Sport in Malta
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Sports in Malta include association football, basketball, athletics, rugby, tennis, cycling, and others.
Association football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Malta. The national stadium is called Ta' Qali Stadium. The national football team has won several matches over big opponents that reached the final phases in World Cups, such as Belgium and Hungary. Recently a large number of football grounds have been built throughout the island. The top football league in Malta is called the Maltese Premier League, and consists of 14 teams. Futsal is also very popular.
Water polo is also very popular in Malta. The Malta men's national water polo team has achieved some great results against strong teams, and has competed in the Olympics twice. Maltese clubs participate in the European Club competitions organised by LEN, are seen as being in the top 10 water polo leagues in Europe.
Boċċi is the Maltese version of the Italian game of bocce, French pétanque and British bowls. Other than certain differences in rules and the ground on which the game is played, one of the most obvious differences between Maltese boċċi and foreign equivalents is the shape of the bowls themselves which tend to be cylindrical rather than spherical in shape. Many small clubs (usually called Klabbs tal-Boċċi in Maltese) can be found in Maltese and Gozitan localities, and are usually well-frequented and are quite active on a local and European level. Even the emigrants to Canada, Australia, and The United States have taken the game with them and now forms an important part of their social scene.
Rugby union is played in Malta, In October 2018 the national men's team was ranked 39th in the world. They have recently been achieving success, defeating teams including Sweden, Croatia and Latvia. In 2018, Malta achieved its largest win against Andorra, that of 89-3. As of 2016 Malta Rugby Union had 2,480 registered players.
Rugby league is also played, primarily due to return migration of Maltese Australians bringing it back with them. In July 2018, the national men's team was ranked 18th in the world. The national team are known as the Malta Knights, and boast players currently playing in the English Superleague such as Jarrod Sammut, Jake Mamo, the most famous player to come from Malta would be former South Sydney Rabbitohs, Mario Fenech. In 2016 Malta Rugby League had 285 players, with the large majority based in Australia.
Motorsport includes drag racing represented by the Malta Drag Racing Association, with recent high ranking Maltese dragsters in official FIA European championships. There is also autocross (ASMK), hill climb (Island Car Club), motocross, karting and banger racing championships.
Malta also hosts a snooker round, the Malta Cup, which as of 2008[update] became a non-ranking event. In 2008 Malta's Tony Drago was a member of a victorious European Mosconi Cup team, which was played in Portomaso, Malta. Claudio Cassar was World Blackball Champion in 2014.
Maltese National Hockey League is the official field hockey league in Malta, with 5 teams participating.
Malta is a good place for surfing and offers a lot of different surf spots. During winter time most of the beaches transform into surfer hangouts.
Along with other sports, tennis is a popular activity in Malta and Gozo. The islands offer a wide range of options for both beginners and elite players. Clubs are spread out across Malta and games are being played on a regular basis all year around.
There are over 1,200 rock climbing routes in Malta. The island offers a mixture of both trad climbing and sport climbing and also offers a good variety of bouldering and deep water soloing. The geography and small size of the island makes the climbing easily accessible. The sport is growing in popularity with local communities, as well as tourists and visitors.
List of sports teams in Malta
Valletta St. Paul's
Valletta St. Pauli
|Valletta Futsal||Valletta United W.P.C.||St. Paul's
|Valletta Lions (defunct)||Marsamxett||Valletta V.C.|
|2||Mdina||Mdina Knights F.C.||Mdina Knights Futsal|
|3||Attard||Attard F.C.||Attard Futsal (defunct)|
|4||Balzan||Balzan F.C.||Balzan Futsal (defunct)||Balzan V.C.|
|5||Vittoriosa||Vittoriosa Stars F.C.|
Birkirkara St. Joseph
|Mrieħel ESS||Aloysians H.C.||Birkirkara Alligators (defunct)||Birkirkara St. Joseph||Aloysians V.C.
|7||Birzebbugia||Birżebbuġa St. Peter's F.C.
|8||Cospicua||St. George's F.C.
|De La Salle H.C.|
|9||Swieqi||Swieqi United F.C.||Swieqi United Futsal
Swieqi United U-21 Futsal
|Swieqi Phoenix H.C.||Overseas RUFC||Swieqi Phoenix V.C.|
|10||Lija||Lija Athletic F.C.|
- Malta Olympic Committee
- Maltese National Regatta
- Maltese National Badminton Championships
- Malta Sailing Federation
- Handball Malta and Malta Handball Association
- Aquatic Sports Association of Malta
- "Top Sports in Malta – Traditional and Most Common". Welcome Center Malta. Welcome Center Malta. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- "Malta blitzes Andorra to go unbeaten this season". Malta Today. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Global Participation in Rugby". Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Rugby League European Federation. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Motorsport Malta – Racing News, ESPN F1, Drifting, Drag and more". Motorsport Malta. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Jeff Fenech". Youngvictorboxing.com.au. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Surf Malta". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.