Having some of the coldest winters of all countries in the world, there is no wonder that the most popular sport in Canada is ice hockey. But there is much more than just that, with a wide variety of sports being enjoyed here.
The best part of it is that you can see individual or team sports, indoor or outdoor events, winter or summer games, there is a sport for everyone. And you can find the best odds on all your favorite sports on the Unibet Sports Betting website, which offers a great variety of events to bet on.
Here is a list of the seven most popular sports in Canada in 2020, some of them being created in this country:
Tennis is gaining a lot of popularity in the past decade, especially because of some players performing very well in the Grand Slams and other important tournaments. Bianca Andreescu was the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam title, with the 2019 Women’s US Open win.
Other important players from the past decade are Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic, both in their 20s, former Wimbledon finalists and former Top 5 players. Also, Rogers Cup – or the Canadian Open – is the second oldest tournament in the world, after Wimbledon.
Cricket in Canada was widely played back in the nineteenth century, when became a national sport in 1867. The senior men’s team participated at five World Cup events, and that helped increasing its popularity. Currently, there are around 40,000 cricket players in Canada, being one of the fastest-growing sports. There are also many domestic cricket tournaments.
Back in 1844, 20,000 people attended in New York at the Canada – United States cricket match, which was the first official international game ever, of any sport. That tells a lot of this game’s popularity.
Being played in Canada for almost two centuries, baseball reached its golden age in the 1990s, when Toronto Blue Jays won two World Baseball Series, in 1992 and 1993. In the same decade, two players made history. Ferguson Jenkins was the first Canadian voted into the Hall of Fame, in 1991. Six year later, Larry Walker was the first Canadian to receive the most valuable player award in the Major League Baseball.
The legend even says that the first game very similar to baseball was played in Ontario, and not in the United States, on 4th of June 1838.
Soccer is the most famous sport in the world and is gaining a lot of ground in the past decades in Canada also. Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Montreal Impact play in Major League Soccer, with the Toronto-based team winning the championship in 2017 and finishing second in 2019.
The men’s national team won two CONCACAF championships, in 1985 and 2000, to play in the World Cup 1986 and Confederations Cup 2001, where they drew with Brazil, the winners of the World Cup in the next year. The women’s team won the Bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, and participated in six World Cups.
Another game founded by Canadians, basketball, has its roots in 1891, when the physical education instructor James Naismith introduced this game to the world.
More than a century later, the Toronto Raptors are playing in the best championship of the world, the NBA, being the only team outside the United States to have won it, in 2019. They are leading their Atlantic division this year also, having already clinched a playoff spot.
Lacrosse is the official summer sport in Canada, and one of the two national sports. The men’s and women’s national teams are the best in the world, along with those from United States. The national team won the World Lacrosse Championship in 2006, defeating the United States.
With a history dating back in the 17th century, lacrosse is still very popular in Canada, being another sport which may have originated here. Also, the first ever governing body of sport was the National Lacrosse Association of Canada, in 1867.
1. Ice Hockey
The other national sport of Canada – and the most popular one – is ice hockey. The modern form of this sport was founded here, in the 19th century, and the Stanley Cup originates in Canada also. The country has seven teams in the National Hockey League, along the American ones. The men’s national team ranks first in the world, while the women’s is second in its ranking. The first every hockey game was played on Canadian soil, 145 years ago.