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Arrival of the ice hockey world champions at Old Town Square (2010)

Sports play a significant part in the life of many Czechs who are generally loyal supporters of their favourite teams or individuals.

The two leading sports in the Czech Republic are football and ice hockey, both of which draw the largest attention of both the media and supporters. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, volleyball, team handball, Czech handball, athletics, floorball and others. Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event and sinking several days after.

The events considered the most important by Czech fans are: the Ice Hockey World Championship, the Olympic ice hockey tournament, the European football championship, the football World Cup and qualification matches for such events. In general, any international match involving the Czech ice hockey or football national team draws attention, especially when played against a traditional rival: Germany in football; Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Canada in ice hockey; and Slovakia in both. Summer and winter Olympic games are also both very popular.

Ice hockey

Main article: Ice hockey in the Czech Republic

Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the Czech Republic

O2 Arena in Prague, was built for the 2004 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
Jaromír Jágr is the leading point scorer among active NHL players[1]

The Czech national team

Main article: Czech Republic men's national ice hockey team

The Czech national team is one of the top teams in the world, regularly competing in the World Championship, the Winter Olympic Games and the Euro Hockey Tour. The national team captured their first Olympic gold at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano. From 1996 to 2001, the Czech Republic won six World Championship medals, including three consecutive gold from 1999 to 2001. Prominent Czech players include Jaromír Jágr, Dominik Hašek, Patrik Eliáš, Tomáš Plekanec, Aleš Hemský, Tomáš Kaberle, Milan Michálek and Robert Lang, who captained the 2006 Olympic team to a bronze medal. The team last won gold at the 2024 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships.


Main article: Czech Extraliga

The Extraliga is the highest ranking ice hockey competition in the Czech Republic.


The team HC Lev Praha played two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) league, beginning with the 2012–13 season. The team qualified for the playoffs, but was eliminated by HC CSKA Moscow. In the 2013–2014 season they reached the final where they lost the Gagarin Cup to Metallurg Magnitogorsk.


Generali Arena home to AC Sparta Prague

Main article: Football in the Czech Republic

Football has been a popular sport amongst the locals. Previously the old Czechoslovakia team were a force to be reckoned with, finishing runners-up twice in the World Cup and winning UEFA Euro 1976. The sport gained even more support when the national team qualified for their first World Cup since the break-up of Czechoslovakia. More recently players such as Petr Čech, Tomáš Rosický and Pavel Nedvěd have gone on to achieve great success at top European clubs and have become national icons.

In domestic football, the Czech First League is the top-level in the Czech football league system. The most successful clubs are the two capital-based sides Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague. For a long time, Sparta Prague has supplied the national team with players such as Libor Sionko, Jaromír Blažek, Zdeněk Grygera, and Tomáš Rosický.

Sparta Prague has been a regular participant in the UEFA Champions League, and recently also joined FC Viktoria Plzeň and Slavia Prague.


Floorball became a very popular sport in the last two decades in the Czech Republic. Czech Floorball, which is officially the Czech floorball association and a member of IFF, was established in 1992. In 2023 it had more than 70,000 members.[2] This places Czech Floorball in third position between Finland and Switzerland in number of members worldwide. Since 1996, when the first Men's World Floorball Championship took place, until 2023, the Czech Republic men's national floorball team have achieved two second place (2004 and 2022) and two third place finishes. In the 2019 and 2021 Czech juniors won the gold medal in the U19 world championship in Halifax and Brno. The Superliga florbalu and Extraliga žen ve florbale are the highest Czech floorball leagues. Many Czechs also play floorball in their free time at an amateur level.

American Football

The domestic league Czech League of American Football that features four levels of play and also a woman's division. The Czech Bowl is the final of the top league. The Prague Black Panthers founded in 1991 have won 18 Czech league championships and has competed in European Football League. There is also a National team representing the country in international competition.


The national bandy team made its Bandy World Championship debut in 2016. In Nymburk an annual international rink bandy tournament was organised.[3] In 2017 Federation of International Bandy decided to make it an official one.[4] As of 2019, four teams are playing in the national rink bandy league. It is already decided that more will participate in 2019.[5] A variety of rink bandy called short bandy has been invented in Czechia.[6] In terms of licensed athletes, bandy is the second biggest winter sport in the world.[7]


Baseball is growing in popularity but is still considered a minor sport. The Czech Republic hosted the 2009 Baseball World Cup. A few Czech have signed contracts and are now playing in Minor League Baseball. The Czech Republic was invited to compete in the qualifying round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.[8]

In September of 2022, the Czech Republic made history by qualifying for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.[9] At the 2023 World Baseball Classic the Czech Republic beat China in its opening game and finished 4th in its group, thus qualifying for the 2026 World Baseball Classic.[10] Later in 2023, the Czech Republic hosted the 2023 European Baseball Championship. The Czech Republic finished 5th at the 2023 European Baseball Championship after losing its quarterfinal match to Great Britain, then beating Israel and France to secure its placing.[11]


Main article: Czech Republic national basketball team

Basketball is a popular sport in the Czech Republic.

As the heir to the successful Czechoslovakia men's national basketball team, the Czech national team has at times struggled to keep up to the expectations. For the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the Czech national team qualified for the first time.

Notable Czech players include Tomáš Satoranský, Jan Veselý, Jiří Welsch and George Zidek.

The National Basketball League is the country's top division.

Beach volleyball

The country featured national teams in beach volleyball that competed at the 2018–2020 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in both the women's and the men's sections.[12]


Cricket has been played in the Czech Republic since 1997, however, as a sports body, joined the ICC International Cricket Council in 2000.

The Czech Cricket Union is the official governing body of the sport of cricket in Czech Republic. Its current headquarters is in Prague. The Czech Cricket Union is the Czech Republic's representative at the International Cricket Council and is an affiliate member. It is also a member of the European Cricket Council.

Horse racing

Among the most famous horse races in the country are the Velká pardubická in Pardubice, as well as the Czech Triple Crown of flat racing, which takes place at Prague-Velká Chuchle Racecourse.


The Czech Republic has sent national teams to the World Lacrosse Championship, the World Lacrosse Women's World Championship and the Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships.[13]

Motorcycle racing


Speedway has been run a league since the mid-1950s. The main stadium of Markéta Stadium in Prague 6 today hosts a round of the World Championship Grand-Prix series and is the only ever present in the competition. Other major venues include the Svítkov Stadium, Slaný Speedway Stadium and Speedway Stadium Plzeň. The major league teams are Olympic Prague, Pardubice and Slaný.


Longtrack racing has always had a major following in the country. The home of longtrack is Mariánské Lázně which is about two hours west of Prague. It hosts both domestic and international meetings and had held many of the World Championship finals and Grand-Prix rounds.


Some of the most famous to have competed in both sports are Aleš Dryml Sr. and his son Aleš Dryml Jr., Roman Matoušek, Zdeněk Schneiderwind, Antonín Šváb, Luboš Tomíček and Václav Verner.

Rugby union

Main articles: Rugby union in the Czech Republic and Rugby union in Czechoslovakia

Josef Rössler-Ořovský, who introduced a number of sports in the then Czechoslovakia, among others skiing and tennis, was originally credited with starting rugby union as well back in 1895.[14] He went to England and brought back a rugby ball with him. Efforts were made to play the game at the Czech Yacht Club, but a public struggle ensued, and rugby subsequently never really caught on.

Czechoslovakia was a founder member of FIRA in 1934, and joined the IRB in 1988.[15]

Currently, Brno in Moravia, and the capital Prague are considered to be the centres for Rugby Union in the country.

Rugby League

Main article: rugby league in the Czech Republic

Rugby league in the Czech Republic was started in 2006. The Czechs received government funding before a game was played there, and in their first game on August 5, 2006, in Prague, the Czechs went down 34–28 to the Netherlands.

In 2007 the Czech Republic took part in the European Shield tournament. This included two other 2nd tier nations; Germany and Serbia. Czech national team lost both their matches, v Germany 22–44 in Prague (4 August) and v Serbia 16–56 in Belgrade (18 August), and finished third.

In 2011, the Czech Rugby League Association was admitted to affiliate membership of the Rugby League European Federation after reforming its governance.[16]

Shooting sports

Further information: Gun politics in the Czech Republic

Sport shooting is the third most widespread sport in the Czech Republic.[17] Among notable shooters is Kateřina Emmons, who won the gold in 2008 Summer Olympics.

Individual sports

FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec
Petra Kvitová won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014

Liberec (German: Reichenberg) hosted the FIL European Luge Championships in 1914 and 1939. Prague hosted the 1958 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in 1958. In 2009, Liberec hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and the Ski Jumping World Cup always comes here in January.


The Czech Athletics Federation organises the annual Czech Athletics Championships and Czech Indoor Athletics Championships. Regular athletics meetings are held at the Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague, as well as the Golden Spike Ostrava. Half marathons are regularly run in cities including České Budějovice, Karlovy Vary, Olomouc, Prague, and Ústí nad Labem. Annual marathons are held in places including Kladno, Ostrava, and Prague.

Figure skating

Tomáš Verner is the 2008 European champion, a medalist at two other European Championships (2007 silver, 2011 bronze), and a ten-time (2002–2004, 2006–2008, 2011–2014) Czech national champion. He has won six senior Grand Prix medals, including the 2010 Cup of Russia title. He has represented the Czech Republic at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. He has qualified for the Grand Prix Final three times (2008, 2009 and 2010). His highest placement in the World Championships is fourth which he achieved twice in 2007 and 2009.

Michal Brezina has represented the Czech Republic at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. He is the 2013 European bronze medalist, 2011 Skate America champion, 2009 World Junior silver medalist, and four-time Czech national champion. He is also the winner of the 2014-15 ISU Challenger Series. He has qualified for the Grand Prix Final twice (2011 and 2018). His younger sister, Eliška Březinová, competes in ladies' single skating.

Skiing and snowboarding

The Czech Republic has produced a number of successful competitors in various skiing disciplines in recent years. Šárka Záhrobská has been a successful alpine skier, specialising in the slalom. She has won four World Championship medals in the discipline: a gold in 2007, a silver in 2009 and bronzes in 2005 and 2015. She also won a bronze in the slalom at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Ester Ledecká won the gold medal in the super-G. Ledecká also took another gold at the same Games in the snowboard parallel giant slalom, becoming the first woman to take gold medals in two different sports at the Winter Olympics.[18] She also took Snowboarding World Championship golds in parallel slalom in 2015 and in parallel giant slalom in 2017. Ledecká also won the overall parallel and parallel giant slalom World Cup titles in 2015-16 and took another overall parallel World Cup in 2016-17. Eva Samková won the gold medal in the snowboard cross at the 2014 Winter Olympics and was World Cup snowboard cross champion in 2016-17. Šárka Pančochová took the overall freestyle and slopestyle World Cup titles in the 2013-14 season.

In cross-country skiing Kateřina Neumannová and Lukáš Bauer have enjoyed success. Neumannová won a gold medal in the 30 kilometre freestyle event at the 2006 Winter Olympics, as well as two World Championships in the 10 kilometre race in 2005 and 2007. She also won 18 races in the FIS Cross-Country World Cup. Bauer won the overall and distance World Cups in the 2007–08 seasons, as well as a silver and two bronze medals at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, and a silver in the 15 kilometre classical event at the 2009 World Championships. He is also a double winner of the Tour de Ski in 2008 and 2010.

In the sport of Biathlon World Championship golds have been won by Kateřina Holubcová (in the 15 kilometre individual event in 2003) and Roman Dostál (in the 20 kilometre individual in 2005). More recently Gabriela Koukalová enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2012–13, scoring four World Cup wins. She subsequently took gold medals at the 2015 World Championships as part of the Czech mixed relay team, and at the 2017 Worlds in the sprint. She was also overall World Cup champion in 2015-16.


The Czech Republic hosts a number of tennis events each year, the most notable of which is the WTA Prague Open, which has WTA International status since 2015. The Czech Open in Prostějov, the Prosperita Open in Ostrava and the Prague Open are part of the ATP Challenger Tour, while the Prague Open is also part of the ITF Women's Circuit.

The Czech Republic Davis Cup team has won twice in 2012 and 2013, whereas the Czech Republic Fed Cup team has won six times in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.

The best tennis players from the Czech Republic include Jaroslav Drobný, Ivan Lendl, Jan Kodeš, Petr Korda, Tomáš Berdych, Radek Štěpánek, Martina Navratilova, Hana Mandlíková, Helena Suková, Jana Novotná, Petra Kvitová, Karolína Plíšková, Lucie Šafářová, Barbora Krejčíková, Kateřina Siniaková and Markéta Vondroušová.

Mixed Martial Arts

In 2022, Jiří Procházka became the Czech Republic's first UFC Champion after defeating Glover Teixeira for the Light Heavyweight title at UFC 275.[19]

Other notable mixed martial artists from the Czech Republic include Karlos Vemola, Viktor Pešta, David Dvořák and Lucie Pudilová.

Major sports facilities

Important Czech arenas and stadiums:

Eden Arena is the largest modern football stadium in the Czech Republic


Eden Arena – Located in Prague's Vršovice district, it has a seated capacity of 20,800. It is the home stadium of football team SK Slavia Prague and opened in 2008.

Generali Arena – home to AC Sparta Prague, has a seated capacity of 19,416 and was opened in 1917 and rebuilt in 1994.

Ice hockey

O2 Arena – Located in the Libeň district of Prague, the O2 Arena is the largest Czech multi-functional hall. Its capacity is 18,000 seats. HC Sparta Praha play their games there.

Ostravar Aréna – Located in Ostrava and opened in 1986, the arena has hosted Ice Hockey World Championships three times: in 2004, 2015, and 2024.

Tipsport arena – former home to Sparta Praha, has a seated capacity of 13,150 and was opened in 1962.


Tennis area Štvanice – The compound located on Štvanice island in Prague has 14 outdoor courts and 10 indoor courts. Its centre court has a capacity of 8,000 and hosts ATP and WTA tournaments on an annual basis.

The Olympic games

Further information: Prague bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics

Among the most attractive events for Czech fans are the Ice hockey Olympics, especially against traditional rivals like Russia, Finland, Sweden, Canada, USA and Slovakia. The greatest achievements include gold medals at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

Youth sport

In 2014, just under 340,000 youths were registered with the Czech Union of Sport, representing a fall of more than a third since 1989's Velvet Revolution.[20]


Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Czech Republic and Twitter:


  1. ^ Jagr Scores 1,600th Point in Return. Associated Press via The New York Times (7 October 2011).
  2. ^ "Český florbal v kostce". (in Czech). Český florbal. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  3. ^ [bare URL image file]
  4. ^ European Rinkbandy Cup in Nymburk, Czech Republic
  5. ^ "Google Translate". 8 May 2019.
  7. ^ Bandy destined for the Olympic Winter Games!
  8. ^ "Israel invited to qualify for World Baseball Classic". 2 June 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Czech ousts Spain, qualifying for World Baseball Classic".
  10. ^ "World Baseball Classic".
  11. ^ "WBSC Europe - Baseball European Championship 2023".
  12. ^ "Continental Cup Finals start in Africa". FIVB. 22 June 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  13. ^ Record 23 lacrosse teams to play at Men's Under-21 World Championship Ali Iveson (Inside the Games), 30 May 2021. Accessed 9 June 2021.
  14. ^ (in Czech) Rugby Club Bystrc – Historie
  15. ^ Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p66
  16. ^ Caplan, Phil (27 October 2011). "RLEF formally admits four new members". Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  17. ^ Kyša, Leoš (28 January 2011). "Počet legálně držených zbraní v Česku stoupá. Už jich je přes 700 tisíc". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). Czech Republic. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  18. ^ Ingle, Sean (24 February 2018). "Ester Ledecka seals status as Winter Olympics snow queen with double gold". Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  19. ^ "UFC 275: Jiri Prochazka produces last-gasp submission to claim light-heavyweight title from Glover Teixeira". BBC Sport. 12 June 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  20. ^ Willoughby, Ian (2 November 2014). "Large fall reported in number of young people engaged in organised sports since 1989". Radio Prague. Retrieved 15 November 2014.