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Soccer

  • Soccer is a very popular sport in Latin America and in Spain. It is an integral part of the culture of the people.
  • Children can be seen playing soccer on the streets and on the fields throughout Latin America and Spain.
  • The regulation game is played on a field with a minimum width of 65 yards and a maximum with of 100 yards, and a minimum length of 100 yards and a maximum of 130 yards.
  • The regulation game is played with eleven people per side, including one goalkeeper.
  • Soccer games do not have to be played following all the regulations.
  • Pickup games around neighborhoods are very common.
  • Games can be played on regulation fields, they can be played on grass fields, asphalt surfaces, concrete surfaces, dirt, sidewalks, etc.
  • These pickup games can be played with any number of people.
  • Professional soccer is also a very popular form of entertainment in Latin America .
  • Famous Latino soccer players include: Diego Maradona from Argentina, Gabriel Batistuta from Argentina, Jorge Campos from México, Paco Buyo from Spain, José Luis Chilavert from Paraguay, etc.
  • Latino women soccer is still in its infancy. Even though women's soccer has been around for a while in the US , soccer in Latin America is still considered a sport reserved to males.
  • Latin-American girls and women have to overcome their communities' perceptions that soccer is just a male game in Latin America and in the United States . Only 3 percent of female college scholarship athletes were Hispanic, according to US statistics in 2001 (NCAA).

Baseball

  • Although baseball is very popular in all of Latin America , it is extremely popular in Venezuela and Puerto Rico .
  • In 2000, Latinos or persons of Latino decent made up 25 percent of US major league rosters and this percentage is growing. Some of these players include Sammy Sosa, Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonilla, Andres Galarraga, and Bernie Williams.
  • It is believed that baseball came to Latin America in the mid Nineteenth Century when a Cuban, who attended school in New England and learned the game from his American classmates there in New England , brought back the game to Cuba .
  • It is believed that from Cuba , baseball spread throughout Latin America .
  • Baseball is a game that is played between two teams of nine players each. The team that scores the most runs on the opponent is the winner. The roles of the players include: the batter, the runner, and the pitcher.
  • In the United States , women play softball. One Hispanic woman, Lisa Fernandez, plays pitcher for the national softball team, which won Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000.

 

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