1896 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- The Football League – Aston Villa 45 points, Derby County 41, Everton 39, Bolton Wanderers 37, Sunderland 37, Stoke FC 30
- FA Cup final – The Wednesday 2–1 Wolverhampton Wanderers at Crystal Palace, London.
- 10 March - After Bob Fitzsimmons KOs much larger Jim Corbett to win world HW championship he says, The bigger they are, the harder they fall
Lineal world champions
- England retain The Ashes, defeating Australia 2–1 in a three-match series. In a low-scoring decider at The Oval, England win by 66 runs.
- County Championship – Yorkshire
- Minor Counties Championship – Worcestershire
- Most runs – K S Ranjitsinhji 2780 @ 57.91 (HS 171*)
- Most wickets – J T Hearne 257 @ 14.28 (BB 9–73)
- Wisden Five Cricketers of the Season – Syd Gregory, Dick Lilley, K S Ranjitsinhji, Tom Richardson, Hugh Trumble
- Sheffield Shield – New South Wales
- Most runs – Harry Donnan 626 @ 69.55 (HS 160)
- Most wickets – Tom McKibbin 46 @ 23.86 (BB 8–93)
- Currie Cup – not contested
- Inter-Colonial Tournament – not contested
World Figure Skating Championships
- British Open – Harry Vardon (the first of Vardon's six British Open titles)
- U.S. Open – James Foulis
- Grand National – The Soarer
- 1,000 Guineas Stakes – Thais
- 2,000 Guineas Stakes – St. Frusquin
- The Derby – Persimmon
- The Oaks – Canterbury Pilgrim
- St. Leger Stakes – Persimmon
- Melbourne Cup – Newhaven
- Queen's Plate – Millbrook
- 14 February — the Winnipeg Victorias defeat the Montreal Victorias 2–0 in a challenge match to win the 1896 Stanley Cup championship
- 7 March — the Montreal Victorias are the 1896 AHAC season champions.
- March — Queen's University defeats Stratford, Ontario 12–3 to win the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) title. The club does not challenge Winnipeg.
- 17 November — the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, which later became the first ice hockey league to openly trade and hire players, began play at Pittsburgh's Schenley Park Casino.
- 17 December — the Schenley Park Casino, which was the first multi-purpose arena with the technology to create an artificial ice surface in North America as well as the home to the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, was destroyed in a fire.
- 30 December — the Montreal Victorias defeat the Winnipeg Victorias 6–5 in a challenge match to regain the Stanley Cup
1896 Summer Olympics
- The 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Games, takes place in Athens with 13 nations competing, the most competitors coming from Greece, Germany and France.
- 16 April — American James Connolly wins the triple jump to become the first Olympic champion in over 1,500 years.
- Winners receive a silver medal and a crown of olive branches; Greece wins the most medals (46) and the United States wins the most gold medals (11).
The Boat Race
- In the 1895–96 Northern Rugby Football Union season's final match, Manningham defeats Halifax to claim the inaugural Rugby Football League Championship.
- The inaugural Rugby League Challenge Cup competition begins in the 1896–97 season.
Home Nations Championship
Speed Skating World Championships
- Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship – Harold Mahony (Ireland) defeats Wilfred Baddeley (GB) 6–2 6–8 5–7 8–6 6–3
- Wimbledon Women's Singles Championship – Charlotte Cooper Sterry (GB) defeats Alice Simpson-Pickering (GB) 6–2 6–3
- "Scottish Cup Past Winners | Scottish Cup | Scottish FA". www.scottishfa.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Cyber Boxing Zone". Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Epsom Derby | History, Winners, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
- 1896 Grand Prix and Paris Races Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 7 September 2009.
- "Harvard–Yale Regatta – 150 Years of Tradition" Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine. Harvard Men's Heavyweight Crew. Retrieved 2013-05-10.