46 sports names in Spanish
Published on September 5, 2023 / Updated on October 11, 2023
The whole world is wild about sports. But do you know all the different sports names in Spanish? Can you chat with other sports fans or play sports with your Spanish-speaking friends? No need to worry. We’ve got you covered.
Sports names in Spanish can range from obvious cognates to new words that seem to come out of left field (that’s a béisbol reference). You already know why this vocabulary is important. People in the United States say “soccer,” while the rest of the world calls it football. Many sports names in Spanish, such as fútbol, are fairly clear to any listener. But what about a sport like baloncesto (basketball)? Let’s get into the names of sports in Spanish so you can talk about last night’s big game with ease.
Even between British and American English, sports names can vary. What’s “football” in England is “soccer” in the United States. This is all to say that using different vocabulary in different countries is natural. The same is true for sports names in Spanish.
Let’s start with a basic list of sports names in Spanish. Below, we include the article in Spanish (el or la) to help you learn not only the word but its gender, too. In English, we don’t say “the basketball,” so we have omitted those articles.
|el fútbol americano
|los deportes de motor
|los bolosel boliche
las damas Inglesas
|el hockey sobre hielo
|el hockey sobre patines
|el hockey sobre césped
saltar de paracaídas
|el ciclismo de ruta
|el ciclismo de pista
|el ciclismo de montaña
|el tiro con arco
|el tenis de mesa
el ping pong
|la lucha grecorromana
andar en patineta
patinar en skate
ride a skateboard
skate on a skateboard
levantamiento de pesas
Different countries sometimes have different sports names in Spanish. In Mexico, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear baloncesto (basketball). Most people call it el básquet, the shortened version of básquetbol. Same with el fut or el box.
El fútbol americano (American football) is not unheard of in Mexico, as well. If you move to Mexico, you probably won’t be playing full-contact American football. Instead, you’ll probably play el tocho bandera or tochito (flag football).
Another special sport in Mexico is lucha libre, or Mexican wrestling, in which colorful characters wear their trademark brightly colored face masks. Lucha libre is fought between the heroes (técnicos) and the villains (rudos). Whether you believe the fighting is real or staged, the athleticism required for the high-flying moves is impressive. Lucha libre is a treasured national pastime in Mexico and fans go absolutely wild for it.
When using these sports names in Spanish, you’ll typically pair them with the verb jugar (to play) or hacer (to do). For example:
Some sports use the verb form of the word, such as surfear (to surf), bucear (to dive) and correr (to run). To use these sports in a sentence, conjugate the verb as you would normally.
Here’s more on how to talk about fútbol, the beautiful game.
Whether you’re talking about a pro soccer game or playing sports yourself, every sports fan needs sports names in Spanish in order to chat. Sports are a great way to make friends and learn about local culture. Sports topics even come up in business meetings. You don’t need to memorize a bunch of statistics, but you should know the basic vocabulary. With these sports names in Spanish, you can talk about your hobbies and meet new people at the next big game.