What Sports are Popular in Vietnam?

Like many other countries in the world, Vietnam is also actively involved in sports. In fact, sports have played a very important role in Vietnam’s cultural field, and it is also essential in its cultural development. The sports sector began to improve and became promoted widely in Vietnam in 1975. In the present time, sports in Vietnam are used as a bridge to connect people from different age groups. When you visit Vietnam, you will see elderly men playing a game of badminton in the parks, and as well as children participating in karate classes as few examples that show how people love sports in the country.

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The youth in Vietnam are the majority of participants in different sports. The country also has different sports clubs and training facilities which are used in training their upcoming sportsmen and women. If you are curious about the popular sports being played by the people in Vietnam, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are giving you a list of sports that are popular in Vietnam.

Football (Soccer)

playing soccer in Vietnam
Football, or particularly soccer, is the most popular sport in Vietnam. It was introduced to them by the French in 1896. Initially, it was presented in Cochinchina and eventually spread to other regions of the colony, mostly central and northern regions. The football association of Vietnam is governed by the Vietnam Football Federation. This governing body oversees the country’s national football teams, and as well as their national leagues.

There are two national football teams that existed in Vietnam when the country was divided into South Vietnam and North Vietnam. Among the two teams, the team from North Vietnam was less active. They usually played against other Communist states from 1956 to 1966. South Vietnam’s team, on the other hand, partaken in the first two AFC Asian Cup finals, where they finished fourth place twice. When you visit Vietnam, you will see many people, especially younger ones, playing football.

Badminton

racket and shuttlecocks
Badminton is a very common sport in Vietnam, and it is usually played by young and middle-aged people. When played professionally, badminton is one of the country’s strengths. People in Vietnam can play badminton from morning till evening. When you visit Vietnam and stroll around the parks of Hanoi, such as Bach Thao, Thong Nhat, Hang Dau, and even on streets that have wide spaces, you will be able to see many people of different ages playing badminton.

You can also spot many pre-drawn badminton courts on the ground in Vietnam. When you see these, all you have to do is set up a net and bring your racket to play. If you are a foreigner, you can also join locals who are playing badminton in the parks. Befriend them, borrow a racket, and have a great time playing with them.

Australian Rules Football

playing Aussie rules
Australian rules football, or also known as Aussie rules, football, or footy, is another popular sport in Vietnam. It was during the Vietnam War when this sport was first played in the country. The game was played in 1966 between the members of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment. Then, another game was played in 1969. These games were organized by a footballer from the Sandringham Football Clube and the Melbourne Football Club named Captain Bill McHahon, who came from Croydon, Victoria.

There are other social games that were played in Vietnam, but in 1998, Aussie rules was played in an official capacity. It was when the Saigon Saints was formed, which was a team made up of Australian expatriates. Later on, another team was formed, which was the Hanoi Hawks, which was also composed of Australian migrants.

In 2003, Aussie rules was revived in Hanoi by the Hanoi Swans, who also participated in the tri-nations tournament against Hong Kong and Thailand. Then, a revolution began in Saigon with the intent of uplifting the sport in the area and merging with Hanoi to make a national team, which is the Vietnam Swans.

In 2007, the Vietnam Swans played for the first time in the 8th Annual Asian Championships that was held in Bangkok. Aside from that, they also took part in the Asian Championships that was held in Singapore in 2008. Since then, the Vietnam team have been playing Aussie rules internationally.

Table Tennis

man playing table tennis
Table tennis, in Vietnam, is a game for the elderly. In fact, they have training centers for this sport around the country. But aside from the elderly, table tennis is also played professionally in Vietnam. It is played by the Vietnam Davis Cup team, and as well as the Vietnam Fed Cup team. The main global team event un men’s tennis is the Davis Cup, while the Fed Cup is a women’s table tennis competition. Both cups are run by the Vietnam Tennis Federation.

Rugby

men playing rugby
Rugby is a growing sport in Vietnam. It was introduced to the country when Vietnam was a section of French Indochina. However, it was mostly played by French immigrants. When Vietnam became an independent country, there was a long pause in playing the sport due to some factors, including political and financial forces, and as well as famine, which made playing the game impossible.

Just like other small countries that play rugby, this sport is centered in Vietnam’s capital city. The historical relationship of the country with France is, in fact, a blessing because the players that were able to meet the criteria for the national rugby team are now playing in France.

Cricket

man playing cricket
Cricket was first played in Vietnam in the middle of the 20th century. But it was formalized in 1993 when the Hanoi Cricket Club was created. In Vietnam, cricket is mainly played by English immigrants who have maintained its social features in a country where football is the most popular and most played sport. However, the sports industry in Vietnam has not set an official governing body for cricket. But the industry is promoting the sport by lobbying for the creation of an organization for cricket, especially in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

people scuba diving
Watersports, particularly snorkeling and scuba diving, are also very popular in Vietnam. This is because the country has a long shoreline that is about 2121 miles, which is a very good setting for watersports. Most of the scuba diving and snorkeling spots in Vietnam are located in the southern and central regions. One of the most popular is Nha Trang in central Vietnam, which is considered to be a starting-off point for a lot of snorkel locations in the South China Sea.

These are some of the most popular sports in Vietnam. But even though there are a number of sports being played in the country, note that Vietnamese people are not that sporty. In fact, it can be possible that Vietnam is one of the countries with the lowest number of sportsmen. But Vietnam still organizes a sporting event called the Vietnam National Games, which involves participants from the whole country. It is to evaluate the preparation cycle of the athletes, and as well as to make sure that the local athletes are able to train for global competitions. We hope that this list was able to help you in discovering the most popular sports in Vietnam.