Mongolia Sports - Every Game has Something Super Exciting and Indulging

Mongolian culture and traditions are popular for their diversity and centuries-old roots that are flourished by native Mongolians. Their nomadic lifestyle and physical activities have helped them survive in extreme cold as well. Their sports are originated from their lifestyle and culture.

Hunting and relative sports are the pride of Mongolians. The Naadam festival is celebrated to promote the sports culture throughout the country. Naadam will be celebrated from 11th to 15th of July every year. It is the best time to visit Mongolia and explore sports, culture, and traditions.

Naadam is known for three major and national sports of Mongolia: Archery, Wrestling and Horse Racing. Though these three are popular sports in Mongolia, indoor games like dominos, chess and checkers are also widely played in Mongolia.

Here is a small list of sports nationally played in Mongolia.

Mongolian Wrestling:

Mongolian wrestling is the most popular sport which is played as per folk wrestling disciplines. In 2011 Mongolia won a Guinness World Record for biggest National Wrestling match in which 6002 wrestlers took part.

The main goal is to make any part of the opponent`s body touch the ground Especially if knee or elbow touches the ground it counted as a loss (except feet). Unlike other wrestling, Mongolian styles of wrestling have no time limit and there are no age or weight-based classifications. All the wrestlers play under the same category. That’s why it is also known as freestyle wrestling.

There are some popular styles of wrestling naming as Uzemchin, Hulunbuir, Alagsha, & Ordos. All these styles have little variations of game rules.  

It is recommended to at least watch one wrestling match during your Mongolia tour to witness the clear show of strength of Mongolians.


Archery in Mongolia is a game and a costume show as well. The arrows are usually weighted before the start of the competition with a bone or a plastic. Eagle feathers are fixed in arrows to highlight it. The bow is similar to English long-bow but it is shorter, much tougher and has intricate carving designs on it. The bow and arrow are handmade.

The competition is not limited to shooting your target with an arrow, it has other technical aspects as well.

Many tourists are interested in Mongolian Archery (Men & Women) for their special techniques and archer`s costumes. They wear well decorated long dresses having flattering cloth stripes or feather details. Your Mongolia trips are incomplete if you miss the archery show of countryside locals.

Horse Racing:

Horseracing or derby is played outside the city area because their race track is long and natural. (no sports ground crafted tracks). Another amazing fact about Mongolia horseracing is that young jockeys take part in it.

For their appreciation, people wait and applaud for every horse. Even the last one reaching the finish line gets cheers and claps. There are no losers in the game, only the top three or five jockeys get the price.

Taking part in horseracing is a tribal pride so no matter you win or lose, ultimately you bring respect and conceit back to your tribe.

Visit Mongolia and attend horseracing events, there are tuck shops, souvenir vendors and street food stalls and even cloth vendors to keep people busy. During the Naadam Festival, from 10th to 12th of July, around 180,000 horses race throughout the country (in 21 provinces and 329 soums). Your Mongolia trip will be filled with excitement as you can mingle with locals, buy products at low cost and try tons of local dishes during the race.

The Anklebone Shooting Game:

There are unlimited players and an unlimited number of anklebones of different animals like sheep, horse, goat, camel, etc. the youngest participant begins the game by tossing a bone in the air onto the floor.

With any of his/herher fingers, the participant tries to knock one bone with another of the same kind (meaning: sheep-sheep and horse-horse).

If the players fail to touch the same kind of bone or touches another kind his turn is lost and other players will proceed in the same way. The winner gathers most or all of the same variety of bones of opponents.

Visit Mongolia to enjoy one of its kind of sports, it’s thrilling, unique and very indulging. Usually, Mongolia tours do not include Anklebone Shooting Game, so it is recommended to ask your Mongolia tour planners to make pre-bookings for you.

Yak Polo:

Polo is played on horses but Yak Polo in Mongolia is more than amazing. Mongolian Association of Sarlagan Polo started to promote the sports in the 2000s to attract more tourists. The sports is now nationally played in various parts of Mongolia.

Yak is not as obedient as horses so the game becomes more exciting. Many tourists who visit Mongolia recommends attending the Yak Polo event. There are no specific dates for Yak Polo events that`s why Mongolia tour planners pre-book the passes for events on tourist`s requests. 

Other amazing sports like ice hockey, soccer, basketball, judo wrestling, eagle-eye hunting, trekking, dog sledding, kayaking, and fishing are also extensively played in Mongolia. From generation to generation sports had being given valuable attention to develop survival instincts and to make coming generations strong, smart and conscious. Mongolia trips are more than just an adventure for sports enthusiasts and explorers.