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Sports In Canada: Which Ones Do Locals Prefer?

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There’s a lot to love about Canada, from the friendliness of locals to the excellent quality of life. However, one of the things that many people of this country have in common is a love for sports in Canada. There are many various sporting events and games to watch. It gives professional players and teams the opportunity to show off their skills and compete with others from around the world.
When you consider the fact that Canada has been known for their excellent performances in world-renowned sports as well as in the Olympic games, it’s only further proof that these types of activities are thriving in this part of the world.

Sports in Canada That Locals Enjoy

There is a multitude of Canadians that play professionally at both local and international levels.  However, there are many more who enjoy watching the events unfold, so why don’t we take a closer look into some of the most beloved sports in Canada?
From soccer to ice hockey, there are plenty of great options locals like getting involved in. In no particular order, here are 10 sports that a lot of Canadians love.

1. Baseball

Baseball has been played here for a long time and is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in Canada. While there’s only one Major League team, the Toronto Blue Jays, there are a number of independent ones that participate in the Can-Am League and the American Association.
Here’s an interesting fact; the oldest baseball park in the world is in Ontario, Canada, and it’s still in use to this day.

2. Basketball 

Basketball as we know it today was founded by James Naismith, a Canadian, back in 1981. It’s only natural that this game would be one of the most played and watched in the country. Naismith developed it while working as a P.E instructor in the US, but surprisingly many of those who took part in the first match were from Canada.
Featuring more prominently in high school and colleges, professional basketball is still leading the way across the country among sports fans. There are currently 30 teams that participate in the basketball national championship in Canada.

3. Cricket

  Canada may not be sanctioned to participate in test matches, but the national team does often play in One Day International Matches. The events held here are governed by Cricket Canada. It was founded in 1892 to organize domestic inter-provincial games. Later, it introduced the Scotia Shield U-19 and National T20 Championship competitions.

4. Curling

Curling is a sport that is commonly associated with Canada – and with its immense popularity in the country, it’s not hard to see why. The game is most loved in the Prairie Provinces, probably because the best-known teams are based in Alberta and Manitoba.
What many people may not know about the sport was that it was brought into the country from Scotland, and has for quite a while been associated with the military.

5. Golf

Another sport that was first played in Scotland and brought to Canada was golf. The first game was played in the latter half of the 15th century when the Scottish immigrated to Canada. They introduced the “Royal and Ancient Game”, which later became known as golf.
The first Canadian club for golfers was founded in 1873 and interest in the game has remained strong.

6. Ice Hockey

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that ice hockey earns a spot on this list of popular sports in Canada since it’s often considered to be one of the country’s most beloved sporting activities. The NHL is established in both Canada and the US – and has many fans across the globe, with over 300,000 viewers watching the sport on NBC between 2018 to 2019.

7. Lacrosse

In 1859, lacrosse was declared a national game of Canada. Today, it’s played by thousands of individuals across the country. There are two professional Lacrosse leagues here. The National Lacrosse League (for the box variation of lacrosse) and Major League Lacrosse (for field lacrosse).
One notable achievement was when Canada beat the US’s 28-year streak in the finals of the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships.

8. Rugby

  Properly introduced in Canada by the Royal Navy in 1823, rugby is another sport that has had quite an interesting history. Despite the fact that it developed an interest in varying degrees across different parts of Canada, it completely fell out of favour for a long while before being re-introduced many years later by the formation of the national team.
Today, the rugby league in Canada hosts several domestic and professional competitions, features 4 regional teams and has attracted over 13,000 senior players.

9. Soccer

Soccer has slowly been gaining more popularity in Canada in recent years. The Canadian Women’s soccer team has seen quite a few victories at the international level. It qualified for the 2012 London summer Olympics and did exceptionally well throughout the tournament. While they may have lost the semi-final, they still walked home with a bronze medal.

10.  Tennis

Tennis is a consistently popular Canadian sport, thanks to the governing body of the game, which aims to maintain interest at a local, national and international level. There’s some fascinating data that you could look into too. For example, in 1998 there were over 1.2 million Canadians who played tennis at least 4 times a year. In just a few short years, this number increased to nearly 1.7 million.

Summing up

While there are several other sports in Canada as well as events that are worth tuning into from rock climbing to polo. This top 10 list should give you a better idea of which sports tend to draw the biggest crowds. Whether you’re interested in the idea of getting involved in a new sport or just having a night enjoying a professional match, there’s plenty to choose from.  

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