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The Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams traveling exhibition examines the many roles that sports play in American society. Hometown sports are more than just games—they shape our lives and unite us and celebrate who we are as Americans. We play on ball fields and sandlots, on courts and on ice, in parks and playgrounds, even in the street. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. And, if we’re not playing sports, we’re watching them. We sit in the stands and root for the local high school team, or gather on the sidelines and cheer on our sons and daughters as they take their first swing or score their first goal.
Thanks to our never-ending appetite for competition and games, Americans now have a wider selection of sports to play and watch than ever before. Football, baseball, and basketball—America’s traditional hometown sports—share space on our calendars with soccer, hockey, tennis, running, wrestling, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, sailing, and many other sports. What has occurred in our hometowns is nothing less than a sports revolution.