Sports in Indiana
The state of Indiana is home to a number of professional and college sports teams, as well as prominent auto racing.
Professional sports teams
Indiana has a rich basketball heritage that reaches back to the formative years of the sport itself. Although James Naismith developed basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, Indiana is where high school basketball was born. In 1925, Naismith visited an Indiana basketball state finals game along with 15,000 screaming fans and later wrote "Basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport." The 1986 film Hoosiers is inspired by the story of the 1954 Indiana state champions Milan High School.
As of 2013[update] Indiana has produced more National Basketball Association (NBA) players per capita than any other state. Muncie has produced the most per capita of any American city, with two other Indiana cities in the top ten. Professional basketball player Larry Bird was born in West Baden Springs and was raised in French Lick. He went on to lead the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship in 1981, 1984, and 1986.
The Indiana Pacers of the NBA play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; they began play in 1967 in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and joined the NBA when the leagues merged in 1976.
Indianapolis is home to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference. The Colts have roots back to 1913 as the Dayton Triangles. They became an official team after moving to Baltimore, MD, in 1953. In 1984, the Colts relocated to Indianapolis, leading to an eventual rivalry with the Baltimore Ravens. After calling the RCA Dome home for 25 years, the Colts currently play their home games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. While in Baltimore, the Colts won the 1970 Super Bowl. In Indianapolis, the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, bringing the franchise total to two. In recent years the Colts have regularly competed in the NFL playoffs.
List of current professional and amateur teams
|Evansville Otters||Baseball||1995||Frontier League|
|Evansville Thunderbolts||Ice hockey||2016||Southern Professional Hockey League|
|FC Indiana||Soccer||2003||Women's Premier Soccer League|
|Fort Wayne Komets||Ice hockey||1952||ECHL|
|Fort Wayne Mad Ants||Basketball||2007||NBA G League|
|Fort Wayne TinCaps||Baseball||1993||Midwest League|
|Gary SouthShore RailCats||Baseball||2002||American Association|
|Indiana Fever||Basketball||2000||Women's National Basketball Association|
|Indiana Pacers||Basketball||1967||National Basketball Association|
|Indianapolis Colts||Football||1984||National Football League|
|Indianapolis Indians||Baseball||1902||International League|
|Indy Eleven||Soccer||2014||USL Championship|
|Indy Fuel||Ice hockey||2014||ECHL|
|Northwest Indiana Oilmen||Collegiate Summer Baseball Team||2012||Midwest Collegiate League|
|South Bend Cubs||Baseball||1988||Midwest League|
*–Denotes a club that is on hiatus
List of former professional and amateur teams
|Chi-Town Shooters||Ice hockey||2008–11||All American Hockey League|
|Elkhart Express||Basketball||2006–09||International Basketball League|
|Evansville Crush||Indoor Soccer||2010–13||Premier Arena Soccer League|
|Evansville IceMen||Ice hockey||2008–10||All American Hockey League|
|Evansville IceMen||Ice hockey||2010–2016||ECHL|
|Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts||Junior ice hockey||2015–2019||North American 3 Hockey League|
|Evansville Kings||Indoor Soccer||2013–14||Premier Arena Soccer League|
|Fort Wayne Fever||Soccer||2003–09||USL Premier Development League|
|Gary Steelheads||Basketball||2000–08||International Basketball League|
|Hammond Pros||Football||1920-26||National Football League|
|Illiana Blackbirds||Junior ice hockey||2012–2016||MnJHL/USPHL|
|Indiana Blizzard||Ice hockey||2010||All American Hockey League|
|Indiana Ice||Junior ice hockey||2004–2014||United States Hockey League|
|Indiana Invaders||Soccer||1998–2011||USL Premier Development League|
Indiana has had great sports success at the collegiate level. NCAA Division I athletic programs in the state are:
|Ball State Cardinals||Muncie||State||Mid-American Conference (FBS)|
|Big East Conference |
/ Pioneer Football League (FCS)
|Evansville Purple Aces||Evansville||Private
|Missouri Valley Conference (non-football)|
|Indiana Hoosiers||Bloomington||State||Big Ten Conference (FBS)|
|Indiana State Sycamores||Terre Haute||State||Missouri Valley Conference |
/ Missouri Valley Football Conference (FCS)
|IUPUI Jaguars||Indianapolis||State||Horizon League (non-football)|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||South Bend||Private
|Atlantic Coast Conference / FBS independent|
|Purdue Boilermakers||West Lafayette||State||Big Ten Conference (FBS)|
|Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons||Fort Wayne||State||Summit League (non-football)|
(Horizon League in July 2020)
|Missouri Valley Conference |
/ Pioneer Football League (FCS)
Indiana has an extensive history with motorsport. Indianapolis hosts the Indianapolis 500 mile race over Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every May since 1911. The name of the race is usually shortened to "Indy 500" and also goes by the nickname "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." The race attracts over 250,000 people every year, making it the largest single day sporting event in the world. The track also hosts the Brickyard 400 of the NASCAR Cup Series since 1994. From 2000 to 2007, it hosted the United States Grand Prix (Formula One). Form 2008 to 2015, it hosted the Indianapolis motorcycle Grand Prix.
Notable short ovals in Indiana include Anderson Speedway (Little 500), Indiana State Fairgrounds (USAC Silver Crown Hoosier Hundred), Salem Speedway (ARCA, USAC Silver Crown), Terre Haute Action Track (USAC Silver Crown, Hut Hundred, Hulman Classic), and Winchester Speedway (ARCA). The Indiana Sprint Week is held in July, and the Indiana Midget Week takes place in June.
Pari-mutuel betting was legalized in 1989. Hoosier Park opened in Anderson in 1994, and off-track betting parlors opened in the state in 1995. Indiana Downs opened in Shelbyville in 2002. Hoosier Park became a racino on 2008 and Indiana Downs did the same in 2009.
List of Championships
|Fort Wayne Mad Ants||G League||1||2013-14|
|Indiana Pacers||ABA||3||1969-70, 1971-72, 1972-73|
|Evansville Otters||Frontier League||2||2006, 2016|
- Fischer-Baum, Reuben (2013-06-17). "Infographics: Where Do Pro Basketball Players Come From?". Deadspin. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Larry Bird Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story - Biography.com".
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