The Thriving World Of Vietnam Sports: A Look Into Traditional Martial Arts, Football, And More

A group of young Vietnamese athletes practicing traditional martial arts in a beautifully decorated outdoor training area.

Are you curious to learn more about the vibrant world of sports in Vietnam? This Southeast Asian nation is a hub for a mix of traditional martial artspopular team sports, and emerging esports.

Our article guides you through Vietnamese sports culture – from Football to Futsal, from Badminton to Basketball – covering its history, current favorites, and imminent future prospects.

Dive in to unravel the dynamic world behind Vietnam’s thriving sporting scene!

Key Takeaways

  • Football is the most popular sport in Vietnam, loved by the people and deeply ingrained in their culture.
  • Traditional martial arts play a significant role in Vietnam’s sports scene, with a rich history and various styles practiced across the country.
  • Other team sports like volleyball, badminton, basketball, and handball also have a strong presence in Vietnam and are enjoyed by players of all ages.

Overview of Sports in Vietnam

A diverse group of young Vietnamese football players celebrating a goal in a vibrant city stadium.

Diving into the dynamic world of Vietnamese sports, it’s clear this Southeast Asian nation has a deep love for exercise and competition. Soccer, known as football in most of the globe, rules supreme here.

From the bustling city streets to rural lanes, you’ll often see locals passionately engrossed in matches or practicing their skills. It’s not just about football though; other team sports such as volleyball, badminton, wrestling attract considerable attention adding variety to Vietnam’s sporting scene.

There is more than meets the eye when exploring Vietnamese sports culture. Apart from mainstream games like bicycling and chess that keep folks invested indoors and outdoors alike – there are unique traditional wrestlings called ‘Dau Vat’, an age-old sport integral to Vietnamese cultural heritage.

Multiple martial art forms have also originated from this land which today have gained global prominence. On another note, eSports is rapidly growing with competitive gaming leagues gaining traction among Vietnamese youth – all vital threads woven into the vibrant tapestry of Vietnam’s diverse sporting landscape.

Team Sports in Vietnam

A group of young Vietnamese boys playing football in a local park, captured in an exciting and action-packed photo.

Team sports in Vietnam include football, futsal, basketball, volleyball, handball, Australian Rules Football, cricket, and rugby union.

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A diverse group of children in a Vietnamese city park playing football.Football holds the top spot in Vietnam’s sports world. The French came to Vietnam and started football for fun. Now, the love for the game runs deep in all of Vietnam.

The joy of football is big even when they lose a game. If Vietnam scores a goal against foreign teams, people cheer loud! This shows how much people enjoy this sport in Vietnam.


A diverse group of individuals engaged in intense futsal inside a modern indoor arena.

Futsal is a kind of indoor football. It started in Uruguay in 1930 for fun games in YMCAs. In Vietnam, the Vietnam Football Federation takes care of the national futsal team. This team played two times in the Futsal World Cup, once in 2016 and again in 2021.

The team shows off their skills at many big world competitions. They aim to bring glory to their country through their love of sports.


A serene sunrise illuminates a basketball hoop surrounded by empty courts, capturing the beauty of the seascape.

Basketball is a popular team sport in Vietnam, especially in cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Soc Trang. The Vietnamese national basketball team has been achieving remarkable success in recent years.

In fact, in 2022, both the men’s and women’s teams won historic medals at the SEA Games. Basketball in Vietnam is considered an experiment in building a sports culture from scratch.

Its growing popularity is contributing to the development and growth of the sport within the country.


A volleyball flies through the air against a vibrant sunset backdrop in a bustling outdoor setting.

Volleyball is a popular team sport in Vietnam that is enjoyed by players of diverse backgrounds and age groups. It is played with a rattan ball and a net, using only the feet to hit the ball over the net.

The women’s volleyball team in Vietnam is especially formidable and has achieved success in international competitions. In addition to traditional volleyball, there is also sepak takraw, a variation of the game where players use their feet instead of their hands.

Overall, volleyball holds a strong position as one of the most beloved sports in Vietnam.


A vibrant handball court filled with diverse players and a lively atmosphere.

Handball is a popular team sport in Vietnam, enjoyed by many players and fans alike. It has gained popularity alongside other sports in the country’s diverse sports scene. Vietnam has a rich history and tradition in sports, with handball becoming increasingly popular.

So if you’re looking for an exciting team sport to play or watch in Vietnam, handball is definitely worth checking out.

Australian Rules Football

A diverse group of Australian rules football players celebrating a goal in a crowded stadium.

Australian rules football is a unique sport that originated in Australia. It is considered one of the oldest football codes in the world. This exciting and fast-paced game has been played in Asia since 1910, including Vietnam.

In fact, the first Vietnamese-Australian football club was established to challenge stereotypes and combat discrimination. Today, Australian rules football is gaining popularity among Vietnamese players and fans alike.

The AFL (Australian Football League) remains the premier professional competition for this thrilling sport in Australia.


A close-up photo of a cricket ball on a grass field with various people and activities around it.

Cricket is one of the team sports in Vietnam, with a growing popularity among the Vietnamese people. It is ranked as the tenth most popular sport in the country. Unlike Australian Rules football, which uses a modified cricket field, cricket is played on regular cricket fields.

Vietnam’s sporting culture emphasizes martial arts and various team sports, including cricket. The enthusiasm for physical activities and recreational pursuits, such as football and other popular sports, highlights Vietnam’s diverse sporting landscape that includes cricket.

Rugby Union

Rugby Union was introduced to Vietnam during the time of French Indochina, mainly played by French expatriates. However, after Vietnam gained independence, there was a long hiatus in rugby union in the country.

Initially, it was played by French immigrants who brought the sport with them. Unfortunately, no data is available regarding its current popularity or participation in Vietnam.

Individual Sports in Vietnam

A runner is pictured in a vibrant outdoor setting surrounded by lush greenery.

Individual sports in Vietnam include badminton, tennis, running, and chess.

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Badminton is a popular individual sport in Vietnam. It has a long history and is widely played across the country. Did you know that badminton first appeared in the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1972? It became an exhibition sport in 1988 and finally became a full-medal sport at the 1992 Olympics.

That’s pretty impressive! Badminton is the second-most popular sport worldwide, after soccer. In Vietnam, their national sport is Đá Cầu, also known as Kick Badminton. The passion for badminton has contributed to the thriving world of sports in Vietnam.


Tennis in Vietnam has become more popular over the years, evolving from a niche sport to a widespread recreational activity and competitive discipline. It is considered one of the popular sports in Vietnam, with players competing in both national and international competitions.

In fact, Vietnam has had competitors representing the country in tennis at the Olympic Games. Whether you’re a casual player looking for some recreational fun or a serious athlete aiming to compete at a high level, tennis offers a great opportunity to enjoy the sport and improve your skills.

With its own unique styles of martial arts being practiced in Vietnam, it’s interesting to see how these traditional disciplines may or may not intersect with tennis. Overall, tennis continues to thrive as an individual sport in Vietnam, providing both recreation and competition for players of all ages and skill levels.


Running is a popular individual sport in Vietnam. People enjoy activities like jogging, sprinting, and marathon running. The country has a long history of embracing running as a sport, with traditional Vietnamese martial arts incorporating elements of running.

Many Vietnamese athletes also participate in running events at the Olympic Games. Running is watched and celebrated by many people in Vietnam because it showcases endurance, speed, and athleticism.

It requires dedicated training and attracts both professional runners and recreational enthusiasts who enjoy the physical challenge and competition that comes with this sport.


Chess is a traditional game in Vietnam that has been enjoyed for many years. It’s a board game where players take turns moving their pieces strategically. Chess is becoming more popular in Vietnam, with many chess players competing internationally.

Some well-known Vietnamese chess players include Cesar Boutteville, Hoang Thanh Trang, and Le Quang. The Chess Drum platform has also been active in promoting chess in Vietnam and contributing to the growth of the sport in the country.

Overall, chess is an engaging and strategic game that continues to gain popularity in Vietnam. With a strong community of players and international competitions, chess enthusiasts can enjoy both playing the game and watching talented players showcase their skills on the global stage.

Traditional Martial Arts in Vietnam

A close-up photo of a traditional martial arts weapon with a Vietnamese temple as the backdrop.

Traditional martial arts in Vietnam have a rich history and a wide range of styles. Some of these styles are adaptations from the region, while others are unique to Vietnam. The Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Federation plays a significant role in promoting and preserving these traditional martial arts.

In fact, they even renamed it from “Vo Ta” to “Traditional Martial Arts of Vietnam” (Vo Co Truyen Vietnam) in 1991. Traditional Vietnamese martial arts, often referred to as “Võ thuật,” cover a variety of techniques and disciplines that focus on self-defense and physical fitness.

With the ongoing development of traditional Vietnamese martial arts, the country is likely to see more recognition and participation in this ancient discipline.

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Popular Sports in Vietnam

A vibrant badminton court surrounded by lush greenery, capturing the bustling atmosphere and diverse individuals playing the sport.

Vietnam’s sporting scene is vibrant and varied, with a range of popular sports enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The most popular sports in Vietnam range from football – the undisputed favorite, to traditional martial arts and even esports.

SportPopularity RankingDescription
Football (Soccer)1The most popular sport in Vietnam, with the country hosting an annual football competition called the V-League.
Volleyball2One of the most followed team sports in Vietnam, played at both amateur and professional levels.
Badminton3Enjoyed by people of all ages in Vietnam, often played in parks and recreational areas.
Wrestling4A popular sport with a rich history in Vietnam, both in traditional forms and modern styles.
Cycling5Whether for recreation, transportation, or competitive racing, cycling is widely embraced by the Vietnamese.
Chess6Traditionally played and highly regarded as a mental sport, with both physical chess and online chess competitions being popular.
Martial Arts7Including traditional Vietnamese martial arts like Vovinam and Nhat Nam, this sport is widely practiced and respected in the country.
Esports8Competitive gaming has seen a recent surge in popularity in Vietnam, with local esports tournaments frequently held.

Success in International Sporting Events

A Vietnamese football team celebrates a victory on a soccer field in a vibrant and electric atmosphere.

Vietnam has had success in international sporting events such as the Olympic Games. Since 1952, Vietnam has been participating in various sports like swimming, water sports, martial arts, rowing, canoeing, and weightlifting at the Olympics.

They have also performed well at other competitions like the SEA Games 32 where they topped the medal tally. This shows that Vietnam’s athletes are making their mark on the global stage and bringing pride to their country.

In addition to traditional martial arts being featured prominently at international events like the World Expo 2020, Vietnam’s achievements in sports demonstrate their growing presence and impact in the world of athletics.

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Upcoming Sporting Events

A diverse group of fans cheer and wave flags in a packed stadium.

In Vietnam, there are several upcoming sporting events that you can look forward to. Here are some of them:

  • The Hanoi Marathon: This annual marathon attracts runners from all over the world and showcases the beautiful city of Hanoi.
  • Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) Season: The VBA is a professional basketball league in Vietnam, and the upcoming season promises exciting games and talented players.
  • National Football Championships: The national football championships feature teams from across Vietnam competing for the top spot.
  • International Tennis TournamentsVietnam hosts various international tennis tournaments, where professional players showcase their skills on the court.
  • SEA Games 32: In the future, Vietnam will once again participate in the Southeast Asian Games, showcasing their talents in multiple sports.

Annual Sporting Events

A group of runners complete the Hanoi International Marathon with the cityscape as their backdrop.

Vietnam hosts several annual sporting events that attract participants and spectators from all over the country. Some of these events include:

  1. Olympic Day Run: Held in June, this event encourages people of all ages to participate in a fun run to promote the Olympic values of friendship, respect, and excellence.
  2. Hanoi International Marathon: This marathon takes place in April and offers runners the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Hanoi while challenging themselves.
  3. Ho Chi Minh City Marathon: Similar to the Hanoi International Marathon, this event takes place in January and attracts both local and international runners.
  4. National Football Championships: The national football championships are held annually and showcase the best football talent in Vietnam. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events in the country.
  5. National Swimming Championships: This swimming competition brings together athletes from different regions of Vietnam to compete for national titles.
  6. National Boxing Championships: Boxing enthusiasts gather every year to witness intense matches between talented boxers vying for national glory.
  7. National Karate Championships: Karate practitioners from across Vietnam showcase their skills and compete for top honors at this annual championship.
  8. Vietnam Cycling Federation Cup: This cycling competition tests cyclists’ endurance as they race across challenging terrains throughout Vietnam.
  9. National Chess Championship: Chess players from various cities compete against each other for supremacy at this highly competitive tournament.

Sporting Facilities and Infrastructure in Vietnam

A rowing boat glides through a serene river surrounded by lush greenery in a bustling atmosphere.

Vietnam has made significant developments in its sporting facilities and infrastructure. The country has invested in various sports facilities to support different disciplines. For swimming and water sports, there are well-equipped pools and venues across the country.

Martial arts, such as traditional Vietnamese styles, also have dedicated training centers that provide a suitable environment for practice.

In addition to swimming and martial arts facilities, Vietnam has also developed infrastructure for rowing and canoeing sports. This includes proper waterways for competitions and training purposes.

Weightlifting centers have been established to support athletes in this discipline.

The popularity of traditional martial arts in Vietnam has led to the creation of specialized facilities where practitioners can train extensively. These spaces cater not only to professionals but also to enthusiasts who wish to learn different forms of martial arts.

Furthermore, competitive gaming has gained immense popularity in Vietnam’s sports scene. Esports arenas equipped with state-of-the-art technology have emerged throughout the country.

These venues provide opportunities for gamers to compete at a professional level.

Overall, Vietnam’s commitment to developing sporting facilities and infrastructure is evident through their investment in various disciplines like swimming, martial arts, rowing, weightlifting, and competitive gaming.


A diverse group of young Vietnamese athletes engage in traditional martial arts in a vibrant outdoor setting.

In Vietnam, sports are a big part of the culture, and traditional martial arts have a long history. Football is incredibly popular, along with other sports like volleyball and badminton.

The country has also seen success in international sporting events. With a thriving sports ecosystem and emerging talents, Vietnam’s sports scene is only getting stronger. Whether it’s traditional martial arts or team sports like football, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the world of Vietnam sports.


1. What are some traditional martial arts in Vietnam?

Some traditional martial arts in Vietnam include Vovinam, Viet Vo Dao, and Binh Dinh martial arts.

2. How popular is football in Vietnam?

Football is extremely popular in Vietnam and considered the national sport.

3. Are there any other popular sports besides martial arts and football in Vietnam?

Yes, there are many other popular sports in Vietnam such as badminton, volleyball, swimming, and table tennis.

4. Where can I watch traditional martial arts or football matches in Vietnam?

You can watch traditional martial arts performances at cultural festivals or schools that offer classes. Football matches can be watched at stadiums or on television.

5. Can anyone participate in traditional martial arts or play football in Vietnam?

Yes, both traditional martial arts and football welcome participants of all ages and genders. However, specific training may vary depending on skill level and age group.

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