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The Most Popular Sports In Canada

There are several things that make Canada unique and interesting. The country’s great climate, a strong economy, low crime rate, and its proximity to the US make it one of the best places to visit or live in. But Canada’s description cannot be complete without mentioning the wide variety of games that are enjoyed by thousands of spectators in the country. Canadians value several sporting contests not just for fun but also as a means of fostering the country’s unity. The wide variety of sporting activities offers perfect opportunities for Canadians to display their talents and to effectively compete with the rest of the world at the international levels.

  1. Wrestling

Wrestling is a popular recreational and competitive sport in Canada. There are different forms of wrestling that reflect the country’s diversity and multicultural composition. The freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling are common in high school and college levels. Among the majority, the popular forms of wrestling include judo, Sambo, and submission grappling. Wrestling was brought to Canada by foreign coaches who visited the country and by students of sports who studied in other countries. Canadian wrestlers continue to thrive in international scenes such as world championships and Olympic Games. Some of the popular wrestlers include Daniel Igali, Nicolas Gill, and Keith Morgan.

9. Curling

Curling is a popular sport in Canada, especially in the Prairie Provinces with the several popular teams in the country based in Alberta and Manitoba. Curling in Canada has always been associated with the military and was brought into the country from Scotland. The game is sanctioned by the Curling Canada. The organization also organizes the annual national championship in the sport. The men’s curling national championship is known as Tim Hortons Brier while the women’s championship is called Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Curling is also a major sports event in schools and colleges with the best player selected to participate in the national championships.

8. Basketball

The root of basketball is firmly embedded in Canada. The modern basketball game was founded by a Canadian, James Naismith, in 1891 while working as a physical education instructor in the US. Several players who took part in the first game came from Canada. Today, basketball is a major sport in the country, especially in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Alberta. The game is particularly popular in high schools and colleges in Nova Scotia. Professional basketball in the country began in 1946 but gained popularity in 1994 when NBA awarded franchises to Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies. Currently, 30 teams participate in the basketball national championship in Canada.

7. Rugby

Rugby was probably introduced in Canada by the Royal Navy in 1823 that also fostered its development in different parts of the country. Although the game disappeared completely from the country, it was re-introduced by the formation of the national team and an armature domestic competition. Both the rugby league and rugby union have grown in popularity throughout the country since the re-introduction. The Canadian rugby league hosts several domestic and professional competitions. The rugby union features four regional teams in the championship. The rugby union has attracted over 13,000 senior players and several junior players across the country, especially in British Columbia.

6. Soccer

Soccer has been a popular sport in Canada since 1876. It is the most popular sport in the country in terms of participation rate with over 2.7 million people taking part in the game in 2006. Soccer in Canada is governed by the Association of Football known as the Canadian Soccer Association. There are 1,450 clubs across the 12 regions. An armature competition known as the National Championship is organized annually with the senior men’s team competing for the Challenge Trophy while the Women for the Jubilee Trophy. The championship also includes U-18, 16, and 14 levels. The Canadian Soccer National Team also participates in several international competitions such as the World Cup and Olympic Games.

5. Cricket

Although Canada is not sanctioned to participate in test matches, the national team is allowed to participate in One Day International Matches. The country has had a very competitive women’s cricket team and the U-19 that has taken part in three U-19 World Cup events. The senior men’s team has also competed in three Cricket World Cup events. Cricket in Canada is governed by the Cricket Canada, founded in 1892. The body organizes domestic inter-provincial games and has also introduced the Scotia Shield U-19 and the National T20 Championship domestic competitions.

4. Baseball

Baseball has been played in Canada since the beginning and is one of the most popular sports in the country. The oldest baseball park in the world is still in operation in Labatt Park in Ontario. The country has only one Major League, the Toronto Blue Jays. Over 70 Canadian towns have played host to some of the major league teams. Several independent league teams also exist in the country and take part in the Can-Am League and the American Association. Baseball in Canada is governed by Baseball Canada based in Ottawa. Canada is also represented at the international competition by the Canadian national baseball team.

3. Football

Football in Canada is a form of gridiron football played by two teams of twelve players each. Football in the country has its origin in rugby football but has since been developed into the Canadian football. The top sport’s professional league in the country is known as the Canadian Football League while the Football Canada governs the armature play. The Grey Cup is one of the main football events in the country that attracts millions of TV audience. The sport is also played at the school and college levels in the country while the sport is also played at the senior league level during the summer.

2. Lacrosse

Lacrosse was declared a national game of Canada in 1859 and a summer sport in 1994. It is played by thousands of people across Canada. Lacrosse is governed by the Canadian Lacrosse Association formed in 1925. The body conducts senior and junior championship tournament in both the field and box lacrosse. There are two professional lacrosse leagues in the country, the National Lacrosse League for the box lacrosse league and the Major League Lacrosse for the field lacrosse league. Canada beat the US 15-10 in the finals of the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship breaking a 28-year US winning streak. Great achievers in the lacrosse are recognized and awarded by the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

1. Hockey

Hockey is an all-year-round sport in Canada at all levels. The modern ice hockey in Canada began in the 19th century and is country’s popular pastime with participation from across the ages. Some of the popular trophies for the national championships in the country include the Memorial Cup and the Allan Cup for the junior and senior men respectively. There are also divisional championships throughout the country. Hockey’s governing body is the Hockey Canada, which is also a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The Canadian Hockey National Team for men competes in international tournaments like Olympics.

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