Different American Sports

Are you a major sports buff? Would you like to have some background information about the major sports played in the United States. Read on to learn about the different American sports.
| Saturday, November 01, 2008
Sports play a very important role in the culture of the United States of America. However unlike the rest of the world the general public in America has varied sporting tastes and preferences. This can be seen from the fact that soccer which enjoys worldwide popularity and unprecedented support on the international level is in fact not that popular in America. Irrespective of the game the stand out aspect about American Sports is the way they are managed and the amount of money that gets pooled into these sporting events along with the media exposure and the fan following they enjoy. This is partly because of the professional handling through various major and minor leagues that are solely dedicated to the development and exposure of these sports and their athletes. Different American sports enjoy a great deal of prominence within the different colleges and universities and these are budding grounds for athletes that take the international sporting world by storm.

Following is a brief look at the different American sports:
  • Baseball: Among all the major sports in America baseball is the oldest and perhaps the one that enjoys massive support and following. This sport is the national pastime of the American public and professionally this was played as far back as 1869. The National league and the American league were formed around the early 20th century. The World Series for baseball was initiated in 1903 and this tradition continues with the winners of the National League and the American League facing each other in the ultimate play off. This sport enjoys popularity in North America and Central America and even in some areas of East Asia and the Caribbean.
  • Basketball: This is another extremely popular game in the United States and strangely enough a Canadian was responsible for the invention of this game. Dr James Naismith was credited with developing this game when he was working as an instructor with a training school at YMCA in Massachusetts. The game quickly caught the imagination of the public and became extremely popular and was declared as an Olympic Sport in 1936. The National Basketball Association was started in 1946 and continues as the most dominant league for professional basketball in America. This is among the third most popular sports in America and is particularly appreciated and well played by African American youth.
  • Tennis: This incredibly popular sport in United States was introduced from Europe and was played by aristocracy in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. The rules of the sport were standardized in around 1890s. United States also has the distinction for hosting one among the four most followed and famous tennis events called the U.S Open. It is among the four zealously followed Grand Slam tournaments. Pete Sampras from United States was a prolific winner of this sport. Tennis was made an Olympic Sport in 1896 and it remained so till 1924 and then it was played again at the Olympic event from 1988.
  • Soccer: What the world popularly calls "football" is otherwise known in the United States as "soccer" In American this sport is among the fourth most watched of all the sports. In spite of a great following this sport falls behind basketball, baseball and American football in its popularity in the United States. The women's soccer team was successful in winning the gold medal at Olympics in 1996 and also in 2004 and this in turn contributed to the increased popularity of this game. Major League Soccer was created in 1996 and received further fillip when international star David Beckham was imported to play in America.
  • Auto Racing: NASCAR is a popular sport in the United States with many of the working and middle class fathers using this sport to bond with their children. It is the second most frequently viewed sport on American television. The NASCAR that stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is the most popular car event where the cars race on an oval track.
  • American Football: This game evolved from various kinds of rugby played within the English speaking countries. Earlier this game used to be extremely rough and resulted in numerous deaths but following the direction of President Roosevelt the rules of this game were reformed to make this popular game safer. The National Football League was formed following the merging of two major professional football leagues. Following this event the Super bowl became the most watched event in the United States.
  • Ice Hockey: This is another popular sport in the United States and is often popularly referred to as simply hockey. This sport is mostly popular in regions that experience cold climate since it is most suitable for this game. Following the creation and expansion of National Hockey League this sport is enjoying a great deal of popularity all over the country. This National Hockey league has a total of 24 teams that are based in the US and 6 teams from Canada and these teams compete for the coveted Stanley Cup.
Some other very popular American sports include:
  • Lacrosse: This is a team sport and is rather popular in mid Atlantic and some other areas. There are Lacrosse leagues such as outdoor Lacrosse Leagues.
  • Volleyball: This sport is popular at the college and university level.
  • Inline Hockey and Road hockey are some variations introduced to allow the game to be played in all climatic conditions.
  • Equestrian is not very popular even though America has always had good performance records in this sport in different competitions.
  • Shooting
  • Skateboarding
  • Swimming
  • Fencing
  • Mountain biking
  • Bowling
  • Surfing
  • Running
  • Wrestling
  • Martial Arts
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