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Sports in Canada

Updated: Mar 5

Canada is a sporting country and offers many disciplines, summer and winter. Skiing, canoeing, baseball, basketball, football (soccer), etc. The list goes on, and exercise fans are sure to find plenty to choose from. I suggest here that you take a look at, particularly popular and typical Canadian sports.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is considered to be Canada's official sport. Practiced by both men and women, it is a discipline that everyone enjoys. Particularly popular during the winter, the practice of ice hockey has become widely democratized throughout the year.

In Canada, hockey is a real institution. Opinions differ somewhat as to its origins, but it was in the 19th century that it started to be played as a sport and no longer just as a game.

This national winter sport is played on a fitted ice rink, with two teams of 6 players each (3 forwards, 2 defenders and 1 goalkeeper). The game takes place in 3 periods of 20 minutes (5 additional minutes if the score is zero). It is played with equipment consisting primarily of ice-skates, a stick and pucks. The goal is to get as many "pucks" as possible into the opposing team's goal.

Hockey is therefore, you will understand, one of the favourite Canadian sports in the country. Canadians are scrambling to watch games live in arenas or to watch their broadcasts in bars. On the other hand, if you choose the latter option, it is better to go a few hours earlier because it quickly crowds.

The season runs from the end of September to May. Even though games are usually quite expensive, it is worth attending, if only for the atmosphere.


Almost as popular as hockey, lacrosse is one of the Canadian sports that are played in the summer. It was originally practised by the First Nations and became very popular in the 19th century. Lacrosse is played primarily in the United States and Canada, which have some of the best teams in the world.

This sport is played with a stick (a stick at the end of which is a net). The goal is to catch, pass and carry a rubber ball to score goals for the opposing team. There are different types of sticks:

  • Men's field lacrosse: it is practiced outdoors, on the grass and includes 2 teams of 10 players (three forwards, three midfielders, three defenders and a goalie). A match lasts 80 minutes divided into 20-minute quarters. It is a contact sport requiring special equipment and protection (a bit like hockey or American football).

  • Women's field lacrosse: it is practiced outdoors, on the grass, and includes 2 teams of 12 players. It is played without contact, so the equipment is lighter. Each match lasts 60 minutes (2 halves of 30 minutes).

  • Box lacrosse: it is played indoors, usually in hockey arenas that are not used during the summer. The surface can be cement or synthetic turf. It includes 2 teams of 6 players and each match lasts 60 minutes (20-minute third time).

The game is particularly dynamic, and the scores climb rapidly as teams are required to shoot on goal every 30 seconds.

Separate championships are organized for each discipline, with professional Canadian and American teams. It is one of the Canadian sports that is also played in many universities.

Canadian Football

It's not always easy to navigate the different types of football that exist. So yes, there is Canadian football. We also find a lot in common with American football, but also with rugby. However, it is a particularly physical contact sport.

It is played in a team of 12 players. The game consists of bringing the oval ball into the opposing end zone, located at the end of the field.

There are different ways to score points. The ball can be carried to be advanced, or thrown to one of the players of the same team.

The game lasts 60 minutes, divided into 15-minute quarters. Only 3 tries are allowed to cover the regulation 10 yards (9.14 m) in each series of play (unlike the 4 tries with American football).


Did you know that the inventor of basketball was a Canadian? James Naismith was a teacher in Massachusetts in 1891 when he invented the sport, but he was no less Canadian by birth.

We do not know the exact number of licensees, but we do know that this number is increasing by more than 10% each season, which is more important than the growth of new licensees in hockey in the country.

Today, Canada is among the best nations in the world in basketball, in both men and women, winning several Paralympic Championships and World Championships.

Football (soccer)

It's a very popular discipline in Canada. The Canadian women's football team also stands out for its many victories.

In North America, we do not talk about football but soccer, nothing changes except the name, the rules, and everything that accompanies this sport remains identical to football.

Just like in the United States, football is strongly developed on the female side.

Football, on the other hand, has more registered players than any other sporting activity in Canada.


Immigration has been of paramount importance in the development of some sports in Canada, and curling is a good example. It was the Scottish soldiers who brought curling to North America. It quickly flourished, not the least thanks to the enthusiasm of the Scottish community.

In curling, two teams of four players face each other and attempt to place stones to the closest centre of a target drawn on the ice.

The popularity of curling still rests today on the Canadian winter climate, but also the traditions of the game and the generous donations of influential patrons.


Ringette was a derivative of hockey. Like hockey, it is a team sport that is played on an ice rink and with skates.

Today, ringette is played in the majority of major sporting countries and in Canada, there are 30,000 players.

Ringette is a winter sport that is played on skates on a normal ice rink. There is also an indoor version. Players use a straight stick with a tapered end. Plastic or metal tip grooves are designed to increase the power and velocity of the wrist shot. The ring is made of plastic. Intentional physical contact is prohibited, and the regulations make it a very dynamic sport.

Ringette emphasizes skill and skills as a skater. A player cannot cross the blue line in possession of the ring. At the end of the zone, there cannot be more than three players in addition to the goalkeeper. Team spirit is therefore essential, and players must be quick and agile.

Ringette is played in all age groups at the local, regional, provincial, and university levels. There is a national junior and senior team program. It is a predominantly female sport, but a few men and boys also play it. Ringette is on the program for the Canada Winter Games.

In conclusion, this national sport is a source of pride and part of the Canadian identity. It brings everyone together and there is a strong sense of belonging to the sport among Canadians. It is present in society and the cultural aspects of the country. People are proud to be able to play this sport and to be able to show the world that they are good at it.

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