National Games & Sports Of Countries

Different nations are identified with their anthems, cultural heritage, flags, traditions, national birds and animals, language, and last but not least, sports. Much like other categories that define a national identity, sports too holds a unique place in the national pride. Every nation in the world holds different kinds of sports, which are national pride for them.

Countries And Their National Games & Sports

The national sport of a country not only defines the traditional beliefs and ideas of that nation, but it also represents people living there in a significant way. Throughout the thousands of years of human civilization and culture, numerous sports have emerged in different parts of the globe. Today, we take a look at various games that are regarded as national pastimes in different countries throughout the world.

1. The national sport of Afghanistan is called buzkashi.

(source)

Buzkashi, also known as Kupari and Kopar, traces its roots back to the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. This is a sport in which horse-mounted players are maneuvering around the field of play, trying to place a calf in goal. In many aspects, it’s similar to polo, but instead of the ball, a headless goat carcass is used.

2. Antigua and Barbuda — cricket.

(source)

Cricket is a prevalent sport worldwide, especially in India and the UK. Antigua and Barbuda were strongly influenced by the British Empire, and over time cricket became the country’s national pastime. Cricket is a game played with a ball and a bat between two teams of eleven players each.

3. Argentina — have you ever heard of Pato?

(source)

In a nutshell, Pato is a blend of polo and basketball. The sport was initially played with a live duck (Pato is Spanish for duck) but eventually started using the ball instead. The objective of the game is to score the maximum number of goals within the specified duration.

4. Cricket is the national sport of Australia — no surprise there.

(source)

Cricket is considered a religion in Australia. It has been taken as a national sport not only because of its popularity but also its sporting history. Aussies have been known to produce some of the most successful cricketing teams the game has ever seen.

5. Kabadi — ring any bells?

(source)

Kabaddi is a contact sport that originated in ancient India and is now a national sport of Bangladesh. It’s a two-team sport of seven players each, where the defenders of one team are required to hold off the raiders (the opposing team’s offensive player).

6. Barbados — another cricket nation.

(source)

There’s been a lot of talk about cricket, and Barbados is one of the countries where this sport is deep-rooted in its culture. Many world-class cricketers are Barbados-native, including Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Garfield Sobers, and Sir Frank Worrell.

7. Bermuda — cricket, cricket, cricket.

(source)

Cricket is the official sport of Bermuda, and therefore, enjoys massive popularity around here. Played by two opposing teams, the players need to alternately bowl and bat. One needs to score as much as possible, and the other needs to prevent scoring. Naturally, the team with maximum runs wins the game.

8. Archery is in Bhutanese blood.

(source)

Archery dates to the Stone Age, and in Bhutan, it played an essential means in the highlands during hunts and wars. Images of gods holding bows and arrows play a significant role in Bhutanese myths and legends. Archery as a sport is the practice of using a bow to hit a specific target with the highest level of precision. It became an Olympic sport in 1900 and is currently the national sport of Bhutan.

9. Brazil — Football? No, capoeira.

(source)

When Brazilians watch football, you better get out of the way. But the country’s national sport is actually capoeira — Afro-Brazilian combination of music, dance, and acrobatics. It has been culturally significant in Brazil since the 16th century and is well-known for its complex and dynamic moves.

10. Canada — ice hockey or lacrosse? Or both?

(source)

Yes, you heard it right — Canada has one national sport for the winter season and one for the summer months. During summer, Canadians suit up to compete against each other to score goals using long sticks known as crosse. When the snow starts falling, Canada is all about ice hockey, where the two teams are required to score goals with a rubber puck by using their sticks.

11. Rodeo — An official sport of Chile.

(source)

Chilean rodeo is regarded as the country’s national sport. Here, a team (collera) consists of two riders (Huasos) who use their horses to guide the calf and try to pin it against large cushions lining the arena. Points are given for each time the calf is navigated around the corral, while faults lead to deductions.

12. Ping Pong — Chinese specialty.

(source)

Ping pong, also referred to as table tennis, is a Chinese national sport. In this game, two or four players hit a small ball back and forth across the table using paddles (short rackets). Points are scored when one of the players fails to hit the ball back, or when a player misses the opposing players’ field on the table.

13. Baseball — the US, or is it Cuba?

(source)

Cuban culture is highly influenced by the US, which is why baseball is so prevalent in this country. Baseball is a bat and ball game played by two opposing teams of nine players. The goal is to score the majority of the runs at the end of a game. Each game consists of nine innings.

14. Dominican Republic — another baseball country.

(source)

After the US, the Dominican Republic has the second-highest number of baseball players in the MLB (Major League Baseball). That said, it’s only natural that baseball is regarded as a national sport in this region.

15. Soccer is the national sport of England? Guess again.

(source)

Although soccer is undoubtedly the nation’s most popular sport, cricket is viewed as a national pastime and intrinsic part of English culture. Also, cricket is a de facto national sport, meaning that it’s not established by law.

16. Pesapallo — Finnish version of baseball.

(source)

Pesapallo, the national sport of Finland, is a fast-paced ball-batting game that resembles a baseball. The most notable difference between the two sports is that in pesapallo, the ball is pitched vertically, which makes it easier for the players to hit the ball as well as control the power and the direction of the hit.

17. France — The land of football.

(source)

The sports culture is very rich in France as there are many popular sports here, like rugby, tennis, and motorsports. Be that as it may, football is the de facto national game in the Land of the Franks. After all, they are the reigning World Cup champions in soccer.

18. Grenada and Guyana — Cricket.

(source)

Much like other parts of the world, Grenada and Guyana were subject to the British influence through their respective histories. The UK had a substantial impact on the development of sports in these countries, and eventually, cricket became the official sport in both Guyana and Grenada.

19. Field hockey — The most popular sport in India.

(source)

The period from 1928-1956 is referred to as the “Golden Era of Hockey” in India. During this time, India won six consecutive gold medals in the Olympic Games. Similar to ice hockey, field hockey is played by two opposing teams with hockey sticks. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opponent.

20. Gaelic football plays a significant role in Ireland’s society.

(source)

If you’re going on vacation to Ireland, you should put seeing a game of Gaelic football on your to-do list. It is the most popular and fanatically followed sport in Ireland, surpassing even soccer, and classified as the official sport of the country.

21. Italy — It’s all about football.

(source)

Football (Calcio) is by far the most sought-after sport in Italy. The Gli Azzurri are the second most successful football team in World Cup history, second only to mighty Brazil. After winning four World Cup titles, it’s only natural that football became Italy’s favorite pastime.

22. Cricket, not athletics in Jamaica.

(source)

Jamaicans are undisputedly good at sprinting, with names like Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt being the most prominent names in athletics. Despite being one of the leading countries in athletics, Jamaica holds cricket to higher esteem and is viewed as the country’s national sport.

23. Sumo wrestling — it all started in Japan.

(source)

Sumo originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto Deities. It’s a Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. Sumo is a form of full-contact wrestling where two wrestlers face each other in a circular ring and try to force their opponent out of it. The winner is the wrestler who pushes his opponent out of the ring or forces him to touch the ground.

24. Pencak Silat — A unique form of Indonesian martial art.

(source)

While badminton is arguably Indonesia’s most successful sport, Indonesians don’t view it as a national sport. Instead, the game that holds the most value to the Nusantara people is Pencak silat — the native Indonesian combat sport which incorporates strikes, throwing, grappling, and weaponry.

25. South Korea — Taekwondo.

(source)

South Korea’s most significant contribution to the world of sports is taekwondo — the famous martial arts sport. Taekwondo recently passed legislation, taking over the flag-bearing national sport status in the country. The competition is characterized by its emphasis on jumping, head-height kicks, and spinning kicks, as well as fast-kicking techniques.

26. Lithuanians are the biggest basketball fanatics in the world.

(source)

In Lithuania, there are two religions — Catholicism and basketball. Basketball is widely considered as Lithuanian national sport, and their national team has had significant success on the international stage.

27. Wrestling — the most popular sport in Iran.

(source)

Iran has a vibrant sporting history. Koshti (wrestling) is regarded as their traditional sport. Iranians give their wrestlers an exclusive title — Pahlavan. Wrestling is more than just a game in Iran; it’s an ancient tradition, a culture, and a kind of ritual. Wrestlers are expected to be role models for others in beneficence, humility, manhood, and morality; otherwise, they don’t deserve to be called Pahlavans. 

28. Charreria — Mexican rodeo.

(source)

Charreria is the national game of Mexico and is considered a significant part of the country’s heritage and culture. It’s a sport that shares many similarities with rodeo. It involves talented horsemanship, skillful roping, and working with cattle.

29. Rugby union — Kiwis love it.

(source)

For more than a century, the rugby union enjoyed massive popularity in New Zealand, and many Kiwis associate it with their national identity. Their national rugby team called All Blacks had won the Rugby World Cup three times, which is more than any other world team.

30. Cross-country skiing — Norwegians’ national pastime.

(source)

Norway is hands down the greatest winter sports nation of all time. Cross-country skiing is the sport in which Norway excels and also the country’s national pastime. Norway is also one of the best places in Europe for visitors to come and enjoy this sport.

31. Arnis — National martial arts sports of the Philippines.

(source)

Arnis, also known as Kali and Eskrima, is the national martial arts sport of the Philippines. It is a weapon-based fighting sport in which the competitors use bladed weapons, knives, sticks, and other improvised weapons. It also includes grappling, hand-to-hand combat, and weapon disarming methods.

32. Paleta pronton — Peruvian version of squash.

(source)

When asked to choose their favorite sport, many Peruvians will put football at the top of their list. But the country’s national game is Paleta fronton, which is a racquet sport similar to squash. It’s played with a fiberglass or wooden paddle, and a small rubber ball. Paleta fronton has the wall of handball, the boundaries of tennis, the ball of racquetball, and the intensity of soccer.

33. Bandy — Russian ice hockey.

(source)

Bandy is a form of hockey, and one of the most popular sports around the world, especially in Russia, where it’s regarded as the national sport. Like ice hockey, bandy is played on ice, but instead of composite sticks, bandy players use bowed sticks. Also, ice hockey is played using a puck, whereas bandy uses a small ball.

34. Golf — the unofficial national sport of Scotland.

(source)

Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and the country is home to over 550 courses. The rules of the game and the first courses were developed centuries ago, with the country hosting the Ryder Cup, one of the most prestigious golf events in the world.

35. Volleyball is a national sport in the land of serendipity.

(source)

The island country of Sri Lanka has been ravaged by various calamities in the past, both human-made and natural. But all these problems haven’t dampened the Sri Lankan spirit for volleyball, their official sport.