1902 in sports
- 1 January — inaugural Rose Bowl game is played at Pasadena, California
- September — the first professional football league, the National Football League (1902), which is unrelated to the current NFL, is formed from three teams based in Pennsylvania and who are backed by Major League Baseball. The league folds a few months later.
- 21 November — the Philadelphia Football Athletics defeated the Kanaweola Athletic Club of Elmira, New York, 39–0, in the first ever professional American football night game.
- 29 November — the Pittsburgh Stars defeated the Philadelphia Football Athletics, 11–0, at the Pittsburgh Coliseum, to win the 1902 National Football League championship.
- 28 December — the Syracuse Athletic Club defeated the New York Philadelphians, 5–0, in the first indoor professional American football game, which was held at Madison Square Garden.
- The Football League – Sunderland 44 points, Everton 41, Newcastle United 37, Blackburn Rovers 36, Nottingham Forest 35, Derby County 35
- FA Cup final – Sheffield United 2–1 Southampton at Crystal Palace, London (replay following 1–1 draw at Crystal Palace)
- 26 April — shortly after being saved from bankruptcy, Newton Heath changes its name to Manchester United
- 10 March — foundation of Real Madrid as Madrid Fútbol Club
- National League championship – Pittsburgh Pirates
- American League championship – Philadelphia Athletics
- Joe Gans wins the World Lightweight Championship by knocking out Frank Erne in the first round. Gans successfully defends the title five times by the end of the year.
- 25 July — James J. Jeffries defeats Bob Fitzsimmons by an eighth round knockout in San Francisco, Fitzsimmons failing in his bid to recover the World Heavyweight Championship
Lineal world champions
- World Heavyweight Championship – James J. Jeffries
- World Middleweight Championship – Tommy Ryan
- World Welterweight Championship – Barbados Joe Walcott
- World Lightweight Championship – Frank Erne → Joe Gans
- World Featherweight Championship – Young Corbett II
- World Bantamweight Championship – Harry Forbes
- No cricket is played in South Africa due to the Boer War.
- Australia defeats England in The Ashes by 2 Tests to 1 after the first two Tests have been rained off. In one of the most famous Test series in history, the final three matches are full of drama with Victor Trumper scoring a century before lunch in the Third Test, Australia winning the Fourth Test by just 3 runs and England winning the Fifth Test by one wicket following a century in only 75 minutes by Gilbert Jessop.
- County Championship – Yorkshire
- Minor Counties Championship – Wiltshire
- Most runs – Victor Trumper 2570 @ 48.49 (HS 128)
- Most wickets – Wilfred Rhodes 213 @ 13.15 (BB 8–26)
- Wisden Cricketers of the Year – Warwick Armstrong, Cuthbert Burnup, James Iremonger, James Kelly, Victor Trumper
- Sheffield Shield – New South Wales
- Most runs – Clem Hill 1035 @ 51.75 (HS 107)
- Most wickets – Len Braund 62 @ 28.69 (BB 6–90)
- Currie Cup – not contested
- Inter-Colonial Tournament – not contested
- British Open – Sandy Herd
- US Open – Laurie Auchterlonie, who becomes the first golfer to break 80 in all four rounds of the US Open
- Grand National – Shannon Lass
- 1,000 Guineas Stakes – Sceptre
- 2,000 Guineas Stakes – Sceptre
- Epsom Derby – Ard Patrick
- Epsom Oaks – Sceptre
- St. Leger Stakes – Sceptre
- Melbourne Cup – The Victory
- Queen's Plate – Lyddite
- Winnipeg Victorias successfully defends the Stanley Cup, defeating Toronto Wellingtons in a Cup challenge by two games to nil in a best-of-three series
- March – Winnipeg Victorias wins the Manitoba Hockey Association championship to retain the Stanley Cup
- 1 March — Montreal HC wins the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL) championship and challenges Winnipeg
- 13–17 March — Montreal and Winnipeg play a best-of-three series for the Stanley Cup, Montreal winning by two games to one to claim the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1894
- The Paris-Vienna Trail is run on 26–29 June over 990 km and won by Marcel Renault (France) driving a Renault in a time of 15:47:43. The race is in retrospect sometimes referred to as the VII Grand Prix de l'ACF.
Gordon Bennett Cup
- The third Gordon Bennett Cup is run from Paris to Innsbruck and won by Selwyn Edge (Great Britain) driving a Napier 30hp.
Circuit des Ardennes
- The inaugural Circuit des Ardennes is run on 31 July 1902 in the vicinity of Bastogne. The total distance is 512.05 km (i.e., 85.34 km x 6 laps). The winner is Charles Jarrott (France), driving a Panhard-Levassor 70 hp in a time of 5:53:39.
- Featherstone Rovers founded
Speed Skating World Championships
- Men's All-round Champion – none declared
- Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship – Lawrence Doherty (GB) defeats Arthur Gore (GB) 6–4 6–3 3–6 6–0
- Wimbledon Women's Singles Championship – Muriel Robb defeats Charlotte Cooper Sterry 7–5 6–1
- French Men's Singles Championship – Michel Vacherot defeats Max Decugis 6–4 6–2
- French Women's Singles Championship – Françoise Masson defeats P Girod: details unknown
- American Men's Singles Championship – William Larned defeats Reginald Doherty (GB) 4–6 6–2 6–4 8–6
- American Women's Singles Championship – Marion Jones defeats Elisabeth Moore 6–1 1–0 retired