Saturday, May 19, 2007

National Sport Vs Most Popular Sport

Sometimes I wonder why these two are different in most countries. Some countries haven’t declared an official national sport but some have, and there are many instances where its different from the most popular sport.

To give a few examples,,Field Hockey is the national game in both India and Pakistan but obviously Cricket is the most popular by far. In Sri Lanka, Volleyball is the National Sport but Cricket is the popular one. Sri Lankan Volleyball team to my knowledge is not strong in international standards but Cricket team is. I really don’t know whether Sri Lanka even competes at international level in Volleyball!

Another interesting country is Australia. It seems like there is no declared official national game but there are some indications that Cricket is the national sport.

Australian Cricket team is by far the strongest team in the world but it is the most popular game in the country? My personal gut feeling is that it is not. Above links do have some good discussion about this. Well, people love cricket, they follow it, but they are not crazy for it as they are for Australian Rules football, popularly known as Footy. Summer is Cricket and winter is Footy, but I really didn’t see high craziness for Cricket during last summer where Aussies devastated England during the Ashes. Footy is very much a part of the life, people are just crazy over it, its not international, just between clubs, but every match is packed with spectators. On Friday, after work, there are busses from the city to the Footy. The whole weekend starting from Friday night is Footy, Footy and Footy only. Daily TV news has about 15 minutes of Footy news and it allocated about 45 seconds for world cup Cricket! Even when Aussies won a WC match that was the situation. For a change, the world cup win made the first news, but if someone measured the time, it probably was given lesser time than Footy! More details on Footy can be found at:


Kulendra Janaka said...

Out of curiosity, about the wikipedia page. Where do you think Sri Lanka should be listed under? In my opinion, we have a declared national sport (whether we like it or not) and thats what it should be. Just interested in what others would think.

Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama said...

I see Your point. Under the heading "List of current countries' national sports",Wikipedai says ,,"Sri Lanka - Cricket is the most popular, while Volleyball is the national sport.", which is perfectly correct. But later on, under the heading "Countries By National Sport", it has listed Sri Lanka under Cricket, which is an incorrect fact.

Whoever updated this page was ill-informed I guess. WIkipedia is not a place where you form opinions, so it should present facts as they are.

Outside of that, I wonder why Volleyball is our national sport. To my understanding, its not a historical/national heritage game in Sri Lanka. Its like Cricket which we got from someone else. Pls correct me if I am wrong.
And I don't think Volleyball gets special attention, govt help or sponsorship due to the fact that its the National sport either.

Kulendra Janaka said...

Thanks for your opinion on wikipedia page. Ive been trying to revert it back to volleyball where as the 'original author' keeps reverting it back to cricket. ANd I think I made a bit of an offensive comment on the talk page.

Anyway I also agree with your point on why we have volleyball as our national sport. May be we didnt want to have a sport that was handed down to us by the British at the point of independance? (Apparently volleyball has US origins). And as for the support recieved, No nothing. I think Dialog was sponsoring an island-wide tournament (other than the national tournament I think) sometime back. But nothing specific from governmental side.

Kulendra Janaka said...

This is probably advertising. But there is quite a bit of a discussion (if not war) going on about what should be listed as Sri Lanka's national sport in wikipedia. If anyone is interested to contribute, pls check and the user talk. Yasas, Im sorry for using your blog for advertising, but let me know if you have a problem I'll delete the comment.

Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama said...

Kulendra, thanks a lot for taking the fight on....Its great,,the fact should remain as a fact, as I also said in the previous comment, Wikipedia is not a place where you form opinions ,present the common sense or present accepted beliefs. Its a place where you place facts. There are several other places where certain authors try to represent their views on certain things using Wikipedia. While I am a Wikipedia lover for what it brings to us , I fear that its heading to a dangerous future with too many irresponsible people writing stuff based on their own opinions making it fairly uncontrollable.

Kulendra, you or anyone can use my blog as an advertising media for any good course.....I have no problem with that at all and actually I will be pleased of contributing to something valuable.

Kulendra Janaka said...

Thanks Yasas.
On one of the questions u have initially asked, why volleyball was selected as Sri Lankas national sport, I found few articles - claims volleyball is popular in SL. (May be not as cricket, but could be popular and we didnt know) - An article about a female volleyball player and claim that it was the most popular sport in 1950s.
You may want to have a look.

Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama said...

Reference :

"Volleyball has come a long way from the dusty-old YMCA gymnasium of Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, where visionary, William G. Morgan, invented the sport back in 1895."

"Sri Lanka is the only Country which has declared Volleyball as it's National Sport.In Sri Lanka,Volleyball is played in all it's Villages with a significant participation of Girls."

"Volleyball,in its Present form was first introduced to Sri Lanka by Mr.Camack in 1916, but there is evidence that Sri Lanka were playing a similar game long before this introduction. Since 1951,the Federation.

The game of Volleyball was introduced to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1916 by Mr. R. W. Camack then Director of Physical Education at the Colombo Y.M.C.A."


Seems like the Only reason for Volleyball to be the national sport is the fact that its played across the country including villages and it can be considered as a poor mans game which can be played at a lower cost. However, today, cricket really qualifies to be the national sport. Its also played across the country including villages and today, even the not so rich children get into cricket and do well. I dont have to mention about the popularity. Both came to us from foriegn countries, so Volleyball doesnt hold and specialty there either.

Now, I am not in a mission to undermine Volleyball, but considering the vast difference in interst in the two games by the general public, its almost a joke to have a wrong 'National Sport' unless we work hard, invest money and make strategic plans to make Vollyball popular and also win at international level.

Kulendra Janaka said...

Hi Yasas
Sorry for the long pause, but yes I agree with you. Probably at the time of independence cricket was limited to a certain class of the society and would have not been a good choice for the national sport. But today I think cricket is rather enjoyed to a huge amount compared to volleyball.

Anonymous said...

All the above is wrong!

National game of Sri Lanka is ELLE ( Similar to baseball )!

George De Silva

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