Venezuelans enjoy baseball, which was introduced to the country in 1895. The first baseball club was established by a group of Venezuelan students who had learned the game while they were studying in the United States. Most cities have a stadium and nearly all villages and towns have a baseball diamond. The country has a winter baseball league with 8 teams, which plays from October to the end of January. The most intense rivalry is between the teams of Magallanes and Caracas. Each February, the winner plays against teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in a competition called the Serie del Caribe.
   Did you know?
Most Venezuelans have a television set. The most popular programs include telenovelas (soap operas) and beauty pageants. Venezuelan telenovelas are also hits in Argentina, Ecuador and Peru. 
Soccer, or fútbol, is also popular, especially in the Andean region. The popularity of basketball and tennis is increasing. Horse racing is common. Venezuelan racehorses are among the best in the world, and many Venezuelan riders and horses have competed internationally. 

Venezuelans like to spend vacations at the beach or on one of Venezuela's many large freshwater lakes, where they enjoy water-skiing, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming and fishing. Venezuela's long Caribbean coastline and coral reefs make it an ideal location for scuba diving.

Some Venezuelans enjoy watching bullfights, or corridas de toros. The bullfighting stadium in the city of Valencia can hold up to 27,000 people. Maracay, San Cristobál and Maracaibo also have bullfights featuring Venezuelan and foreign matadors. Some people also attend cockfights where roosters fight each other.

 A unique pastime in Venezuela is a game called bolas criollas, or Venezuelan bowling. This team game is played outdoors on a flat surface. One player throws a target ball three or four metres away. The players take turns trying to throw their balls as close as possible to the target ball. The team that throws the highest number of balls close to the target ball wins.

   Did you know?
Venezuelans have won international competitions in water-skiing and motorcycling. There are also many talented boxers, such as Morocho Hernández and Morochito Rodríguez, who have competed in the Olympics and other international competitions. 
Popular children's games include marbles, kite-flying and dominoes. One popular game called trompo is played with a wooden top. Some children play carrucha, making homemade cars out of wooden boxes, or pelota de goma, a version of baseball played with a rubber ball, using a fist for the bat.
   Did you know?
Luis Aparicio is widely thought to be the best baseball player in the history of Venezuelan baseball. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.