How Good Are You at Sports Jargon?

Hat Trick, pre-match, a gambit to blowout and many others, the world of sports has more fun than just playing or watching others play. Sports, in general, have a language of their own with words and expressions that can be used across all or several specific sports. Additionally, there is an ever-growing lexicon of sport-specific terminologies that only apply to particular sports and mean otherwise or do not exist in others. You may have noticed that coaches, players, pundits and even other fans throughs these technical terms, which can be confusing and intimidating if you are unfamiliar with them. As a sports lover, it is always important to challenge and sharpen your sports jargon ability.

Basic Sports Jargons that Everyone Should Know

Understanding the basics of everything is the beginning of you mastering the whole, so it helps to first understand some simple terminologies that may even apply across sports. Some of the general terms include:

  • Offensive/ Defensive
  • Away / Home Team
  • Opponent
  • Score
  • Arena, field or court
  • Off-side
  • Penalty
  • Kick-off and Half-time

Some basic terms apply to specific sports, such as:

  • Rink – (Hockey, Skating) – a play area made of concrete or ice that requires the use of skates.
  • Bucket – (Basketball) – the scoring area made of a tall-standing mast with a hoop at the top where the ball goes through.
  • Track – (Athletics) – flat area with marked lanes that are used in racing.
  • Finish Line – (Athletics) – the final line at the end of the track that cuts across the labelled lanes.
  • Timeout – (Basketball) – a forced or requested 1-minute break in a basketball session. 

Taking Your Knowledge on Sports Jargon a Notch Higher

Basic sports terms are a language that everybody understands and will only help you at least follow the happenings in-game or when listening to announcers. There are many other general and specific jargons that only the gurus will flow with. The terms vary in complexity, and depending on your interest in a particular type of sport, the best way to get started is to follow sporting events live or watch on TV and listen to the commentary. You can also watch or lead sports pre-match and post-match reports and grow your knowledge of unique and emerging phrases in the world of sports.

Popular Sports Lingo You Need to Learn

  • Enforcer – a player with the skills to tactically protect team members while intimidating the opponent.
  • Super-sub – a spare player who tends to improve the performance of the team and change the direction of the results once introduced.
  • Bench Warmer – a player who always sits on the sidelines as a substitute and only gets a few playing minutes.
  • The 12th Man – terminology used in football to refer to supporters whose cheers and chants influence the game.
  • Barnburner – a tightly contested game right from start to the end
  • Turnover – mostly used in basketball to refer to an action that leads to losing the possession of the ball to the opponent. 
  • Icing – popular in basketball and refers to calling for a timeout to interrupt their rhythm to prevent them from winning in the closing stages of the game.
  • Gambit – refers to a tactic or stratagem but also used in chess to refer to a system where a player sacrifices a pawn to gain an advantage over the other right from the start.
  • Bottling – refers to the act of losing the game has been in a position of massive advantage to win.

Become the Sports Jargon Guru

It is hard for anyone to populate a list of all sports jargon as it is also hard to learn even a quarter of them. The best approach is to learn as much as you can whenever you get an opportunity and familiarize yourself with emerging slang in sports. One of the best opportunities to expand your sports jargon database is the sports betting sites. Bookie sites like GGBet offer betting services where the users wager on the outcome of a real sports event. When betting or browsing the site to find the best odds to bet on, you will come across many new terminologies that will be a valuable addition to your sports knowledge. Some of the commonly used sports betting include either half score to refer to the results at the end of the first or the second half, to mean that both teams scores at least one goal, even or odd scores – mostly used in basketball markets and many other phrases in baseball, rugby, tennis, cricket and other available sports. 

Final Remarks

Sports have evolved over time, and so has the language surrounding them. You will always find new terms gaining their way into the list of words in the sports dictionary, and you need to stay updated with such terminologies, or you will feel left out of the sports you love most. Fortunately, there are many free online sports jargon tests that you can always take to gauge your mastery of sports jargon. You should also keep tabs with sporting events, follow game analysis and listen to sports commentators to even learn more than you already know.