Different nations are identified with their flag, their national anthems, their national birds and animals, their national dress, their national language, and of course with their national sports. As all other categories to identify a nation, sports too holds a different place in the national pride. All the major nations of this world hold different kinds of sports which for them are national pride and hence they find the premier place in the list of the sports they play. Just take a look at those sports that have the honor to become a national sport of a country.
The national sport of a country not only defines the culture and traditional ideas and beliefs of that nation but it also represents its people in a major way. Over thousands of years of human culture and civilization, numerous sports have evolved in different parts of the earth. Here is a brief look at the various sports that are regarded as the national pastimes in different countries all throughout the world.
List of Countries And Their National Games
Cricket – National Game Of Australia
Cricket enjoys widespread popularity in Australia and is regarded as its national sport. The game is played by two teams that try to score the maximum runs within a specific number of overs. Australia is also one of the most successful cricketing teams in the history of the game.
Buzkashi – National Game Of Afghanistan
Buzkashi is the national sport of Afghanistan and it had its origins with the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. The sport requires players to mount on horses and place a calf or goat carcass in a specific goal drawn on the field. It is known to be a highly aggressive sport.
Yacht Racing – National Game Of Anguilla
Yacht Racing is the national sport of Anguilla. It involves the racing of yachts or large boats where they are required to move from one point to another. The distance and the number of contestants may vary with an individual race.
Cricket – National Game Of Antigua and Barbuda
Cricket is a game played with the bat and ball between two teams of eleven players each. It is a very popular game in different parts of the world that had British colonial rule at some point in history. Currently, cricket is the national sport of Antigua and Barbuda.
Pato – National Game Of Argentina
Pato is the national sport of Argentina and it combines elements of Basketball and polo. Originally played with a live duck, the game now uses a ball instead of the bird. Pato is also Spanish for a duck. In order to win the game, the two playing teams are needed to score the maximum number of goals within the specified duration.
Sloop Sailing– National Game Of Bahamas
Sloop Sailing is the national sport in the Bahamas that involves sailing with a sloop boat. These boats have a single sloop and offer to cut the advantage to players. The players in a sloop race need to reach a certain point at the quickest possible time.
Kabaddi – National Game Of Bangladesh
Kabaddi is a form of contact sport that has its origins in ancient India. It is now the national sport of Bangladesh. It is played by two teams of multiple players where the defenders of one team are required to hold the raiders of the opposing team.
Cricket – National Game Of Barbados
Cricket is the official game of Barbados and therefore it enjoys massive popularity here. Played by two opposing teams, it involves the skills of batting, bowling, and fielding. The team scoring the higher number of runs wins the game at the end.
Cricket – National Game Of Bermuda
Cricket is a game that is played by two teams of eleven players. The teams need to alternately bat and bowl. The batting team needs to score as many runs as possible and the bowling team needs to prevent the batting team from scoring runs. The team scoring maximum runs at the end of the game wins.
Archery – National Game Of Bhutan
Archery is a game that goes back to ancient times. It requires the players to hit a specific target with the highest level of precision. It has been included in the Olympics since 1900. Currently, it is the national sport of Bhutan.
Capoeira – National Game Of Brazil
Capoeira is the national sport of Brazil. It is a form of martial arts that combines various elements of acrobatics, dance, and music. Popular since the 16th century, it is well known for its dynamic and complex moves.
Ice Hockey (Winter) | Lacrosse (Summer) – National Game Of Canada
Ice Hockey (Winter): Ice hockey is a form of hockey that is played on ice. The two teams are required to shoot goals with a rubber puck by using their sticks. It is the national sport of Canada for the winter season.
Lacrosse (Summer): Lacrosse is the national game of Canada for the summer months. In this game, two teams compete against each other to score goals by using their long sticks known as lacrosse or crosse. Four main types of games are played, namely women’s lacrosse, men’s field lacrosse, intercrossed, and box lacrosse.
Chilean Rodeo – National Game Of Chile
The Chilean Rodeo is the national sport of Chile. In this game, a team of two riders and two horses are required to ride laps around the arena and stop a calf by pinning it against some large cushions. The points are given when the steer is driven properly around the corral and faults lead to deductions.
Table Tennis – National Game Of China
Table Tennis also referred to as ping pong, is the national sport/game of China. In this game, two players are required to hit a ball across the table among themselves with a small bat. Points are scored when one of the players fails to hit the ball back.
Tejo – National Game Of Colombia
Tejo is the national sport of Colombia. It requires a play to throw a metal puck across an alley to a board that is covered with clay. The puck is referred to as the tejo. There are numerous regulations that control scoring in the game.
Baseball– National Game Of Cuba
Baseball is a bat and ball game that is played by two opposing teams each consisting of 9 players. The teams are required to score the majority of the runs at the end of a game which is comprised of nine innings. It is the official game of Cuba.
Baseball – National Game Of Dominican Republic
Baseball is the official sport of the Dominican Republic. The game consists of two teams that compete with each other for scoring maximum runs. The opposing team needs to prevent the batting team from getting the runs.
Pesapallo – National Game Of Finland
Pesapallo is a very moving bat and ball game that is often called Finnish baseball. It is the official sport of Finland. The game has similarities with brännboll, lepta, rounders as well as baseball.
Cricket – National Game Of Grenada
Cricket is the official sport of Grenada which makes it a very popular game in this part of the world. The game involves two teams with eleven players looking to score as many runs as they can and then prevent the opposition from doing so.
Cricket – National Game Of Guyana
Cricket is the official sport of Guyana. In this game, the two teams are needed to score runs by beating the fielding team whose players try to stop their scoring attempts. The team with higher runs wins at the end of the game.
Field Hockey – National Game Of India
Field Hockey is a type of hockey that is played on the grass or turf field. It has its origins during the Middle Ages. It is the official sport of India. The game is played by two opposing teams with hockey sticks where they are required to score maximum goals.
Gaelic Games– National Game Of Ireland
Gaelic Games are sports that are played in Ireland. These include Gaelic football, Gaelic hurling, Gaelic handball, and Gaelic rounders. They form the official sports of Ireland.
Cricket – National Game Of Jamaica
Cricket is a game that is played by two opposing teams of eleven players each. The teams are needed to score as many runs as they can. The fielding team members are required to get the batsmen out and stop them from scoring runs.
Tae Kwon Do – National Game Of Korea Republic
Tae Kwon Do is a form of Korean martial art. It includes certain aspects of Chinese and Korean martial arts. It is the official sport of the Korea Republic.
Basketball (Summer) | Ice Hockey (Winter) – National Game Of Latvia
Basketball (Summer): Basketball is the official sport of Latvia during the summer season. In this game, two teams of 5 players each are needed to score a maximum number of baskets within a specific period.
Ice Hockey (Winter): Ice hockey is a form of hockey that is played on a sheet of ice. It is the official game of Latvia during the winter months.
Basketball – National Game Of Lithuania
Basketball is the national sport of Lithuania. The game is played by two opposing teams that are required to score as many baskets as possible with the ball before the end of the game.
Charreria – National Game Of Mexico
Charreria is the official sport of Mexico and is considered an important part of the country’s culture and heritage. It is a sport that is similar to the game of rodeo. The game is played with cattle and is participated by both men and women.
Rugby Union – National Game Of New Zealand
Rugby union is New Zealand’s unofficial national sport. For more than a century, it has enjoyed massive popularity in the country. Numerous domestic championships are played under it.
Know more about All Blacks – The New Zealand Rugby Union Team
Cross Country Skiing – National Game Of Norway
Cross Country Skiing is the national sport of Norway. In this sport, the skiers are required to depend on their locomotion gears to move across extended terrains of snow-covered mountains.
Rugby Union – National Game Of Papua New Guinea
The Rugby Union is the national sport of Papua New Guinea.
Paleta Fronton – National Game Of Peru
Paleta Fronton is the national sport of Peru. The sport goes back to the “pelota vasca” that was brought by Spanish conquerors. The game is played with a black rubber ball.
Arnis – National Game Of Philippines
Paso Fino – National Game Of Puerto Rico
Paso Fino is the national sport of Puerto Rico that was developed during colonial times. They are played with the Paso Fino breed of horses.
Field Hockey – National Game of Pakistan
Field Hockey is the national sport of Pakistan. This sport was introduced to them by the Britishers. One of the first presidents of the Hockey Federation of Pakistan was Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan. It was back in 1984 when the Pakistan Hockey Federation was founded. Talking about Hockey World Cups (Men’s), Pakistan has been quite an amazing team by winning the trophy in the year 1960, 1968, 1984, and 1994.
Alpine Skiing – National Game Of Slovenia
Alpine Skiing is the national sport of Slovenia. In this sport, the skiers are required to slide down the hill in their skis by wearing fixed-heel bindings. It is often played as a recreational sport.
Volleyball – National Game Of Sri Lanka
Volleyball is a game in which two teams comprising of six players compete against each other. The teams are required to ground a ball in the opponent’s court. Points are scored or deducted by following various rules associated with the game.
Sumo Wrestling – National Game of Japan
In Sumo Wrestling, a rikishi forces his opponent out of a circular ring or making them touch them the ground with any of their body part (usually by pushing him down, throwing, or shoving) other than the soles of his feet.
Shooting, Gymnastics, Rustic Dancing – National Game of Switzerland
Shooting, Gymnastics, Rustic Dancing are games that are regarded as national sports in Switzerland. Shooting is a sport that requires players to shoot different types of firearms. Gymnastics are sports that require skills in strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, agility, and control.
Turkish Ancestral Wrestling and Jareed – National Game Of Turkey
Turkish Ancestral Wrestling is a traditional form of wrestling that is practiced in Turkey. It is now considered the national sport of the country.
Rugby Union – National Game Of United Kingdom-Wales
The Rugby Union for United Kingdom-Wales represents the teams for these countries. The game of rugby is extremely popular in this part of the world and is participated by numerous teams.
Baseball – National Game Of US
Baseball is the national sport of the United States. The game is also widely regarded as the country’s favorite obsession. Numerous teams all across the country play the game in tournaments held all throughout the year.
Cross-country skiing – National Game of Norway
Cross-country skiing is the national sport of Norway. It is one of the oldest forms of winter sports. This sport is utterly famous in countries like Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Cross-country skiing is performed both as a sport or a recreational activity. Surprisingly, some people also use it for transportation.
Tae-kwon-do – National Game of South Korea
Tae-kwon-do is one of the most popular martial sports in Korea. Today, it is considered the national sport of South Korea. Talking about its origin, it originated back in the first century BCE. Tae-kwon-do is a sport that consists of techniques like jumping spinning kicks, fast kicking, and head-height kicks.
Golf – National Game of Scotland
According to some historians, Golf originated in the 15th century in Scotland. Later on, it was declared as the national sport of Scotland. Golf is considered to be a club and ball sport where every individual uses clubs to hit the balls into various holes on the field. Any player who scores the lowest number of strokes is known as stroke play.
Wrestling – National Game of Iran
Wrestling is the national sport of Iran. It is considered to be one of the ancient sports played in the world. Wrestling is quite popular among the youth in Iran and also around the world. The Iranian wrestling team has also won several championships both at international and Olympic levels.
Sepak Takraw – National Game of Malaysia
Sepak Takraw is the national sport of Malaysia. It is quite similar to volleyball in the terms & regulations of this sport. The only difference between these sports is that, In sepak takraw, a player has the freedom to use any part of their bodies, leaving their hands and arms. Generally, this sport is played with hand-woven rattan balls known as – “Takraw” in thai.
Dandi Biyo – National Game of Nepal
Dandi Biyo is a sport which was quite popular in the rural area of Nepal and is also known as its national sport. This sport is played with a stick (Dandi) which is about two feet long and with a wooden pin (Biyo) which is about six inches long.
Bandy – National Game of Russia
Bandy also known as Banty is the national sport of Russia. This particular sport is quite similar to hockey and is considered to be Russian Hockey. Bandy has a humongous fan following and is one of the most popular sports.
Bandy has its roots from ice hockey and is widely played in Scandinavian countries, the Baltic countries, and Mongolia. It is generally played among a team ranging from 8 to 11 players. Here, the players have skates with curved sticks to hit the ball.
Badminton – National Game of Indonesia
Badminton is considered to be one of the fastest racquet sports. This sport is played with an utterly light weight racquet and a shuttlecock. This sport has its roots from several countries like China, India, Ancient Greece. But, currently, it is the national sport of Indonesia.
Weightlifting – National Game of Bulgaria
Weightlifting is the national sport of Bulgaria. Several amazing weightlifters that belong to Bulgaria are Nikolay Peshalov, Stefan Botev, and Yoto Yotov. Bulgaria is well known for its weight lifts who have won several medals on various occasions and also set many world records.
Water Polo – National Game of Hungary
Water Polo is the national sport of Hungary. When it comes to this sport, no one can beat Hungary. They have one of the best players in the history of water polo. Hungary has won several world cups, Olympics, and league championships too.
It’s a strange world of national sports!
If you go through the list given above carefully two countries like Afghanistan and Turkey and probably the Korean Republic too have given their traditional sports the status of national sports. Buzkashi is Afghanistan’s national sports and it is probably the only national sport around the world that is played with the help of animals. Most of the Caribbean countries have declared Cricket as their national sport, but these days the game of cricket is on the decay in these countries.
The most stunning thing coming out of the list given above is that none of the Latin American countries has given national sports status to Football, for which they are mad about. Strangely Cuba, which has a very bad relation, politically with the United States shares the same sport, Baseball as their national sports.
On the other hand just like Latin American countries, India is still holding on field hockey as their national sports despite it has been a cricket-mad country for more than half a century now and field hockey itself is on the downward trend in the country. Countries like Canada and Latvia have two different national sports for winter and summer seasons.
Which is the oldest sport in the world?
The oldest competitive sport in the world is none other than Wrestling. Interestingly, there have been incidents where cave drawings of wrestling have been found. These cave drawings are as old as 3000BC. Wrestling has been a part of the ancient Olympics since 708 BC.
What is the national game of Turkey?
The Turkish Ancestral Wrestling (A traditional form of wrestling) is played in Turkey. This sport is utterly famous among the people in the country. Due to this popularity, it is now considered the national sport of the country.
Which country is considered to be the best at sports?
Sometimes global competition starts with economics and ends at a pitch of football or tennis court. According to the survey in 2018, Brazil won the first spot at the most athletically talented countries. Brazil is a country known for its yellow soccer uniforms, and big five FIFA World Cup wins
How many countries have cricket as their national sport?
Cricket is one of the most loved sports in the world. A total of seven countries have cricket as their official (national) sport. The countries are as follows: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, and Jamaica.
Which country has Paso Fino as their national sport?
The national sport of Puerto Rico is Paso Fino. It was developed back in colonial times. It is played with the Paso Fino breed of horses. Talking further, Paso Fino is also known as “the smoothest riding horse in the world.” The Paso Fino gait is carried out at three forward speeds and with varying degrees of collection.