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Discover the pulse of Guatemala beyond its rich cultural and historical heritage!

Sports play a significant role in the nation’s heart and soul.

Soccer reigns supreme in Guatemala, but what other games excite its people?

Explore the 11 most popular sports in Guatemala in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Guatemala:

  1. Soccer
  2. Baseball
  3. Kickboxing
  4. Basketball
  5. Volleyball
  6. Athletics
  7. Judo
  8. Cycling
  9. Boxing
  10. Kickball
  11. Soccer Tennis

#1 Soccer

soccer
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: Early 1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Guatemala: Carlos Ruiz (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Guatemala: 500,000

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Guatemala, played and watched by people of all ages. The love for the beautiful game runs deep in the country.

Liga Nacional de FΓΊtbol de Guatemala is the premier soccer league, featuring rivalries that captivate fans throughout the season. Carlos Ruiz, known as “El Pescadito,” is the most famous Guatemalan player with a successful international career.

Guatemala’s participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the national team’s memorable performances help maintain soccer’s dominance in the country’s sports culture.

#2 Baseball

Baseball Softball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Guatemala: JosΓ© Oliva (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Guatemala: 20,000

Baseball, though not as popular as soccer, has its loyal fan base in Guatemala. People follow both local leagues and Major League Baseball in the United States.

The Liga Nacional de BΓ©isbol en Guatemala is the top baseball league in the country. Fans enjoy watching local talents competing on the field. The late JosΓ© Oliva remains the most famous Guatemalan baseball player, having played in MLB.

With local clubs competing to nurture emerging talent and major tournaments followed closely, baseball continues to thrive in Guatemala.

#3 Kickboxing

Kickboxing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Guatemala: 1990s
  • 🌟Most Famous Kickboxer from Guatemala: Vinicio Antigua (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Kickboxers in Guatemala: 15,000

Kickboxing has gained popularity in Guatemala over the past few decades, with various gyms and training centers offering classes and hosting events.

Vinicio Antigua, a renowned Guatemalan kickboxer, has made an impact in the sport both locally and internationally, earning various titles around the world.

National and international kickboxing events held in the country contribute to the sport’s growing popularity, attracting new fighters and followers.

#4 Basketball

Basketball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Guatemala: Richard Gomez (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Guatemala: 100,000

Basketball enjoys a significant following in Guatemala, with both local leagues and NBA games garnering attention from sports enthusiasts.

The Liga Metropolitana de Baloncesto is the premier basketball league in the country, showcasing a competitive atmosphere with dedicated players and fans. Richard Gomez, a Guatemalan professional basketball player, is known to have represented the country in FIBA Americup 2022 Central American Pre-Qualifiers.

With a combination of local talent development and international inspiration from NBA stars, basketball continues to grow in popularity and significance in Guatemala.

#5 Volleyball

Volleyball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Guatemala: Andy Leonardo (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Guatemala: 50,000

Volleyball holds a special place in the hearts of many Guatemalans, with both indoor and beach versions of the sport enjoying popularity in the country.

The Liga Nacional de Voleibol de Guatemala serves as the premier league for indoor volleyball, showcasing the nation’s top talent. Andy Leonardo, a standout Guatemalan player, has represented the country in numerous international competitions.

From local clubs to world-class tournaments, volleyball in Guatemala continues to spike in popularity, driven by dedicated players and passionate fans.

#6 Athletics

Running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: Early 1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Athlete from Guatemala: Erick Barrondo (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Guatemala: 30,000

Athletics has long been a part of Guatemala’s sporting tradition, producing numerous national and international competitors over the years.

Track and field events, along with marathons, attract a dedicated following in the country. Erick Barrondo, a race walker, stands out as the most famous Guatemalan athlete, winning a silver medal in the London 2012 Olympics – the country’s first Olympic medal.

Various local meets and international events keep the athletics spirit alive in Guatemala, fostering the growth of future champions.

#7 Judo

Judo
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Judoka from Guatemala: Darrel Castillo (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Judo Practitioners in Guatemala: 8,000

Judo, a Japanese martial art, has found an eager audience in Guatemala, with several clubs and organizations working to promote the sport throughout the country.

The FederaciΓ³n Nacional de Judo de Guatemala governs the sport locally, hosting national championships and training athletes for international competitions. Darrel Castillo, a talented Guatemalan judoka, has showcased his skills in various international events.

With the combination of discipline, tradition, and competitiveness, judo continues to entice new practitioners and enthusiasts in Guatemala.

#8 Cycling

Cycling
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: Early 1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Cyclist from Guatemala: Manuel Rodas (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Cycling Enthusiasts in Guatemala: 25,000

Cycling, both as a sport and a means of transport, holds a significant place in Guatemalan culture, with the country’s diverse landscapes offering captivating backdrops for riders.

Manuel Rodas, a Guatemalan cyclist, stands out with impressive results in multiple Pan American and Central American Games. The Vuelta a Guatemala, an annual multi-stage road race, is a notable event in the country’s cycling calendar, showcasing international and local talent.

As more people embrace cycling’s competitive and leisurely aspects, the sport continues to peddle forward in Guatemala’s sports landscape.

#9 Boxing

Boxing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Boxer from Guatemala: Carlos Cuadras (Guatemalan)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Boxing Enthusiasts in Guatemala: 12,000

Boxing has a solid fan base in Guatemala, with several gyms and trainers working to develop the sport across the country.

Local and regional competitions help unearth new boxing talent and entertain audiences. Carlos Cuadras, a Guatemalan professional boxer, has achieved significant accolades in national and international arenas.

From dedicated training facilities to thrilling matches, boxing’s place in Guatemala’s sports landscape is deeply rooted, thanks to the country’s passion for physical and mental challenges.

#10 Kickball

Kickball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: 1990s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Guatemala: N/A
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Kickball Enthusiasts in Guatemala: 10,000

Kickball, known locally as “bola cazadora,” is a fun, family-friendly sport that has gained popularity in Guatemala. It is usually played in schools and neighborhood parks, bringing people together for enjoyable competition.

While there may be no professional league or world-renowned players, kickball’s cultural significance in Guatemala lies in its simplicity and accessibility. The sport encourages physical activity and teamwork among children and adults alike.

With community engagement and widespread enjoyment, kickball holds a special place in the heart of Guatemalan leisure sports.

#11 Soccer Tennis

Soccer Tennis
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Guatemala: 2000s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Guatemala: N/A
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Soccer Tennis Enthusiasts in Guatemala: 5,000

Soccer tennis, also known as “futnet” or “futvolley,” is a hybrid sport combining elements of soccer and tennis. It has found a niche following in Guatemala, particularly among soccer fans looking for a more casual playing experience.

The sport is often played in parks and recreational spaces, where teams of two or three players showcase their skills in a friendly setting. While there isn’t a professional league or famous players, soccer tennis’s appeal hinges on its unique combination of two popular sports and the challenges it presents.

With growing interest and participation, soccer tennis adds yet another exciting dimension to Guatemala’s sports culture.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Guatemala?

Soccer, also known as football, reigns supreme in Guatemala, deeply ingrained in the country’s culture and amassing a large following across all age groups.

What is the national sport of Guatemala?

The national sport of Guatemala is soccer (football), with a profound cultural and sporting significance, enjoyed and supported by a majority of the population.

What are the most watched sports in Guatemala?

The most watched sports in Guatemala include soccer (football), baseball, kickboxing, and basketball, each attracting a dedicated fanbase and consistently drawing significant viewership across the country.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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