National Sports

A national sport is a sport or game that is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are national sports as established by the law of the country, while others are popularly accepted as national sports.

The national sport is not necessarily (and not usually) the most popular sport in that country, but they are sports or pastimes that are important historically or culturally significant to the country.

List of National Sports

Below is a list of countries and the sport or sports that are either officially or generally accepted as the national sport. Not all countries are listed, if you know of some details that should be listed here please let me know in the comments below.

Country Sport Notes
Afghanistan Buzkashi
Anguilla Yacht racing
Antigua and Barbuda Cricket
Argentina Pato defined as a national sport in 1953
Australia Cricket, AFL, Rugby League there is no official national sport, though there are good arguments for both cricket and Australian Football
Bahamas Cricket Cricket defined as a national sport in 1973, though there is a push for sloop sailing to be the national sport.
Bangladesh Kabaddi defined as a national sport in 1972
Barbados Cricket
Bermuda Cricket
Bhutan Archery
Brazil Capoeira Capoeira defined as a national sport in 1972. Association Football is also considered a national sport.
Bulgaria Association Football, Volleyball  
Cayman Islands cricket, football, fishing unoffical national sports
Canada Lacrosse (summer), Ice hockey (winter) defined as national sports in 1994
Chile Chilean rodeo defined as a national sport in 1962
China Table Tennis there is no official national sport, though table tennis is bery popular and China is well known for this sport
Colombia Tejo defined as a national sport in 2000
Cuba Baseball
Czech Republic Ice hockey
Denmark Aossociation Football, Handball
Dominican Republic Baseball
England Association Football, Cricket
Estonia Basketball
Finland Pesäpallo
Georgia Rugby union
Grenada Cricket
Guyana Cricket, Water Polo
Haiti Football
Hungary Football or Water polo
Iceland Handball  
India Field Hockey, Cricket There is no officially declared national sport. Many would consider cricket to be the national sport given its popularity.
Indonesia Pencak Silat  
Iran Varzesh-e Bastani (wrestling) The wrestling sport of Varzesh-e Bastani was defined as a national sport in 1976. Polo is also considered a national sport, though football is the most popular.
Ireland Gaelic games
Israel Football
Italy Football
Jamaica Cricket
Japan Sumo Wrestling, baseball Sumo wrestling may be considered as the national sport of Japan, though baseball is the most popular sport
Latvia Basketball (summer), Ice hockey (winter)
Lithuania Basketball
Madagascar Rugby union
Malaysia Sepak Takraw
Mauritius Football
Mexico Charrería Charrería is a competitive event similar to rodeo. It was defined as a national sport in 1933
Mongolia Archery, Mongolian wrestling, Horse racing
Nepal Volleyball Dandi Biyo was defined as a national sport in 1973, then in 2017 it was changed to volleyball.
New Zealand Rugby Union
Norway Cross-country skiing
Pakistan Field Hockey defined as a national sport in 1948
Papua New Guinea Rugby league
Peru Paleta Frontón
Philippines Arnis defined as a national sport in 2009. Sipa is the Philippines' traditional native sport which predates Spanish rule.
Poland Football
Puerto Rico Baseball, Paso Fino Paso Fino horse riding was defined as as the autochthonous sport in 1966.
Romania Oina Oina is a Romanian traditional sport, similar to baseball
Russia Bandy
Scotland Golf
Serbia Banatske Šore
Slovenia Alpine skiing
South Korea Taekwondo
Spain Football There appears to be no official national sport in Spain, though football is the most popular and favorite sport of Spaniards, though some consider Bull Fighting (is it even a sport?) to be the national sport.
Sri Lanka Volleyball defined as a national sport in 1991
Tajikistan Gushtigiri
Turkey Oil wrestling & Cirit
Turks and Caicos Islands Cricket
United States Baseball
Uruguay Destrezas Criollas (Creole Skills) defined as a national sport in 2006
Venezuela Baseball some sources also list volleyball
Wales Rugby union

source: the original list was from the wikipedia listings of national sports, which has been added to and expanded upon

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Sport Extra

Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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