Sports Played in The United States
Sports is an important part of any culture. It helps in the emotional and physical well-being of any individual. Football is the most popular sport to watch in the United States, followed by baseball, basketball, and soccer. Other sports such as golf, tennis, hockey, wrestling, auto racing, arena football, field lacrosse, box lacrosse and volleyball are also popular sports in the country. Here is a quick snippet on the major sports on this list:
This is arguably the most popular sport in the country and has a place in most of the schools and colleges across the country. The NFL is the premier football league in the United States. It has 32 franchises divided into two conferences. After each 16-game regular season, six teams are sent by each conference sends six teams to the NFL Playoffs, which eventually lead into the league's championship game. This is known as the Super Bowl. Football games are generally played on a rectangular field that measures 110 metres in length and 48.76 metres in breadth. The lines marked along the ends and sides of the field are known respectively as the end lines and side-lines, and goal lines are marked 9.1 metres inward from each end line. The National Football League was founded in 1920 and since then, football has undoubtedly become the largest and most popular sport in the United States.
Baseball and its twin Softball are also immensely popular in the States. The formal league for the sport is called the Major League Baseball. The best teams are the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Other noteworthy teams are the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals. Notable players in the history of American Baseball include: Babe Ruth with 714 career home runs, Mike Schmidt with 514 career home runs, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter, among others. The game is primarily played on a field wherein the primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles. It is played between two teams, each comprising nine players, that take turns playing offense (which means batting and base running) and defence (which means pitching and fielding). The game aims to score more runs than your opponent. The objective is to hit the ball thrown at you as far as you can before running around four bases to complete a run. Once a player manages to get around the four bases before being tagged out then another batter comes in.
According to a popular survey conducted in the United States, Basketball is ranked as the second favourite sport behind football as far as the native Americans are concerned. The sport was invented by a Canadian physical education teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891. Also, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the world's premier men's professional basketball league and one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. It comprises 30 teams (29 teams in the U.S. and 1 in Canada) that play an 82-game season from October to June. After the regular season, eight teams from each conference compete in the playoffs for the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. A famous player, Michael Jordan, took the NBA into another dimension altogether. He transformed the NBA into one of the most lucrative professional leagues in America. With Kobe Bryant and now LeBron James following suit and the arrival of international players in the scene, the NBA isn’t just one of the most popular sports in America- it is the most popular in fact.
Ice hockey which is sometimes simply referred to as Hockey is another famous sport in the United States. It’s popularity is due to the fact that it is usually very cold for most part of the year in most parts of the country. The NHL is the major professional hockey league in North America, with 24 U.S. teams and 7 Canadian teams competing for a tournament known as the Stanley Cup. Minor league professional hockey leagues in the U.S. include the American Hockey League and the ECHL. The United States of America is counted among the Big Six in the world or the group of nations that have historically dominated international ice hockey competition. Other countries include Canada, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Russia. Ice hockey is played on a hockey rink. During a normal game, there are six players per side on the ice at any time, one of them being the goaltender, each of whom is on ice skates. The aim is to score goals by shooting a hard rubber disc, called the puck, into the opponent’s goal net, which is placed at the opposite end of the rink. The players use their sticks to pass or shoot the puck.
Soccer has recently gained popularity in the United States. In fact, it is the third most played sport in the States. The United States men's national team and women's national team, as well as a number of national youth teams, represent the United States in international soccer competitions and are governed by the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer). Many notable international soccer players include Pelé, Eusébio, George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, and Johan Cruyff, and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Volleyball is a sport that is widely played in the US. In fact, it is the third most played sport in the country. It is especially popular in colleges and universities. Most of these schools and colleges have female dominated volleyball teams and it is thus regarded as a female sport. Many organizations throughout the country such as churches and YMCA also participate in junior volleyball games. Also, beach volleyball, though not a formalised sport, is gaining popularity throughout the country, especially among the youngsters.
In America, Tennis is played in all five categories namely single, double, and mix. However, the most popular category however remains the single category. The peak of formal tennis in the US is the US Open which is played around August annually at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. Several notable players include the likes of Don Budge, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and of course the Williams sisters are dominating the sport. Bob and Mike Bryan have similarly dominated the men’s double team claiming all the major career records.
A golf course comprises 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground that is flagged by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area. The player uses a stick with a pointed head to hit the golf ball trying to get it into the nearest hole with the lowest number of attempts. a group of annual golf tournaments is held in a number of countries across the world, where players collect a number of points that contribute to improving their position within the monthly classification issued by the world association of the game. Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer now. His fame has spread all over the world.
This game happens to be the one played by some of the most notable people of America. It leaves tennis, freestyle wrestling, boxing, and motor racing behind to be regarded as the most popular individual sport in the United States. The game is widely played in some Western European countries and Australia as well as in the Gulf states. Iraq, however, was one of the first countries in the world to play golf during the 1940s.