List of Major Sports Events: International and South African Domestic Events

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This article covers sports event examples, including international and domestic events in South Africa. It features the main sports events in many of the most popular sports.

Best International Sports Events

There are many sporting events that are televised and followed around the world. They have a global audience and betting interests. So, here we cover sporting events and upcoming events in the major sports.

Top Soccer Events

The World Cup is the world championship in soccer. The tournament takes place every four years. There are qualifying matches that determine the 32 nations who take part.

The Champions League is the premier European domestic competition. It brings together the best teams from all the European leagues. There are qualifying, group and knockout stages.

AFCON (Africa Cup of Nationals) is an international tournament involving the best national teams in Africa. It takes place every two years when there is a different host nation.

Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) is the main Cup competition in Spanish football. It is an annual knockout tournament that culminates in a one-match final.

English football’s main knockout competition is the FA Cup. Any team with registration with the Football Association is eligible, including non-league teams. The final takes place at Wembley Stadium.

Copa America is the international tournament for the eight nations in South America. There are two invited nations from other continents. There is a group and knockout stage which leads to the final.

Sports Events

Top Horse Racing Events

The Grand National is run at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool in April. It is a steeple chase run over 4 miles and two and a half furlongs. There are 30 fences, some with famous names like Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn and The Chair.

The Cheltenham Festival is a four-day jumps meeting staged in the third week of March. It brings together the best hurdlers and chasers over a variety of distances. There are handicaps, a National Hunt Flat race and a cross country race.

The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation due to its prominence in the Australian sporting year. It is a handicap run over 3,600 metres (almost 2 miles) at Flemington Park on the first Tuesday in November and the field is no more than 20 runners.

The United Arab Emirates stages a racing festival in the early months of each year and the climax is the Dubai World Cup. The race takes place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai over 2,000 metres which is about 10 furlongs for horses at the age of three and older.

America’s Triple Crown of Flat races consists of the Belmont Stakes, Preakness and the Kentucky Derby which begins the series in early May. It is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville over 10 furlongs and only three-year-old thoroughbreds can take part.

Top Basketball Events

The NBA (National Basketball Association) is the main basketball league in North America. It features 30 professional teams in the United States and Canada.

The Basketball World Cup takes place every four years in the non-soccer World Cup years. It involves 32 nations playing in groups and then knockout rounds from the last 16 to the final.

Top Tennis Events

There are four Grand Slam tennis tournaments for men and women. These are known as the majors of the sport because all the best players if injury-free, take part:

The Australian Open takes place outdoors on hardcourts in late January and early February at Melbourne Park.

The French Open takes place in late May and early June on clay at Roland Garros, near Paris.

The Wimbledon Championships take place at Wimbledon in southwest London on grass in late June and early July.

The US Open is an outdoors hardcourts tournament. The venue is the National Tennis Center New York City in late August and early September.

Top Rugby Events

The Rugby World Cup is played every four years in a host country. It involves the best teams in international rugby and there are currently 20 participating nations.

The Rugby Championship is an annual round-robin tournament. These international teams from the South Hemisphere play Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Six Nations is a similar annual tournament. The following nations play each other once during the competition: England, Ireland, Italy, France, Scotland and Wales.

Top Cricket Events

The ICC (International Cricket Council) World Cup takes place every four years. The event has a one day format with each team batting for 50 overs. There are 10 competing countries.

The T20 World Cup is the Twenty20 version of the main World Cup. It happens every four years and there are 16 nations that take part.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a Twenty 20 franchise competition. It brings together eight teams from major cities in India.

Top Golf Events

In sports events example, there are four major championships in golf that make up the Grand Slam.

The US Masters is always played at Augusta National in the second week of April. There are many traditions such as the winner receiving a Green Jacket.

The USPGA Championship takes place in May on a different course in the United States. Club pros can qualify and many play in the event.

The Open is always on a links course in the third week in July. It is the oldest championship in the sport with the winner receiving the famous Claret Jug.

The US Open is the toughest of the majors and the most demanding mentally and physically. The championship visits the hardest courses, usually in hot conditions in June.

Top Racing Events

Moto GP is the highest level of motorcycle road racing and is the equivalent of Formula 1 in motor racing. There are currently 21 global races in the championship.

Formula 1 is the top level of motor racing and currently consists of 22 Grand Prix races all around the world. There is a Driver’s Championship and Constructor’s Championship.

Top Boxing Events

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a mixed martial arts company. There are fights in eight divisions for men and four divisions for women.

The World Boxing Championships are the highest level of amateur boxing alongside the Olympics. They take place every two years and there are 13 classes for men and 12 for women.

Boxing is a sport that takes place in the Commonwealth Games. This is a multiple-sport event that happens every four years in a Commonwealth city.

Other Sports Events

Here is a selection of major sporting events in other sports:

The Super Bowl is the championship game of the NFL in American Football. The league has 32 franchises in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference.

The Tour de France is the most famous cycle race in the world. It takes place in the first three weeks of July on roads and up mountains around France.

The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world. The Games take place in a host city every four years and consist of about 30 sports.

The Paralympics take place after the Olympics in the same host city. The event consists of sports involving participants with mental and physical disabilities.

League of Legends World Championship is one of the major tournaments in Esports.

Best South African Sports Events

Here is a selection of the biggest sporting events and more sports examples in South Africa:

Durban July

This is a thoroughbred handicap horse race that is run on the first Saturday in July at Greyville Racecourse in Durban. The Durban July race is 2,200 meters in distance for horses aged three and older. It is one of the biggest sports events in South Africa.

Cape Town MET

This is another major all-age horse race in South Africa that is run at Kenilworth Racecourse in the Western Cape. The Cape Town MET date is the end of January and the distance is 2,000 metres.

Summer Cup

The Summer Cup is also a horse race in South Africa. It is run at Turffontein Racecourse in November over 2,000 meters with a maximum field of 20 runners.

Telkom Knockout Cup

This was a knockout soccer competition involving 16 teams from the South Africa Premier League. It no longer happens due to fixture congestion.

T20 Challenge

South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 competition is the T20 Challenge. Six teams play in a home and away format, with playoffs and a final.

Varsity Cup

This is a rugby union series involving universities in South Africa. Nine compete for the Cup and seven play for the Shield.

Sunshine Tour

The Sunshine Tour is one of the world’s six premiers PGA Tours. The Tour comprises over 30 tournaments in Eastern and South Africa.

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