There is a wide range of Barbados sports which are enjoyed both as a participant and spectator, local resident or visitor. Here are some of the favourite sporting pastimes on the island.
The first of our island sports I must mention is cricket as it is the national sport of Barbados and the most popular sport in Barbados. Locals love to play and watch cricket and cricket has become major aspect of Barbados culture!
The Barbados Cricket Association controls this sport on the island with the Barbados cricket team being well known as a strong competitor in regional cricket tournaments. These regional cricket tournaments include the Carib Beer Cup and the KFC Cup with other Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad competing for the final trophy.
The Barbados cricket team however does not compete internationally itself, but team members are often picked for the international West Indies cricket team. Barbados cricket matches are either held at one of the many cricket fields throughout the island or at the famous Kensington Oval cricket stadium.
Numerous Barbados cricket festivals take place throughout the year including the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Tournament and of course the Test Match Festival. The island has produced a number of talented and well renowned cricketers including "living legend" Sir Garfield Sobers, known as the world's best all-rounder.
In 2007 the island had the honour of hosting the World Cup of Cricket finals as well as numerous Super 8 matches.
Golf in Barbados is a big tourist attraction on the island with a number of excellent tropical golf courses, including The Royal Westmoreland Golf Club.
The Barbados Golf Association is the home of this Barbados sport, hosting over 10 golf tournaments through the year. One of the most popular Barbados golf tournaments takes place in August and is known as the Barbados Open.
There is also a festival in Barbados to celebrate this sports, the Sir Garfield Sobers Festival of Golf, which attracts players from around the world and takes place over 4 days.
Learn more about Barbados golf
With over 70 miles of beaches, Barbados is an ideal place to enjoy all kinds of beach sports and water sports. Most of the hotels on the island offer water sports facilities as do the many independent water sports centres found on our beaches.
The south coast of the island is well known for its calm seas, its wealth of white sandy beaches and a number of shallow water reefs. This makes it great for snorkelling and scuba diving. Silver Sands and Silver Rock along the island's south coast are also great for Barbados windsurfing and kite-surfing.
The East coast of the island, facing the Atlantic Ocean, has the biggest waves and is the place to go if you are into surfing. There can be strong undercurrents in this area which can be dangerous, so it is not recommended you go swimming or snorkelling there.
Learn more about surfing in Barbados
Surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing are Barbados sports celebrated annually with competitive events and activities at the Waterman Festival which takes place during February.
The island's largest international surfing event, the Independence Pro Surfing Classic, is also held in November. This surfing event pulls in competitors from around the Caribbean and the rest of the world with world champion Kelly Slater a regular invitee.
The west coast of the island is known as the "Platinum Coast" and is famous for its clear, lagoon-like waters making it great for motorized water sports in Barbados, such as water skiing, jet skiing and parasailing.
One of the oldest Barbados sports, originally introduced by the British in the 1800s, the sport of polo has become quite a spectacle to witness. Teams from all around the world travel to the island each year to compete in our tropical weather.
There are currently 4 polo fields on the island located on some of the most fascinating landscapes and estates along the west coast and in the central regions.
Visitors are welcome to come and enjoy on of the many local and international polo events and tournaments held throughout the island's polo season.
Barbados is a great destination for Caribbean ship wreck diving and being largely surrounded by coral reefs has over 30 dive sites to explore. There are also about 9 popular ship wrecks in Barbados that divers love to explore with over 200 reported shipwrecks at the Carlisle Bay dive site.
The Marine Reserve also stretches for 4 miles between Sandy Lane and Colony Club along the island's west coast and features protected reefs and marine life. This popular dive site is home to Stavronikita ship wreck.
Many hotels offer a complimentary scuba diving lesson in the resort's swimming pool if you have never scuba dived before. If you are an experienced diver, there are a number of scuba dive operators where you can rent diving equipment and enjoy a guided Barbados dive tour.
But if you don't want to get wet you can still enjoy the underwater sights with a trip in the Atlantis Barbados submarine or a Barbados glass bottom boat.
Field hockey in Barbados has been played on the island since 1958 and now has a massive following. This Barbados sport has its own stadium a short distance away from Bridgetown within the Sir Garfield Sobers Complex.
There are more than 20 field hockey clubs on the island and there has been an annual hockey festival, the Banks International Hockey Festival, every year since 1986. This Barbados sports festival is now the biggest and best known hockey event in the world and is sponsored by Banks Barbados Breweries. This hockey festival is held under the control of the Barbados Hockey Federation and normally takes place mid to the end of August attracting many international hockey teams.
Netball is commonly played by females on the island. This Barbados sport is very similar to basketball where by two opposing teams try to score goals by shooting a ball through a hoop.
However unlike basketball, a player is not allowed to run when they have the ball. A player in possession of the ball is only allowed to take 1 1/2 steps and must not let their foot touch the ground again once lifted off the ground.
Barbados Netball is controlled by The Barbados Netball Association and has been played in Barbados since its introduction in the 1940s by British settlers.
Road tennis is one of the few Barbados sports that is indigenous to this Caribbean island, often referred too as "Poor Man's Tennis". Barbados Road Tennis was first played on the island in the 1930s and as the name states is a version of tennis played on the roads or streets of Barbados. Two players, using small wooden tennis racquets and a skinned lawn tennis ball, compete on either side of net, usually a piece of wood. A court is painted out on the road with the net dividing the court into two sides.