Cuba is a baseball-mad nation despite having fallen in the world rankings in recent years. During international matches every television set in the island is tuned to the match. The Serie Nacional baseball season runs from November to May, culminating in the national play-offs, followed a couple of weeks later by the Liga Superior, which lasts a month. In August, ‘Que Siempre Brille el Sol’ is a popular tournament, with US baseball teams invited for the first time to compete against Cuban teams in June 2016. Baseball games have a fanatical following and can last up to three hours. Later that night and the following day you can see groups of fans in plazas around the country heatedly discussing the recent match with wild gestures and raised voices.
Young Cuban men can be seen playing basketball in every town and village. This is the second most popular sport in the country and visitors are welcome to join in. The main stadium is the Ramón Fonst stadium near the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana and the season runs from September to November.
Cuban boxers are always expected to come out of the Olympic Games with a clutch of medals in all boxing weights and Cubans enthusiastically support their athletes. The best place to catch a tournament or just watch some training matches for international team events is the Sala Kid Chocolate in Havana.
There is keen interest in cycling as a sport and Cuba is a respected competitor in the Americas. Havana’s professional racetrack is at the Velódromo Reinaldo Paseiro, part of the Estadio Panamericano, built in 1991 for the Pan-American Games. It is located on the southern side of the Vía Blanca, next to the swimming facilities. Cuba hosts several international competitions including Vuelta a Cuba, a staged road race.