46 sports names in Spanish

46 sports names in Spanish

by Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Updated September 6, 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. 

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A list of sports in Spanish

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 baloncesto
el básquetbol
el fútbol americanoAmerican football
el béisbolbaseball
el fútbolsoccer/football
los deportes de motor
el automovilismo
motor sports
car racing
el motociclismomotorcycle racing
el billar
la carambola
los bolosel bolichebowling
el ajedrezchess

las damas Inglesas
los eSports
los ciberdeportes
el hockey sobre hieloice hockey
el hockey sobre patinesroller hockey
el hockey sobre céspedfield hockey
el handballel balonmanohandball
la nataciónswimming
el boxeoboxing
el kickboxingkickboxing
el paracaidismo
saltar de paracaídas
la gimnasiagymnastics
el tenistennis
el sófbolsoftball
el críquetcricket
el ciclismo de rutaroad cycling
el ciclismo de pistatrack cycling
el ciclismo de montañamountain biking
el vóleibolvolleyball
el golfgolf
el tiro con arcoarchery
el tenis de mesa
el ping pong
table tennis
el triatlóntriathlon
la esgrimafencing
la lucha grecorromanaGreco-Roman wrestling
la/el yogayoga
el esquískiing
hacer surfsurfearsurfing
el snowboardingsnowboarding
el cámping
el campismo
el senderismo
el trekking
la danzadancing
el skateboarding
andar en patineta
patinar en skate
ride a skateboard
skate on a skateboard
hacer pesas
levantamiento de pesas
weight lifting
los dardosdarts

The names for sports in Mexican Spanish

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.

How to use sports names in Spanish

When using these sports names in Spanish, you’ll typically pair them with the verb jugar (to play) or hacer (to do). For example:

  • Juego ajedrez con mis amigas. (I play chess with my friends.)
  • Hago natación tres veces por semana. (I go swimming three times per week.)

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.

  • Surfeamos en Nicaragua. (We surf in Nicaragua.)
  • He buceado en el Caribe. (I have gone diving in the Caribbean Sea.)
  • Ella corre cada mañana. (She runs every morning.)

Here’s more on how to talk about fútbol, the beautiful game. 

Talk sports using sports names in Spanish

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.

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Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Turkish. Her consulting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.

Alison Maciejewski Cortez
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