Expatriate Sports: Finding Teams that Play Your Favorite European Sports

Sep 23

rugbyWhen you first move from Europe to the U.S., you are going to notice a big difference in sports. First, finding rugby is quite the challenge! This is very much a sport enjoyed by the expatriate community, rather than a sport that is enjoyed around the U.S. Next, as all Europeans should know, ‘football’ as we know it is ‘soccer’, and ‘football’ as the Americans know it is ‘American football’ to us. These are quite minor differences in nomenclature, but it is worth getting to grips with them now before you turn up to a game and realize the players are engaging in an entirely different sport to the one you expected. Finally, depending on where you live, you might have to expect some small differences in playing venues for hockey and tennis.

Sports that are Hard to Find in the U.S.

Contrary to popular belief, rugby does exist in America. It just isn’t as popular as the national favorite: football (American, not European!). There is a United States of America rugby league, so while you may not find yourself watching the Six Nations with the same passion, there is a league available for you to enjoy. There are three national rugby teams, featuring both male and female ensembles. Venues for watching games change from season-to-season. Main state colleges are a popular venue for rugby.

Hockey isn’t exactly non-existent in America, but it is rare to find a game played on a green like you will in Europe. Instead, you need to turn your attentions to ice hockey to get a fix. The American Hockey League represents 30 professional hockey teams, and the atmosphere at each game is certainly eclectic.

Finally, indoor tennis isn’t actually hard to find in America, as there are different associations representing both lawn tennis and indoor tennis. Both also have different championships, and Europeans usually find that they can enjoy the U.S. Open as much as they enjoy Wimbledon or the French Open.

Sports With Different Names in the U.S.

We all know that soccer is football and football is American football. Soccer is quite a big part of American culture, just under a different name. There are some teams that are big on the international stage, much like there are in Europe. For example, LA Galaxy, which was famously home to David Beckham for a few years. Both America and Canada are FIFA Affiliated, which means there is great scope to enjoy the World Cup, as well as Olympic participation every four years. The only major difference is no European Cup, but you can enjoy that from afar using cable television.

Sports That are Exceedingly Popular in the U.S.

America and Europe both have a big love for one sport in particular: golf! This is why The Masters is shared between the two countries, with the destination changing on an annual basis. The country is full of great golf courses, with Georgia and Florida being particularly excellent golfing locations.

Even when you live far away from the nearest venue to see your favorite sports played live, there is always cable. Getting a cable TV package is like having a window into your sporting worlds, so you can still enjoy your favorite teams from across the pond.

Erick Boigon Erick Boigon (10 Posts)

My name is Erick Boigon and I am a transplant from Toronto Canada to Denver Colorado. It may not seem like that much of a transition from Canada to the U.S. but I have been really surprised what it took to get here! Currently I am working for a large company in Denver as a software engineer after receiving a M.S. in software engineering.

One comment

  1. I moved to Texas about 30 years ago from Canada and it was almost impossible to find a hockey game to enjoy. My knees are really bad now but there are hockey centers all over the metroplex. I sure wish they had more ice rinks back in the 80s.

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