Most popular sports in Bolivia

One of the recurring questions asked by visitors to Bolivia Web is about the most popular sports in Bolivia. I don’t have statistics to back me up, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

In terms of how much coverage a particular sport gets, soccer is by far the most popular sport in Bolivia. Newspapers and TV sports shows provide comprehensive coverage about the country’s professional league. If there are no matches being played, sports reporters cover practice sessions and interview soccer players both before and after each practice. Professional soccer is an obsession.

In terms of the favorite sports that Bolivians actually play, my guess is that “fútbol de salon” is more popular than regular soccer. “Fútbol de salon”, also know as “fulbito” is a type of soccer normally played in basketball courts fitted with small goals. The ball is smaller than a regular soccer ball. Teams have five or six players.

Another popular sport is “paleta”, a racquet sport played in a large outdoor court or “frontón” surrounded by three tall walls. Years ago, “paleta” was played with wooden paddles, hence the name. Nowadays, wooden paddles have been replaced by racquetball racquets.

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10 Responses to Most popular sports in Bolivia

  1. ashley fields says:

    I’m looking for a website for photos of popular Bolivia sports.

  2. Do you guys play any golf in Bolivia? Are there golf courses? If so, what are the conditions.

  3. Bob Martinez says:

    Do you play Baseball?

  4. Amalee John-Baptiste says:

    do they play tennis in bolivia

  5. Carlos R. Saavedra says:

    Anything on the history of pelota vasca as played in Bolvia? Handball, pelota vasca, or cajchi, I believe was widely played, particularly in the highland cities. I would be interested in pictures of handball courts, players, history, etc.

  6. Beach Soccer will soon be played in Bolivia thanks to the Fondo Interamericano de Desarrollo (Inter-American Development Fund) who is building the first beach soccer arena in the city of Cochabamba.

    Although it is a sport commonly practiced in coastal countries, it has been very popular in Bolivia lately based on the high ratings received by Red Unitel who transmitted live the Beach Soccer World Cup earlier this year that was hosted in Copacabana.

  7. cRIOLLITA says:

    We had many Brits working in Bolivia in the earlist 1920, tennis,soccer,pelota vasca was common,we had women basketball teams in the 1930,my mother was captain of her team with English and Bolivian players,Bolivia was more sofisticated in the past.
    The mines had soccer,golf,and other sports. I have photos of my parents wearing their whites playing tennis, the local priest playing pelota vasca. All this is gone from the mines.In La Paz there was a rugby team and Hockey on skates, when we came back from boarding school in England we could also ride horses and play our sports. Now only tennis and soccer I think is praticed, I wanted to tell Bolivia was very up to date in everything.

  8. lacey says:

    what sports do you play in bolivia? i need to know for a project please respond as soon as possible(:

  9. Flo Rida says:

    Is there golf and baseball in Bolivia?

  10. Patrick Smith says:

    Here I’m leaving for your entertaiment a cool web site about Tennis in Bolivia.

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