Sports in Canada

Автор работы: Пользователь скрыл имя, 27 Февраля 2013 в 19:14, реферат

Краткое описание

Sports in Canada consists of a wide variety of games. There are many contests that Canadians value, the most common are ice hockey, lacrosse, Canadian football, basketball, soccer, curling and baseball, with ice hockey and lacrosse being the official winter and summer sports, respectively.

Вложенные файлы: 1 файл

Sports in Canada.doc

— 76.50 Кб (Скачать файл)

Sports in Canada consists of a wide variety of games. There are many contests that Canadians value, the most common are ice hockey, lacrosse, Canadian football, basketball, soccer, curling and baseball, with ice hockey and lacrosse being the official winter and summer sports, respectively.

Ice hockey, referred to as simply "hockey", is Canada's most prevalent winter sport, its most popular spectator sport, and its most successful sport in international competition. It is Canada's official national winter sport. Lacrosse, a sport with Native American origins, is Canada's oldest and official summer sport. Canadian football is Canada's second most popular spectator sport, and the Canadian Football League's annual championship, the Grey Cup, is the country's largest annual sports event. While other sports have a larger spectator base, Association football, known in Canada as soccer in both English and French, has the most registered players of any team sport in Canada. Professional teams exist in many cities in Canada. Statistics Canada reports that the top ten sports that Canadians participate in are golf, ice hockey, swimming, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, skiing (downhill and alpine), cyclingand tennis.

As a country with a generally cool climate, Canada has enjoyed greater success at the Winter Olympics than at the Summer Olympics, although significant regional variations in climate allow for a wide variety of both team and individual sports. Major multi-sport events in Canada include the 2010 Winter Olympics. Great achievements in Canadian sports are recognized by Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, while the Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded annually to Canada's top athlete by a panel of journalists. There are numerous other Sports Halls of Fames in Canada.

Official sports

Since its founding, Canada's official sport was lacrosse. In 1994, First Nations groups objected to a government bill that proposed establishing ice hockey as Canada's national sport, arguing that it neglected recognition of the game of lacrosse, a uniquely Native contribution. In response, the House of Commons amended a bill "to recognize hockey as Canada's Winter Sport and lacrosse as Canada's Summer Sport," although lacrosse is played all year, in all seasons, indoor and outdoors. On May 12, 1994 the National Sports of Canada Act came into force with these designations.

Ice hockey

The modern form of ice hockey began in Canada in the late 19th century, and is widely considered Canada's national pastime, with high levels of participation by children, men and women at various levels of competition. The Stanley Cup, considered the premiere trophy in professional ice hockey, originated in Canada in 1893. Prominent trophies for national championships in Canada are the Memorial Cup for the top junior-age men's team and theAllan Cup for the top men's senior team. There are national championships in several other divisions of play. Hockey Canada is the sport's official governing body in Canada and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). A Canadian national men's team, composed of professionals, competes in the annual IIHF Men's World Championship and in the Olympics.

In terms of spectators, the most popular league is the professional National Hockey League, which has seven teams in Canada: the Calgary Flames,Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and the Winnipeg Jets. The Canadian NHL presence peaked with eight teams in the mid-1990s, before the Quebec Nordiques relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1995 and a previous incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 1996. The NHL returned to Winnipeg in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated and became the current Jets. The league, founded in Canada, retains a substantial Canadian content as roughly half of its players are Canadian. Hockey Night in Canada is a longtime national Saturday night television broadcast featuring Canadian NHL teams. Junior-age ice hockey is also a popular spectator sport. The junior-age Canadian Hockey League is broadcast nationally and its annual championship is a popular television event. The annual IIHF Men's Junior World Championship, played during December and January, is popular among Canadian television viewers and has been held in Canada numerous times due to its popularity.


The First Nations began playing the sport more than 500 years ago. Today lacrosse not only remains an integral part of native culture, but is played by tens of thousands of people across Canada and the north eastern United States. From its origin as 'The Creator's Game' to the overwhelming popularity of the Toronto Rock and the modern game, lacrosse has survived the test of time after treading down a long, controversial path that led it to become recognized as Canada's official national sport.

The Canadian Lacrosse Association, founded in 1925, is the governing body of lacrosse in Canada. It conducts national junior and senior championship tournaments for men and women in both field and box lacrosse. It also participated in the inaugural World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in 2003. TheNational Lacrosse League is a professional box lacrosse league, with franchises in Canada and the United States. The 2006 World Lacrosse Championship was held in London, Ontario. Canada beat the United States 15-10 in the final to break a 28-year U.S. winning streak. One of the best lacrosse players of all time, Gary Gait was born in Victoria, British Columbia and has won every possible major lacrosse championship. Great achievements in Canadian Lacrosse are recognized by the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. In the 2002-2003 season, the Roughnecks enhanced their record to 9-7, with a very successful 6-2 record at home. Leading the team with 63 points was Tracey Kelusky. Close behind him was Kaleb Toth with 61 points. Before the season started Brad Banister promised the fans the playoffs and they were successful in achieving this goal. They travelled to Buffalo for the first playoff game in franchise history. The team lost 16-9 against theBuffalo Bandits to get knocked out of the playoffs.

The Roughnecks continued their improvement in the 2003-2004 season with a record of 10-6. Lewis Ratcliff lead the team with 71 points. Tracey Kelusky finished second with 69. Again Banister predicted a playoff entry and this time he predicted a home game to boot. Finishing third in the West the only way to get a home playoff game was to meet the third place team from the East. In the playoffs, the Roughnecks beat the San Jose Stealth15-14 on the road to advance to the conference final. Again on the road, the Roughnecks beat the Colorado Mammoth with a final score of 13-11. On May 7, 2004, the Roughnecks hosted the championship game against the Buffalo Bandits, who had knocked them out of the playoff the previous year. Calgary won the Champion's Cup by beating the Bandits 14-11 in front of a home crowd of 19,289 in the Pengrowth Saddledome.

For the 2004-2005 season former Roughneck player and assistant coach Dave Bremner was hired as General Manager.

The Roughnecks hosted the 2005 NLL All Star Game on February 26, 2005. This was the first NLL game televised nationally in the United States; it was broadcast on NBC. Roughnecks' captain Kelusky took home the Most Valuable Player award as the East beat the West in an 11-10 overtime win. The 2005 season saw the Roughnecks come in first place in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history. This garnered them a bye in the first round of the playoffs. On April 30, they hosted the Arizona Sting for the conference title and lost with a score of 19-15.


While Association football (soccer) has been played in Canada since 1876, the Dominion of Canada Football Association was inaugurated on May 24, 1912 and initially became a member of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association on Dec. 31, 1912. Today, Canada's governing body for Association Football (both professional and amateur) is known as the Canadian Soccer Association.

Canada's annual professional competition is known as the Amway Canadian Championship. The four competing teams are Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Impact de Montréal, and FC Edmonton. The national champion qualifies for CONCACAF Champions League from which a confederation champion then qualifies for the annual FIFA Club World Cup.

In league competition, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Impact de Montréal all play in the USA-based Major League Soccer. FC Edmonton, meanwhile, plays in the USA-based North American Soccer League.

Canada's best footballers - male and female - play in professional leagues around the world. Players are called into the national program at different times of the year, primarily in conjunction with the FIFA International Calendar (when professional clubs are required to release players for national duty).

Canada's national teams compete in CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. Canada's national "A" team has won two CONCACAF championships: in 1985 to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and in 2000 to qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Canada's women's "A" team has also won two CONCACAF championships: in 1998 and 2010. The Canadian women have participated in five FIFA Women's World Cups (Sweden 1995, USA 1999, USA 2003, China 2007 and Germany 2011) and two Women's Olympic Football Tournaments (Beijing 2008 and London 2012), winning a bronze medal in London. Canada will also host the next FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015. The country has also hosted three age-grade World Cups—the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1987 (when the age limit was 16 instead of the current 17), the inaugural FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2002 (when the age limit was 19 instead of 20), and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007. The U-20 Women's World Cup will return to Canada in 2014.

While Association football (soccer) has been played in Canada since 1876, the Dominion of Canada Football Association was inaugurated on May 24, 1912 and initially became a member of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association on Dec. 31, 1912. Today, Canada's governing body for Association Football (both professional and amateur) is known as the Canadian Soccer Association.

Soccer is the highest participation sport in Canada, with 847,616 registered players (according to the Canada Soccer 2012 Yearbook). Male/female participation is split roughly 59/41 percent. There are 1,456 clubs in 139 districts across 12 regions (provincial and territory member associations).

Canada's annual amateur competition is known as the National Championships. Senior men's teams play for The Challenge Trophy while senior women's teams play for The Jubilee Trophy. The men's national competition was first played in 1913, with the trophy (Connaught Cup) donated by Canadian Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught. The women's national competition was first played in 1982.

The Canadian Soccer Association's annual National Championships also feature competitions at the U-18, U-16 and U-14 levels. At all levels, clubs qualify for the National Championships through their respective provincial championships.

From 1967 to 1988, Canada's best men's amateur footballers also participated in Olympic Qualifying tournaments (although in the 1980s a number of those players were indeed professional). Canada qualified as host of the Montréal 1976 Olympics and then again for the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics (where it finished fifth overall). Since the early 1990s, the Men's Olympic Qualifying tournaments have featured U-23 footballers (with a mix of professional and amateur/university players).

At the St. Louis 1904 Olympics, Canada won the gold medal in Association Football. The Canadian team was represented by Galt FC of Ontario.


The world's first documented baseball game took place in Beachville, Ontario on June 4, 1838. Although more strongly associated with the United States, baseball has existed in Canada from the very beginning. The world's oldest baseball park still in operation is Labatt Park in London, Ontario. It is home to the London Majors of the semi-pro Intercounty Baseball League and the London Rippers of the Frontier League.

The Toronto Blue Jays are Canada's only Major League Baseball team, founded in 1977. The Montreal Expos club played in Montreal from 1969 until 2004 when they moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The Blue Jays were the first non-American team to host a World Series Game (in 1992) and the only non-American team to win the World Series (back to back in 1992 and 1993). The Blue Jays had the highest attendance in Major League Baseball during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Professional baseball has a long history in Canada, beginning with teams such as the London Tecumsehs, Montreal Royals, and Toronto Maple Leafs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All three were included on the National Baseball Association's top 100 minor league teams.

A number of Canadians have played in the major leagues, and several have won the highest honours in baseball. Ferguson Jenkins won the National League Cy Young Award in 1971 as the best pitcher in the league, and in 1991 became the first Canadian inducted in the (U.S.) Baseball Hall of Fame.Larry Walker was National League MVP for the 1997 season and was the league's batting champion 3 times. Since 2000, Éric Gagné won the National League Cy Young Award in 2003, Jason Bay was the first Canadian to be named rookie of the year in 2004, and Justin Morneau (American League, 2006) and Joey Votto (National League, 2010) have won MVP honours.

Canada participated in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, in which it upset Team USA in first-round play, which some people in Canada call the "Miracle on Dirt" (a play on the phrase "Miracle on Ice" for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team). There are a number of minor league, semi-professional and collegiate baseball teams in Canada (see List of baseball teams in Canada). Great achievements in Canadian baseball are recognized by theCanadian Baseball Hall of Fame.


In Canada, the term "football" is used to refer to a version of Gridiron football with several significant rule differences from the version played in the USA, hence it is known as Canadian football. The first documented football game was played at University College, University of Toronto on November 9, 1861. One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was (Sir) William Mulock, later Chancellor of the school. A football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear.

In 1864, at Trinity College, Toronto, F. Barlow Cumberland and Frederick A. Bethune devised rules based on rugby football. However, modern Canadian football is widely regarded as having originated with a game of rugby played in Montreal, in 1865, when British Army officers played local civilians. The game gradually gained a following, and the Montreal Football Club was formed in 1868, the first recorded non-university football club in Canada.

Both the Canadian Football League (CFL), the sport's only professional league, and Football Canada, the governing body for amateur play, trace their roots to 1884 and the founding of the Canadian Rugby Football Union. Currently active teams such as the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Catshave similar longevity. The CFL's championship game, the Grey Cup, is the country's single largest sporting event and is watched by nearly one third of Canadian television households. The eight Canadian football teams are the B.C. Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Montreal Alouettes.


Basketball was invented by a Canadian named James Naismith while teaching in Massachusetts. Most of the players in that very first basketball game were students from Quebec. Basketball has been part of Canada's sporting landscape ever since.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) recognizes its first ever game as being a contest between the New York Knickerbockers and Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946. The NBA expanded into Canada in 1995 with the addition of the Toronto Raptors andVancouver Grizzlies. The Grizzlies moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001, but the Raptors continue to draw healthy crowds at the Air Canada Centre. The 2005 and 2006 NBA MVP, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash, is from Victoria, British Columbia and has played in international competitions for Canada's national team.

Eight Canadians—five born in the country, two naturalized, and one U.S.-born dual citizen—were on NBA rosters at the start of the 2012–13 season. The Canadian-born players are Montreal natives Joel Anthony and Kris Joseph, respectively with the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics; Toronto nativeCory Joseph with the San Antonio Spurs; Brampton native Tristan Thompson with the Cleveland Cavaliers; and Mississauga native Andrew Nicholsonwith the Orlando Magic. The naturalized Canadians are the South Africa-born Nash and Samuel Dalembert of the Milwaukee Bucks, born in Haiti and raised in Montreal. The remaining Canadian, Robert Sacre of the Lakers, was born in Baton Rouge to an American father and Canadian mother and raised in North Vancouver.

Amateur sports

Canadian athletes are world-ranked in many amateur sports. These include the 'winter' sports of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, speed skatingand biathlon. In ice hockey, Canada supports national teams in under-20 and under-18 categories. In 'summer' sports, Canadians participate in rugby, soccer, track and field among most sports presented in the Summer Olympics. There are sports federations for most sports in Canada. Funding for amateur athletics is provided by governments, private companies and individual citizens through donation.

Team sports

Basketball has very strong roots in Canada. The inventor, James Naismith, was Canadian; born in Almonte, Ontario, he was working as a physical education instructor in Massachusetts when he created the game in 1891. As many as 10 of the players in that first game were Canadian students from Quebec.

Basketball is a popular sport in parts of Canada, especially in Nova Scotia, Southern Alberta, and more recently Southern Ontario.

The popularity of basketball in Nova Scotia is at the high school and college level. Nova Scotia is home to three perennially strong college basketball programs. Saint Mary's University, Acadia University, and St. Francis Xavier University have made 22, 21, and 13 appearances in the Canadian University championship, respectively. Carleton University has dominated the Canadian University championship in recent years, winning six titles in seven years from 2003 to 2009.

Four Canadian-born individuals have been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame—Naismith and longtime U.S. college coach and instructor Pete Newell as contributors; Ernie Quigley, who officiated over 1,500 U.S. college games, as a referee; and Bob Houbregs, a superstar at the University of Washington in the early 1950s who went on to a career in the NBA. Newell is also separately recognized by the Hall as the head coach of the 1960 USA Olympic team, which won a gold medal in overwhelming fashion and was inducted as a unit in 2010.


While Canada is not sanctioned to play Test matches, the national team does take part in One Day International (ODI) matches (there are a few grounds in Canada that are sanctioned to host ODI's by the International Cricket Council or ICC) and also in first-class games (in the ICC Intercontinental Cup) against other non-Test-playing opposition, with the rivalry against the United Statesbeing as strong in cricket as it is in other team sports. The match between these two nations is in fact the oldest international fixture in cricket, having first been played in 1844. This international fixture even predates the Olympics by over 50 years.

The most famous Canadian cricketer is John Davison, who was born in Canada and participated in the Cricket World Cup in both 2003 and 2007. At the 2003 World Cup, Davison hit the fastestcentury in tournament history against the West Indies in what was ultimately a losing cause. In that World Cup he also smashed a half-century at a strike rate of almost 200 against New Zealand. One year later, in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against the USA, he proved the difference between the two sides, taking 17 wickets for 137 runs as well as scoring 84 runs of his own. In the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, Davison scored the second-fastest half-century against New Zealand. Canada has participated in the 1979, 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups. It also participated most recently in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011.

Canada Senior Men's team qualified in April 2009 at the ICC World Cup qualifier held in South Africa to compete in 2011 World Cup, their third World Cup appearance in a row.

Curling is most popular in the prairie provinces with the most competitive teams in recent years coming from the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba. However, curling has a degree of popularity across the country. For example, a team from Quebec, which is not a traditional hotbed of curling, won the Tim Hortons Brier (national men's championship) in 2006. The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is the national women's championship. The Canadian Curling Association is the sport's national governing body; great achievements are recognized by the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.


Canada has around 13,000 seniors and twice as many junior players spread across the country. Many of these come from Canada's rugby stronghold ofBritish Columbia while also being strong in Newfoundland and Ontario. The leading domestic competition is the Americas Rugby Championship (ARC), a competition sponsored by the sport's world governing body, the International Rugby Board, in which four regionally-based Canadian teams take part in the opening phase, with the top two teams advancing to a four-team playoff with teams from Argentina and the United States. When the ARC was established in 2009, the sport's domestic governing body, Rugby Canada, scrapped its previous national competition, the Rugby Canada Super League, in favour of a new national under-20 league, the Rugby Canada National Junior Championship. Also in 2009, Rugby Canada entered into a partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union by which the new Welsh regional side RGC 1404, created to develop the sport in North Wales, would also include a number of young Canadian players.

The Canadian national side have competed in every Rugby World Cup to date yet have only won one match each tournament with the exception of the 1991 tournament where they reached the quarter finals and the 2007 tournament when their best result was a draw against Japan in the group stage.

Highlights include famous victories over Scotland and Wales, and regular wins over their North American neighbours, the United States. Known for their trademark "hard nosed" style of play, many Canadian players play their trade professionally in English and French leagues.

Individual sports


The Canadian Grand Prix Formula One auto race had been conducted every year since 1967, and since 1978 had been held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, apart from 2009 when the race was not on the FIA calendar for one year. The track was named for Canada's first Grand Prix driver, the late Gilles Villeneuve, whose son, Jacques, won the Formula One World championship in 1997.

Several Canadians have starred in American Championship Car Racing, most notably Jacques Villeneuve, who won the 1995 CART championship andIndianapolis 500 before moving to Formula One, and Paul Tracy, who captured the 2003 CART title and collected 31 race wins. Races were held inMont-Tremblant and Mosport road courses and in street circuits in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton. In 2008, Champ Car merged with its long-time rival, the Indy Racing League, under the banner of the latter body's top series, the IndyCar Series. The Edmonton was transferred over to the new series immediately, and the Toronto event was added for 2009.

Информация о работе Sports in Canada