If you're like countless sports fans around the world, one of the few things more stimulating than watching sports is talking sports. Whether you're a member of the Oakland Raider Nation, a Manchester United fan, a boxing aficionado or a NASCAR buff, discussing sports with friends is the preferred way millions of people across the globe like to spend their free time.

To that end, the Internet is populated with innumerable sports discussion boards hosting the exchanges of enthusiastic fans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Incredibly, during playoff season, some of the most popular sports forums can boast visitor participation levels that run into the hundreds of thousands.

If you're serious about talking sports, it might be time to take your passion to the next level. Have you ever considered starting your own sports forum? Think of the possibilities; you choose the topics, you set the tone. Your forum could host impassioned discussions about any sport, team, athlete, or event you can imagine. Invite your friends and build a community of like-minded enthusiasts where you can all share your opinions, knowledge and predictions for your favorite teams or athletes.

With that said, let's take a look at the process of launching your very own sports forum. There are basically two ways to create an online discussion board; the hard way and the easy way. While this article doesn't cover every possible method for creating a discussion board, the two most common practices are outlined below.

The Hard Way...(you install/configure)

  • register and pay for a domain name
  • select and pay for a web hosting plan
  • choose, install & configure forum software
  • create a database to manage members
  • login and begin building your community

The Easy Way...(hosted)

  • select a free forum hosting service
  • choose a name for your new forum
  • login and begin building your community

For those of you that would rather talk sports than configure software, online discussion board hosting offers a much simpler, more reliable, and less demanding solution. To sweeten the deal even more, several of the top discussion board hosting services are free. Yes, free, as in no monthly fees. Further, a select few of the more reputable free forum hosts also provide great customer support, customization tools, and forum management features.

As the most trusted provider of free forum hosting on the Internet, ProBoards offers a completely free discussion board hosting solution that includes the most advanced forum software available, unlimited freedom to grow your membership, and a highly regarded support community that's ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No setup fee, no monthly charges, no software to install. Let's get started!

Create a Free Forum

To launch your new sports forum, navigate to ProBoards.com and fill out the quick free forum creation form. Once you've activated your new discussion board, you're ready to start hosting some guests and building a community.

Marketing Your Forum

To get the ball moving (pardon the pun), you'll want to let fellow sports fans know about it. To generate some visitor traffic to your site, you'll want to engage in a little marketing. Being an avid sports enthusiast, chances are you have friends and acquaintances who share your zeal: Invite them all. Below are a few additional tips to jump start the the conversation.

  • Submit your forum URL to the big search engines (Google, Bing & DMOZ should be adequate)
  • List your forum with a few of the top forum directories (ProBoards forum directory, TheAdminZone.com)
  • If you're active on Facebook and/or Twitter, invite everyone to visit your new sports forum
  • Consider adding your forum in the signature area of your personal emails

Have Fun!

The most important thing is to have fun. If you have start-up questions, refer to our Getting Started Guide for a simple explanation of forum features and setup tasks. Further, you can always refer to our detailed Forum Help Guide or post questions on the ProBoards Support Forum for additional guidance. For advanced tips, tactics and strategies for building a thriving forum community, check out our Forum Building articles. We're always here and our service is always free. Enjoy ProBoards. Enjoy your new sports forum!