German Sports VocabularyWords around Football, Tennis & more

29.11.2023

Germany has a rich history of sports and is home to many popular sports teams and athletes. Some common sports in Germany include soccer (Fu├čball), basketball (Basketball), handball (Handball), and tennis (Tennis).

This is why in this post, we're going to have a look at German sports vocabulary and German words & expressions that are related to sport & physical activity.

German Sports Vocabulary

Let's start with some very general German sports vocabulary. How would you express, that you simply love doing sports or that you are quite a sporty person?

Sport treiben
to do sports
ein Spiel spielen
to play a game
sportlich sein
to be sporty
der Ballsport
ball game

Names for Sports in German

Learning the vocabulary for the names for sports in German can be very helpful for sports fans who don't want to give up on their favourite sport after having moved to Germany.

Here is a vocabulary list of several types of sports:

der Fu├čball
football
das Tennis
tennis
der Basketball
basketball
der Volleyball
volleyball
das Golf
golf
der Baseball
baseball
das Skifahren
skiing
das Laufen
running
der Marathon
marathon
das Gewichtheben
weightlifting
die Leichtathletik
athletics
der Kampfsport
martial art
der Tanz
dance

Knowing the vocabulary for sports equipment and protective gear can also be very helpful. We have written a separate article just on German sports equipment vocabulary.

Verbs to Talk about Sports

In German, there are many verbs that are related to sports and physical activity. Some common sports verbs include spielen (to play), laufen (to run), springen (to jump), schwimmen (to swim), and fahren (to drive or ride).

There are also many German verbs that are related to specific sports, such as boxen (to box), schiessen (to shoot [in basketball or soccer]), and werfen (to throw [in handball or baseball]).

laufen
to run
dribbeln
to dribble
schie├čen
to shoot
daneben schie├čen
to miss
schlagen
to hit
rennen
to run
ein Eigentor machen
to score an own goal
ein Tor schie├čen
to score a goal
sich anstrengen
to make an effort
jdn. einwechseln
to substitute s.o. (a player)

Sports Competition Vocabulary

Lastly, here is some vocabulary that might be useful for any kind of sports competition.

der Wettkampf
competition
die Mannschaft
team
der Schiedsrichter
referee
die Pfeife
whistle
das Spielfeld
field, pitch
das Turnier
tournament
der Verein
club
das Ergebnis
score
das Abseits
offside
der Alleingang
solo run
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