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Sports Vocabulary for English Learners

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Sport or Sports are a part of everyday life, and many people absolutely love them. Sports include all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators.

Sports Vocabulary in English 

In this lesson, we will learn:

  1. Common Sports
  2. Contact Sports
  3. Water Sports
  4. Winter Sports
  5. Less Usual Sports
  6. Extreme Sports

Common Sports

Learn sports vocabulary in English.

  • Archery
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Football (American)
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Boxing
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Table Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Weightlifting
  • Gymnastics
  • Karate
  • Judo
  • Taekwondo
  • Cycling
  • Skating (Ice or roller)
  • Equestrian
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Diving
  • Snowboarding
  • Crossfit
  • Field Hockey
  • Triathlon

Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 1

Contact Sports

  • Football (American)
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Karate
  • Judo
  • Taekwondo
  • Lacrosse
  • Aussie Rules Football
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Rugby League
  • Gridiron Football
  • Ice Hockey
  • Field Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Water Polo
  • Roller Derby
  • Inline Hockey
  • Tackle Football
  • Touch Football
  • Paintball
  • Flag Football
  • Sumo Wrestling
  • Greco-Roman Wrestling
  • Freestyle Wrestling
  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 2

Water Sports

  • Fishing
  • Water Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Sailing
  • Diving
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Water Polo
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Jet Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Kiteboarding
  • Windsurfing
  • Rafting
  • Rowing
  • Dragon Boat Racing
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Open Water Swimming
  • Water Aerobics
  • Hydrofoil
  • Beach Volleyball

Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 3

Winter Sports

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice Skating
  • Ice Hockey
  • Snowshoeing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Tobogganing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Biathlon
  • Figure Skating
  • Bobsledding
  • Luge
  • Skeleton
  • Curling
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Nordic Combined
  • Snow skiing
  • Ice Dancing
  • Ice Climbing

Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 4

Less Usual Sports

  • Croquet
  • Fencing
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Hunting
  • Parkour
  • Rock Climbing
  • Slacklining
  • Skateboarding
  • BMX
  • Mountain Biking
  • Free Running
  • Surf Kayaking
  • Sandboarding
  • Kite Flying
  • Unicycle
  • Trampoline
  • Juggling
  • Tumbling
  • Acrobatics
  • Fencing
  • Archery
  • Airsoft
  • Larping (Live Action Role-Play)
  • Ax Throwing
  • Disc Golf
  • Bouldering
  • Obstacle Course Racing
  • Mountaineering
  • Snowkiting
  • Wing Suiting

Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 5

Extreme Sports

  • Skateboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Surfing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Base Jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Wingsuit Flying
  • Mountain Biking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Hang Gliding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Parkour
  • Free Running
  • Dirt Biking
  • BMX Racing
  • Surfing (big waves)
  • Snowmobiling
  • Speed Flying


Sports vocabulary in English is vast and varied, with words and phrases specific to different sports and levels of play. It includes technical terms such as “offside” in soccer and “strike zone” in baseball, as well as colloquial expressions like “slam dunk” in basketball and “hat trick” in hockey. Understanding sports vocabulary is important for effectively communicating about and understanding the games, whether in casual conversation or in more formal contexts like broadcasting and journalism. Additionally, sports vocabulary can also be useful in other areas such as business and politics, as many idioms and expressions used in sports have been incorporated into everyday speech.

Sports Vocabulary | Pictures

Sports Vocabulary for English Learners
Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 6
Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 7
Sports Vocabulary for English Learners 8

Sport and Exercise Verbs

Sports and physical activities are a great way to stay healthy and active. However, it can be challenging to describe what you or others are doing while engaging in these activities. That’s why it’s important to learn the right sport and exercise verbs in English. Here are some of the most common verbs used to describe different types of physical activities:

  • Run: to move quickly on foot
  • Walk: to move at a moderate pace on foot
  • Jump: to push off the ground with both feet and move into the air
  • Skip: to move by hopping on one foot and then the other
  • Hop: to move by jumping on one foot
  • Climb: to move up or down something using your hands and feet
  • Swim: to move through water by using your arms and legs
  • Dive: to jump into water headfirst
  • Kick: to hit something with your foot
  • Hit: to strike something with force using your hand or an object
  • Throw: to propel something through the air using your arm
  • Catch: to receive and hold onto something that has been thrown or dropped

By learning these sport and exercise verbs, you’ll be able to describe physical activities more accurately and easily. So, next time you’re playing a game of soccer or going for a jog, try using some of these verbs to describe what you’re doing!

List of Sport and Exercise Verbs with Examples 

  • Walk – Don’t try to walk before you can crawl.
  • Run – Do not run too fast after gain.
  • Stretch – Breathe in through your nose as you stretch up.
  • Jump  – Can you jump over the river?
  • Bounce – Bounce the ball and try and hit it over the net.
  • Serve – Serving is arguably the most important aspect of the game, as it is the one shot which has to be in every single rally.
  • Lie down – For this exercise, it is best to lie down, or sit with both feet on the floor.
  • Sit – Sit on the floor, stretching your legs out in front of you.
  • Kneel – Do not run, stand, kneel or spin in the slide.
  • Ride – Life is a horse, and either you ride it or it rides you.
  • Kick – The kids love to kick a ball against my wall.
  • Hop – I tried to hop on my good foot while holding onto Jim.
  • Skip – They skip rope and play catch.
  • Pass – Pass the ball to the person next to you in the circle and pretend the ball is really heavy by miming.
  • Dribble – He was trying to dribble the ball past his opponents.
  • Shoot – Keep your distance, or I’ll shoot!
  • Catch – The baseball hitter fumbled his attempt to catch it.
  • Hit – Look! He is hitting the ball to the goal.