List of countries and their national games

Any sports which are designated as the national sport of a country either based on the popularity of the game or based on its historical connection from that country. In this article, we have listed the national games of many countries. This list is very useful for competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Apr 19, 2019 17:46 IST
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List of countries and their national games
List of countries and their national games
p style="text-align: justify;">A game is a structured form of play which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to the participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Any sports which are designated as the national sport of a country either based on the popularity of the game or based on its historical connect from that country. The national games of the countries are considered to be important for the country or are significant for their cultural values.

Countries and their national games


1. Afghanistan


Buzkashi is the national game of Afghanistan which is also known as Kopar, Kupari and Ulak Tartysh.




Source: www.ontravelarabia.com


National Game: Buzkashi


2. Antigua and Barbuda


It has a very rich culture which is complimented by the rich history. European sports largely influence the region and among all the sports, Cricket is the most popular among them. Hence on the basis of popularity, Cricket became national game.




Source: www.rosewoodhotels.com


National Game: Cricket


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3. Argentina


Although Argentina well known World’s is one of the best Football playing nation but Pato is the official national sport since 1953.




Source: www.argentinaindependent.com


National Game: Pato


4. Australia


Australian sports culture is one of the important features of sporting landscape. Cricket, Australian Rules football, rugby union and horse racing are among the earliest organised sports in Australia. Among all games, Cricket and Australian Rules Football (AFL) are taken as national game/ sport not only because of popularity but also its sporting history.


National Game: Cricket and Australian Rules Football (AFL)


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5. Bangladesh


Cricket, Football and Kabaddi are considered as the most popular games in Bangladesh but Kabaddi is the national game of the country.




National Game: Kabaddi


6. Barbados


Cricket is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of Barbados. Recently, government has implemented a policy of sports-based tourism. Barbados Cricket Association is the apex body to govern the cricket locally. Barbados has given famous cricketers- Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell.


National Game: Cricket


7. Bermuda


There are varieties of sports played in Bermuda but Cricket is most popular due to British influence.


National Game:  Cricket


8. Bhutan


Archery is the national sport declared by the Kingdom in 1971 when it became the member of UN. Throughout the history of Bhutan, bow and arrow were an important means of survival in the highlands during wars and hunts and also it plays a significant role in their myths and legends. For example- images of gods holding bow and arrow.




Source: www.michiganarchersassociation.com


National Game: Archery


9. Brazil


Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that is combination of dance and music, and is marked by deft, tricky movements. It is culturally significant and evolves during colonial times by slaves. It is popular not only in Brazil but also practices internationally through computer games and movies.




Source: www.youtube.com


National Game: Capoeira


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10. Bulgaria


Bulgaria is well known for its weightlifter because weightlifters won medals on almost every big weightlifting and set many world records on championships including the Olympic Games. The most distinguished weightlifters are Stefan Botev, Nikolay Peshalov, Demir Demirev and Yoto Yotov.




Source: www.olympicweightlifting.eu


National Game: Weightlifting


11. Canada


It has two national games- Ice hockey (In Winter) & Lacrosse (In Summer). National Sports of Canada Act quotes:  "Hockey and Lacrosse to be national sports. The game commonly known as ice hockey is hereby recognized and declared to be the national winter sport of Canada and the game commonly known as Lacrosse is hereby recognized and declared to be the national summer sport of Canada."


Ice Hockey


National Game: Ice hockey (In Winter) & Lacrosse (In Summer)


12. Chile


Chilean Rodeo is not only traditional sport but also national sport (declared in 1962).




Source: cdn.c.photoshelter.com


National Game: Chilean rodeo


13. China


China has not formally declared a national sport but on the basis of popularity table tennis called as national game.


Table Tennis


Source: www.languageties.com


National Game: Table Tennis


14. Cuba


Cuban sports culture is very influence from the United States of America, hence among all the sports baseball is very popular among Cuban people.


National Game: Baseball




Source: totalsportscomplex.com


15. Czech Republic


Football and Ice Hockey are the two leading sports played in the country but ice hockey draws more attention because of popularity and professional stability.


National Game: Ice Hockey


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16. Dominican Republic


Baseball is the most popular sport in the country. After the United States, it has the second-highest number of baseball players in Major League Baseball (MLB).


National Game: Baseball


17. England


Soccer is the nation’s most popular sport but Cricket is the national game not by law but de facto.


National Game: Cricket


18. France


Sports culture is very rich in France that reflected its popularity among French people and sporting history. Football became de facto national game.


National Game: Football


19. Haiti


National Game: Football


20. Hungary


Water Polo is a national game of Hungary. They are considered the world's top power in the history of water polo, having won 15 Olympic, 10 World Championship, 5 FINA World League, 8 FINA World Cup and 21 European Championship medals.


National Game: Water Polo


Water Polo


Image source: stagebanter.ca


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21. India


The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928 - 1956 when India won 6 successive gold medals in the Olympic Games. Now cricket is more popular than hockey in india.

Note: As per recent RTI, the Sports Ministry has made it clear that it has not declared any sport as national game whereas the web portal of Government National Portal of India has posted an article glorifying field hockey under the heading 'National Game'.


22. Israel


Football is the most popular sport in Israel. The sport is under the jurisdiction of the Israel Football Association. It joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954, but was booted out in 1974 due to political pressure from Arab world during the Arab–Israeli conflict.


National Game: Football


23. Italy


Football (Calcio in Italian) is a national sport of Italy and currently the second most successful football team in World Cup history, after Brazil, having won four FIFA World Cup championships.


National Game: Football


24. Indonesia


Badminton is the national game from both the participation and spectating aspect. It has won gold medals in badminton in every Olympic Games since the sport was first introduced to the Olympics in 1992 except in 2012 Summer Olympics.


National Game: Badminton




Source: sport.co.in


25. Lithuania


Basketball is the only sports which religiously followed by the people after Catholicism.


National Game: Basketball


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26. Iran


Wrestling is regarded as national game due to its long tradition and history. There are many styles of folk wrestling, from Varzesh-e Pahlavani to Zurkhaneh which have similarities with modern freestyle wrestling.


National Game: Wrestling


27. Jamaica


Sport is a significant part of Jamaican culture. It is one of the leading countries in sprinting with the current world record holder for 100m and 200m, Usain Bolt and the former 100m world record holder, Asafa Powell but on the basis of popularity, cricket is considered as national game.


National Game: Cricket


28. Japan


Sumo wrestling is considered to be country’s national sport. It is a competitive full-contact wrestling sport where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyo) or into touching the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet. The characters literally mean "striking one another".


National Game: Sumo Wrestling


Sumo Wrestling


Image source: www.bloomberg.com


29. Malaysia


Sepak Takraw is the national sport of the Malaysia. It is similar to volleyball or badminton except players cannot use their hands.


National Game: Sepak Takraw


Sepak Takraw


Source: img.antaranews.com


30. Mongolia


There are three national games of Mongolia, known locally as 'the three games- Mongolian wrestling, archery and horse riding.


National Game: Mongolian wrestling, archery and horse riding.


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31. Mauritius


The national sport of Mauritius is Football and became a member of FIFA in 1962 and Confederation of African Football in 1963.


National Game: Football


32. Mexico


The national game of Mexico is Charrería. It is a competitive event similar to rodeo and was developed from animal husbandry practices used on the haciendas of old Mexico.


National Game: Charreria




Source: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com


33. Nepal 


Dandi Biyo (similar to Indian Gilli Danda) is played with a stick about two feet long and a wooden pin about six inches long. The pin is a small wooden stick with pointed ends.


National Game: Dandi Biyo


34. New Zealand


Rugby union is the national game in New Zealand, and is popular across all sections of New Zealand society, and many New Zealanders associate it with their national identity.


National Game: Rugby union


Rugby Union


Source: www.telegraph.co.uk


35. Norway


The national sport of Norway is Cross-country skiing. It is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance.


National Game: Cross-country skiing


Cross-Country Skiing


Source: www.olympic.org


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36. Pakistan


The National game of Pakistan is Field Hockey.


National Game: Field Hockey


37. Philippines


The National game of Philippines is Arnis. It is the system of Filipino fighting arts founded by Remy Presas as a self-defense system.


National Game:  Arnis




Source: theobamaforum.com


38. Poland


National Game:  Football


39. Peru


Paleta frontón is a Peruvian sport which similar to tennis.


National Game: Paleta Fronton


Palets Fronton


Source: i.ytimg.com


40. Russia


Chess is the most popular game in Russia but Bandy (form of hockey) is considered to be national game.


National Game: Bandy


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41. Scotland


The national game of Scotland is Golf because of its origin. More than six centuries ago, the first courses and rule of the game were developed.


National Game: Golf




Source: calamigosguestranch.com


42. Serbia


The Football, basketball, volleyball and water polo are the most popular sports in Serbia but there is no official announcement for national game.


43. Slovenia


The national game of Slovenia is skiing.




Source: upload.wikimedia.org


National Game: Skiing


44. South Korea


Taekwondo is the national game because it is often claimed to have historical origins on the Korean peninsula with origins said to have been traced as far back as the 1st century BCE.


National Game: Tae-kwon-do




Source: www.darumamartialarts.com


45. SriLanka


The national sport of Sri Lanka is Volleyball. Other popular sports are water sports, badminton, athletics, football, basketball and tennis.




National Game: Volleyball


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46. Switzerland


The National game of Switzerland is Shooting and Gymnastics.


National Game: Shooting and Gymnastics


47. Tajikistan


The national sport of Tajikistan is Gushtigiri (type of wrestling).


National Game:  Gushtigiri


48. Turkey


Oil wrestling / grease wrestling is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil.


National Game: Oil wrestling


49. USA


The national game of USA is Baseball not by law but through de facto.


National Game:  Baseball


US Baseball


Source: quotezee.blogspot.com


50. Venezuela


The national game of Venezuela is Baseball. It is known to produce some of the most skilled baseball players in the world for example Luis Aparicio.


National Game: Baseball


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List of countries and their national games

Name of Countries

National Game



Antigua and Barbuda








Cricket and Australian Rules Football (AFL)





















Ice hockey (In Winter) & Lacrosse (In Summer)



Chilean rodeo



Table Tennis




Czech Republic


Ice Hockey

Dominican Republic














Water polo



Field hockey*





















Sumo Wrestling



Sepak Takraw



Mongolian wrestling, archery and horse riding.









Dandi Biyo

New Zealand


Rugby union



Cross-country skiing



Field Hockey









Paleta Frontón









Football, basketball, volleyball and water polo 




South Korea








Shooting and Gymnastics






Oil wrestling







National Game or National Sport of the country is an intrinsic part of their culture. The above list of countries and their national games is usefull for both the sports lovers and for the aspirants of different competitive examinations.

Note: Most of the countries have not declared particular sports as "National game" but on the basis of popularity, it has been informally considered as the national game.

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