- Football (Soccer) in Chile
- Baseball in Chile
- Cricket in Chile
- Volleyball in Chile
- Chilean Rodeo
- Cycling in Chile
- Golf in Chile
- Rugby union in Chile
- Roller hockey in Chile
- Weightlifting in Chile
- Fencing in Chile
- Handball in Chile
- Tennis in Chile
- Sailing in Chile
- Horse racing in Chile
- Surfing in Chile
Popular Sports in Chile Chile officially referred to as the Republic of Chile is located in South America and occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the east. It is bordered to the north by Peru, to the southeast by Bolivia, to the east by Argentina, and to the far south by the Drake Passage.
Sports are very important in Chile and both professionals and amateurs take part in them and they are also exercised at home and overseas so as to improve and develop, or to just represent the nation. The most common sport in Chile is football and people play it for different reasons. Tennis is, however, the most successful sport in the country. In the rural regions, Chilean rodeo is the most played sport in the country. This is actually the national sport and is believed to be the second most common sport after football. Chile has attained immense global success in other sports. There have also been significant people in some of these sports but most are not known to the general public because those types of sports are not that popular across the country.
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Besides football and tennis other sports in Chile include handball, baseball, basketball, cricket, polo, volleyball, rugby league, rugby union, rowing, sailing, horse racing, and cycling just to mention a few. Some of these sports will be discussed in brief below.
Football (Soccer) in Chile
Chile’s 2016 football (Soccer) team that won the American Cup over Argentina, SourceThis is the most common sport in Chile and it was introduced to the country by the British. The oldest football club in the country is the Valparaiso Football Club and it was formed in the port of Valparaiso. The organization that oversees all activities pertaining to this sport is the Federación de Fútbol de Chile and this was formed in 1895. Chilean football is presently a very strong force in Latin America. The country has two main national teams the Chile national football team and the Chile women’s national football team. Both teams represent the country in all key football competitions.
Baseball in Chile
Baseball is common mostly in the northern region of Chile. It was introduced to the country at the beginning of the 20th century and was initially played by Americans living in that area. The Japanese Sakurada later played this game in Iquique, a city that became the state champion in different events. Tocopilla town has also won the state title more than 18 successive times. Chile has also taken part in 8 South American championships and was amongst the top ten in the Junior World Championship held in Japan in 1989. This sport is played mostly in the cities of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Tocopilla, Melipilla, Santiago, Concepción, and San Antonio.
Cricket in Chile
Chile has been playing this sport since 1829. The Valparaíso Cricket Club is the first club in the country and it was created in 1860. The first global fixture Chile ever played was in 1893 and they played against Argentina. After WWII, interest in cricket decreased and it was until 2002 when Chile became a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Chile is presently a member of the ICC and has developed programs for the young. This sport is not well understood and very few people play it. It is, however, important to note that beach cricket is gaining popularity on the beaches located in the central coast during summer.
Volleyball in Chile
This sport has been played in Chile frequently from as early as the 1920s. The first tournament was held in 1932 and in 1942, the National Volleyball Association was established. Chile has not received a lot of fame in this sport since its fame in the region is periodically dominated by countries such as Argentina and Brazil which are the powerhouses when it comes to volleyball.
This is Chile’s national sport and it is played mostly in the rural regions of the country especially in the southern and central areas .It has been played for over 400 years, but it was in 1962 when it was announced as the state’s official sport by letter number 269 of the National Sports Council and the Olympic Committee of Chile. The National Championship is held annually in the Medialuna Monumental de Rancagua.
Cycling in Chile
This is among the most exercised leisure sports in Chile. Cyclists in Chile have, however, not attained a lot of success in this sport at the global level. The main state competition is the Vuelta Ciclista de Chile and in attracts participants from all across the globe.
Golf in Chile
This sport is played in every major city in southern and central Chile. Of late, the popularity of this sport has spread a lot. This sport is, however, played by the people in the upper and upper middle classes as a result of the high cost involved in participating in the sport. The main tournament played is the Chile Open.
Rugby union in Chile
Chile national rugby team, SourceThis sport has been played in the country since the 1880s and it was introduced to Chile by the British. In 1935, the country created the Chile Rugby Union. In 1942, the named was changed to the Rugby Federation of Chile. As of now, this sport is growing very fast in the country, more so in higher learning institutions. The country’s national team “The Condors” has never qualified for the world cup, but it has been ranked as number 24 in the IRB global ranking. This has made Chile the best team in the region after Argentina and Uruguay. The rugby league, on the other hand, made its debut in Chile in 2015. No games have been played at home yet but all the players meet the eligibility requirements.
Roller hockey in Chile
This sport was mainly played for recreational purposes in Chile until the 1930s. It was mostly played in the Salón Merced and Santa Licía Hill. The Santiago Association was established in 1938 and it played its first game in the Plaza de la Libertad in front of the Palacio de la Moneda. Other teams were also formed and these include the Viña del Mar Association, the Andes Association, and the Valparaíso Association. Chile has had a lot of success in this sport. In 2006, Chile won the Women’s World roller Hockey Championship after defeating Spain in the finals. In 2007, Chile also won the Roller Hockey America’s Cup and in 2011, the Pan American Ice Hockey Championship.
Weightlifting in Chile
Chile has acquired a number of medals in this sport in the Ibero American and Pan American games. The last medal that Chile won was in the Pan American Games held in 2007. The body that oversees this sport in the country is the FECHIPE.
Fencing in Chile
This sport is not very well known in the country. Chile has, however, has an extensive fencing presence in the Pan American games, the Olympic games, and the South American games.
Handball in Chile
This is not a very popular sport in Chile. It is, however, worth noting that the Chile women’s national handball team qualified for the Women’s World Handball Championship in 2009. This sport is administered by the Federación Chilena de Handball. This body, in the long run, partnered with the International Handball Federation, the Pan American Handball Federation, and the Confederación Sudamericana de Balonmano.
Tennis in Chile
Fernando Gonzalez, Chilean Tennis Pro, SourceThis is the most successful sport in Chile and it has brought a lot of joy to its fans in the country. The country’s players brought home the World Team Cup twice in a row in 2003 and 2004. The players are also paving their way in the most distinguished sports arena.
Sailing in Chile
Chile is presently among the top nations in the globe in this sport. This is mainly because of Alberto Gonzáles who has so far won 5 championships in the sport. There are, however, very few people who take part in this sport.
Horse racing in Chile
This sport developed in Chile towards the end of the 19th century. The main racetracks are the Valparaíso Sporting Club, the Hipódromo Chile, and the Club Hípico de Santiago. The main races that Chile hosts are the Chile Derby, the St. Legar Classic and the El Ensayo Classic. These three form the Triple Crown of horse racing in the country.
Surfing in Chile
Chile has numerous beaches that are conducive for surfing, particularly in the northern area that had good weather thus attracting a lot of surfers from across the globe. The Pichilemu region is situated in the southwest region of Santiago and it is the best location for surfing in the country and the town hosts the national championships every year. This region has something for everyone. Amateurs who are trying to catch their first waves can do that at the beaches of La Puntilla or Las Terrazas. Professionals, on the other hand, sport at Infiernillo, and the most experienced surfers get to sport at the Punta de Lobos. Here, the waves can reach up to 6 meters high. People can also surf at Arica, Ritoque, and Totoralillo.
There are other sports available in the country. These include swimming, snowboarding, skiing, rowing, fishing, polo, shotgun shooting, practical shooting, motorcycle racing, auto racing, boxing, gymnastics, equestrian sports, athletics, and martial arts such as karate and taekwondo.
With all these numbers of sports, one is definitely bound to find a sport or two in Chile which are of interest to him or her.