In my experience, there are different levels of acceptance regarding sports on Sunday in the LDS church.Â
Growing up in my family, we weren’t allowed in the back yard to play on the swings or jump on the trampoline if it was Sunday.Â No play dates with friends either.Â BYU teams do not play or practice on Sunday.Â Using examples like those, it would seem to be pretty clear that honoring the sabbath day means no sports or anything like unto it.
That is, unless you get paid millions of dollars for playing a sport, or coaching a professional sport, or perhaps you are competing at the olympic level.Â In that case, you may get talked about in General Conference.Â The Ensign and New Era will do articles on you.Â You will be asked by Stake Presidents and bishops around the world to give firesides on your experiences.Â
Thing is, you don’t get to compete at that level unless you spend some serious time practicing and playing your sport.Â And most of the time that means practicing or playing on Sunday.Â On the official church web site, the newsroom routinely showcases LDS olympians and other professional athletes who have spent much of their life tuning their craft at many a Sunday tournament or practice.Â
Sure, playing sports is one thing, but how about watching?Â My experience teaches me that it’s frowned upon to actually attend a sporting event on Sunday, but watching on T.V. seems to be acceptable.Â That is, unless the olympics are being held in Salt Lake City.Â Then you need to go volunteer and help run the event so things go smoothly.Â Regardless, would sporting events even be held on Sunday if there was no audience to watch?Â I’m sure some would, but I also bet that many wouldn’t.Â Even still, our sacrament meeting attendance seems to be a little thinner on Superbowl Sunday.
So, dear readers, what is it we should tell our young members of the church when they ask if it’s OK to play sports on Sunday?Â Does the answer change if they have potential as a future olympian or NFL quarterback?