This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in French. (March 2015) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the French article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 4,489 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing French Wikipedia article at [[:fr:Sport et cinéma]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|fr|Sport et cinéma)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Poster for the film Doubletime" about jumping rope.
Poster for the film Doubletime" about jumping rope.

A sports film is a film genre that uses sport as the theme of the film. It is a production in which a sport, sporting event, athlete (and their sport), or follower of sport (and the sport they follow) are prominently featured, and which depend on sport to a significant degree for their plot motivation or resolution. Despite this, sport is ultimately rarely the central concern of such films and sport performs primarily an allegorical role.[1] Furthermore, sports fans are not necessarily the target demographic in such movies, but sports fans tend to have a large following or respect for such movies.

Screenwriter and scholar Eric R. Williams identifies sports films as one of eleven "super-genres" in his screenwriters' taxonomy, claiming that all feature-length narrative films can be classified by these super-genres. The other ten genres he defines as "super-genres" are action, crime, fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, slice of life, thriller, war and western.[2]


Several sub-categories of sports films can be identified, although the delineations between these subgenres, much as in live action, are somewhat fluid.

The most common sports subgenres depicted in movies are sports drama and sports comedy. Both categories typically employ playground settings, match, game creatures and other elements commonly associated with biological stories.

Sports films tend to feature a more richly developed sport world, and may also be more player-oriented or thematically complex. Often, they feature a hero of adventure origins and a clear distinction between loss and victory set against each other in a play time struggle.

Sports drama

See also: Drama (film and television)

In the sports genre, characters play sports. Thematically, the story is often one of “Our Team” versus “Their Team”; one team will always try to win, and another team will show the world that they deserve recognition or redemption, though the story does not always have to involve a team. The story could also be about an individual athlete or the story could focus on an individual playing on a team.[3] Examples of this genre/type include: Body and Soul (1947), The Hustler (1961), Rocky (1976), Hoosiers (1986), Remember the Titans (2000), Moneyball (2011), Ford v Ferrari (2019) and the Goal! trilogy.

List of sports films

Main article: List of sports films

Highest-grossing sports films

Main article: List of highest-grossing sports films


  1. ^ Crosson, Seán (2013). Sport and Film. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 9780415569934.
  2. ^ Williams, Eric R. (2017). The screenwriters taxonomy : a roadmap to collaborative storytelling. New York, NY: Routledge Studies in Media Theory and Practice. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-315-10864-3. OCLC 993983488.
  3. ^ Firestein, David J. (2007). "Fields of Dreams: American Sports Movies". E journal USA. 12.