The Commerce Journal

Opinion

February 9, 2012

Columnist takes a quick look at championships around the world

Commerce — The Super Bowl is undoubtedly the biggest sporting event... within the United States. But there is a whole world of sports out there, and you never know exactly what you might be missing. Below are some of the biggest and strangest championships around the world.

1. FIFA World Cup

Current Champion: Spain

Next Championship: 2014 (Spain)

More than 200 national teams compete to qualify for the World Cup championship, which is held once every four years. As the most-watched sporting event in the world, the World Cup captures the attention of hundreds of millions of people. While its popularity in the United States is not equal to its popularity anywhere else, millions of Americans still stay glued to their TV screens every four years. The last champion, Spain, won it in 2010.

2. Rugby World Cup

Current Champion: New Zealand

Next Championship: 2015 (England)

Last year New Zealand hoisted the William Webb Ellis Cup as the winners of the international rugby union’s championship, which is held once every four years. The Rugby World Cup (RWC) is one of the largest sporting events in the world. According to the International Rugby Board’s website, “RWC 2007 attracted 2.2 million ticket sales, 1.8 million website hits and record television viewing figures through broadcast exposure via 238 channels around the world. The cumulative TV audience was estimated as 4.2 billion.”

3. AFL Grand Final

Current Champion: Geelong Cats

Next Championship: Sept. 29, 2012

Australian rules football is a strange sight for American viewers. Australia’s most popular sport consists of two teams of 18 players engaging in a physical match that is a cross between rugby, soccer and American football. While there are numerous professional and amateur leagues in both Australia and other countries, the largest league, the Australian Football League, holds it’s championship every September. The AFL Grand Final receives more than 2.5 million viewers a year.

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