1997 in sports
1997 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
|Years in sports:||1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000|
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s|
|Years:||1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000|
- Alpine Skiing World Cup
- January 2 - The Sugar Bowl: College Football National Championship Game (1996 season):
- January 26 – in Super Bowl XXXI, the Green Bay Packers won 35–21 over the New England Patriots
- October 18 – Liz Heaston becomes the first woman to both play and score in a college football game
- World Artistic Gymnastics Championships –
- Women's all–around champion: Svetlana Khorkina, Russian Federation
- Women's team competition champion: Romania
- Women's vault champion: Simona Amânar, Romania
- Women's uneven bars champion: Svetlana Khorkina, Russian Federation
- Women's balance beam champion: Gina Gogean, Romania
- Women's floor exercise champion: Gina Gogean, Romania
- Men's all-around champion: Ivan Ivankov, Belarus
- Men's team competition champion: China
- Men's vault champion: Sergei Fedorchenko, Kazakhstan
- Men's still rings champion: Yuri Chechi, Italy
- Men's floor exercise champion: Alexei Nemov, Russian Federation
- Men's parallel bars champion: Zhang Jinjing, China
- Men's pommel horse champion: Valery Belenky, Germany
- Men's horizontal bar champion: Jani Tanskanen, Finland
- For an extensive coverage see 1997 in Association football
- Champions League – Borussia Dortmund beat Juventus F.C. 3–1
- UEFA Cup – FC Schalke 04 beat F.C. Internazionale Milano
- Copa Libertadores – Cruzeiro Esporte Clube beat Sporting Cristal
- Australian Football League
- Port Adelaide join the league
- Adelaide Crows win Grand Final for the first time – downing St. Kilda on the last day in September
- Port Adelaide join the league
- June 12 – Interleague play begins in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series.
- World Series – Florida Marlins won 4 games to 3 over the Cleveland Indians. The Series MVP was Liván Hernández, Florida
- NCAA Men's Basketball Championship –
- NBA Finals –
- WNBA Finals (inaugural WNBA season):
- National Basketball League (Australia) Finals:
- January 18 – Oscar De La Hoya maintained his World Boxing Council super lightweight title in with a 12–round unanimous decision over Miguel Ángel González in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- May 13 – death of Eduard Zakharov (22), Russian boxer
- June 28 – Mike Tyson bites off a piece of the ear of Evander Holyfield in the third round of their WBA Heavyweight title fight, getting disqualified by referee Mills Lane.
- July 9 – Mike Tyson's boxing license is suspended for at least a year and he is fined $3 million for biting Evander Holyfield's ear in a televised match.
- October 18 to October 26 – World Amateur Boxing Championships held in Budapest, Hungary
- Grey Cup – Toronto Argonauts won 47–23 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Vanier Cup – UBC Thunderbirds win 39–23 over the Ottawa Gee-Gees
- The Ashes – Australia win the six test series 3–2
- ICC Trophy – Bangladesh
- Women's Cricket World Cup – Australia beat New Zealand by five wickets
- County Championship (England and Wales) won by Glamorgan
- Giro d'Italia won by Ivan Gotti of Italy
- Tour de France – Jan Ullrich of Germany
- UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race – Laurent Brochard of France
- Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Champion
- Martin Buser won with lead dogs: Blondie & Fearless
- Men's Champions Trophy: Germany
- Women's Champions Trophy: Australia
- World Figure Skating Championships –
Gaelic Athletic Association
- Gaelic football
- Ladies' Gaelic football
- Masters Tournament – Tiger Woods
- U.S. Open – Ernie Els
- British Open – Justin Leonard
- PGA Championship – Davis Love III
- PGA Tour money leader – Tiger Woods – $2,066,833
- PGA Tour Player of the Year – Tiger Woods
- PGA Tour Rookie of the Year – Stewart Cink
- Senior PGA Tour money leader – Hale Irwin – $2,343,364
- Ryder Cup – Europe won 14½–13½ over the United States in team golf.
- Tiger Woods creates an uproar with his record 12-shot victory at the Masters, and becomes the first Masters winner of African-American descent. He set the record for the lowest to-par score of −18, and the lowest 72-hole score of 272. He also rises to the No. 1 ranking on June 15, in only his 42nd week as a professional – the fastest ascent to the No. 1 ranking.
- Nabisco Dinah Shore – Betsy King
- LPGA Championship – Christa Johnson
- U.S. Women's Open – Alison Nicholas
- Classique du Maurier – Colleen Walker
- LPGA Tour money leader – Annika Sörenstam – $1,236,789
- World Men's Handball Championship – won by Russia
- World Women's Handball Championship – won by Denmark
- North America Cup – Gothic Dream
- Western Dreamer won the United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Pacers: Our Sir Vancelot
- Trotters: Pride Of Petite
- The Grand National Saturday meeting was abandoned after two coded bomb threats were received, causing evacuation of the course. The race was eventually run on the following Monday.
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Might And Power
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Awesome Again
- Dubai – Dubai World Cup won by Singspiel
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Peintre Célèbre
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Desert King
- Japan – Japan Cup won by Pilsudski
- English Triple Crown races:
- United States Triple Crown races:
- Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships:
- Art Ross Memorial Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's Most Valuable Player: Dominik Hasek of the Buffalo Sabres
- Stanley Cup – Detroit Red Wings win 4 games to 0 over the Philadelphia Flyers
- World Hockey Championship
- Men's champion: Canada defeated Sweden
- Junior Men's champion: Finland defeated Russia
- Women's champion: Canada defeated the United States
- The Rochester Knighthawks defeat the Buffalo Bandits 15–12 to win the Major Indoor Lacrosse League championship
- The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is formed from the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL), with the decision to move from league ownership of all teams to individual team ownership.
- Mann Cup for the Canadian box lacrosse championship: Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association
- European Lacrosse Championships –
Mixed martial arts
The following is a list of major noteworthy MMA events during 1997 in chronological order.
|Date||Event||Alternate Name/s||Location||Attendance||PPV Buyrate||Notes|
|February 7||UFC 12: Judgement Day||N/A||Dothan, Alabama, US||3,100||N/A||UFC rule change, split main tournament into heavyweight (200lbs+) and lightweight (Under 200lbs) divisions. Eight-man tournament ceases. Introduction of titles. Superfights cease.|
|May 30||UFC 13: Ultimate Force||N/A||Augusta, Georgia, US||5,100||N/A||Closed fisted strikes to the head were banned for this event only.|
|July 27||UFC 14: Showdown||N/A||Birmingham, Alabama, US||5,000||N/A||UFC rule change, requires fighters to use 4–6 oz gloves.|
|October 11||Pride 1||N/A||Tokyo, Japan||47,860||N/A||Pride FC's first event.|
|October 17||UFC 15: Collision Course||N/A||Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, US||N/A||N/A||UFC rule change, redefined permissible striking areas.|
|December 21||UFC Japan: Ultimate Japan||UFC 15.5||Yokohama, Japan||5,000||N/A||This event featured the first appearance of longtime UFC announcer Mike Goldberg.|
- March 21 – death of John Nemechek (27), NASCAR race driver
- Stock car racing –
- Indy Racing League –
- Indianapolis 500 – Arie Luyendyk of the Netherlands
- Champ CarCART Racing – Alex Zanardi won the season championship
- Formula One Championship – Jacques Villeneuve of Canada
- V8 Supercars
- Bathurst 1000 for Super Touring won by Jim Richards and Rickard Rydell.
- 24 hours of Le Mans – the team of Michele Alboreto / Stefan Johansson / Tom Kristensen won, driving a TWR–Porsche
- Rallying – Tommi Mäkinen won the World Rally Championship
- Drag racing – Gary Scelzi won the NHRA "Top Fuel" championship.
- Eighth Amateur Radio Direction Finding World Championship held in Sankt Englmar, Germany.
- Second High Speed Telegraphy World Championship held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
- McGill University Rowing Club wins the inaugural McGill-Queen's Challenge Boat Race.
Main article: 1997 in rugby league
- 1 March – Townsville, Australia: The Adelaide Rams play their inaugural game, a loss to the North Queensland Cowboys 24–16 at Dairy Farmers Stadium before a crowd of 17,738.
- 2 March – Newcastle, Australia: The Hunter Mariners club plays its inaugural game, a 20–16 loss to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Topper Stadium before a crowd of 6,579.
- 18 May – Auckland, New Zealand: In the 1997 Oceania Cup's final New Zealand XIII defeat New Zealand Māori 20 – 15 at Carlaw Park.
- 19 May – Brisbane, Australia: In the final of the only Super League Tri-series to be played, New South Wales defeat Queensland 23–22 at ANZ Stadium before a crowd of 35,570. It sets a new record as the longest game of rugby league ever played before being decided by a field goal during extra time.
- 11 June – Melbourne, Australia: The 1997 State of Origin series is wrapped up in Game II by New South Wales who defeat Queensland 15–14 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground before a crowd of 25,105.
- The 1997–98 French Championship season finishes with the Villeneuve Leopards on top of the league table.
- 20 September – Brisbane, Australia: The 1997 Super League (Australia) season's Grand Final is won by the Brisbane Broncos who defeated the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26–8 at ANZ Stadium before a crowd of 58,912.
- 28 September – Sydney, Australia: The 1997 ARL season's grand final is won by the Newcastle Knights who defeated the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22–16 at the Sydney Football Stadium before a crowd of 42,482.
- 12 October – Christchurch, New Zealand: The 1997 New Zealand season culminates in the Waikato Cougars 34–18 victory over the Canterbury Reds at Rugby League Park, Waikato defeated Canterbury 34–18 to win both the Challenge Cup and the Rugby League Cup.
- 18 October – Auckland, New Zealand: In the 1997 World Club Championship's final, the Brisbane Broncos defeat the Hunter Mariners 36–12 at Ericsson Stadium before a crowd of 12,000.
- In Europe's Super League II, on Sunday 28 September, with the final of the Premiership was won by Wigan Warriors who defeated St. Helens 33–20. At the end of the season Bradford Bulls were crowned League champions by virtue of finishing the season at the top of the table.
- 16 November – Leeds, England: In the third and deciding test match of the Super League Test series, Australia defeat Great Britain 37–20 at Elland Road before a crowd of 39,337.
- World Snooker Championship – Ken Doherty beats Stephen Hendry 18–12
- World rankings – Stephen Hendry remains world number one for 1997/98
- March 28 – Japan's Ayari Aoyama breaks Misty Hyman's world record in the Women's 100m Butterfly (short course): 58:24
- Third World Short Course Championships, held in Gothenburg, Sweden (April 17 – 20)
- 23rd European LC Championships, held in Seville, Spain (August 19 – 24)
- Germany wins the most medals (19), and the most gold medals (8)
- XIX Summer Universiade, held on Sicily, Italy (August 24 – 30)
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – Sweden won 5–0 over the United States in world tennis.
- Men's World League: Italy
- Women's World Grand Prix: Russia
- Men's European Championship: Netherlands
- Women's European Championship: Russia
- Men's World Cup: USA
- Men's European Championship: Hungary
- Women's European Championship: Italy
- Second East Asian Games held in Busan, South Korea
- 8th Pan Arab Games held in Beirut, Lebanon
- Fifth World Games held in Lahti, Finland
- 13th Mediterranean Games held in Bari, Italy
- 19th Summer Universiade held on Sicily, Italy
- 19th SEA Games held on Jakarta, Indonesia
- 18th Winter Universiade held in Muju County, South Korea
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Tiger Woods, PGA golf
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Martina Hingis, Tennis