be wrong.

kimbahpnam
01-26-2009, 02:01 AM
http://www.atpworldtour.com/3/en/players/headtohead/?player1=Rochus%2C+Olivier&player2=karlovic

he has beaten him so mister smug attitude you be wrong.

Interesting that Rochus has won 3/5 times (including challenger circuit)

halalula1234
01-26-2009, 04:05 AM
gymnastic, weight lifting, shooting, bowling, fishing, canoeing, sailing, lawn bowling

Andres
01-26-2009, 05:56 AM
In tennis it helps with the serve. Though, the greatest server in tennis was 'only' 6-1, and there have been lots of taller players. However, if he was 5-9 instead of 6-1 , his serve would have been good but not the greatest.
The greatest server in tennis was 6'4'', I'm sorry ;)

Andres
01-26-2009, 05:57 AM
Ever heard of a quick guy named Pippen? How about his "somewhat famous" teammate? They are 6'8 and 6'6 respectively.
Ahhh, the sheer sound of the name 'Pippen' makes me smile every time! :D
It's like music to my ears.

Shangri La
01-26-2009, 11:05 AM
Obviously it's not indisputable because it is being disputed.

You argument makes no sense. Has Rochus beat Karlovic? No. Who is the tallest guy he has beaten?

One on one is not basketball. The point is short guys have a much larger impact in basketball than they do in tennis. And so do very tall guys. Much larger range in basketball.

Exactly. The point is short guys like Iverson/Nash/Paul/etc play at the pinnacle level of the sport, make a huge impact to the team/game, and are MVP level players. So are many 7+ foot players. While Olivier Rochus (who? Olivier who???) was never even close to the highest level of tennis (top 10), much less making an impact to the game. The two dont compare, not even close.

Rickson
01-26-2009, 11:09 AM
Maverick shut Noveson up in a hurry! Let me see a 5'5 guy beat a 6'10 guy in basketball.

Racer41c
01-26-2009, 11:16 AM
emmit smith's shorter height helped him elude defenders


+ Darren Sprooles
+ Barry Sanders

Somewhere along the line, someone needs to explain how all the really tall guys have never been a champion in tennis. We have several guys currently and have had several in the past. And if height is such an advantage, explain the above football guys along with Arias and Chang.

The proto type body for tennis IMO would be average length legs, longish torso, long arms and about 6' In other words, Pete Sampras.

Shangri La
01-26-2009, 11:19 AM
There are always outliers.
Muggsy Bogues 5'3
Gheorghe Muresan 7'7

If they play one-on-one, I'm going with Muggsy Bogues.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_3mfWoJ0KM9Y/R_9XIRj2Y0I/AAAAAAAAGTo/64qdMmi8smE/Manute+Bol+n+Muggsy+Bogues.jpg

That's a whopping >>>>28 INCH<<<<< difference!!1

Let's see that in tennis.

Rickson
01-26-2009, 11:24 AM
Muresan would destroy Bogues.

maverick66
01-26-2009, 02:08 PM
Interesting that Rochus has won 3/5 times (including challenger circuit)

not really that suprising. outside of the serve rochus does everything better. he hits a better ball and moves much better so karlovich never really gets a chance to break. if rochus can stay calm on his serve and pull out a break/mini-break he wins.

maverick66
01-26-2009, 02:11 PM
Exactly. The point is short guys like Iverson/Nash/Paul/etc play at the pinnacle level of the sport, make a huge impact to the team/game, and are MVP level players. So are many 7+ foot players. While Olivier Rochus (who? Olivier who???) was never even close to the highest level of tennis (top 10), much less making an impact to the game. The two dont compare, not even close.

guys would kill for his career. he got to 24 in the world which is very high. think about it only 23 players could say they were ranked better at one point out of thousands that try to make it on the pro tour. thats pretty good in my book. you must be new to pro tennis if your saying olivier who. the guy has all the heart in the world and was able to make it in the pro tour which is the hardest in the world to be a part of.

Noveson
01-26-2009, 08:26 PM
Maverick shut Noveson up in a hurry! Let me see a 5'5 guy beat a 6'10 guy in basketball.

:rolleyes: You're an idiot. TIme and again I have proven your arguement wrong. It's not one on one! Jesus are you incapable of comprehending? Short guys make a much bigger impact in basketball than they do in tennis. No doubt about it.

As for your Pippen/Jordan argument, they didn't rely on quickness, Iverson does. Do you understand?

Noveson
01-26-2009, 08:27 PM
not really that suprising. outside of the serve rochus does everything better. he hits a better ball and moves much better so karlovich never really gets a chance to break. if rochus can stay calm on his serve and pull out a break/mini-break he wins.

Not that surprising? Karlovic gives players much much better than rochus headaches.

maverick66
01-26-2009, 08:50 PM
Not that surprising? Karlovic gives players much much better than rochus headaches.

maybe but were talking head to head and rochus is better. he has better groundies, moves better, retuns better, and is overall a more complete player. karlovic serves better and maybe volleys a little bit better but thats it. dont be mad cause u got proven wrong. you cant tell me a player is better than another when he has a losing record against him.

Noveson
01-26-2009, 08:57 PM
maybe but were talking head to head and rochus is better. he has better groundies, moves better, retuns better, and is overall a more complete player. karlovic serves better and maybe volleys a little bit better but thats it. dont be mad cause u got proven wrong. you cant tell me a player is better than another when he has a losing record against him.

Congratulations? I was wrong about Rochus v Karlovic? Awesome.

Yet you have nothing else to contribute except this one matchup. Way to go statman. Does that mean tennis is more accessible to all heights? No. Try using capital letters by the way. Those are the big ones.

maverick66
01-26-2009, 09:19 PM
Congratulations? I was wrong about Rochus v Karlovic? Awesome.

Yet you have nothing else to contribute except this one matchup. Way to go statman. Does that mean tennis is more accessible to all heights? No. Try using capital letters by the way. Those are the big ones.

didnt really even read the entire argument but saw you put rochus had never beaten karlovic and that was incorrect. your getting all worked about nothing.

tennis is accesible to all heights. if rochus can play at the top level and karlovic can also that means the spectrum for who can and cannot make it is pretty big. height helps or hinders but doesnt mean you cant play. so i dont think height is a huge advantage in every sport.

also correcting peoples grammar is just sad. it screams i have nothing to say so im gonna nit pick to try and look cool.

Rickson
01-26-2009, 09:21 PM
Noveson's just a junior high student.

maverick66
01-26-2009, 09:22 PM
Noveson's just a junior high student.

i figured but its ok i dont mind talking to those younger than me. cant really get upset over someone trying to argue with me over the internet.

Rickson
01-26-2009, 09:23 PM
Good attitude, Mav. BTW, who do you like for Penn/GSP?

tennisfreak
01-27-2009, 05:50 AM
Basketball is more accessible to a wider range of heights simply because there are five positions, each having its own ideal range of height. (You don't have seven foot giants playing point guard.)

Tennis is an individual game and as such has only one range of ideal heights. (Probably around 5' 9" to 6' 4")

That being said, tennis is more accessible to people with height in average range (there are a lot more 5' 9" tennis players than 5' 9" NBA players)

Don't see how rochus vs karlovic proves anything as tennis is an individual game and basketball is a team game. It's comparing apples to oranges. No one is going to say Mugsy Bogues is going to beat Georghe Muresan one on one, but both guys have their place on the court.