1881 in sports describes the year's events in world sports.
1881 in sports Wikipedia
College championshipCollege football national championship – Yale Bulldogs
EventsMichigan Wolverines is the first "western" team to travel east and play against the established teams at Harvard Crimson, Yale Bulldogs and Princeton Tigers.
EnglandFA Cup final – Old Carthusians 3–0 Old Etonians at The Oval in the last final to be played between two southern amateur sides.
Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers both change their venues to enclosed grounds where gate money can be charged, an increasing practice among clubs that are openly (or otherwise) professional.
Preston North End is founded and plays from the start at Deepdale, which holds the world record for the length of time a venue has been in continuous use by one major league club.
Burnley FC founded as Burnley Rovers RUFC which decides in May 1882 to switch codes. The Rovers suffix is dropped two years later and the club renamed as Burnley AFC.
Newcastle United, which has a complicated early history, is founded as Stanley FC by a cricket club in the Byker area of Newcastle.
FranceFoundation of FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
IrelandMoyola Park F.C. wins the inaugural Irish Cup final
Scotland12 March — Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut, becoming the world's first black international football player
Scottish Cup final – Queen's Park 3–1 Dumbarton at Hampden Park (replay after Dumbarton protests about the original match which Queen's Park has won 2–1)
National championshipNational League champions – Chicago White Stockings
EventsDetroit replaces Cincinnati leaving Cleveland and Providence the southerly cities on the National League circuit. Four others lie on the northerly rail line from stalwart Chicago to stalwart Boston: Detroit, Buffalo, Troy, and Worcester.
In autumn, for the first time, all eight National League clubs prepare to continue next season.
EventsPaddy Ryan takes part in a number of exhibition bouts but does not defend his Heavyweight Championship of America title.
John L. Sullivan continues his rise to the championship with a series of knockout victories, none of them lasting longer than eight rounds.
EventsLancashire County Cricket Club wins its first outright title. At the end of the season, an English team led by Alfred Shaw goes to Australia for the 1881–82 Test series.
EnglandChampion County – Lancashire
Most runs – A. N. Hornby 1,534 @ 40.36 (HS 188)
Most wickets – Ted Peate 173 @ 12.68 (BB 8–30)
AustraliaMost runs – Tom Horan 318 @ 35.33 (HS 113)
Most wickets – Edwin Evans 32 @ 11.25 (BB 5–34)
Major tournamentsBritish Open – Bob Ferguson
Events23 July — the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, the world's oldest international sport federation, is founded.
EnglandGrand National – Woodbrook
1,000 Guineas Stakes – Thebais
2,000 Guineas Stakes – Peregrine
Epsom Derby – Iroquois
Epsom Oaks – Thebais
St. Leger Stakes – Iroquois
AustraliaMelbourne Cup – Zulu
CanadaQueen's Plate – Vice Chancellor
IrelandIrish Grand National – Antoinette
Irish Derby Stakes – Master Ned
USAKentucky Derby – Hindoo
Preakness Stakes – Saunterer
Belmont Stakes – Saunterer
The Boat Race8 April — Oxford wins the 38th Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
EventsWales plays its first international match but is well beaten by England
EnglandWimbledon Men's Singles Championship – William Renshaw (GB) defeated John Hartley (GB) 6–0 6–1 6–1
USAFirst U.S. National Singles Championship, precursor of the US Open, won by Richard D. Sears (USA) who defeats William E. Glyn (USA) 6–0 6–3 6–2
WorldThe 5th pre-open era 1881 Men's Tennis season gets underway 27 tournaments are staged this year.
America's CupThe New York Yacht Club retains the America's Cup as Mischief defeats Canadian challenger Atalanta, of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club