aka: Sports Story
The genre of fiction that places the focus on sports, usually following a player, coach, or team as they challenge themselves to rise to the top of the sport in question. Sports Stories can span a single game, a tournament, or an entire career. While the rules of the game, training, and the rivalry between players is the most common source of drama in these types of works, it is often the protagonist team that must learn something important about themselves to overcome the odds. For related tropes, see Sports Story Tropes.
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Anime and Manga
American Football Association Football
- Area no Kishi
- Captain Tsubasa
- Giant Killing
- Ginga E Kickoff
- Hungry Heart: Wild Striker
- Inazuma Eleven
- Big Windup
- Diamond no Ace
- Kyojin No Hoshi
- Mister Fullswing
- Princess Nine
- Ookiku Furikabutte
- Taishou Yakyuu Musume, a Girl gets angry a fiancé's sexist views and decides to Beat Him At His Own Game at baseball.
- 15: Meisetsu Kougyou Koukou Rugby Bu
- Girls und Panzer: In this series tank combat is a traditional ladies' sport.
- NFL Superpro
- Kickers, Inc.
- The classic British comic Tiger consisted entirely of sports stories, including Association Football (Roy of the Rovers, Billy's Boots, Hotshot Hamish), Boxing (Blackjack, Fisty Flynn), Rally driving (Martin's Marvellous Mini), Pro Wrestling (Johnny Cougar), Formula One (Skid Solo) and many more.
- Any Given Sunday
- The Blind Side
- Brian's Song
- Draft Day — The general manager of the Cleveland Browns tries to make a big splash in the NFL Draft.
- Facing the Giants
- Friday Night Lights: The film based on the book of the same name.
- Little Giants
- The Longest Yard: Prisoners play football against their guards.
- Necessary Roughness
- North Dallas Forty: about the Dallas Cowboys
- Remember the Titans
- The Replacements
- Rudy: The classic college football movie about the titular character and his struggle to play football for Notre Dame.
- Second String
- Varsity Blues
- The Waterboy
- We Are Marshall is about rebuilding an American Football team after a plane crash.
- A Shot At Glory
- Bend It Like Beckham is the story of the daughter of a conservative Indian immigrant family in London, who dreams of becoming a football player against her parents' wishes.
- The Big Green
- Fever Pitch (UK film more directly based on Nick Hornby's book)
- The Damned United
- Escape To Victory (AKA Victory)
- The Football Factory
- Mean Machine, the British version of The Longest Yard, with a different kind of football involved.
- Mike Basset England Manager
- The Miracle Of Bern
- Next Goal Wins is a documentary about the worst team in international soccer and their attempts to win one game.
- She's The Man
- When Saturday Comes
- Will — An orphaned 12-year-old boy teams with a Serbian refugee in an attempt to reach Istanbul for the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, featuring the boy's favorite team, Liverpool.
- Australian Rules
- The Club (originally a play)
- The Great Macarthy
- 42: The Real Life biopic of Jackie Robinson.
- Angels in the Outfield
- The Bad News Bears
- Bull Durham: Starring Kevin Costner
- Damn Yankees
- Field of Dreams: Kevin Costner's other baseball movie
- Fever Pitch (US remake)
- For Love Of The Game: Kevin Costner's other other baseball movie, about an aging pitcher who tries to throw a perfect game.
- A League of Their Own: during WWII, women flourish as professional baseball makes room for both genders.
- Major League
- Million Dollar Arm: The journey of agent J.B. Bernstein to open up the market of India, traditionally a fanbase for cricket, to the sport of baseball, and find himself some athletic prospects for his failing agency.
- Moneyball: Follows both the Oakland Athletics history-making 20 consecutive game win streak, and Billy Beane's use of Sabermetrics to assemble a successful team (on paper) that didn't cost as much as higher ranked teams'.
- Mr. 3000
- Mr. Baseball: After a disappointing season towards the end of his American career, a veteran Major Leaguer must settle for a spot on a Japanese team or retire before he's ready.
- The Natural
- The Pride Of The Yankees Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig in one of the most popular biopics ever made.
- Rookie of the Year: A 12-year-old with a freak arm joins the Cubs.
- The Rookie: A 40-year-old coach tries out for the Majors on a bet to the high school team he coaches.
- The Sandlot: Kids playing baseball and having big adventures.
- Above The Rim
- The Air Up There: Film starring Kevin Bacon as a college coach who goes to recruit a player in Africa to play at his college.
- Blue Chips: Film starring Nick Nolte who is a college coach recruiting players to his program, but has to utilize shady means to do so.
- Coach Carter
- Eddie: Whoopi Goldberg becomes head coach of the New York Knicks.
- The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh: A failing pro team uses astrology to build a winning roster.
- Glory Road: Based on the true story of the 1965–66 Texas Westernnote team that became the first team ever to win an NCAA title with an all-black starting lineup.
- He Got Game
- Hoop Dreams: a basketball documentary.
- Hoosiers: A disgraced college coach gets a fresh start in 1950s small-town Indiana. ''Very'' loosely based on the small-town Indiana team that won the real 1954 state title.
- The Mighty Macs: A fact-based basketball documentary.Underdog Immaculata comes out of nowhere to win several AIAWnote titles.
- Rebound: A coach gets kicked out of coaching college basketball and down to Junior Varsity.
- Space Jam: Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan play basket ball against space aliens.
- White Men Can't Jump: Street hustling games in L.A.
- The Champ (1931 original and 1979 remake)
- Cinderella Man
- The Fighter
- Million Dollar Baby an Oscar winning film about a female boxer.
- Raging Bull
- Real Steel
- Requiem For A Heavyweight
- Blades of Glory: Two men explore the world of couples figure skating.
- The Cutting Edge: An ex-hockey player pairs up with a stuck-up figure skater to compete in couples competition.
- Ice Princess: The story of a Math Genius who wants to compete as a figure skater.
- Caddyshack — a 1980 golf comedy.
- The Greatest Game Ever Played
- Happy Gilmore
- The Legend Of Bagger Vance — Magical Negro helps win golf game.
- Tin Cup
- Les Boys
- The Mighty Ducks
- Miracle: The USA defeats Russia in Olympic Hockey.
- Mystery, Alaska: A small town hockey team plays the New York Rangers.
- Slap Shot: A failing small town team resorts to violent play to draw spectators.
- Best Of The Best
- The Karate Kid
- Mortal Kombat is based upon an (albeit highly fantastical) martial arts tournament.
- Only the Strong: An Green Beret teaches Capoeira to underprivileged youth.
- Days of Thunder, the NASCAR racing film starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
- Le Mans
- The Fast and the Furious series highlights the world of illegal street racing.
- Speed Racer
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a parody of NASCAR racing.
- Grand Prix
- The Love Bug series
- Senna is a documentary about legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna.
- Greased Lightning Biopic about the first successful Negro NASCAR driver
- Grind: A film about skateboarders trying to go pro.
- Lords Of Dogtown: A biographical skateboarding film.
- Airborne: Rollerblading
- As One: Table tennis ("ping-pong").
- Blue Crush and Blue Crush 2: Surfing
- Bring It On: A series of films that focus on high-school cheerleading competitions.
- By The Sword: A film centered around a fencing school.
- Chariots of Fire: 1924 Olympic Runners.
- Cool Runnings a film about the Jamaican bobsled team.
- Crooked Arrows: Lacrosse
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
- Gutterballs: I warned you not to bowl tonight.
- The Hustler and its sequel The Color of Money: pool.
- Invictus: a film about South Africa's campaign during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
- Kingpin a bowling comedy with Bill Murray
- A Knight's Tale: Jousting
- McFarland, USA: a film about a cross-country running team
- Men with Brooms: A Romantic Comedy about curling.
- Ping Pong Playa: A story about an immature NBA wannabe who is forced to teach ping pong to a Ragtag Bunchof Misfits.
- Reverse Runner: Running
- Searching for Bobby Fischer: Chess. It counts, dammit.
- Soul Surfer: Fact-based story about teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton and her life after losing her left arm to a shark.
- Swimfan: Someone likes swimmers just a bit too much.
- Stick It: A film about gymnasts and rebellion.
- Waterboys: a film (and two spin-off television shows) about synchronised swimming
- Air Bud and its sequels are about a Golden Retriever playing sports.
- Cheerleader Ninjas
- Shaolin Soccer is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Baseketball a comedy that plays with most common sports movie tropes.
- The Worlds Greatest Athlete a comedy about two coaches who recruit a Tarzan Expy to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championship
- The Blind Side: Part chronicle of the teenage years of future NFL offensive tackle Michael Oher, and part chronicle of the evolution of the left tackle position which he plays. Spawned a film concentrating more on Oher; Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for portraying Oher's adoptive mother Leigh Anne Tuohy,
- Friday Night Lights: The chronicle of the Odessa, Texas high-school football team, the Permian Panthers. Spawned a movie, largely based on the real Permian team, and a more fictionalized TV series.
- Speccy Magee series
- The Chip Hilton series
Live Action TV
- Blue Mountain State is about college football. And beer.
- Coach, a sitcom about the coaching staff of the Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles.
- First And Ten, a sitcom starring Delta Burke and OJ Simpson.
- Friday Night Lights
- The Game, though it focuses more on the relationships between football players and their wives than the game.
- Necessary Roughness
- De Kampioenen is a Flemish comedy series about a highly incompetent local league soccer team. Well known in the Flanders for its Long Runner status with 21 seasons.
- Back In The Game
- Ball Four, a short-lived 1970's sitcom based on Jim Bouton's book of the same name.
- Eastbound & Down
- Wild Romance
- The Bronx Is Burning: about the 1977 New York Yankees in the midst of upheval, both within the team and out in The Big Rotten Apple.
- American Gladiators
- Backyard Wrestling
- Make It Or Break It focuses on gymnastics.
- School Wars was a Japanese TV series during The Eighties about a high school teacher coaching rugby to his students to combat delinquency. It was Based on a True Story, and the rugby team of this high school remains a strong competitor to this day.
- Wipeout centres around obstacle courses.
- Sports Night: A bit more meta than some of the examples, this show is about sports anchors and the games that they cover.
Manhua And Manhwa
- F.C. Knudde is a Dutch gag-strip about another highly incompetent soccer team.
- Billy The Fish is a football/soccer-themed comic strip which parodies this kind of stories, starring a half-man half-fish who is a star goalkeeper.
- The Sun has a long running story called Striker, though that's an Artifact Title now as the title character, Nick Jarvis, retired years ago and is now a manager.
- The Mirror also had a football comic strip, called Scorer.
- Tank McNamara is a comic strip about a former (American) football player who is now a sportscaster.
- Gil Thorpe is about a high-school coach and his players. He is the head coach of the football, boys basketball and baseball teams and coaches golf in the summer. Often mocked on The Comic Curmudgeon for losing in the "playdowns" every season.
- NFL Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core
- "Baseball Bugs", a famous Bugs Bunny cartoon
- D'Myna Leagues, about baseball leagues with Funny Animal bird players
- The Mighty Ducks has nothing to do with the films of the same name, instead focusing on a team of anthropomorphic ducks who fight crime and play hockey on the side.
- "Bunny Hugged", a Bugs Bunny cartoon listed here because in the cartoon at least Pro Wrestling Is Real
- Hot Wheels
- Pole Position
- Michel Vaillant cited above had an Animated Adaptation titled Hot Wheels in the US.
- NASCAR Racers is about two rival racing teams.
- Wacky Races