The Most Popular Sport in Alaska: A Ranking of Local Favorites

Choose the Game you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 1, 2023 09:24
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter! We're excited to present our newest ranking: "What is the most popular sport in Alaska?" Experience the thrill of the Last Frontier as we showcase the top sports that captivate the hearts of Alaskans. From dog sledding to ice hockey, the diverse landscape of Alaska offers a unique array of exhilarating sports. So, are you ready to dive into the thrilling world of Alaskan sports? Cast your vote for your favorite or suggest a missing option to help us uncover Alaska's ultimate sporting passion. Don't miss out on this epic journey - join the conversation and make your voice heard!

What Is the Most Popular Sport in Alaska? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    Ice hockey
    Fabien Perissinotto · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Alaska has a strong hockey culture with many amateur and professional teams, including the Alaska Aces who were members of the ECHL until 2017.
    Ice hockey is a fast-paced team sport played on ice, in which two teams of skaters use sticks to shoot a rubber puck into the opponent's net to score points. It is known for its physicality, speed, and skilled maneuvers.
    • Number of Players: Each team consists of six players, including one goaltender.
    • Playing Surface: The game is played on a rectangular ice rink.
    • Duration: A typical game consists of three periods of 20 minutes each.
    • Equipment: Players wear a variety of protective gear, including helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, and skates.
    • Puck: The rubber disc used in ice hockey weighs about 6 ounces and is 1 inch thick.
    Ice hockey in other rankings
  2. 2

    Dog mushing

    Indigenous peoples of Alaska
    The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the most famous dog sled races in the world and takes place in Alaska each year.
    Dog mushing is a popular winter sport in Alaska that involves racing or traveling over snow using a sled that is pulled by a team of sled dogs. It is often referred to as the 'state sport' of Alaska and has a rich history deeply rooted in the culture of the indigenous peoples of the region.
    • Distance Covered: Dog teams can cover long distances, ranging from short sprints to multi-day races covering hundreds of miles.
    • Sled Dog Breeds: Common sled dog breeds used in mushing include Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Huskies.
    • Mushers: Dog mushers are the individuals who drive the sled and command the team of dogs. They are skilled in handling the sled and managing the dogs.
    • Commands: Mushers use a variety of commands to guide and control the sled dogs, including ‘gee’ (right), ‘haw’ (left), and ‘whoa’ (stop).
    • Iditarod: The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the most famous dog mushing events, covering approximately 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome.
  3. 3


    Carl Eliason
    Alaska has a vast network of snowmobile trails and many residents enjoy this mode of transportation and recreation.
    Snowmobiling is a thrilling winter activity that involves riding a motorized vehicle called a snowmobile over snow-covered terrain. It provides an exhilarating experience as riders navigate through snowy landscapes, forests, and even across frozen lakes. Snowmobiling can be enjoyed by individuals of various skill levels, ranging from beginners to experienced riders.
    • Top Speed: 70-120 mph
    • Engine Type: Two-stroke or four-stroke
    • Horsepower: 60-200+ HP
    • Track Length: 121-137 inches
    • Weight: 400-600 lbs
    Snowmobiling in other rankings
  4. 4
    With its snowy winters, Alaska is a great place for cross-country skiing, and the sport is popular among residents.
    Cross-country skiing is a popular winter sport in Alaska that involves sliding across snow-covered terrain using skis. It is a form of skiing that focuses on endurance and coordination, rather than speed or steep downhill descents. Participants use specialized skis and poles to propel themselves forward on flat or gently sloping surfaces.
    • Terrain: Snow-covered flat or gently sloping surfaces
    • Equipment: Skis and poles
    • Technique: A combination of gliding and poling motions
    • Endurance: It is an endurance-focused sport that builds cardiovascular fitness
    • Coordination: Requires coordination between upper and lower body movements
  5. 5
    Bernard Gagnon · CC BY-SA 3.0


    The Boy Scouts of America
    Alaska has a thriving fishing industry and is famous for its salmon runs, making fishing a popular sport and pastime.
    Fishing is a merit badge that introduces scouts to the art and science of catching fish. It encourages outdoor experiences and teaches skills required to safely enjoy the activity of fishing.
    • Age Requirements: Available to all Boy Scouts
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Prerequisites: None
    • Duration: Variable, depending on individual progress
    • Required Equipment: Fishing tackle, bait, personal camping gear
    Fishing in other rankings
  6. 6


    Various manufacturers
    Alaska has a rich hunting culture, and residents enjoy hunting big game such as moose, caribou, and bison.
    Hunting is a popular interactive toy for cats that simulates the thrill of catching prey. It engages their natural instincts and provides mental and physical stimulation. The toy consists of a wand or pole with a variety of attachments, such as feathers, strings, or small toys that resemble prey. The cat owner moves the wand in a way that mimics the movements of prey, allowing the cat to chase, pounce, and capture their 'prey'. This interactive playtime helps keep cats active, improves their agility, and provides an outlet for their hunting instincts.
    • Materials: Durable plastic, feathers, strings, and small toys
    • Length: Varies between 20-40 inches
    • Attachment types: Feathers, strings, or small toys
    • Handle: Comfortable grip for the owner
    • Movement: Wand allows for realistic prey-like movements
    Hunting in other rankings
  7. 7
    Massimo Finizio · CC BY-SA 2.0 it


    James Naismith
    Although not typically associated with Alaska, basketball is a popular sport among residents, with many high school and college teams across the state.
    Basketball is a fast-paced and exhilarating sport that showcases dynamic athleticism, skillful teamwork, and strategic gameplay. Played by two teams of five players each, the objective is to score points by shooting the ball through the opposing team's hoop. With its high-flying dunks, precision shooting, and rapid ball movement, basketball offers an exciting spectacle that captivates fans worldwide.
    • Number of Players: 5 players per team
    • Playing Surface: Indoor court with a hardwood floor
    • Hoops: Two standard-sized hoops, positioned at opposite ends of the court
    • Ball: Standard basketball with a circumference of 29.5-30 inches
    • Game Duration: Four quarters of 12 minutes each (NBA)
    Basketball in other rankings
  8. 8
    Mountaineer · CC BY 3.0
    Alaska is home to many mountains, including Denali, the highest peak in North America, and mountaineering is a popular activity for adventurous residents.
    Mountaineering is a challenging hobby that involves climbing mountains and reaching high-altitude peaks. It combines various skills such as hiking, rock climbing, glacier travel, and camping in extreme environments. Mountaineering requires physical fitness, technical knowledge, and mental resilience to overcome dangerous terrain, unpredictable weather conditions, and altitude-related risks.
    • Routes: Various routes with different levels of difficulty and technical requirements
    • Physical Demands: High
    • Technical Skills: Advanced
    • Equipment: Ropes, crampons, ice axes, harnesses, helmets, etc.
    • Safety: Critical, involves risk management and knowledge of rescue techniques
    Mountaineering in other rankings
  9. 9
    Clément Bucco-Lechat · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Soccer is an up-and-coming sport in Alaska, with many youth leagues and adult recreational teams.
    Soccer, also known as football, is a popular sport played between two teams, each consisting of eleven players. It is considered one of the most beautiful sports to watch due to its fluid movements, skillful techniques, and strategic gameplay. The objective of the game is to score goals by maneuvering a round ball into the opponent's net using any part of the body except the arms and hands. Soccer matches are typically played on a rectangular field and are governed by a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game.
    • Number of Players: 11 players on each team
    • Field Dimensions: Length: 100-110 meters, Width: 64-75 meters
    • Duration: Two halves of 45 minutes each, with a halftime break
    • Equipment: Round ball, soccer cleats, shin guards, jerseys
    • Scoring: A goal is scored when the ball crosses the opponent's goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar
    Soccer in other rankings
  10. 10


    Alexander Cartwright
    Although the sport faces challenges due to Alaska's short summers, baseball is still enjoyed by many residents, with several minor league and semi-professional teams throughout the state.
    Baseball is a popular team sport that is played with a bat and ball. It is primarily played in North America, although it has gained some popularity in other parts of the world as well. The objective of the game is for a team to score more runs than the opposing team by hitting the ball and running around a series of bases.
    • Number of players: Each team consists of nine players on the field
    • Field dimensions: The playing field is a diamond shape with four bases placed in a square formation
    • Equipment: A baseball, a wooden bat, and gloves for fielders
    • Innings: A typical game consists of nine innings for each team
    • Pitching: The pitcher throws the ball towards the batter from the pitcher's mound
    Baseball in other rankings

Missing your favorite Game?


Ranking factors for popular sport

  1. Participation rates
    The number of people actively participating in a sport can be a good indicator of its popularity. This can be measured by looking at the number of registered participants in leagues, clubs, and tournaments.
  2. Fanbase
    The size of the fanbase for a sport can also be a factor to consider in determining its popularity. This can be measured by looking at TV ratings, attendance at events, and social media engagement.
  3. Availability of facilities
    The availability and quality of facilities are important factors in determining the popularity of a sport. If a sport has a lot of accessible and well-maintained facilities, it may attract more participants and fans.
  4. Cultural significance
    Certain sports may hold cultural significance for Alaskan communities and be more popular as a result. For instance, traditional sports like dogsledding and ice fishing may have more significance than newer sports like soccer or basketball.
  5. Media coverage
    The level of media coverage a sport receives can also be an indicator of its popularity. Sports that are covered more frequently in local and national media may be more popular than those that receive less coverage.
  6. Funding and support
    If a sport receives more funding and support from local and state governments, non-profits, and private organizations, it may be more accessible and therefore more popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular sport in Alaska. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Game is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 159 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Game once every 24 hours. The rank of each Game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular sport in alaska

Alaska is renowned for its rugged terrain, stunning wilderness, and diverse wildlife. It's also known for its love of sports, with a range of outdoor activities popular throughout the state. But when it comes to the most popular sport in Alaska, there's one clear winner: ice hockey. This fast-paced, physically demanding sport is a staple of Alaskan culture, with many towns and cities boasting their own teams and rinks. In fact, Alaska has produced some of the most talented ice hockey players in the country, including NHL stars Scott Gomez and Matt Carle. While other sports like basketball, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding also have a strong following in Alaska, ice hockey remains the undisputed king. So if you're in Alaska and looking for a sport to watch or play, chances are you'll be lacing up your skates and hitting the ice!