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Popular Sports in New Zealand and Why People Love Em

What Are the Most Popular Sports in New Zealand?

New Zealand is clearly a nation that loves sports. Well, that is if you judge by the amount of bookmakers NZ that goes down on some of the most popular athletic competitions in the country.  

Today, we look at the most popular sports in New Zealand and why they are such. Some of these sports have been passed down generations – others have become a thing with the aggressive marketing of the sports leagues from other countries and let’s face it – the merits of the new sports.

#1 Rugby and National Rugby League

Rugby is just a national pastime. It’s been around for hundreds of years, and such people do enjoy it a great deal. One way or another rugby remains the most popular sport in the nation, because of the specific ties it builds between people in the country and the tight and inspiring communities built around the game. 

People who are new to sports may find it hard to believe that rugby is the one true unifier in New Zealand, but it’s true. The sport combines many things that are further strengthened by the social bonds that this sport creates.

#2 Cricket

There are few nations out there who can boast the same love and track record for cricket. And yet, this region seems to be dominated by countries that really don’t mind engaging in various more exotic sports – cricket is one of them. The sport is a more paced and moderate one than rugby.

Interestingly, Kiwis are great golfers too, but it seems that cricket does have the upper hand when it comes to ranking the nation’s favorite and most beloved sports. Cricketers from New Zealand are actually pretty good as well and they take on other powerhouses in the region such as Australia and India – both countries have tremendous skills in the sport, but New Zealand is just as good and that is understandably a point of national pride.

#3 Basketball

Yes, this is correct. Basketball players are quite prominent in New Zealand and so is the sport. Even though the game gathered popularity and momentum in the United States, Kiwis have been passionate followers of the game and they do share an appreciation for basketball that goes beyond simple fandom.

The game is taken seriously in the country which has many people competing or trying to compete professionally. Recreationally basketball is quite big in New Zealand just as well and this creates numerous opportunities for those who seek to connect and play basketball. Kiwis’ love for the game is undeniable and you can definitely find many people playing out in public spaces when they get a chance. 

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