Most Popular Sports in the Netherlands 2023

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Most Popular Sports in the Netherlands 2023: The Netherlands, also called Holland in many languages, is a small country made up of 12 provinces. It is located in the western part of Europe but also has Caribbean territories and borders Germany and Belgium. Its capital is Amsterdam, which has over 872,000 inhabitants (but over 2,480,000 if you include the metropolitan area!).

An interesting part of the country that I wanted to tackle is the most popular sport. In that light, I have listed all the popular games from the Netherlands and I hope you will like them:


The most popular sport in the Netherlands is football. You may have heard of many famous Dutch football players including Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp, ​​Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie. However, the country has always done well in the sport, reaching the finals of the FIFA World Cup 3 times, yet they still want to win it all.

Football in the Netherlands

The governing body of football in the Netherlands is the Royal Dutch Football Association, the largest sports confederation in the country.

Number of licensed football players in the Netherlands  : 1,200,000

Famous Dutch footballers  : Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp, ​​Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Edwin van der Sar, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Ronald Koeman, Frank Rijkaard, Patrick Kluivert, Wesley Sneijder, Johan Nieskens, Frank Nieskens, Ruud van Nistelrooy


The second most popular sport in the Netherlands is tennis. You may be surprised to see tennis so high on this list, as it is often said to be a sport for the rich, but the Dutch love tennis. Although the number of players is nowhere near the number of registered footballers, it is above 600,000. And for a country of more than 17 million inhabitants, that’s a lot.

Tennis in Netherlands

Tom Ocker was one of the most successful Dutch tennis players and was nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman”.

Number of licensed tennis players in the Netherlands  : 605,000

Famous Dutch tennis players  : Robin Haase, Richard Krzycek, Tom Oker, Jako Elting, Paul Harhuis, Martin Verkerk, Sjng Schalken, Cornelia Bowman, Hendrik Timmer, Betty Stoweh


The third most popular sport in the Netherlands is golf. Like tennis, it may come as a surprise to see golf at the top of the list, but the Dutch love golf too!

The most successful Dutch male golfer is definitely Joost Luiten, who won 4 tournaments on the European Tour and represented Europe at the 2013 Save Trophy and the 2014 Eurasia Cup. When it comes to women, the best among them is Christel Boeljohn who won the Ladies European Tour 4 times.

Golf Netherlands

Number of licensed golf players in the Netherlands  : 380,000

Famous Dutch golf players  : Joost Luyten, Will Besseling, Robert-Jan Derksen, Rainier Saxton, Dan Heuzing, Rolf Muntz, Hendrik Timmer, Davey Clare Schreifel, Maarten Lafeber, Taco Remkes


The fourth most popular sport in the Netherlands is gymnastics. The main reason why gymnastics has become so popular in the country is probably the international success of the women’s national team. He has participated in the Olympic Games 7 times and won a gold medal in 1928. He has consistently placed himself in the top 10 and won bronze medals at the European Games and European Championships.

Gymnastics Netherlands

Their current roster is made up of Reina Beltman, Kirsten Polderman, Ethora Thorsdottir and Mara Titarsolage.

Number of licensed gymnastics athletes in the Netherlands  : 241,000

Famous Dutch gymnasts  : Estella Agsterribbe, Helena Nordheim, Apk Zonderland, Yuri van Gelder, Sane Vevers, Verona van de Leur, Leeke Vevers, Ethora Thorsdottir, Geoffrey Wams

5-Field hockey

The fifth most popular sport in the Netherlands is field hockey. Dutch players are infamous in field hockey. Their governing body, the Royal Dutch Hockey Federation, was founded in 1898. There is a national tournament called “Hoofdclasse Hockey” and it consists of 12 teams. It is being organized since 1970.

Above all, the Dutch women’s national field hockey team is the most successful team in World Cup history, as they have won the title 6 times. The men’s team has won the World Cup 3 times, as well as 2 Olympic gold medals.

Number of licensed field hockey players in the Netherlands  : 240,000

Famous Dutch Field Hockey  Players: Ellen Hoog, Eva de Goede, Martje Pomen, Naomi van As, Sander de Wijn, Kim Lammers, Robert van der Horst, Marcel Balkestein, Margot van Geffen


The sixth most popular Dutch sport is equestrian. 200,000 Dutch practice cavalry. This is another game that is not very popular worldwide but it is good among Dutch popular games.

Horseman netherlands sports

The Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation oversees equestrianism in the country and was founded in 2002 (after a merger). The country has produced many successful horsemen, including Charles Paud de Mortenses, Jos Lansink and Gerko Schröder. Most of them became world and Olympic champions in their respective fields.

Number of licensed equestrian athletes in the Netherlands  : 200,000

Famous Dutch Equestrian  Players: Adelinde Cornelissen, Anki van Grunsven, Ben Schroeder, Edward Gall, Elaine Paine, Gerko Schroeder, Jos Lansink, Michael van der Vleuten, Mark Hautjager, Patrick van der Meer, Wim Schroeder, Wim Schroeder,

7-Ice skating

The seventh and last most popular sport in the Netherlands is ice skating. There are two main disciplines that make ice skating popular: speed skating and figure skating. Both are very successful in the Netherlands.

Speed ​​skating was extremely popular around 1900, and Dutch speed skaters are very proficient in the sport: they have won 77 world single distance championships since 1996.

For figure skating, the most successful athlete is Sjoukje Dijkstra, who won the World Championship 3 times.

Number of licensed ice skating players in the Netherlands  : 155,000

Famous Dutch Ice Skating Players  : Jan Bazen, Annie Borkink, Keld Nuys, Heitske Pijlman, Jan Charisius, Cocky van der Elst, Renate Groeneveld, Sanne van der Star, Ingrid Haringa, Jochem Uytehage

So there you have it, these were all the most popular games in the Netherlands. I hope you enjoyed them and learned something new today. Continue reading to get some more facts about the Dutch game.


Which sport did the Netherlands invent?

A sport invented by the Netherlands is korfball. It is a ball sport that resembles netball or basketball and is played by 2 teams of 8 players, each team consisting of 4 female players and 4 male players, which is honestly different. The goal of the game is to shoot the ball into a netless basket on a pole 3.5 meters / 11.5 feet high.

Believe it or not, cricket is incredibly popular in the Netherlands, even though it doesn’t feature on this list.

The game has been played in the country for centuries and the national team regularly participates in international cricket tournaments including the World Cup. While football and field hockey became more popular in the 20th century, several cricket clubs survived in the Netherlands.

Are darts big in Holland?

Darts are also very popular in the Netherlands, and this can be easily explained: Raymond van Barneveld started winning the world championship in a year, which led to many players registering for the game. The Dutch Open is also a national tournament, which was established in 1973 and runs annually

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