Is it a scuffle? A dustup? A scrap?

By Dan Gartland
March 08, 2018

Xavier easily handled St. John’s in the quarterfinal of the Big East tournament on Thursday, 88–60, in a game that I watched out of the corner of my eye.

I happened to glance at the screen after the final buzzer and notice that the two teams were going toe-to-toe. I got the office a bit excited by saying, “Oh! I think Xavier and St. John’s just had a fight.”

When I saw the full video of what actually happened I realized it wasn’t really that exciting. 

But this led to an interesting discussion about the taxonomy of sports disputes, so I decided to rank the terms we use to describe these sorts of things in increasing order of severity.

• Confrontation

• Altercation

• Dust-up

• Scuffle

• Scrap

• Fight

• Fracas

• Donnybrook

• Brouhaha

• Brawl

• Melee

• Literal murder

So where does St. John’s and Xavier fall on this list?

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