1931 in sports
1931 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- 1 Alpine skiing
- 2 American football
- 3 Association football
- 4 Australian rules football
- 5 Bandy
- 6 Baseball
- 7 Basketball
- 8 Bobsleigh
- 9 Boxing
- 10 Canadian football
- 11 Cricket
- 12 Cycling
- 13 Figure skating
- 14 Golf
- 15 Harness racing
- 16 Horse racing
- 17 Ice hockey
- 18 Motor racing
- 19 Nordic skiing
- 20 Rowing
- 21 Rugby league
- 22 Rugby union
- 23 Snooker
- 24 Speed skating
- 25 Tennis
- 26 Awards
- 27 References
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
- Men's Downhill – Walter Prager (Switzerland)
- Men's Slalom – David Zogg (Switzerland)
- Women's Downhill – Esme Mackinnon (Great Britain)
- Women's Slalom – Esme Mackinnon (Great Britain)
- Green Bay Packers win the NFL title with a 13–2 record
- Rose Bowl (1930 season):
- The Football League – Arsenal 66 points, Aston Villa 59, Sheffield Wednesday 52, Portsmouth 49, Huddersfield Town 48, Derby County 46
- FA Cup final – West Bromwich Albion 2–1 Birmingham City at Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
- Foundation of Botafogo Rio
- May 9: Richmond beat South Melbourne’s 12 year record for the highest score when they kick 30.19 (199) to North Melbourne’s 4.7 (31). Doug Strang, in his second game, and Jack Titus kick 22 goals between them – still an equal record for two players on one side.
- Geelong wins the 35th VFL Premiership: defeating Richmond 9.14 (68) to 7.6 (48) at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- The annual Brownlow Medal is awarded to Haydn Bunton senior (Fitzroy)
- 3 October: North Adelaide 17.13 (115) defeat Sturt 11.11 (77) to win their sixth SANFL premiership.
- Magarey Medal won by Jack Sexton (West Adelaide)
- 1 June: East Fremantle’s 4.28 (52) against South Fremantle’s 5.8 (38) is the second most inaccurate score in WA(N)FL history by excess of behinds over goals and the most until 1957.
- 17 October: East Fremantle win their fourth consecutive WA(N)FL premiership, beating Subiaco 9.13 (67) to 7.7 (49) in the 1931 WANFL Grand Final.
- Sandover Medal won by Lin Richards (East Fremantle)
- 1–10 October — St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeats Philadelphia Athletics (AL) to win the 1931 World Series by four games to three
Major League Baseball
Negro League Baseball
- Northwestern University wins the men's college basketball title
- The ABL suspends operations after the 1930–1931 season. This is also the last year it operates as a major professional league.
Bobsleigh World Championships
- 2nd FIBT World Championships 1931 are held in Oberhof, Germany (two-man bob) and St Moritz, Switzerland (four-man bob). Both gold medals are won by Germany.
- World Middleweight Champion Mickey Walker vacates his title to campaign as a heavyweight. The middleweight championship remains vacant until 1941.
Lineal world champions
- World Heavyweight Championship – Max Schmeling
- World Light Heavyweight Championship – Maxie Rosenbloom
- World Middleweight Championship – Mickey Walker → vacant
- World Welterweight Championship – Tommy Freeman → "Young" Jack Thompson → Lou Brouillard
- World Lightweight Championship – Tony Canzoneri
- World Featherweight Championship – Bat Battalino
- World Bantamweight Championship – Panama Al Brown
- World Flyweight Championship – vacant
- New Zealand plays its first Test series in England. England wins the series 1–0 with two matches drawn.
- County Championship – Yorkshire
- Minor Counties Championship – Leicestershire II
- Most runs – Herbert Sutcliffe 3006 @ 96.96 (HS 230)
- Most wickets – Tich Freeman 276 @ 15.60 (BB 10–79)
- Wisden Cricketers of the Year – Bill Bowes, Stewie Dempster, James Langridge, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, Hedley Verity
- Sheffield Shield – Victoria
- Most runs – Don Bradman 1422 @ 79.00 (HS 258)
- Most wickets – Clarrie Grimmett 74 @ 19.14 (BB 7–87)
- Bombay Quadrangular – not contested
- Currie Cup – not contested
- Inter-Colonial Tournament – not contested
Tour de France
- Giro d'Italia is won by Francesco Camusso (Italy)
- World Cycling Championship is won by Learco Guerra (Italy)
World Figure Skating Championships
- World Men's Champion – Karl Schäfer (Austria)
- World Women's Champion – Sonja Henie (Norway)
- World Pairs Champions – Emília Rotter and László Szollás (Hungary)
- Champion Hurdle – not contested due to frost
- Cheltenham Gold Cup – not contested due to frost
- Grand National – Grakle
- 1,000 Guineas Stakes – Four Course
- 2,000 Guineas Stakes – Cameronian
- Epsom Derby – Cameronian
- Epsom Oaks – Brulette
- St. Leger Stakes – Sandwich
- Melbourne Cup – White Nose
- Queen's Plate – Froth Blower
Ice Hockey World Championships
- Hockey Night in Canada, now the oldest sports-related television program still on air, debuts as a radio program known as the General Motors Hockey Broadcast. The TV series begins in 1952.
Grand Prix racing
- The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR) introduces a European Championship for Grand Prix drivers on a points system. The first winner is Ferdinando Minoia (Italy), driving for Alfa Romeo in its 8C-2300 and 6C-1750 models, even though he does not win a race.
- 19 April — the 3rd Monaco Grand Prix is run at Monte Carlo. The winner is Louis Chiron (Monaco) in a Bugatti T51. He covers 318 km (198 mi) (100 laps) in 3:39:09.2.
- 24 May — the 9th Italian Grand Prix is run at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The winners are Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari (both Italy), sharing an Alfa Romeo 8C2300. The race is 10 hours, covering 1,550.03 kilometres (963.14 mi) (155 laps). It is officially titled the IX Gran Premio d'Italia and is given the honorary designation of European Grand Prix.
- 21 June — the 17th French Grand Prix, organised by the Automobile Club de France (ACF), is run at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry. The race is 10 hours, covering 1,268.825 km (788.411 mi) (101 laps). The winners are Louis Chiron (Monaco) and Achille Varzi (Italy), sharing a Bugatti T51. The race is retrospectively referred to as the XXV Grand Prix de l'ACF.
- 12 July — the 3rd Belgian Grand Prix is run at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The race is 10 hours, covering 1,320.399 km (820.458 mi) (88 laps). The winners are William Grover-Williams (Great Britain) and Caberto Conelli (Italy), sharing a Bugatti T51.
- 30 May — 19th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is won by Louis Schneider (USA) in the Bowes Seal Fast Special Stevens-Miller in 5:10:27.93.
Le Mans 24 hours
- The 9th Le Mans 24 hours race is won by Earl Howe and Tim Birkin (both Great Britain) driving an Alfa Romeo 8C2300. They cover 184 laps (3,017.654 km (1,875.083 mi)).
FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
The Boat Race
- Championship – Swinton
- Challenge Cup final – Halifax 22–8 York at Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
- Lancashire League Championship – Swinton
- Yorkshire League Championship – Leeds
- Lancashire Cup – St Helens Recreation 18–3 Wigan
- Yorkshire Cup – Leeds 10–2 Huddersfield
Five Nations Championship
- 44th Five Nations Championship series is won by Wales
- Shortly after the 1931 Five Nations Championship is completed, France is banned from the competition due to allegations of professionalism and administrative deficiencies. France will be readmitted after the 1939 competition but will not be able to play until 1947 because of the suspension of international rugby during World War II. In the meantime, the competition reverts to its original title of Home Nations Championship.
Speed Skating World Championships
- Australian Men's Singles Championship – Jack Crawford (Australia) defeats Harry Hopman (Australia) 6–4 6–2 2–6 6–1
- Australian Women's Singles Championship – Coral Buttsworth (Australia) defeats Marjorie Cox Crawford (Australia) 1–6 6–3 6–4
- Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship – Sidney Wood (USA) by a walkover after Frank Shields (USA) withdraws from the final due to an ankle injury
- Wimbledon Women's Singles Championship – Cilly Aussem (Germany) defeats Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling (Germany) 6–2 7–5
- French Men's Singles Championship – Jean Borotra (France) defeats Christian Boussus (USA) 2–6 6–4 7–5 6–4
- French Women's Singles Championship – Cilly Aussem (Germany) defeats Betty Nuthall (Great Britain) 8–6 6–1
- American Men's Singles Championship – Ellsworth Vines (USA) defeats George Lott (USA) 7–9 6–3 9–7 7–5
- American Women's Singles Championship – Helen Wills Moody (USA) defeats Eileen Bennett Whittingstall (Great Britain) 6–4 6–1
- 1931 International Lawn Tennis Challenge – France 3–2 Great Britain at Stade Roland Garros (clay) Paris, France
Associated Press Athlete of the Year
- Inauguration of the Athlete of the Year award in the United States by the Associated Press (AP). The AP offers a male and a female athlete of the year award to either a professional or amateur athlete, the awards being voted on annually by a panel of AP sports editors from across the United States. The first winners are:
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Pepper Martin (baseball)
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Helene Madison (swimming)