List of Sports-Focused Panels at Conventions

This page is a work-in-progress. I’ll try to add past and future panels as I discover them. This list does not include character roleplaying/”ask” panels.

  • January 30, 2011: Ohayocon 2011 (Columbus, OH)
    Anime Sports Fan Panel [source]
  • August 6, 2011: Anime Festival Orlando 12 (Orlando, FL)
    Eyeshield 21: The Sports Anime America Deserves [source, panel review]

    Description: Sports anime has had a very small following in the U.S. It’s the one anime genre that has had the most difficulty gaining popularity within the fan community. But if there is one show that can change that it’s Eyeshield 21. Why? It’s about FOOTBALL! (REAL FOOTBALL not that soccer stuff) This panel will be your introduction to one of the most underrated shows in recent years. While the NFL is in a lockout this may be the only place you can get your football fix all season! If you’re not a football fan…NO PROBLEM! Eyeshield 21 is built for you as well! You learn the rules along with the main character Sena. So buckle your chin strap and enjoy the ride that is Eyeshield 21. YA HA!


  • August 9, 2013: Otakon 2013 (Baltimore, MD)
    Japan, the land of sport action, aw yeah!

    Description: Japan has a rich sports history in the real world and it’s reflected in the anime world and the anime world bounces that success right back to the real world! This will cover everything from the Prince of Tennis, Slam Dunk to the World Cup and beyond! (Presenter: Kai Buck Dambach)

  • May 23, 2014: Anime North 2014 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
    Just Teammates?

    Description: A panel for all things sports anime and their not so subtle subtext.

  • Oct. 4, 2014: Anime USA 2014 (Washington, DC)
    Something for Everyone: Let’s Talk Sports Anime

    Description: Discuss sports anime and manga spanning dozens of sports genres, why we love them, and what we hope to see in the future.

  • Nov. 2, 2014: Oni-Con XI (Galveston, TX)
    Gou’s Muscle Contest: Sports Anime for Females [Tumblr post]

    Description: Interested in Sports Animes? Get an adrenaline rush watching the main team pursue victory? Become an emotional wreck when it comes to team work? Love watching all the beautiful fanservice? Then this panel is for you! Join us as we talk about Sports Animes and the changing dynamics from a male audience to a female audience. Attend the panel in cosplay from a sport anime series for a chance to win prizes! Muscle Contest to take place at the end of the panel.

  • Nov. 7, 2014: Hal-Con 2014 (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
    Sports Anime

    Description: Exploring the tropes trends and titles of a newly popular anime genre. I would be moderating a discussion on the subject and attempt to divide the panel’s time in accordance with the audiences interest. Will Likely spend part of panel in non-spoiler discussion of sports anime currently on TV.

  • Nov. 8, 2014: Nekocon 17 (Hampton Roads, VA)
    Welcome to Sports Anime Hell

    Description: Lately sports anime has seen a massive boost in popularity! Join us as we take a look at where the genre started and some key characteristics. We’ll also be discussing some series you may have heard about, and some you may have not, so you can decide if you’d like to give them a shot! Questions will be also be answered — but don’t worry, spoilers will be kept to an absolute minimum.

  • Nov. 9, 2014: Nekocon 17 (Hampton Roads, VA)
    Goal!!! Sports Anime for Everyone

    Description: 15 sports anime for everyone from diehard sports fanatics to people who don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a birdie.

  • Dec. 5, 2014: Yama-Con 2014 (Pigeon Forge, TN)
    Sports Anime

    Description: Some popular and anticipated animes of 2013 and 2014 include Free!, Kuroko no Basuke, Haikyuu!, and Yowamushi Pedal. That’s a lot of sports animes with very very platonic relationships. Why not come in and talk about your favorite sports animes and maybe discover a few you might like!

  • Jan. 3, 2015: Ichibancon 6 (Concord, NC)
    Sports Anime: Exercise of the Otaku

    Description: Everything from basketball to tennis. Come listen to discussions, from fan to fan, of the various sports animes.

  • Jan. 16, 2015: Taiyou Con 2015 (Mesa, AZ)
    Slash in Sports

    Description: From rookie series like Free! and YowaPedal, to the veterans like Slam Dunk and TeniPuri, we will discuss sports series with slash overtones and their impact on fujoshi subculture.

  • Jan. 24, 2015: G-Anime 2015 (Gatineau, Quebec, Canada)
    Sports Anime: How They Ruin Your Life

    Description: You’ve watched them and you’ve cried over them whether you want to admit it or not. Come discuss sport anime like Haikyuu!, Free!, Kuroko no Basket, Yowamushi Pedal, and more!

  • Feb. 13, 2015: Katsucon 2015 (National Harbor, MD) 
    A Sport for Everyone: Let’s Talk Sports Anime and Manga!

    Description: With the diversity of sports anime and manga available, there’s a series for anyone and everyone’s interests. From boxing to tennis to American football, artists in Japan continue to produce work for sports fans who enjoy watching the thrill of competition. We’ll review a variety of series both old and new and discuss the many reasons people are drawn to this part of anime fandom.

  • Feb. 14, 2015: Katsucon 2015 (National Harbor, MD)
    The History of Sports Anime

    Description: Sports anime have had a boom in popularity in recent years, especially on sites such as Tumblr. Join us as we step through the history of this genre, from Aim for the Ace to Haikyuu!!

  • Feb. 27, 2015: Kami-Con 7 (Birmingham, AL)
    Sports Anime/Manga


  • Mar. 22, 2015: Shuto Con 2015 (Lansing, MI)
    So You Liked Free? An Intro to Sports Anime


  • Apr. 17, 2015: Nashicon 2015 (Columbia, SC)
    PLAY BALL – Sports Anime Analysis

    Description: From the diamond to the court, let’s get down and dirty playing games that we love with no sweating involved.

  • May 17, 2015 – Otafest 2015 (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
    No one is dying but I’m still crying: Sports Animes & Mangas

    Description: It’s never just about the sport an ode to sports animanga. An insight and discussion to the sports genre and a mini game with giveaway prizes!

  • May 23, 2015 – Animazement 2015 (Raleigh, NC)
    Sports Anime and Manga

    Description: A brief history of the genre and an analysis of several themes and tropes associated with sports animanga, followed by a review of several popular series.

  • January 15, 2016 – Ohayocon 2016 (Columbus, OH)
    Sports Science: Anime Edition

    Description: We will discuss some of wackiest and least believable special abilities found in sports anime. The panel will provide a fun look at these moves and explore these moves from a real world perspective.

  • August 12, 2016 – Otakon 2016 (Baltimore, MD)
    Gentle and Not So Gentle Arts: Martial Art, Combat Sports And Japanese Culture

    Description: This combination discussion panel and martial arts demonstration will answer every question you ever had about the wacky world of budo, Japanese MMA and their connections to anime and manga. (Presenter: DC Judo)

  • August 13, 2016 – Otakon 2016 (Baltimore, MD)
    Sports Anime Through The Ages

    Description: Sports anime are currently more popular than ever, but they’ve actually been around for as long as Japan has been making animation, and it’s made waves influencing anime as a whole for just as long. Join us as we trace their history from the early 1900s to the shows we watch and love today. (Presenter: Wideface Group)

  • March 31, 2017 – Anime Boston 2017 (Boston, MA)
    Kuroko No Balls, Balls, and more Balls

    Hosted by Momoi Satsuki
    A look at the very colorful world of basketball through the eyes of the Generation of Miracles(&Kagami). We’ll look at the characters and their quirks as well as the story and happenings of the series.We will also talk about the new movie coming out, ‘Last Game’. Join us for an hour of laughs and fun discussion!

  • March 31, 2017 – Anime Boston 2017 (Boston, MA)
    Legends of the Street: The Roots of Japanese Racing Manga/Anime

    Hosted by Noborigumi Project
    Fast cars, winding mountain roads, hot tempers, blistering straightaways, bitter rivalries, friendships and grudges; racing anime/manga like Initial D, Wangan Midnight, and Shakotan Boogie, have all these. But do you know their roots in the real-life Japanese street racing scene? Come and bask in the rich history of Japan’s legit and underground racing and tuning culture, and get familiar with the media it inspired—and which have reshaped it in turn, and has now spread across the world as the ‘JDM’ phenomenon. Don’t miss it!

  • March 31, 2017 – Anime Boston 2017 (Boston, MA)
    Tankery 101: The weapons and world of Girls Und Panzer

    Hosted by Off-Kilter
    Do you find Baseball boring? Football not combative enough for you? Does driving an armored fighting vehicle in a highschool competition sound like fun? Are you ready for a real WOMAN’S sport? If the answer is yes then this is the panel for you! Join us as we explore the tanks, technology, and world of Girls Und Panzer!

  • April 1, 2017 – Anime Boston 2017 (Boston, MA)
    Japanese Pro Wrestling: Indies & The Live Experience

    Hosted by John Carroll
    In previous years we’ve introduced you to the Japanese wrestling scene, talked about its long and storied history, and covered the two most popular promotions in Japan. This year’s panel on Japanese Pro Wrestling will dig deeper to highlight the incredible diversity of styles in the independent scene. We will cover everything from traditional mainstays like All Japan & NOAH to the hard-hitting rebels at Big Japan, the comedy meets action universe of DDT, and the women’s-only promotions like STARDOM. Plus, hear what it’s like to actually attend shows in Japan from someone who went last year! How hard is it to buy tickets? What are the venues in Tokyo like? How does the experience in a Japanese crowd differ from US indie and WWE crowds? We will cover all of that and more, plus take your questions!

  • April 7, 2017 – Tekko 2017 (Pittsburgh, PA)
    Sweet Viktuuri – Behind the Scenes of “Yuri!!! On Ice”

    Description: The smash hit ice-skating anime that had us all fangirling. The real-life skaters, choreography, locations, food, music, and other inspirations for our history makers. Trivia to win Yurio kisses. Sorry, no katsudon pirozhki. [Spoilers] Presented by Cynthia Crise.

  • April 8, 2017 – Tekko 2017 (Pittsburgh, PA)
    I Cast A Forward Pass – Tabletop Sports

    Description: You wouldn’t think nerds and sports would go together, but tabletop sports games have been around almost as long as sport itself. We briefly tour the boards, dice, and card games through history, including that one time the Magic: The Gathering guys got involved.

  • April 15, 2017 – Sakura-Con 2017 (Seattle, WA)
    Subversive Sports: The Unexpected Rise of Fictional Sports Fandom

    Description: Sports have exploded onto the fandom scene with Yuri!!! on Ice trending on tumblr and the webcomic Check, Please! racing past its Kickstarter goals. Sports anime like Free! and Haikyuu!! have huge English-speaking fan bases and, with the growth of fanworks about professional hockey and wrestling, it’s clear that sports are here to stay. Join us as our panelists discuss why sports-related media attract so many fans and how the presentation of gender, race, and sexuality in these fandoms subverts mainstream sports culture.

  • May 19, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Introducing Japanese Mahjong to America

    Description: An introductory presentation on Japanese Mahjong and its growth in America. Game aspects and its general spread in America will be covered. If time allows, an introductory on-screen demonstration of the game will be played. Anyone interested to learn the game are welcome.

  • May 19, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Sports Bras Over Athletic Cups

    Description: A tribute to the women of sports anime and the shows they star in.

  • May 19, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Yugioh: Saving The World With Card Games

    Description: Come review over 20 years of Yugioh including over 7 anime series, 5 manga series, dozens of videogames, and of course one of the most popular card games in the world. Come bond with your fellow fans through all the precious times and ridiculous moments.

  • May 19, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Yuri on Ice: Characterization Done Right!

    Description: We will be discussing the characters in “Yuri on Ice” with a focus on learning how to create better characters. This panel is for writers who struggle to develop characters and anime fans who just want to learn more about characterization.

  • May 19, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    YURI!!! on Ice: A Revolutionary Treasure

    Description: Containing much more than an acclaimed romance, YURI!!! on Ice is a well-constructed artistic work deserving of celebration and academic and dramaturgical analysis. An audio/visual collaborative lecture (including a History Maker AMV made by the panelists) presented by an artist and a theatre degree graduate. Pencils and notepads provided!

  • May 20, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Asian Style Archery

    This panel and discussion will help you unravel the mysteries of Asian archery, whether you just want an accurate cosplay or would like to take part in the ancient sport. Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Turk/Hun bows and styles will be covered.

  • May 20, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    History of Japanese Pro Wrestling

    Description: Come join us as we talk about the history of Japanese professional wrestling, from its inception in the 1950s, up to now.

  • May 21, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Improving Your Japanese Mahjong Play

    This is for players, who have played a number of mahjong games. Some topics regarding tactics, strategy, and game situations are covered. As a recommended prerequisite, players must at least know the yaku. Actual game play scenarios will be used and discussed.

  • May 21, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Martial Arts History

    The Martial Arts are comprised of varying cultural backgrounds, concepts, and techniques. Explore the progression of humanity’s fighting disciplines throughout the ages with a discussion on the who, what, where, when, and why.

  • May 21, 2017 – Anime Central 2017 (Rosemont, IL)
    Western Style Archery

    This panel will focus on western styles of archery and bows and their role in archery cosplay and the sport itself! Parents are encouraged to bring the kids as we’ll be discussing at what age children can start practicing archery, how to get started, cosplay and much more!

  • May 27, 2017 – Anime North (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
    Just Teammates?

    Description: Inviting all fans to come and talk about sports anime and the homosexual undertones in many of the most popular series.

  • August 11, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    East Asian Auto Racing in 2017

    Description: 2016 was a year with limited success for East Asian Auto Racing worldwide. Will significant rule changes across several series benefit these East Asian Auto Racing drivers, suppliers, and teams in 2017?
  • August 11, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    Intro to Japanese Mahjong

    Description: Welcome to Japanese Riichi Mahjong (No not the Windows Mahjong!), one of Japan’s most popular tabletop games derived from the ancient Chinese mahjong. Join this panel to learn the basics of the game as well as view a demo match from the panelist.
  • August 12, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    Sports Anime: A History

    Description: Sports has been a popular genre of anime since its inception, and recent hits like Yuri On Ice and Haikyuu have made it even more popular than ever. Come and watch as we break down the history of this storied genre from its humble beginnings.
  • August 12, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    Starting New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2017

    Description: NJPW is the second largest wrestling promotion in the world, behind WWE, and poses the greatest threat to the McMahon empire in 2017. Find out how New Japan Pro Wrestling is different, why it’s better than WWE, and what you need to know to get started as a fan.
  • August 12, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    The Grind Never Stops: The Student Athletes’ Take on Sports Anime

    Description: Have you ever watched a sports anime and thought “that could could never happen” well you’re probably right. Listen to two student athletes (One D1 recruited college athlete and their friend, former D3 athlete) walk you through what is actually accurate in sports anime and what could never happen.
  • August 13, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    Gentle And Not So Gentle Arts: Martial Art Combat Sports And Japanese Culture

    Description: Japan loves martial sports and its most popular is judo! This combination history lesson and demonstration will show the history of modern Japanese combat sports and many of the techniques used in them, from medieval samurai grappling arts to MMA filtered through the lens of Attack On Titan.
  • August 13, 2017 – Otakon 2017 (Washington, DC)
    Japanese Car Culture, Anime, And the Art of the Drift

    Description: Before life was lived a quarter mile at a time, before the sightings of the ghost of Mount Akina, there was a culture of man and machine in Japan. From the earliest anime cars have found their way into pop culture. Join us as we look at the Japanese car scene, its progression and legacy.
  • August 17, 2017 – AnimeFest 2017 (Dallas, TX)
    Yuri!!! On ICE: Meet the Creative Staff

    Description: Meet the main creative staff behind the hit Figure Skating anime, Yuri!!! On ICE.

  • August 18, 2017 – AnimeFest 2017 (Dallas, TX)
    Yuri!!! On ICE: The Creative Process

    Description: Join us as the creative team explains the processes they used to make the story, artwork, and animation for Yuri!!! On ICE.

  • August 19, 2017 – AnimeFest 2017 (Dallas, TX)
    Yuri!!! On ICE: Creative Staff & US Voice Actors

    Description: This exclusive AnimeFest event features 7 English Voice Actors who will join YOI’s main creative staff on stage to revel in all that is Yuri!!! On ICE.

  • November 12, 2017 – Hibanacon 2017 (Milton Keynes, United Kingdom)
    Gambling & Games In Anime & Manga
    • Presented by Niall Flanagan
    • The thrill is never greater than when everything is riding on an all or nothing gamble and Japanese comics & cartoons have mined this premise to great effect over the years to produce stories of high drama and higher stakes. Niall Flanagan attempts to discern the origins of this genre and its continued popularity, illustrated with notable examples from past & present and maybe even get to the bottom of Japan’s obsession with mahjong.


  • July 27, 2019 – Otakon 2019 (Washington, DC)
    Sports Anime: A History



    • Description: Sports anime has been popular since its inception, and recent hits such as Yuri on Ice, Haikyuu, Megalobox, and Hanebado have made it more popular than ever before. Come join as we break down the history of this storied genre from humble beginnings.



  • August 6, 2021 – Otakon 2021 (Washington, DC)
    Sports Anime: A History
    • Description: From Haikyu! to Kuroko’s Basketball, sports anime has never been more popular than it is today. But did you know the genre’s origins date back to the very beginning of anime – and without it, anime might have never been the same? Come find out about sports anime’s amazing journey through history!
  • August 7, 2021 – Otakon 2021 (Washington, DC)
    Film Smash Presents: Sports in Asian Film
    • Description: The glory and heartbreak of athletics is on display in this presentation of some of the most inspiring and exciting sport films from Asia! From true stories to exaggerations and dramatizations, join us for an hour of cinematic competition and fun!
  • August 7, 2021- Otakon 2021 (Washington, DC)
    Girls Und Panzer: A True Underdog Story
    • Description: Although Girls Und Panzer appears at first blush to be yet another World War II-themed Anime under the surface Girls Und Panzer combines its well-researched military theme with plot lines and tropes from Sports movies. Join us as we explore these themes in this beloved show.
  • August 7, 2021 – Otakon 2021 (Washington, DC)
    Gentle And Not So Gentle Arts: Martial Art, Combat Sports And Japanese Culture
    • Description: From samurai bone-breaking to modern day MMA rings and olympic stadiums, this panel/demonstration traces the evolution of Japan’s modern day grappling arts and shows its influence on anime. We’ll also show you the techniques used in some of your favorite shows, live!
  • April 16, 2022 – Sakura-Con 2022 (Seattle, WA)
    The Fine Line Between Sports Anime and BL (Gay and Homophobic)
  • May 30, 2022 – FanimeCon 2022 (San Jose, CA)
    Future of Extreme Sports Anime
    • Hosted by Ryan Sternlicht
    • Description: Sports anime are really cool, but as of right now there are a large number of sports that have not had any anime series about them. What are some of these sports, are there any that would be easy to adapt to manga, and is there a reason why some of these haven’t been adapted? Which sports would lend themselves well to anime as a medium, and which ones wouldn’t? Which sports would you like to see in anime?