Seal Clubbing is a team-based sport popular in northern Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. It is the third most popular sport in Canada after hockey and moose bludgeoning, as well as the official sport of the Territory of Nunavut. Seal clubbing has remained “in the fringe” for most of its history, although it has recently been catapulted into the limelight due to a great deal of negative press it has received regarding the safety of its players.
Seal clubbing is played on an amateur, semi-professional, and professional level. The sixteen teams of the CSCL make up the 22th largest professional sports league in North America, just beating out Major League Soccer. There are also two “minor” seal clubbing leagues—one based in Canada and another in Europe. Seal clubbing is also the official sport of the Territory of Nunavut.
In addition, the sport will be contested for the first time at an international level during the 2010 Winter Olympics—a major victory for the sport as a whole. Sixteen nations—including Canada, the United States, Russia, and China—have fielded teams, causing the sport’s popularity to increase dramatically.