1961 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- NFL Championship: the Green Bay Packers won 37–0 over the New York Giants at Lambeau Field
- Rose Bowl (1960 season):
- The Ohio State Buckeyes boycott a trip to the Rose Bowl the following January resulting in student protests on campus.
- AFL Championship – Houston Oilers won 10–3 over the San Diego Chargers
- Victorian Football League
- The American League expands to 10 teams, adding the Los Angeles Angels and the new Washington Senators. The league schedule is expanded from 154 to 162 games.
- January 16 – Mickey Mantle becomes the highest paid player in Major League Baseball by signing a contract that will pay him $75,000 per season.
- April 11 – The former Washington Senators play their first home game in Metropolitan Stadium as the Minnesota Twins
- July 13 – In his majors debut, Milwaukee Braves outfielder Mack Jones tied a post-1900 National League record by collecting three singles and a double in his first game.
- Roger Maris hits 61 home runs during the regular season, establishing a record for the longer season. Babe Ruth's record of 60 still stood for the shorter season.
- October – World Series – New York Yankees win 4 games to 1 over the Cincinnati Reds. The series MVP is Whitey Ford of the Yankees.
- The World Figure Skating Championships in Prague are cancelled after the entire USA team of skaters, officials, leaders and chaperones are killed in a plane crash on 15 February en route to the competition.
- Among the dead are:
- Masters Tournament – Gary Player becomes the first international golfer to win the Masters.
- U.S. Open – Gene Littler
- The Open – Arnold Palmer
- PGA Championship – Jerry Barber
- PGA Tour money leader – Gary Player – $64,540
- Ryder Cup – United States wins 14½ to 9½ over Britain in team golf.
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Pacers: Massacre
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Lord Fury
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Blue Light
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Molvedo
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Your Highness
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
- Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's Most Valuable Player: Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
- Stanley Cup – Chicago Black Hawks win 4 games to 2 over the Detroit Red Wings
- World Hockey Championship –
- Men's champion: Trail Smoke Eaters from Canada
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship – University of Denver Pioneers defeat St. Lawrence University Saints 12–2 in Denver, Colorado
- August 13 – USA's Becky Collins breaks the world record in the women's 200m butterfly (long course) during a meet in Philadelphia – 2:32.8.
- August 19 – US swimmer Carl Robie takes over the world record in the men's 200m butterfly (long course) from his compatriot Michael Troy at a meet in Los Angeles, clocking 2:12.6.
- Australian Men's Singles Championship – Roy Emerson (Australia) defeats Rod Laver (Australia) 1–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
- Australian Women's Singles Championship – Margaret Smith Court (Australia) defeats Jan Lehane O'Neill (Australia) 6–1, 6–4
- Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship – Rod Laver (Australia) defeats Chuck McKinley (USA) 6–3, 6–1, 6–4
- Wimbledon Women's Singles Championship – Angela Mortimer Barrett (Great Britain) defeats Christine Truman Janes (Great Britain) 4–6, 6–4, 7–5
- French Men's Singles Championship – Manuel Santana (Spain) defeats Nicola Pietrangeli (Italy) 4–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–0, 6–2
- French Women's Singles Championship – Ann Haydon (Great Britain) defeats Yola Ramírez (Mexico) 6–2, 6–1
- American Men's Singles Championship – Roy Emerson (Australia) defeats Rod Laver (Australia) 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
- American Women's Singles Championship – Darlene Hard (USA) defeats Ann Haydon (Great Britain) 6–3, 6–4
- "Epsom Derby | History, Winners, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 3 January 2022.