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Top 5 Most-Played Sports That Make Canada Proud

Canadian player cheering with hockey stickSource: NHL

In the land of the maple leaf and red-coated Mounties, many automatically link Canada to hockey. While hockey is the most-played and best beloved sport of Canadians, the upper North American country has a few other games up their sleeves. Discover the top five sports most played in Canada with our list from Spin Casino. Once you get in the competitive mood, try your hand at our casino games to win your own championship jackpot.

Hockey

While it’s no surprise that hockey ranks as the number one sport in Canada, no one can blame the country for being so proud. Hockey is truly Canada’s sport. Beginning in the 19th century, Canada’s love affair with hockey has only grown throughout the decades. The sport is governed by Hockey Canada, which is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Major national championships include the Memorial Cup, offered for junior players, and the Allan Cup, reserved for senior participants.

The ice hockey league, known as the National Hockey League (NHL), includes teams from both the United States and Canada. In Canada, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Winnipeg all have NHL teams. The Canadian Hockey National Team regularly competes at the Olympics. Notable Canadian hockey players include Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux (who were both centermen) and Patrick Roy, a goaltender. Many others have forged the history of hockey with their influence.

Lacrosse

Lacrosse is every bit as much of a bona fide Canadian product as hockey is. Originally invented by Algonquian Native Americans in the 1600s, Canada declared it officially their national game in 1859. It became a Canadian summer sport in 1994. Today, thousands of people across the country play the game, making way for senior and junior championship tournaments in both field and box lacrosse. Box lacrosse is played indoors on an ice hockey rink that has had the ice removed or covered, whereas field lacrosse is played outside in a field.

Governed by the Canadian Lacrosse Association, two professional lacrosse leagues exist today. The National Lacrosse League represents the box lacrosse and the Major League Lacrosse represents field lacrosse. Canada showed their fierce skills in 2006, beating the US 15-10 in the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship after the US had maintained a 28-year winning streak.

Two lacrosse players sparringSource: Independent Sports News

Football

Although football in Canada has its roots in rugby football, the sport has developed into its own version known as Canadian football. Two teams of twelve players each play for territorial control of an oval-shaped ball, similar to the parameters set by American football. The biggest difference between Canadian and American football is the size of the field. Canadian football fields are 110 yards long and 65 yards wide. Goal posts are also placed at the front, instead of the back of the end zone.

The professional league is known as the Canadian Football League, or CFL. Among many football events, the Grey Cup is highly anticipated and attracts millions of fans in the stands and those huddled around their televisions. The CFL is comprised of nine teams, including the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal Alouettes, Ottawa Redblacks, Toronto Argonauts, BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Baseball

Baseball is another elemental sport in Canada. Played in the country since its inception as a sport, the oldest baseball park in the world actually exists in Labatt Park in Ontario. However, today the country has only one Major League team – the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays compete as part of the Major League Baseball (MLB) and compete with American teams. In 1992 they claimed Canada’s first World Series title and became the first (and only) team outside the US to win the championship.

Beyond the Major league, several independent league teams play in the Can-Am League and American Association. Canadian baseball is governed by Baseball Canada in Ottawa. The national baseball team frequently represents Canada at international-level competitions.

Blue Jays player pitchingSource: Matt Slocum/The Associated Press

Cricket

Canada has a long history with cricket. In 1844 Canada and the United States played in the first international cricket match ever held, hosted in New York City. The next team Canada would face (other than the U.S.) in an international match would be Australia in 1932. By 1968 Cricket Canada took over governing the national team and brought them to many wins.

Against ICC (International Cricket Council) members, the team’s first major tournament was in 1979 at the ICC Trophy in England. There they qualified for the 1979 World Cup, during which they placed second to Sri Lanka. Canada qualified for their next World Cup in 2003. Today, the national team continues to participate in One Day International Day matches. Canada also has a competitive women’s team who won the ICC Americas Championship in 2007, among other wins.

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