Kickoff, First Pitch, Puck Drop, Tip Off

When referring to the start of the baseball game people usually say “The First Pitch is at 7:05”. For football, “Kickoff is at 1:05”. I usually hear Puck Drop for hockey and Tip Off for basketball. I have no idea what you say for a soccer, rugby, cricket, or any other sports. Do folks usually say “The game/match starts at noon” or do they use specific terms like we generally use for major team sports in the States.

Soccer and rugby it’s always “kick-off”. In fact that term is often used (sometimes jokingly) for the start of any event of any kind, here in the UK, as a colloquial thing. For cricket I believe the usual term is “start of play” - a bit literal and clunky, perhaps. For some reason “first ball” is not used, even though that is the opening action of a cricket match. For field hockey I think “bully-off” could be used, from the practice of each player from opposing teams hitting sticks 3 times at the start of the game before trying for possession of the ball (which isn’t used any more). I think most other sports (e.g. tennis, croquet) just use “Play starts at…”. But I expect there are other examples.

That’s also true in the US. We use “kick-off” as a generic term for starting non-sports events, and it’s the only sports term for starting an event I’ve ever heard used that way.

Cricket is “Play starts at …” and concludes when “Stumps are drawn”
Aussie Rules is “The first bounce” and ends with “The final siren”
Rugby is “Kick-off at …”
(Field) Hockey is sometimes now “push back”

Anyone know what is used for lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, or water polo?

I think for Ultimate Frisbee it’s “whenever enough people show up, more or less”.

For Ultimate Frisbee, the opening throw of the game and the second half is called “pulling” or is referred to as “The Pull.” A water polo match starts with a “swimoff.” I’m not sure about lacrosse.

‘Disc in the air’ is a way of describing the starting moment of an Ultimate game.

For Ultimate, I’ve mostly heard “first pull is at…”. For water polo, I assume it’s “dirty play begins at…”, because that sport apparently has the most dirty play.