Exploring international sports at Harker

by Vishnu Kannan and Kushal Shah

Sports are one of the most popular pastimes in the world, and each one has a dedicated player and fanbase. Despite their popularity, however, some of these activities are less well-known than others and deserve to be in the spotlight more often.

While some of these sports may seem uninteresting to people in certain regions, they are yet taken very seriously in other areas.

Formula 1

Like cricket, Formula 1, which is a predominantly European sport, lacks viewership in the United States. Each Formula 1 season consists of 20 races on differing tracks in many cities in Europe, Asia, and Australia. There are 10 racing teams, the most well known being Mercedes and Ferrari, with 2 racers for each team. Points are awarded based on finish position, so 1st place receives 25 points, 2nd receives 18 points, and so on. The last race of the season is always held in Abu Dhabi, where the winner is announced based on cumulative points.

Ashwin Rammohan (12), who became a fan of Formula 1 in the 2016 season because of its fast-paced nature and the strategy involved, prefers Formula 1 to Nascar. In Nascar, racers race around an ovular track numerous times with each track fairly similar to the next. Meanwhile, in Formula 1, each city’s track is different from one another, requiring teams to plan accordingly for each track weekly, which triggers a more gut-wrenching and thrilling experience.

Ashwin, however, acknowledges that Formula 1 has been dwindling in popularity over the past couple years, most likely because the reigning team has not lost their title for the past five years.

“Mercedes has been so dominant that there’s not much racing within the races itself,” he said. “Formula 1 in 2018, let’s say compared to Formula 1 in 2004, which was considered the golden era of Formula 1, has gotten a lot less exciting.”

Ashwin also believes that Formula 1 will be more interesting this year, due to some changes made by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), recommending that those undecided about watching Formula 1 start off by watching the sport’s official Youtube channel.

“Watching their YouTube channel, where they have antique highlights from 70s, 80s, 90s, but also modern highlights as well, for me at least, completely hooked me onto Formula 1,” he said.


Cricket is a prime example of a sport that does not have as much traction in the United States, but instead, is primarily popular in countries such as England, Australia and South Africa. Another country where cricket is well-received is India, which according to TopEnd Sports, a sports fitness source, has the highest regional popularity.


Gloria Zhu

Shaunak Maruvada (12), who began watching cricket during the 2007 World Cup, enjoys the unpredictability of the sport.

In other sports, generally, you can predict winners fairly easily because there is a clear cut difference in skill, and while that same skill difference in true in cricket as well, so many factors — even the pitch you are playing on — can have a massive affect on the outcome of the game,” he said. “I think that fact that [there] are so many variables that can affect the game makes it very exciting.”

Shaunak believes that the presence of the other four major US sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — has prevented cricket from rising in popularity in the US.

I think cricket has always been fighting an uphill battle against the four major sports here,” he said.

In his opinion, cricket’s lack of popularity in the US is due to the lack of awareness about T20 cricket, his favorite form of the game. In T20 cricket, each side bats for only 20 overs, which, Shaunak explained, allows for an extremely fast paced game, as batsmen are more aggressive.

“I’m not sure that enough people know of T20 as a form of the game,” he said. “They’re just aware of test cricket, which is 5 days long, and not nearly as interesting T20. I definitely think with more exposure to T20s, they could be more interested.”


Gloria Zhu

Unlike Formula 1 and cricket, archery is a sport that lacks much popularity globally, and according to Nicholas Yi (10), who began playing archery in 2017, acknowledges that the sport can be boring but encourages everyone to tune into the 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 — it’s going to be really fun. The USA team is looking pretty good, honestly, Brady Ellison is going to make a comeback, I can tell for sure,” he said.

Nicholas believes that archery is one sport where people can actually get a glimpse at their own accuracy. He also believes that archery is the perfect embodiment of “practice makes perfect.”

“Try it out,” he recommends. “People think they’re naturally good at getting things on target, but in reality, they’re honestly bad, lousy shots. But it can teach you that given enough practice, you can always become good at something.”