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Ever wondered what drives the passion and excitement in Finland?

It goes beyond their love for design and saunas!

While ice hockey reigns supreme, there’s more to explore.

Discover the top 11 most popular sports in Finland in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Finland:

  1. Ice Hockey
  2. Football
  3. Floorball
  4. Motorsport
  5. Bandy
  6. Skiing
  7. Pesäpallo
  8. Basketball
  9. Table Tennis
  10. Badminton
  11. Tennis

#1 Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Teemu Selänne (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 75,000

Ice hockey holds a special place in the hearts of Finns as it’s the most popular sport in the country. Fast-paced and intense, it captivates audiences and players alike.

The Liiga, Finland’s top professional league, features teams from all corners of the country battling for supremacy. Finnish legend Teemu Selänne, known as the “Finnish Flash,” is a beloved figure in the sport, having had a stellar career in the NHL.

Finland’s national team has also enjoyed success, winning multiple World Championships and Olympic medals. The thrilling rivalry with neighboring Sweden adds even more excitement to this sport’s deep cultural significance.

#2 Football

  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: Late 1800s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Jari Litmanen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 115,000

Football in Finland is immensely popular and forms a vital part of the country’s sports culture. The beautiful game attracts plenty of fans and players, with participation at various levels.

The Veikkausliiga is Finland’s highest tier of professional football, showcasing the nation’s best talent and generating excitement among supporters. Finnish footballing hero Jari Litmanen, a renowned player in the 1990s, is still an inspiration for budding footballers.

International success has been limited, but the Finnish national team’s recent qualification for the UEFA Euro 2020 has instilled newfound hope and enthusiasm in the fans, fueling the passion for football in Finland.

#3 Floorball

Floorball
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Mika Kohonen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 60,000

Floorball, a fast-growing indoor sport, has found a fanatical following in Finland. Combining elements of ice hockey and field hockey, it has quickly become a well-established sport in the country.

The F-Liiga, Finland’s premier floorball league, showcases the top talent in the nation. Legends like Mika Kohonen have left their mark on the sport, inspiring future generations.

Victories in multiple World Floorball Championships, along with an enthusiastic grassroots movement, have solidified floorball’s place in Finland’s sports landscape, ensuring its continued growth and popularity.

#4 Motorsport

Motorcycle Racing
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Finland: 1950s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Driver from Finland: Mika Häkkinen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Motorsport Enthusiasts in Finland: 1 million

Motorsport is an exhilarating facet of Finland’s sporting culture. With a particular emphasis on rallying, Finns have a long, successful history in various racing disciplines.

The pride of Finland, Mika Häkkinen, is a two-time Formula 1 World Champion and national hero. Finnish drivers have also excelled in the World Rally Championship (WRC), with names like Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Mäkinen etched in rallying history.

The legendary “Rally Finland” remains the pinnacle of Finnish motorsport events, showcasing the country’s love for speed and adrenaline-pumping action. With a passionate fanbase and talented drivers, motorsport continues to thrive in Finland.

#5 Bandy

  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Sami Laakkonen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 5,500

Bandy, an ice sport with similarities to ice hockey and field hockey, is beloved by many Finns. Played with a ball instead of a puck, it offers an exciting alternative on the ice.

Finland’s Bandyliiga serves as the elite league for the sport and boasts intense competition, attracting fans to cheer on their favorite teams. Finnish bandy star Sami Laakkonen is a celebrated figure, known for his incredible skills.

Finland has consistently performed well in the Bandy World Championships, earning a strong reputation within the sport, and reinforcing bandy’s cultural significance and popularity in the country.

#6 Skiing

Alpine Skiing
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Finland: 1920s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Skier from Finland: Matti Nykänen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Skiing Enthusiasts in Finland: 1.2 million

Skiing, both cross-country and alpine, holds a special place in Finland’s sporting culture. The country’s cold winters and snow-covered landscapes provide the perfect setting for this popular pastime.

Finland has produced numerous skiing legends, with Matti Nykänen, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in ski jumping, leading the charge. Finland’s skiing success extends across various disciplines, including cross-country and Nordic combined.

With access to quality ski facilities and resorts, plus an enduring love for the sport, Finland’s passion for skiing continues to inspire new generations and maintain its position as a cherished national sport.

#7 Pesäpallo

  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Invention: 1920s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Ismo Ankkuri (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 30,000

Pesäpallo, often referred to as “Finnish baseball,” is a unique and cherished sport created in Finland. With fascinating strategic gameplay, it’s garnered a devoted following.

The Superpesis leagues (both men’s and women’s) represent the highest level of competition in the sport, attracting numerous fans to root for their teams. Legendary player Ismo Ankkuri is a prominent figure in pesäpallo history.

With its deeply ingrained cultural significance and exciting gameplay, pesäpallo remains a longstanding favorite, respected as a truly homegrown Finnish sport.

#8 Basketball

Basketball
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Lauri Markkanen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 50,000

Basketball has steadily gained popularity in Finland, capturing the attention of fans across the country. The sport’s dynamic nature and exhilarating gameplay make it an appealing choice for enthusiasts.

Finland’s top basketball league, the Korisliiga, showcases the talents of the nation’s best players, who compete fiercely for the championship. Lauri Markkanen, a rising star in the NBA, has bolstered Finland’s recognition in the world of basketball.

The success and growth of local clubs, along with notable Finnish players in international leagues, continue to elevate basketball’s stature and following in Finland.

#9 Table Tennis

Table Tennis
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: 1920s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Benedek Oláh (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 10,000

Table tennis, a sport that requires quick reflexes and strategic thinking, has developed a loyal following in Finland. Its accessibility and widespread appeal make it a popular choice for both casual and professional players.

Finland’s most prestigious table tennis league, the Finnish Championships, showcases the nation’s best talents as they compete for the top honors. Finnish player Benedek Oláh has gained international recognition, representing the country in various competitions, including the Olympics.

Through numerous local clubs and recreational facilities, table tennis continues to find a firm foothold in Finland’s sporting culture, encouraging participation and fostering talent.

#10 Badminton

badminton
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Ville Lång (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 15,000

Badminton, a high-speed racket sport, has gained popularity in Finland as a fun, yet challenging game that appeals to various age groups. It demands agility, fitness, and precision, capturing the interest of both recreational and competitive players.

The annual Finnish Open Badminton Championships represent the pinnacle of the sport in the country, drawing top talent from across Finland. Ville Lång, Finland’s badminton star, has represented the nation in several international competitions, inspiring young players to pursue the sport.

With a growing number of clubs and enthusiasts, badminton continues to make a mark within Finland’s diverse sporting landscape.

#11 Tennis

Tennis
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Finland: 1910s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Finland: Jarkko Nieminen (Finnish)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Finland: 60,000

Tennis, a classic racket sport known for its blend of power and finesse, holds a cherished place in Finland’s sports scene. Attracting a broad range of players and fans, tennis has become a celebrated part of Finnish sporting culture.

The Finnish Tennis Championships serve as a stage for the country’s foremost talent to compete on home turf. Jarkko Nieminen, a former ATP top-ranked player, has helped raise the profile of Finnish tennis on the international circuit.

With a network of tennis clubs and a dedicated fan base, tennis continues to serve as a prominent and respected sport in Finland.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Finland?

Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Finland, playing a significant role in the country’s sports culture and engaging a passionate fan base, with thousands actively participating in the sport.

What is the national sport of Finland?

The national sport of Finland is Pesäpallo, also known as Finnish baseball, uniquely created and deeply ingrained in the nation’s cultural heritage, with a dedicated following across the country.

What are the most watched sports in Finland?

The most watched sports in Finland include ice hockey, football, floorball, motorsport, bandy, skiing, pesäpallo, basketball, table tennis, badminton, and tennis, all enjoying substantial viewership and support from Finnish sports enthusiasts.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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