What Is “The Wave” At Sporting Events?


What Is “The Wave” At Sporting Events?

Have you ever been to a sporting event and seen the crowd stand up, raise their hands in the air, then sit back down, only for the entire process to repeat itself all over again? If so, then you’ve probably seen “The Wave.”

But what is it, and where did it come from? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is The Wave? 

The Wave is a type of audience participation game popular at sporting events. In its simplest form, it involves one group of people standing up while another sits down. Then alternates between the two groups until everyone has had a chance to participate. Although it originated in sports stadiums, it can be found at virtually any large gathering of people.  

How Did The Wave Start? 

The earliest recorded instance of The Wave dates back to October 1981 at a Major League Baseball playoff game between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees. According to legend, University of Washington cheerleader Krazy George Henderson was responsible for starting the trend, although some dispute this claim. Since then, it has become an international phenomenon, with fans at every event, from football games to concerts. 

Why Do People Participate In The Wave? 

There are many reasons why people choose to participate in The Wave during sporting events or other large gatherings. For many participants, it’s simply about having fun and creating an atmosphere of community among strangers who may otherwise not interact with each other.

Also, some believe participating helps create energy within the stadium that can give teams an extra boost on the field or court. Although some find it distracting from the game being played on the field.


The wave has been a staple of sporting events for decades, but it has come under fire in recent years from some fans and commentators who believe it is a pointless, childish act that takes away from the game. Others argue that it is an essential part of the game day experience and adds to the atmosphere and excitement of the event.

There is no right or wrong answer regarding whether the wave is a good thing, but there is no doubt that it is one of the most polarizing topics in the world of sports.