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1971 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
|Years in sports:||1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974|
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Years:||1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974|
- Alpine Skiing World Cup
- 24 October – death of Chuck Hughes, Detroit Lions wide receiver
- January 17 − Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts (AFC) won 16–13 over the Dallas Cowboys (NFC)
- Location: Miami Orange Bowl
- Attendance: 79,204
- 25 December – The Miami Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in a divisional playoff game. The double-overtime contest is the longest game in NFL history, and the Chiefs' last-ever home game at Municipal Stadium.
- Orange Bowl (1970 season):
- 2 January – At the end of a Rangers–Celtic match at Ibrox Park in Glasgow, barriers at Stairway 13 give way under a mass of fans, killing 66 and injuring over 200 others.
- 30 June – death of Georgi Asparuhov (28), Bulgarian international
- Atlético Mineiro wins the first Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
- Arsenal are the English First Division champions
- England – FA Cup – Arsenal won 2–1 over Liverpool to win The Double
- European Championship Cup Final: Ajax – Panathinaikos 2–0
- August – Athletics at the 1971 Pan American Games held in Cali, Colombia
- August – 1971 European Athletics Championships held at Helsinki
- Victorian Football League
- World Series – Pittsburgh Pirates won 4 games to 3 over the Baltimore Orioles. Game four, played on 13 October at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, was the first night game in World Series history.
- NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship –
- UCLA wins 68–62 over Villanova
- Indiana University Hires Bob Knight as their head basketball coach.
- NBA Finals –
- 1971 ABA Finals –
- 8 March – Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden, in the first of three epic bouts between the two, to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
- Grey Cup – Calgary Stampeders won 14–11 over the Toronto Argonauts
- Vanier Cup – Western Ontario Mustangs won 15–14 over the Alberta Golden Bears
- 5 January, Melbourne – first-ever One Day International is played after a Test match is abandoned because of rain, Australia beating England by 5 wickets.
- Giro d'Italia won by Gösta Pettersson of Sweden
- Tour de France – Eddy Merckx of Belgium
- UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race – Eddy Merckx of Belgium
- Men's World Cup in Barcelona, Spain
- Gold Medal: Pakistan
- Silver Medal: Spain
- Bronze Medal: India
- Pan American Games (Men's Competition) in Cali, Colombia
- Gold Medal: Argentina
- Silver Medal: Mexico
- Bronze Medal: Canada
- World Figure Skating Championships –
- PGA Championship – Jack Nicklaus
- Masters Tournament – Charles Coody
- U.S. Open – Lee Trevino
- British Open – Lee Trevino
- PGA Tour money leader – Jack Nicklaus – $244,491
- Ryder Cup – United States won 18½ to 13½ over Britain in team golf
- LPGA Championship – Kathy Whitworth
- U.S. Women's Open – JoAnne Carner – this win made her the first person ever to win three different USGA individual championship events.
- Titleholders Championship – not played
- LPGA Tour money leader – Kathy Whitworth – $41,181
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Australia ��� Melbourne Cup won by Silver Knight
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Kennedy Road
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Mill Reef
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Irish Ball
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- 13 April – death of Michel Brière (21), Canadian player with Pittsburgh Penguins
- Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
- Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's Most Valuable Player: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
- Stanley Cup – Montreal Canadiens win 4 games to 3 over the Chicago Black Hawks
- World Hockey Championship
- Men's champion: Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship – Boston University Terriers defeat University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Golden Gophers 4–2 in Syracuse, New York
- World Hockey Association (WHA) is formed as an alternative North American professional hockey league to the NHL
- Cornell beats Maryland 12–6 to win the first NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship.
- The Brantford Warriors win the Mann Cup.
- The Richmond Roadrunners win the Minto Cup.
- The Victoria McDonalds win the Castrol Cup.
- Sixth Amateur Radio Direction Finding European Championship held in Duisburg, Federal Republic of Germany.
- 18 September – the 1971 NSWRFL season culminates in a Grand Final victory for South Sydney, defeating St George 16–10
- 1971 New Zealand rugby league season
- 1970–71 Northern Rugby Football League season / 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season
- 27 August – US swimmer Mark Spitz recaptures the world record in the men's 200m butterfly (long course), clocking 2:03.9 at a meet in Houston, Texas.
- 31 August – Four days after Mark Spitz broke the world record in the men's 200m butterfly (long course), West Germany's Hans-Joachim Fassnacht betters the time to 2:03.3 at a meet in Landskrona, Sweden.
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – United States wins 3–2 over Romania in world tennis.
- Sixteen-year-old Chris Evert makes her US Open debut reaching the semifinals where she is defeated by eventual champion Billie Jean King.
- First time in 16 years that Americans won both the men's and women's title at the US Open.
- Men and Women's European Volleyball Championship held in Italy
- Volleyball at the 1971 Pan American Games held in Cali, Colombia
- Men's and women's tournaments both won by Cuba
- ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year: Lee Trevino, Golf
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Lee Trevino, PGA golf
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Evonne Goolagong, Tennis