Pokémon: 10 Best Sporting Events In The Anime, Ranked

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The Pokémon anime evolves to incorporate so much more than just Pokémon battling with the introduction of both contests and various sports designed for casual and competitive play. Many of these sports have real-life equivalents and representations, but in the Pokémon universe they have their own distinct twists on them to include Pokémon.

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While races are the most common form of sporty competition seen in Pokémon, there are numerous other sporting competitions that test the bonds of humans and Pokémon, allowing both to showcase their talent.

10 Professional Golfer Kahili And Toucannon Lead A Friendly Golfing Competition Among The Students

One of many sports on show in the Sun & Moon series, Pokémon Golf takes center stage in “Keeping Your Eyes on the Ball!” when the Pokémon School students are taught how to play Pokémon Golf by a professional, Kahili, and her partner Toucannon. Their signature move has Kahili tee off and Toucannon use Tailwind in order to extend the distance and increase their chances of a hole in one.

The students give it a go, with each duo showing varying levels of creativity in making their shots. While real life golf comes down to just one player and their resolve under pressure, Pokémon Golf adds an exciting extra twist to the sport and incorporates Pokémon to make it more exciting.

9 Pokémon Base Player Oluolu Encouraged The Students And Team Rocket To Settle Their Differences On The Field

In Sun & Moon, baseball becomes a plot point, with Ash’s love for Pokémon Base inspiring Professor Kukui to hold a class based on the sport with the help of a famous player, Oluolu.

The Pokémon School students have a 6-on-6 match, with 3 students and 3 Pokémon apiece. The students and Pokémon alike display creativity and skill as they have a fun but competitive match. The atmosphere shifts somewhat when Team Rocket gets involved, although instead of crashing the party and trying to steal Pokémon, this time they end up playing a match to secure Oluolu’s autograph.

8 A Ping Pong Tournament Unearthed Ambipom’s Exceptional Talent

Table tennis, or ping pong, often leaves viewers in awe at the speed and skill on show, especially when it’s featured heavily during the Olympics. The sport even transfers over well to the Pokémon universe, where Ash and Dawn take part in a tournament during their travels in Sinnoh.

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Trainers and their Pokémon partners play in doubles matches, with the Pokémon using a part of their body rather than a paddle. Ash and Pikachu are defeated early on, but Dawn’s Ambipom thrives in this new environment, carrying Dawn far in the tournament before eventually losing. Ambipom’s talent and potential are noticed by the famous player O, who ends up taking Ambipom with him for further training. Pokémon Ping Pong makes another appearance in the Sun & Moon series.

7 Ash Takes Full Advantage Of Having Three Flying-Types On His Kalos Team With The Pokémon Sky Relay

In “A Relay in the Sky!” Ash and friends come across a Sky Relay competition during their travels through Kalos, with Ash eager to participate. Each trainer uses three Flying-type Pokémon, one at a time, to carry a ribbon from the start to the finish.

Ash uses Fletchinder, Hawlucha, and Noivern, and despite a good effort from all three, they end up narrowly losing. The Sky Relay is an interesting take on a normal relay race, with Flying-types having to navigate treacherous conditions and dangerous surroundings. The relay was a perfect chance for Noibat to come out of its shell and gain confidence through intense competition.

6 Camellia Town Pokéathlon Saw A Snorlax Beat Pikachu In A Race

Pikachu Racing Snorlax Pokemon Pokeathlon Running

During their adventures through Sinnoh, Ash, Brock, and Dawn come across Scientist Daniel, who boasts about his enhanced Snorlax, the results of his numerous experiments and tests. Ash and Daniel end up competing fiercely in the local Camellia Town Pokéathlon, a series of athletic events for the Pokémon, with the overall winner being the victor.

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Similar to a Decathlon or Heptathlon in real life, events in a Pokéathlon include Relay Run, Hurdle Dash, and Block Smash. Daniel’s Snorlax eventually beat Ash’s Pikachu in the Hurdle Dash simply due to the size of its belly.

5 Super Sledder Sarah Dazzled With Her Ninetales During A Pokémon Sled Jumping Contest

Ninetales goes sledding with a trainer

During the Sun & Moon series, in “Getting a Jump on the Competition!” the Pokémon School students meet Cerah, a famous PokéSled Jumper. She encourages them all to try it out and they enter a competition taking place nearby the following day.

Pokémon Sled Jumping is similar to Ski Jumping but with the obvious twist that the Pokémon normally execute exciting moves in a bid to get high scores and win the competition. Kahuna Hala and his Crabominable use a spectacular Belly Drum technique to secure first place, and Cerah’s exhibition performance with her Alolan Ninetales also impresses everybody.

4 The Sport Of Pokémon Baccer Needs To Be Seen To Be Fully Understood

Pokemon Baccer Electivire Metagross

The Pokémon Baccer World Cup is introduced in the movie Zoroark: Master of Illusions, with Ash and his friends on their way to Crown City for the event. Pokémon Baccer is a sport played on a circular pitch, with two slopes colored according to each participating team. With two teams of three Pokémon competing against each other, they must knock a spinning-top into a floating pyramid circling the stadium.

Teams are usually made up of each member of a three-piece evolution chain, with Elekid, Electabuzz, and Electivire being an apt example. It’s a bizarre sport with no exact likeness to any real-life sports, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

3 The Sumo Wrestling Competition Was A Can’t-Miss Occasion

Ash's Snorlax versus Feraligator from Pokemon

Pokémon Sumo Wrestling gets to shine in “Ring Masters,” during Ash’s adventures in Johto. As it is in real life, the sumo tournament requirements in this case are that all entrants must be over a certain weight limit, which attracts the biggest Pokémon from all over the region.

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With the aim being to knock your opponent out of the ringed zone or else knock them to the floor, powerful Pokémon are seen excelling throughout this tournament. Ash’s Snorlax remains undefeated throughout, with it defeating Raiden’s Feraligatr for the win, earning Ash a King’s Rock and Snorlax a year’s supply of Pokémon food. Sumo goes on to appear once more in the Black & White series.

2 Ash Winning A Race With A Newly Evolved Rapidash Was An Exciting Twist

Ash Ponyta Rapidash Racing Against Dodrio Dario

In “The Flame Pokémon-athon!” Ash, Brock, and Misty meet Lara, who’s about to take part in a Ponyta race. However, the day before the race, Lara hurts her arm due to Team Rocket spooking a herd of Tauros, and she has to ask Ash to take her place instead.

This race is the first of the entire Pokémon series, and although it’s full of Team Rocket distractions taking out various competitors, it’s still one of the all-time greats. A mix of cross country, steeplechase, and horse racing, the competition ends with Ash and Ponyta winning at the last second due to Ponyta evolving into Rapidash.

1 The Pokémon Number One Grand Prix Was Ash And Primeape’s Defining Moment

screengrab from the punchy pokemon

In “The Punchy Pokémon,” after encountering a Hitmonchan, Ash and Brock are encouraged to enter a fighting tournament, supposedly exclusively for Fighting-type Pokémon. Ash enters with Primeape, while Brock is surprisingly allowed to enter with Geodude, which subsequently gets eliminated rather quickly, as expected.

Each fight takes place within a square ring, just like boxing, wrestling, and other combat sports. After several intense bouts, Primeape eventually makes it to the final and beats Team Rocket’s Hitmonlee to win the championship belt, making it feel even more like a real-life bout.

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