American Sports in Germany

German soccer may rule the world, but that doesn't mean everyone is a football fanatic. If you prefer a more American pastime, Germany offers plenty of opportunities to pursue your love of baseball, basketball, (American) football, or lacrosse.

Baseball

The first official baseball game on German soil took place at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where almost 90,000 spectators watched a demonstration game between two US teams in the Berlin Olympiastadion.

The German baseball community really came into its own in the post war years, thanks to the presence of US GIs. In the post-war years, leagues developed for high school students, and In 1982, a German championship was introduced.

Today, there are several leagues operating, with the first-league Bundesliga featuring 15 teams in two leagues: North and South.

In addition to the main Bundesliga, there is also a second leagues several regional leagues, and amateur leagues. 

Softball

The Neunkirchen Nightmares of the Softball Bundesliga

The Neunkirchen Nightmares of the Softball Bundesliga

Germany also has a wide variety of teams playing slow-pitch softball. This includes teams playing in organizes leagues, independent university teams, and amateur mixed-gender teams. Ambitious teams teams in the third category compete in regular tournaments and leagues like the Rhein-Main-Liga

Basketball

The first official German championship was held on 29th and 30th April 1939 at a tournament of the four best of 19 champions in Hamburg. Today, the top teams compete in the national Bundesliga, with 18 teams competing in Germany's top-flight as of 2016. 

In addition to the highly-competitive (and lucrative) Bundesliga, there are also many regional league that play at the semi-pro and amateur levels in 9 divisions

American Football

The American Football in Germany began in the mid-1970s with mostly US soldiers stationed there as players and coaches. From the early 1990s until 2007, five German teams participated in NFL Europe. 

The highest regular league in Germany is the German Football League (GFL) and the final of the GFL is the German Bowl. There is also a second league and several regional and city league, and since the end of the 1980s, football has also been played on university level. The finals are the annual "Hochschulbowl". 

Here are the current teams in the GFL. Unlike some of the other leagues in Germany, the teams in the GFL are very competitive and play at a high level. 

Lacrosse

Lacrosse came to Germany only in 1993, when clubs from the USA founded new teams in Berlin and Munich. Since then, three men's leagues, four women's leagues and two junior leagues have been developed, organized under the umbrella organization, the German Lacrosse Association .

To find all of the Lacrosse programs in Germany, check out Laxmap.com.

Roller Derby

German champions Bear City Roller Derby

German champions Bear City Roller Derby

At the beginning of the 21st century Roller Derby finally made its way from the USA to Europe. In 2006, the first German team were founded, the Stuttgart Valley Rollergirls,  followed by the second German team, Baroque City Roller Derby from Ludwigsburg in 2007. Today, there are over 30 teams playing across Germany in 3 leagues.

Here are the teams in the first Bundesliga: