More of a national religion than merely a sport, fútbol, known to North Americans as soccer, is played just about everywhere in the country. Players range from shoeless young men whacking a half-deflated playground ball around a dirt lot to first-division professional teams and beloved La Bicolor, the white-and-blue clad national team.
Honduras ’s league, composed of 10 teams, is one of the more competitive leagues in Central America, frequently sending players off to the Mexican league and even to Italy’s fabled calcio. Going to a match is an inexpensive way to catch a glimpse of the fiery spirit lurking inside otherwise tranquil Hondurans. The league has two mini-seasons, February–June and August–October, with a championship determined through playoffs. The best teams perennially are Olympia and Motagua, from Tegucigalpa , and España, from San Pedro Sula .
When discussing the national team, watch out. Don’t even think about making jokes about the team’s ineptitude—this is no laughing matter. Honduras  is usually on the cusp of getting into the World Cup finals tournament, but not quite doing it (as in the 2008–2009 qualifiers for World Cup 2010).
A ragingly popular subset of Honduran soccer madness, futbolito is a miniature version of its sister sport. It is played with a small ball on a shortened field, often on paved basketball courts, and uses small cages as goals. Indeed, the sport moves more like basketball than soccer, with more importance placed on footwork and technique than strength and running. It is played in most towns, big and small, and leagues exist throughout the country.
Both baseball and basketball are gaining popularity in Honduras . Bay Islanders are particularly fanatical about baseball and can be heard endlessly discussing the latest stats on major-league players in the United States. Surprisingly, a national basketball league was formed recently.