Canada is widely known as a sports-loving country. Canadian people always like to do some physical activity to avoid obesity and most importantly, to cope with the cold environment. Canada is a generous country where people all of the world are settled in here and share their own sports and culture with the native Canadians. Thus Canada has become a country of variety of games and sports. The country have also showed their dominance in world sports as well as in Olympic games. It is already known that, winter sports in Canada are very much popular all over the world.
Today, Sporty Ghost team have taken an initiative to enlist the top 10 most popular sports in Canada. So, let’s find out, what is the most popular sport in Canada?
Top 10 most popular Sports in Canada:
1. Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is considered to be the most popular sport in Canada, as the sport having been named as the official national sport in Canada. The Canadian Ice hockey league, “National Hockey League (NHL)” is established both in Canada and United States. Canada has 7 teams currently playing in NHL, namely Calgary, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg.
Canada has other teams in the minor North American professional ice hockey leagues. Canada also arranges some strong semi-professional and amateur ice hockey leagues. Ice hockey is governed by the” Hockey Canada”. Ice hockey is the number one in the list of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.
Originally, Basketball is a team sport, which is invented by a Canadian, James Naismith in 1891. He invented the sport considering it’s indoor recreational value. He was trying to find a safer sport, which requires skill, not power to throw ball. Now, basketball has progressed to a highly skilled sport all over the world. It is documented that, basketball was played in Canada prior to 1900.
The official governing body for basketball in Canada is named “Basketball Canada”, which was formed in 1928. A new generation of Canadian basketball had began in 1994, when NBA of United States awarded franchises to 2 Canadian teams, the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies. Professional basketball came to Canada through that initiatives for the first time. Basketball is at No. 2 in our list of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.
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Soccer has gained popularity in Canada over many years. Although, soccer in Canada was played under a variety of rules, the main concept of soccer was there. The first soccer game had taken place in Toronto in October 1876 between two local clubs. The game has not achieved as much popularity as in Europe, but the Canadian Women soccer team has succeeded numerous times in international level. The team qualified for the 2012 London summer Olympics and performed remarkably well throughout the tournament.
They met favorite United States in the Semi-final and lost the game by 4-3 in the overtime. But, the American win came through some controversial decisions against Canada. However, Canada secured the third place with Bronze medal, defeating France by 1-0. Canada had already organized the 2015 FIFA Women’s World cup which lasted for about a month. Soccer ranks 3rd in the list of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.
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Rugby football was distinguished from soccer (football in Europe) in 1863 and the Rugby football union was formed in England in 1871. British garrison troops, settlers and the Royal Navy members possibly introduced rugby to Canada from 1823 onward. Now, Canada is one of the strongest contenders in world rugby. The national coaching certification program has played a vital role in developing Canadian rugby.
Canada’s vigorous promotion in rugby was apparent when the team participated in the inaugural Rugby world cup in 1987, which was held in Australia and New Zealand. The Canada national team stunned the world in 1991 Rugby world cup by advancing to the quarter-finals. We placed the game at No. 4 in the list of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.
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Lacrosse is one of the oldest sports in Canada. The National Lacrosse Association of Canada was formed in 1867 as the first ever governing body of sport. Lacrosse has announced as an official summer sports of Canada in 1994. The Canada Lacrosse teams, both men and women, are highly world standings in field and box lacrosse games.
The Canada women’s lacrosse team is highly popular for their outstanding performance. The women lacrosse team is one of the top teams in the world. The team reached the final of 2013 FIL World Cup Lacrosse in Ontario and eventually lost to the defending Champion United States. After finishing with a silver, the team moved to the 2nd place in world lacrosse standings. The field lacrosse team won their first championship title in 2006 World Lacrosse Championship. Lacrosse is considered as one of the most popular Canadian sports and the sport ranks at no. 5 in our list.
The 1990s is considered as the golden age for baseball in Canada. The Canadian baseball team, Toronto Blue Jays won two consecutive World Baseball Series in 1992 and 1993. Ferguson Jenkins became the first Canadian to be voted into the baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1991. Later in 1997, Larry Walker of the National League Colorado Rockies became the first Canadian to be the most valuable baseball player award.
Although, baseball is the national sport in the United States, its popularity has spread all over Canada. Baseball is treated as a summer sport in Canada. The game involves huge college students in Canada and very much enthusiastic among them. We placed Canadian baseball at No. 6 of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.
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Cricket is gradually becoming popular in Canada. The country achieved the membership of ICC in 1968 in order to increase opportunities for international cricket competition. The remarkable milestone was achieved by the Canadians, when they defeated the Australians in 1975. So far, the Canadian National Cricket Team has competed in four ICC Cricket World Cups, lastly in 2011.
The cricket team frequently appears in international and national cricket tournaments. The immigrants of different countries have contributed in developing cricket in Canada. Recently, Canada is focusing on active youth development, school programs, coaching and umpiring programs related to cricket.
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Curling is a sport, where two teams consisting four players each use to send stones over an ice surface towards a targeted circle in an attempt to reach nearest the centre. Curling is one of the top 10 most popular sports in Canada. The first Curling club in Canada was established in 1807.
The national curling championships and the Olympic trails are very popular in Canada. The women also participate in this game and the game is one of the most televised women’s sport in Canada. The world curling championship has been sponsored by Ford Canada since 1995 and it was known as the Ford World Curling Championship .
Tennis is another popular sport played in Canada. The governing body of Canadian tennis is known as “Tennis Canada”. The organization maintains its commitment of developing tennis in Canada by stimulating participation in this game at local, national and international level. It also operates programs and events as a full time member of the ITF. Recreational tennis is considered to be a very popular pastime of many Canadians.
It is interesting to state that, the number of Canadians who play tennis more than four times a year increased from more than 1.2 million in 1998 to nearly 1.7 million in 2001. Among them, 50% are under the age of 25. As a well-known popular sport, tennis ranks at No. 9 in our list of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.
Golf was first played in Scotland in the last half of 15th century. When the native Scots emigrated to Canada, they took the game of tennis with them, which was better known as “Royal and Ancient Game”. The first Canadian golf club was founded in November 1873 and was named as “Montreal Golf Club”.
The club was established by the young Scotsman Alexander Dennistoun, who was the first president and the captain of the golf club. Since then, golf began to flourish in Canada and they are now one of the best golf playing nations in the world. Golf has taken the No. 10 place in our list of top 10 most popular sports in Canada.