Athletics and Entertainment
Sports and entertainment are two very important parts of culture in the United States, and many Americans consider them to be a regular part of their lives. You don’t necessarily have to participate in these activities in any way in order to enjoy them; you may simply watch them or support a team or two that you like.
Four of the five most popular team sports in the country were actually started in the United States, and millions of Americans attend games for these sports every year.
- Baseball. Professional baseball is the quintessential American sport, overseen by Major League Baseball. Baseball and its counterpart, softball, are two of the most popular participant sports in the country as well. Back in the late 1700’s the game was played as a variant of the British game “Rounders.”
- Basketball. Basketball was started in the late 1800’s by a physical education teacher. It is one of the top team sports in the country. There are thousands of amateur teams across the United States and many people in urban areas play the game for fun. National Basketball Association oversees the professional level of the game for men, and the Women’s National Basketball Association does so for the women.
- Ice Hockey. Ice hockey, or “hockey,” is very popular in colder areas of the United States (i.e. New England and the Midwest). There are 30 teams in the professional league, known as the National Hockey League.
- American Football. American football is popular at the secondary level, the college level, and the professional levels (known as the National Football League) with people all around the country. The top game of the year is known as the Super Bowl, and many people consider this game (usually played the first Sunday in February) as one of the biggest social events of the year.
- Soccer. Soccer has been gaining popularity in the United States, even though it is still not as popular as the sports listed above. It is more popular as an amateur sport, but Major League Soccer is the men’s professional soccer league in the United States and has gotten more popular in recent years.
There are also a number of other sports played and watched across the United States, including Rugby, lacrosse, wrestling, mixed martial arts (MMA), and more. If you are interested in a sport, you can probably find a group of people also interested in that same sport at the university you choose to attend. Many universities also have intramural and competitive levels of sports that you can check out if you want to participate in a sport during your academic career.
Other than sports, there are a number of other types of entertainment that you will find in the United States. Here are some of the most popular activities and entertainment that may be available to you while you are studying in the United States.
- Gaming – Gaming in every sense is incredibly popular in the United States, because it is an increasingly social activity. Video games are probably the most popular games, but there are also board games and card games that many Americans enjoy as entertainment. Many gaming clubs and organizations can be found across the United States, both on college campuses and in communities.
- Movies – Going to see a film or watching one with your friends is a common entertainment activity in the United States. With streaming services like Netflix available, these sorts of social events are becoming more popular. There are movies of almost every type you can imagine.
- Comedy – Comedy shows at bars, clubs, and college campuses are all popular places for college students to gather. Some comedy shows at theatres can have hundreds of attendees. You can also watch comedians on television.
- Theatre – Even though theatre isn’t as important in certain areas in the country, there are other areas that it really thrives. Musical theatre, operas, concerts, and ordinary plays are all part of the excitement that you can find. If you’re into theatre, make sure to take a visit to the center stage of theatre in the United States, Broadway in New York City.
As you can see, media is a large part of the United States lifestyle, and many Americans embrace it readily. You can find other forms of entertainment as well (hiking and outdoor sports are seeing a resurgence in recent years), you just have to look.
Sports and entertainment in the United States are constantly evolving and changing. If you enjoy doing something in your home country, it is likely that you will find people who enjoy doing the same thing(s) in the United States. Expand your horizons and check out what is available to you while you’re studying in the United States.