Sports in Texas

Sports in Texas

Sports in Texas include professional teams in all major sports, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations, and active amateur teams and individual sports. American Football, historically has been the most popular sport in the state. In recent years, Texans are participating a wide variety of sports. Dallas, Texas is one of the few cities nationwide to have professionals in all the major professional sports organizations, NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.

American Football

Many Texans are passionate about American football and intensely follow high school and college football teams—often they dominate social and leisure activity. Texas is home to two NFL teams, the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys, commonly referred to as "America's Team". The Cowboys are the most recognizable team in the state due to their success on the field. The Cowboys have 5 super bowls tying them with two other NFL teams for the most super bowl wins. They are the only team in Texas to make it to, and win the Super Bowl.


Baseball has a strong presence in Texas, with Major League Baseball teams the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. The Astros were the first (and only) team in Texas to make it to the World Series. Minor league baseball is also closely followed in Texas—especially in the smaller metropolitan areas. The Fort Worth Cats are a team in Fort Worth, Texas that has won 3 straight championships, one in the Central Baseball League and the last two in the American Association. College baseball is also quite popular, as Texas A&M University, Rice University, The University of Texas, and Baylor University have all made multiple College World Series appearances.


Basketball is also popular, and Texas hosts three NBA teams: the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks. All three have reached the NBA Finals and the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have won championships. Additionally, Texas is home to two WNBA teams, the Houston Comets and the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Comets were the winners of the first four WNBA Championships in league history, in the 1997–2000 seasons. The Beaners Soccer Team All Benears (Houston Beans)2008.


Hockey has been a growing participatory sport in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since the Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars in 1993. The Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, and returned in 2000 only to lose to the New Jersey Devils. The Stars has also won 7 division trophies, as well as two President's Trophys awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the season. Minor league professional hockey has become popular in the last few decades; such as the Houston Skippers USHL Louden Cup winners in 1948 with legendary coach Toe Blake. AHL Houston Aeros who won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1999 and the AHL Calder Cup in 2003 and two Avco Cups in the WHA. The San Antonio Rampage also play in the AHL, and a third AHL team, the Texas Stars, a minor league affiliate with the Dallas Stars, will begin play in Cedar Park, Texas in 2009 or 2010. Texas is home to six of the Central Hockey League's sixteen teams.


Many Texas universities have rich athletic traditions. Originally, most Texas Division I universities were part of the Southwest Conference until it dissolved in 1996. Four of the largest programs in Texas are now part of the Big 12 Conference: the Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders. In addition to the four Big 12 schools, Texas is home to six other Division I (Bowl Sub-Division) teams: the TCU Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference; the SMU Mustangs, the Houston Cougars, the Rice Owls and the UTEP Miners, all of Conference USA; and the North Texas Mean Green of the Sun Belt Conference. Texas has the most Division I-FBS schools in America, ten.

High School

Most primary and secondary school athletic, music, and academic contests in Texas are organized and administered by the University Interscholastic League (UIL).


Texans also enjoy going to the rodeo. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. The event begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state, all of which convene at Reliant Park. The World’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas on 4 July 1883. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth, Texas has a cowboy, and a Mexican and many traditional rodeos. The State Fair of Texas is held in Dallas, Texas each year at Fair Park.


Other popular sports in Texas include year-round golf, fishing, and auto racing. Lacrosse, originally played by some of the indigenous tribes, is growing in popularity. Soccer is a popular participatory sport, especially among children, and as a spectator sport it is slowly growing in stature. There are two Texan teams in Major League Soccer including the back to back 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup winners Houston Dynamo, as well as FC Dallas. The state is also home to the racetrack, the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.