ESL Sport Vocabulary

Most people are interested in some sport, and this ESL sport vocabulary will help you have a conversation with them. Sport is a good topic to talk about when you meet someone new.

ESL sport vocabulary to help you speak about sport.

This page has a list of vocabulary that includes many terms that will let you talk about what sport you like as well as watching or playing sport. Try to learn as much of the vocabulary as you can before moving onto the other pages related to sport. After the vocabulary list with definitions of sport words on this page there are sport vocabulary flashcards you can download and use offline.

Then there is a recording of the ESL sport vocabulary being spoken by a native English speaker so you can listen to the pronunciation. This is in two forms, either you can just listen to the recording or you can watch a video of the spoken terms as the flashcards are being shown.

Then once you have finished learning the vocabulary there are three ESL sport vocabulary exercises.

  • Identify the correct definition of a word.
  • Identify the correct meaning of a definition.
  • Identify pictures of vocabulary items.

ESL Sport Vocabulary List with Definitions

This list contains many ESL sport vocabulary items. You should try to learn the meanings of the words from the definitions. After the list there is a set of flashcards with the vocabulary items on that you can download. Then finally a recording of the list being spoken by a native English speaker.

American football: An American game where a ball is thrown forward to other players. (noun)
Athletics: A sport related to physical activity, such as running, jumping or throwing. (noun)
Away: The team that is playing sport at the ground/field of the other team. (adjective)
Badminton: A game played with rackets, a high net and a shuttlecock. (noun)
Baseball: An American game where a ball has to be hit with a bat. (noun)
Basketball: An American game where a ball has to be bounced on the floor and thrown through a hoop. (noun)
Bat: A thin long object that is held and used to hit another object, often a ball. (noun)
Baton: A stick that has to be carried to the end of a race by a group of participants. (noun)
Boxing: A sport where two people hit each other and try to win the fight. (noun)
Boxing ring: A square area with ropes around it in which a boxing match takes place. (noun)
Captain: The member of a team that is in charge of all the other players while playing the sport. (noun)
Car racing: A contest to see which car is the fastest or which is the best car driver. (noun)
Club (1): A long stick with a small but heavy head that is used to hit balls in some sports. (noun)
Club (2): A group of people all interested in playing the same sport together. (noun)
Coach: The person responsible for making sure a team or individual is ready to play a sport. (noun)
Court: An area in which a sport is played, and which the sport should not leave. (noun)
Cricket: A British game where a bat is used to hit a ball. (noun)
Crowd: A group of people together in one place (who are watching sport). (noun)
Cue: A long thin wooden stick used to hit the balls in snooker. (noun)
Cycling: A sport that uses bicycles, often in races. (noun)
Darts: A game of skill where a sharp pointed metal stick is thrown at a target on a wall. (noun)
Diving: To jump into water from a high platform while performing tricks. (noun)
Equipment: The things that are needed to be able to play a sport. (noun)
Exercise: To do sport for health benefits rather than trying to win. (noun)
Football: A team game where the feet are used to kick a ball. (Called soccer in America.) (noun)
Fun: To enjoy doing something. (adjective)
Game: A single occasion of playing a sport. (Similar to a match.) (noun)
Golf: A game in which a club is used to hit a small ball into a hole in the ground. (noun)
Grandstand: A building full of seats for people to sit and watch a sport being played. (noun)
Ground: The place where a sport is played, e.g. football ground. (noun)
Gymnastics: A sporting contest about performing exercises. (noun)
Helmet: A form of protection worn on the head to prevent injuries. (noun)
Hockey: A game where a stick is used to hit a small ball. (noun)
Home: The team that is playing sport at its own ground/field. (adjective)
Hoop: A circular shape that a basketball has to be passed through. (noun)
Horseracing: A sport where horses are ridden by jockeys trying to win a race. (noun)
Ice-hockey: A game played on ice where a small disk is hit with a stick. (noun)
Jockey: The person who rides a horse in horse races. (noun)
Long-jump: A contest where the participants try to jump as far as possible. (noun)
Manager: The person who organizes how, when and where a team or individual will play a sport. (noun)
Marathon: A running race that is just over 26 miles long. (noun)
Match: A single occasion of playing a sport. (Similar to a game.) (noun)
Motorsport: Races between cars, motorbikes or anything else with an engine on land. (noun)
Net: A barrier between the participants over which an object has to passed. (noun)
Olympics: A very large sporting contest held every four years in which most countries take part. (noun)
Opponent: The other person or team in a sporting contest. (noun)
Para-Olympics: An Olympic contest for people with disabilities. (noun)
Participants: The people who take part in or play sports. (noun)
Pitch: The area in which a match has to be played. (noun)
Play: To do a sport. (verb)
Player: A person who does sport. (noun)
Playing field: An outside area that is used to play a sport. (noun)
Pole-vault: A contest where a long stick is used to try to jump as high as possible. (noun)
Race: A contest where the participants have to get to the end as fast as possible. (noun)
Racket: An object with a large head that is used to hit another object, often a ball. (noun)
Referee: The person in charge of making sure the rules are followed. (Similar to an umpire.) (noun)
Relay: A race where several people run as a team by taking turns and passing a baton. (noun)
Rugby: A British game where hands are used to pass a ball backwards to other team members. (noun)
Running: To move as fast as possible. (noun)
Season ticket: A ticket that lets you attend all the matches a team plays. (noun)
Shuttlecock: The cone shaped object used in badminton. (noun)
Skiing: Using skis to move over snow quickly. (noun)
Skis: Two long flat pieces of material attached to the feet used to slide over snow. (noun)
Snooker: A game played on a table where a cue is used to hit balls into pockets. (noun)
Snowboard: A long and wide piece of material attached to the feet used to slide over snow. (noun)
Snowboarding: Using a snowboard to move over snow and perform tricks. (noun)
Soccer: A team game where the feet are used to kick a ball. (Name used in America.) (noun)
Spectator: Someone who watches sport. (noun)
Sport centre: A large building in which people can do different sports. (noun)
Sport: A comparison that involves physical activity. (noun)
Squash: A game played inside a court where rackets are used to hit a small ball against a wall. (noun)
Stadium: The building that surrounds a pitch where sports are played. (noun)
Supporter: Someone who follows a specific team. (noun)
Swim: To move through water. (noun)
Table tennis: A game played on a table with small rackets and balls. (noun)
Team: A group of people who play sport together against another group. (noun)
Tennis: A game played on a court where a racket is used to hit a ball over a net. (noun)
Tournament: A group of matches used to find the best team or individual at that sport. (noun)
Track: The path that a race has to follow. (noun)
Turnstile: A gate that lets only one person through at a time. (noun)
Umpire: The person in charge of making sure the rules are followed. (Similar to a referee.) (noun)
Winter sports: Sports that need either snow or ice to be undertaken. (noun)
World Cup: A big football (soccer) tournament held every four years. (noun)

Vocabulary Flashcards for Sport

The following flashcards can be downloaded by clicking on them or the link. You can save them as a pdf file and then print them so you can learn the ESL sport vocabulary anywhere or anytime, even when you are not connected to the Internet.

Sport vocabulary flashcards

Spoken Sport Vocabulary

The ESL sport vocabulary items have been recorded by a native English speaker so you can hear the correct pronunciation. They are either as a recording you can listen to or a video of the flashcards you can watch. Listen as many times as you need to.



ESL Sport Vocabulary Exercises

Exercise 1 – Correct Definition

This first exercise about the ESL sport vocabulary is about finding the correct definition. In each of the five questions you are given a word and have to choose which of the definitions (A-D) is the correct one. When you have finished click the get score button to see how well you did.

ESL Sport Vocabulary Definitions


Choose the correct definition for the sport vocabulary in this quiz.

1) What is the definition of Bat?
        A) The member of a team that is in charge of all the other players while playing the sport.
        B) The things that are needed to be able to play a sport.
        C) A thin long object that is held and used to hit another object, often a ball.
        D) A game in which a club is used to hit a small ball into a hole in the ground.
2) What is the definition of Darts?
        A) A game of skill where a sharp pointed metal stick is thrown at a target on a wall.
        B) A single occasion of playing a sport. (Similar to a match.)
        C) A square area with ropes around it in which a boxing match takes place.
        D) Sport related to physical activity, such as running, jumping or throwing.
3) What is the definition of Marathon?
        A) The person who organizes how, when and where a team or individual will play a sport.
        B) The other person or team in a sporting contest.
        C) A contest where a long stick is used to try to jump as high as possible.
        D) A running race that is just over 26 miles long.
4) What is the definition of Net?
        A) A barrier between the participants over which an object has to passed.
        B) To move as fast as possible.
        C) A long and wide piece of material attached to the feet used to slide over snow.
        D) An object with a large head that is used to hit another object, often a ball.
5) What is the definition of Table tennis?
        A) Sports that need either snow or ice to be undertaken.
        B) A gate that lets only one person through at a time.
        C) A game played on a table with small rackets and balls.
        D) A team game where the feet are used to kick a ball. (Called soccer in America.)

Score =

Correct answers:

Exercise 2 – Correct Meaning

For this exercise you are given the meaning of an ESL sport vocabulary word and have to pick the correct option (A-D) that matches the meaning. Again, when you have finished click the get score button to reveal the answers.

ESL Sport Vocabulary Identification of Meaning


Choose the word that matches the definition given in each of the five questions in this quiz.

1) What is the meaning of the following definition: A sport where two people hit each other and try to win the fight?
        A) Basketball
        B) Jockey
        C) Exercise
        D) Boxing
2) What is the meaning of the following definition: A form of protection worn on the head to prevent injuries?
        A) Fun
        B) Player
        C) Helmet
        D) Long-jump
3) What is the meaning of the following definition: A contest where the participants have to get to the end as fast as possible?
        A) Race
        B) Opponent
        C) Running
        D) Umpire
4) What is the meaning of the following definition: A group of matches used to find the best team or individual at that sport?
        A) Tournament
        B) Swim
        C) Court
        D) Equipment
5) What is the meaning of the following definition: A British game where a bat is used to hit a ball?
        A) Car racing
        B) Hoop
        C) Cricket
        D) Horseracing

Score =

Correct answers:

Exercise 3 – Identify Picture

Below you have five pictures (A-E) that show items from the ESL sport vocabulary list. You have to decide which word (A-D) in each of the five questions matches the given picture. Click the button to show the score when you have finished.

ESL Sport Vocabulary Picture Descriptions


Identify the best description for each of the images (A-E) given above that correspond to the five questions in this quiz.

1) Which description best describes picture A given above?
        A) Grandstand
        B) Helmet
        C) Basketball
        D) Manager
2) Which description best describes picture B given above?
        A) Pitch
        B) Coach
        C) Rugby
        D) Cue
3) Which description best describes picture C given above?
        A) American football
        B) Bat
        C) Jockey
        D) Captain
4) Which description best describes picture D given above?
        A) Snooker
        B) Car racing
        C) Tennis
        D) Squash
5) Which description best describes picture E given above?
        A) Winter sports
        B) Net
        C) Playing field
        D) Relay

Score =

Correct answers:



› Sport

Back to top of page



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Back to top of page

ESL 4U Ezine


Get all the news from Excellent ESL 4U and your copy of my free Ebook
 'How to Get Better at English: A Guide for ESL Learners'. Just fill-in the two boxes below. It's as simple as that.

How to Get Better at English: A Guide for ESL Learners by Jolyon Dodgson
Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Excellent ESL 4U E-zine.