If there is one thing that is iconic about America and one thing that you won’t be able to get away from when relocating to the U.S., it is the love and passion for American sports. Whether it’s basketball, baseball, American football or NASCAR racing, there’s plenty of sports to keep anyone occupied. If you’re thinking about moving to the U.S., it’s important to get an understanding of American culture to help you to integrate. Our orientation tour can help give you all of the information you need to know about the area you’re moving to, as well as the local sports teams.
Athletes in America are generally prepped from a young age, and the excitement that surrounds college leagues across basketball and American football is unlike any other country. Sometimes, college leagues are preferred to professional leagues, and most major professional teams head-hunt their up and coming players from these leagues. Previously, athletes were considered to be models for American youth and sports were originally regarded as moral builders. Tailgating is a popular tradition that takes place before sporting games, to get people excited and to eat local dishes. People tailgate in the parking lots of stadiums, and this tends to be a huge part of American football experience.
American Football is very much unlike what you would imagine football to be like in the rest of the world (which in America is known as soccer). American football is played by two teams of eleven players, who aim to control an oval-shaped football and score points through touch-downs or kicking the ball through the opponent’s goal posts. The nature of the game is very much like rugby, with more defensive padding and helmets. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes played the sport. The most popular American football league is known as the National Football League (NFL) and its championship game, the Super Bowl, is one of the most watched sporting events in the world.
American football even has its own culture. Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays during the fall and winter months tend to revolve around football. Children start playing the sport at a young age, with Pee Wee or Pop Warner football leagues, and scouting for school teams starts early. At high school level, American football becomes very competitive with private schools offering scholarships to athletes. This continues into the university level and the NCAA regulates this tightly. American football culture also includes large marching band and cheerleaders, and schools tend to have their own songs in order to rally support from the fans.
Baseball is a bat and ball game played by two teams of nine players, who take turns to bat and field. The aim of the game is to score as many runs as possible (a run is scored when a player runs around four bases and returns back to the home plate). The game was widely known as the national sport of the United States and professional Major League Baseball (MLB) is split off into the National League and America League. Other countries that also play baseball regularly include Japan, Cuba and Canada. Not only is baseball a popular sport however, it has also dramatically impacted on popular culture in the U.S., with the baseball cap becoming a popular fashion item throughout the world.
Baseball is literally known as America’s favourite pastime, with almost every American being able to sing ‘Take me out to the ball game’, which is sung at every professional baseball game.
The original American Basketball Association was founded in 1967 and was a basketball league that set the standard for America’s love of basketball. Now, the official major-league professional basketball league is known as the National Basketball Association (NBA), and it is considered the highest level of professional basketball in the world. Some of the biggest names in American basketball include Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Walt Frazier. The sport is now played by over 250 million people across the world, and draws a huge following. Since its popularity in the Olympics, basketball is now the second most popular team sport in the world, behind football (soccer).