What Is the Most Popular Sport in France?

What Is the Most Popular Sport in France?

It’s easy to forget that sporting passions run deep in every country, including France. From centuries-old traditional sports like boules and pelota Basque to newer professional leagues like the Ligue 1 football teams, French people have been playing team and individual sports for hundreds of years.

But which sport is most popular in France? Are there any unique games or rules you need to learn? What makes each one so special?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most popular sports in France, giving you an insight into their rich histories and current culture. So what are you waiting for – let’s dive in!


Football is the most popular sport in France. Almost three-fourths of the French population like to watch football, making it one of the main pastimes throughout the country.

The Ligue 1 professional league has some of Europe’s best teams including Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique de Marseille, and AS Monaco.

Football is also the most widely played sport among both children and adults, meaning it’s one of the best ways to get involved with local French communities.


Tennis has been popular in France since the late 19th century and is now considered to be one of the most beloved sports in the country.

There are many famous French tennis players such as Yannick Noah, Amélie Mauresmo, and Marion Bartoli – all of whom have made significant contributions to their country’s international success.

Tennis has become a popular spectator sport in France, with the French Open being one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. [1]

Horse Riding

Horse riding is a sport people have been doing for a long time in France. It is popular with both kids and grown-ups. There are competitions for different levels of riders throughout the country.

Some of these events are open to people who just want to watch, so they can learn more about horse riding.

Horse Riding


Though not as popular as football, many people in France still play and watch basketball. The LNB Pro A league is the top-tier professional division of French basketball and features teams like ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne and Le Mans Sarthe Basket.

Basketball has become more popular recently because of the success of players like Tony Parker and Boris Diaw.


Judo-jujitsu is a martial art that combines both grappling and striking techniques. It has been popular in France since the late 20th century and is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

The French Judo Federation, created in 1977, organises various tournaments and seminars throughout the year.


Handball is a sport that people play on teams. It is popular in France and many other countries. The French Handball Federation oversees all of the national teams and clubs.

They also organise both professional and amateur matches. If you want to find something fun to do, look for local leagues because it is one of the most widely played sports among children.


Rugby is a physically demanding sport that’s been popular in France since the early 1900s. The French Rugby Federation organises the Top 14 and Pro D2 professional leagues, as well as various international tournaments like the Six Nations Championship.

It’s one of the most beloved sports in France, with passionate supporters who come out in full force to cheer on their favourite teams. [1]


Golf is a sport that started to become popular in France in the late 1900s. Some French golf courses are only for people who play it as a job, but most are for people who just want to play for fun. Some of the most famous golf tournaments happen in France, such as the Open de France and the Evian Masters. Golf is also a good way for tourists to see more of the pretty French countryside.


Canoë Kayak

Canoë Kayak is a sport where you paddle a canoe or kayak in either fast-moving or calm water. It is getting more popular in France because it is a good way to have an adventure and get some exercise.

The French Canoë Kayak Federation has competitions for people who are just starting out to people who are experienced. You can also rent canoes and kayaks, so you don’t need to own one to do this sport.


Sailing has been popular in France for a long time. People use sailboats to race around the coasts of France and compete in regattas. It is an expensive sport, but it can be done as either a hobby or professionally.

The French Sailing Federation organises various international competitions throughout the year and provides resources to those who want to learn more about sailing.

Other High-Participation Sports in France

La pétanque

Pétanque is a sport that people play in France and other countries near the Mediterranean Sea. People throw metal balls at a small wooden target.

The French Pétanque Federation organises competitions around the country and offers courses for beginners who want to learn more about the game.


Cycling is another popular sport in France. Tour de France is the most famous cycling event, but there are many other events like Criterium International that people can participate in or watch.

The French Cycling Federation organises various races and sells licences to those who want to take part. [2]

Hockey sur Glace

Hockey sur Glace is a sport that people play on ice. It started in France in the early 1900s. The French Ice Hockey Federation hosts many tournaments, including one called the Ligue Magnus, every year. If people want to join a team or watch games, they can look for ones near them.


What is the number 1 sport in France?

The most popular sport in France is football (soccer). It is followed by handball, rugby and golf.

What is the number 1 sport in France

What sports are big in France?

Sports that are popular in France include football (soccer), handball, rugby, golf, canoe/kayak, sailing, pétanque, cycling and hockey.

Where can I watch sports in France?

The best place to watch sports in France is at stadiums or arenas when events are taking place. You can also find local leagues for various sports around the country and watch their games. There are also many television channels that broadcast sporting events from all over the world.

Are there professional leagues in France?

The French Football Federation, French Handball Federation, French Rugby Federation, French Canoë Kayak Federation, the French Sailing Federation and the French Ice Hockey Federation all have professional leagues.

There are also some independent organisations like Pétanque Internationale that organise tournaments and competitions for their sport.

Are there any restrictions on playing sports in France?

In France, most people can play sports without any problems. But some professional leagues might have rules about how old you have to be or how good you have to be before you can join a team or compete in a tournament.

And for some activities, like skiing or climbing mountains, you might need special permission from the government or insurance before you can do them.

The top 3 most popular sports in France are football (soccer), handball, and rugby. Golf is also very popular in the country, but it’s usually not considered one of the top three. Other high-participation sports include canoe/kayak, sailing, pétanque, cycling, and hockey sur glace.

The French government encourages people to play sports and has invested in various programs, such as the “Sport for All” initiative, which provides funding for local sporting events.

They also have a number of laws and regulations in place to ensure that sports are safe and fun for everyone. From professional leagues to local competitions, there is something for everyone to enjoy in France.

What is France’s national sport?

France does not have one official sport that everyone plays. But most people in France like to play football (soccer). After that, people like to play handball, rugby and golf.

Some other sports that lots of people play are canoeing/kayaking, sailing, pétanque, and hockey on ice. For a long time, France has been helping people get involved in sports and staying active.

Many of France’s professional sports leagues have been around for a long time. The French government also pays for some local sporting events and has made laws to make sure playing sports is safe and fun for everyone.

What is France's national sport

What sporting event is France most known for?

France is most known for its football (soccer) competitions, especially the FIFA World Cup. The French football team has won two world cups and they have a long history of success in the sport.

France also hosts some other major sporting events like the Tour de France cycling race, Roland-Garros tennis tournament, Paris-Roubaix cycling race, and 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance car race.

France is also known for its Ice Hockey competitions such as the Ligue Magnus and Division 1 leagues. The French national ice hockey team has won several medals in international competitions over the years.

What sport did France invent?

France did not invent sports, but it has helped make some of the most popular games and activities. For example, people started playing rugby in France in the 1800s.

Pétanque is a French game that comes from an ancient Italian game called boules. And fencing began in France during the Renaissance period. Also, boxing started in France because of people fighting without using gloves.

France continues to be at the forefront of sports today, hosting major competitions and participating in many international sporting events. Whether you’re interested in playing or just watching, France has something for everyone!

What is France famous for?

France is famous for many things, from its food and wine to its culture and history. It is also known for its fashion, art, literature, and sports. Football (soccer) has long been a popular sport in France, as well as handball, rugby, golf, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, pétanque, cycling, and hockey on ice.

How do people in France stay active?

People in France stay active by playing sports and doing other physical activities. The French government wants people to exercise regularly, so there are lots of chances for people to join a team or compete in tournaments.

You can find something that you like and that you’re good at. The French also have laws to make sure that sports are safe for everyone.

Why is sport important in France?

Sports are an important part of French culture, with many people playing various sports and participating in competitions. Sports also provide a great way for people to spend time together, stay active, and have fun.

The French government has invested in several initiatives that promote the importance of sports, such as the “Sport for All” program which helps people of all ages to participate in physical activity. Sports help people stay healthy and provide them with a sense of purpose.

They also offer a way to bond with other people and find common ground. For these reasons, sports are an important part of life in France.

Do French people watch sports?

Many French people like to watch sports. Football is the most popular sport in France. Other sports that many people like to watch include handball, rugby, golf, sailing, pétanque, cycling, and ice hockey.

The French national teams are often good at international competitions and the entire country is behind them when they compete. Watching sports is a great way for French people to come together and share their passion for the game!

Does France have any famous sports stars?

There are many famous athletes in France. Some of the most well-known sports stars include football players Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Kylian Mbappé; tennis player Yannick Noah; handballer Nikola Karabatic; Olympic swimmer Camille Lacourt; and cyclist Marion Rousse.

France also has a strong basketball presence, with Tony Parker and Boris Diaw playing in the NBA for many years.

These athletes have all achieved great things for their country through their hard work and dedication to sports. They’re an inspiration to people of all ages!

Does France have any famous sports stars

When did France start competing in international sports?

France has been competing in international sports since the late 1800s. In 1900, they sent a team to compete in the first modern Olympic Games. They have participated in every Olympic Games since then and have won many medals.

France also competes often at other major sporting tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship.

France has always been a strong competitor in international sports, and they continue to strive for excellence today. With a long history of success in many different sports, France is sure to be a formidable opponent on the world stage.

How can I get involved in sports in France?

There are many ways to play sports in France. You can join a team, club, or gym. You can also play with your friends and family. The government has started some programs to make sure everyone can play sports. You can also join national or international competitions.

No matter how you choose to stay active, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in sports in France.

Does France offer any sports scholarships?

The French government offers sports scholarships to help athletes reach their goals. The “Sport pour Tous” program provides financial assistance for young people who want to pursue a career in sport.

These programs are aimed at providing support to future professional athletes and helping them realise their potential. There are also other scholarships for specific sports and competitions.

If you love sports, France is a great place to pursue a career in sports! You can get help from others along the way, so take advantage of the opportunities France has to offer.

The most popular sport in France is football (soccer). This sport is beloved by many French people, and the national team has had a great deal of success over the years.

Other sports that are popular include handball, rugby, cycling, sailing, pétanque and ice hockey. The French teams have a strong presence at international competitions and are often close to winning.

What are the biggest sports tournaments in France?

The biggest sports tournament held in France is the FIFA World Cup. This tournament takes place every four years, and it brings together the top national teams from around the world to compete.

Other major tournaments that take place in France include The Tour de France (cycling), Roland-Garros (tennis) and The French Open (golf).


The most popular sport in France is Soccer. However, there are many different types of sports that French people enjoy. These include basketball, tennis, and rugby.

There are also a variety of outdoor activities that people enjoy, such as hiking and biking. Ultimately, the most popular sport in France depends on the individual’s interests.


  1. https://french-iceberg.com/sports-in-france/
  2. https://languageatlas.com/blog/most-popular-sports-in-france/