1972 in sports
1972 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
|Years in sports:||1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975|
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Years:||1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975|
- Alpine Skiing World Cup
- 23 December - In the first Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game in 25 years (and the franchises first playoff win), rookie Franco Harris salvages and converts into a touchdown a final seconds Terry Bradshaw incomplete pass in what has been called the greatest play in NFL history—The Immaculate Reception—to beat the Oakland Raiders 13-7.
- Super Bowl VI – Dallas Cowboys won 24–3 over the Miami Dolphins
- Orange Bowl (1971 season):
- Brazil – Palmeiras wins the Campeonato Brasileiro
- England – FA Cup – Leeds United won 1–0 over Arsenal
- Europe – Cup Winners' Cup – Rangers FC won 3–2 over Dinamo Moscow
- West Germany beat the Soviet Union 3–0 to win the European Championship.
- September – Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich
- Victorian Football League
- 19 January – The BBWAA elects Sandy Koufax (344 votes), Yogi Berra (339), and Early Wynn (301) to the Hall of Fame.
- Sparky Lyle saves 35 games for the New York Yankees, breaking Ron Perranoski's 1970 records for AL pitchers and left-handers. Lyle also becomes the first left-hander to save 100 career games in the American League.
- World Series – Oakland Athletics win their first World Championship since the team was based in Philadelphia in 1930, and sixth in franchise history, by defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 4 games to 3.
- 31 December – The Pittsburgh Pirates' legendary right fielder Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash near Puerto Rico on his way to bring relief supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims.
- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship –
- UCLA wins 81–76 over Florida St.
- NBA Finals –
- 1972 ABA Finals –
- 26 June – Roberto Durán stopped Ken Buchanan in the thirteenth round to win the WBA Lightweight Championship.
- Grey Cup – Hamilton Tiger-Cats won 13–10 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Vanier Cup – Alberta Golden Bears won 20–7 over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
- Giro d'Italia won by Eddy Merckx of Belgium
- Tour de France – Eddy Merckx of Belgium
- UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race – Marino Basso of Italy
- Disc sports are introduced to Canada at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships in Toronto
- Olympic Games (Men's Competition) in Munich, West Germany
- Gold Medal: West Germany
- Silver Medal: Pakistan
- Bronze Medal:
- World Figure Skating Championships –
- Masters Tournament – Jack Nicklaus
- U.S. Open – Jack Nicklaus
- British Open – Lee Trevino
- PGA Championship – Gary Player
- PGA Tour money leader – Jack Nicklaus – $320,542
- The European Tour begins its first season of competition.
- LPGA Championship – Kathy Ahern
- U.S. Women's Open – Susie Berning
- Titleholders Championship – Sandra Palmer
- LPGA Tour money leader – Kathy Whitworth – $65,063
- 21 September – Strike Out became the first Canadian owned harness racing horse to ever win the Little Brown Jug.
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- Super Bowl wins the United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Pacers: Welcome Advice
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Piping Lane
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Victoria Song
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by San San
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Steel Pulse
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- World Hockey Association (WHA)'s first season. This new league signed several of the top NHL stars including Bobby Hull and Derek Sanderson.
- Art Ross Memorial Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
- Hart Memorial Trophy – for the NHL's Most Valuable Player: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
- Stanley Cup – Boston Bruins win 4 games to 2 over the New York Rangers
- 28 September – Paul Henderson scored the "goal of the century" to give Canada the win in the Summit Series, the first ever Canada versus the Soviet Union hockey showdown.
- World Hockey Championship
- Men's champion: Czechoslovakia defeated the Soviet Union
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship – Boston University Terriers defeat Cornell University Big Red 4–0 in Boston, Massachusetts
- The Long Branch P.C.O.'s win the first Founders Cup.
- The New Westminster Salmonbellies win the Mann Cup.
- The Peterborough PCO's win the Minto Cup.
- Stock car racing –
- USAC Racing
- Formula 5000 – Gijs van Lennep of the Netherlands
- Formula One – Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil) wins World Drivers' Champion, driving a Lotus 72D-Cosworth.
- 24 hours of Le Mans – Henri Pescarolo / Graham Hill win, sharing a Matra MS670
- Rally racing – Sandro Munari / Mario Manucci win the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Lancia Fulvia 1.6HF
- Drag racing – Don Moody wins Top Fuel at the Supernats.
- 1972 NSWRFL season
- 1972 New Zealand rugby league season
- 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season / 1972–73 Northern Rugby Football League season
- 1972 Rugby League World Cup
- 78th Five Nations Championship series is undecided after two matches are not played for political reasons
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – United States wins 3–2 over Romania in world tennis.
General sporting events
- 1972 Summer Olympics takes place in Munich, Germany
- USSR wins the most medals (99), and the most gold medals (50)
- 1972 Winter Olympics takes place in Sapporo, Japan
- USSR wins the most medals (16), and the most gold medals (8)
- Seventh Winter Universiade held in Lake Placid, New York, United States
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Mark Spitz, Swimming
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Olga Korbut, Gymnastics