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Have you ever explored the vibrant world of Panamanian sports?

Panama is not just about the famous canal and stunning landscapes!

Baseball may be the national passion, but other sports also capture the hearts of Panamanians.

Discover the most popular sports in Panama in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Panama:

  1. Baseball
  2. Soccer
  3. Basketball
  4. Boxing
  5. Athletics
  6. Cycling
  7. Tennis
  8. Water Sports
  9. Horse Racing
  10. Volleyball
  11. Swimming

#1 Baseball

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Panama: 1940s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Player from Panama: Mariano Rivera (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Players in Panama: 25,000

Baseball is the national passion of Panama, with a rich history and a dedicated fan base. The fast-paced action of the sport has thrilled generations of Panamanians.

The Panamanian Professional Baseball League (LPBP) is the country’s premier league, showcasing top local talents and teams. Legendary pitcher Mariano Rivera, a five-time World Series champion, is Panama’s shining star in the baseball world.

Panama’s triumph in the 1952 Caribbean World Series remains a cherished moment in the country’s baseball history. Baseball continues to be woven into the heart of Panamanian culture and sports.

#2 Soccer

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Player from Panama: Romรกn Torres (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Players in Panama: 100,000

Soccer, also known as football, is another immensely popular sport in Panama. It offers a blend of athleticism, strategy, and heart-pounding excitement.

The Liga Panameรฑa de Fรบtbol (LPF) is Panama’s top-level soccer league, featuring skilled teams from across the country. National team captain and hero Romรกn Torres is known for his pivotal goal that sent Panama to their first FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Panamanian fans are passionate about their national soccer team and domestic leagues, with memorable moments like the historic 2018 World Cup qualification never fading from memory.

#3 Basketball

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: 1930s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Player from Panama: Rolando Blackman (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Players in Panama: 30,000

Basketball has found a receptive audience in Panama, with a steadily growing fan base and local talent. The sport’s fast action and dynamic gameplay have captivated Panamanians for decades.

The Liga Profesional de Baloncesto (LPB) is Panama’s premier basketball league, featuring enthralling matches and skilled teams. Rolando Blackman, a four-time NBA All-Star, has become a household name in Panama and a source of national pride.

From street courts to stadium arenas, basketball continues to establish its influence in Panama, offering excitement and inspiration for future generations.

#4 Boxing

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Boxer from Panama: Roberto Durรกn (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Boxing Enthusiasts in Panama: 50,000

Boxing has deep roots in Panama, with a long history and many iconic champions hailing from the country. The sport requires physical prowess, mental fortitude, and raw determination.

Panamanian fight nights draw passionate audiences, as fighters chase titles in national and international bouts. Legendary boxer Roberto Durรกn, a four-weight class world champion, is revered as one of Panama’s greatest sporting heroes.

Boxing remains deeply woven into the Panamanian sports scene, with each generation producing new champions and unforgettable moments.

#5 Athletics

Marathon running
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Athlete from Panama: Irving Saladino (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Panama: 40,000

Athletics holds a special place in Panama, producing world-class athletes in various disciplines. The sport showcases the resilience, strength, and potential of Panamanian competitors.

National athletics competitions and foreign events such as the Olympics are popular among viewers in Panama. Long jumper Irving Saladino stands out among Panamanian athletes, having won Panama’s first Olympic gold medal in 2008.

These accomplishments in athletics make the nation proud, showcasing Panama’s potential on international stages and inspiring the next generation of talented athletes.

#6 Cycling

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Cyclist from Panama: Yelko Gรณmez (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Cycling Enthusiasts in Panama: 75,000

Cycling has long been a popular sport in Panama, with the country’s picturesque landscapes serving as a perfect backdrop for both leisure and competitive cycling.

Local and international races attract enthusiasts from across the country. Yelko Gรณmez, one of Panama’s top cyclists, had an outstanding performance during the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.

Cycling events like the Vuelta a Chiriquรญ, a road cycling race, play a pivotal role in sustaining the sport’s popularity in Panama, inspiring avid cyclists and newcomers alike.

#7 Tennis

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Player from Panama: Alberto Quintero (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Players in Panama: 20,000

Tennis is a growing sport in Panama, offering both leisure and competition to enthusiasts of all ages. The sport emphasizes physical fitness, precision, and strategic thinking.

National and international tennis tournaments are enjoyed by Panamanian fans, who cheer for their country’s rising stars. Albert Quintero, Panama’s top-rated tennis player, is admired for his dedication and skill.

Panama continues to develop its tennis infrastructure, encouraging the growth of the sport and fostering a new generation of talented players.

#8 Water Sports

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Panama: 1970s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Water Sports Athlete from Panama: Eileen Coparropa (Panamanian, Swimming)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Water Sports Enthusiasts in Panama: 60,000

Panama’s abundant coastline and ideal water conditions make it a haven for various water sports enthusiasts โ€“ from swimming, surfing to sailing, and more.

International and local competitions in water sports draw participants and viewers alike. Swimmer Eileen Coparropa, who competed in three Olympic Games, is an inspiration for aspiring Panamanian water sports athletes.

The country continues to invest in water sports facilities and programs, further establishing Panama as a prime destination for aquatic activities and competition.

#9 Horse Racing

Horse racing
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Jockey from Panama: Laffit Pincay Jr. (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Horse Racing Enthusiasts in Panama: 20,000

Horse racing is a captivating sport in Panama, playing out on the country’s picturesque racetracks. The sport is highly popular among spectators who enjoy the skill, speed, and exhilarating energy of the races.

The renowned Hipรณdromo Presidente Remรณn is Panama’s main racetrack, hosting numerous competitions throughout the year. Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is a Panamanian legend, with more than 9,000 career wins to his name.

Panama’s equestrian culture continues to grow, with horse racing remaining a cherished attraction for fans and generating interest in equine sports.

#10 Volleyball

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Panama: Mid 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Player from Panama: Carlos “Caliche” Muรฑoz (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Players in Panama: 15,000

Volleyball has a dedicated following in Panama, providing a perfect mix of teamwork, athleticism, and strategy. Both indoor and beach volleyball have loyal enthusiasts across the country.

The Liga Panameรฑa de Voleibol is the nation’s top volleyball league, with fierce competition between various teams. Carlos “Caliche” Muรฑoz is a standout player who has represented Panama in international competitions.

As volleyball continues to grow in popularity, the sport has established itself as a beloved pastime for Panamanians, enjoyed by a wide range of ages and skill levels.

#11 Swimming

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Panama: 1970s
  • ๐ŸŒŸMost Famous Swimmer from Panama: Eileen Coparropa (Panamanian)
  • ๐ŸŒ Estimated Number of Swimming Enthusiasts in Panama: 40,000

Swimming is a popular sport in Panama, known for its aquatic talent and competitive spirit. The country’s coastal shores and diverse aquatic environments make it an ideal location for swimmers to thrive.

Swimming competitions and events such as the Copa Centroamericana de Nataciรณn attract regional and international athletes. Eileen Coparropa, a three-time Olympic swimmer, serves as an inspiring role model for aspiring Panamanian athletes.

The sport’s development and success in Panama have paved the way for future generations, with swimming becoming an inherent part of the nation’s sports culture.


What is the most popular sport in Panama?

Baseball is the most popular sport in Panama, with a rich history and dedicated fan base, deeply ingrained in the country’s culture and holding a special place in the nation’s sporting landscape.

What is the national sport of Panama?

The national sport of Panama is baseball, which captures the hearts of Panamanians and boasts a strong following, with numerous talented players and exciting events throughout the country.

What are the most watched sports in Panama?

The most watched sports in Panama include baseball, soccer, basketball, boxing, athletics, cycling, tennis, and water sports, with each sport attracting a considerable amount of viewership and fan support in the country.

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 โ€˜realโ€™ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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