List Of Most Popular Sports In The World

List Of Most Popular Sports In The World

People are a huge fan of sports all over the world. If you want to know about the most popular sports in the world, then keep reading this article. 

There are various reasons why people participate in sports. Some do it for recreational purposes, while others pursue it as a career. Sports are popular even among the people who do not participate but like to be spectators. 

For generations, people have been inspired and awed by the extraordinary performances of sportsmen around the world. 

Let us learn about the most popular sports in the world.

1. Football (Soccer) – 4 billion fans

Football, commonly known as Soccer in Canada and the US, is the top most popular sport in the world.  Soccer has a grand fan base following of more than 4 billion fans, making it one of the most-watched and played sport in the world

Like several other sports, football first originated in England during the 19th century. However, as per history, people have been playing games similar to football for more than two thousand years now, starting in China. 

One biggest reason for the popularity of football is that this sport does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs is a football and foot to play the game. Hence, anyone can enjoy this game, be it rich or poor. 

Football is played all around the world, but it is most loved in Europe, South Africa, Central Africa, and Africa. 


2. Cricket – 2.5 billion fans

This is one of the most popular sports in the world, with a fan base of 2.5 billion. Cricket is the most-watched and played sport in the UK, British colonies, Pakistan, India, and Australia. 

Cricket involves playing with two teams, a large field, bat, and scoring run like baseball. However, there are some significant differences between the two sports. Cricket involves a long rectangular pitch in the center of a cricket field, where the bowler throws a ball to the batsman. Whereas in baseball, there is a mound in the center of a pitch where the pitcher stands to throw the ball to the batter at home plate. 


3. Hockey – 2 billion fans

Hockey is also another one of the most popular sports in the world. One amazing thing about this game is that it can be played both on the field and on the ice. Hockey has an amazing fan base of 2 billion across the world. 

Field hockey is mostly played in Africa, Europe, Australia, and Asia, whereas Ice Hockey is a popular sport in the US, Canada, and Northern Europe. 

Hockey involves two teams that play against each other, trying to put a ball into the opposing team’s net using a hockey stick. Unlike ice hockey, field hockey does not involve anybody’s contacts as checking. 


4. Tennis – 1 billion

With an estimated fan following of 1 billion, tennis is followed worldwide. Tennis is also the most loved and watched sport in the world. 

Tennis involves one/two players on both sides of an elongated net trying to hit the ball with their rackets so that the ball goes past the opponents. If the ball bounces twice on the opponent’s side, points are scored. 

Serena Williams, Roger Federer, is the best tennis players and common household names around the world. 


5. Volleyball – 900 million

Volleyball stands at 6th position on our list of most popular sports in the world. This game involves two teams on each of the net, trying to hit the volleyball onto the ground on the opponent’s side for scoring points. 

This is one of the best sports with a fan following of 900 million people from all over the world. Volleyball is particularly popular in Australia, Asia, and South America. 

Beach volleyball is a popular variant of this sport, which is played on sand with two-six people on each team. In regular volleyball, there are up to six players on every team.


6. Table Tennis – 875 million

Not many people know this, but table tennis is also the most-watched and played sport in the world. Table tennis is almost similar to tennis, with the only difference that it is played on a table with a net, each player trying to get the ball past the opponents. 

In some countries, table tennis is also known as Ping Pong, which originally originated in England during the early 20th century. Table tennis has become quite popular now, with a fan base of 87 million. It is most popular in Asia followed by Europe, Africa and then America. 


7. Basketball – 825 million

This popular sport was invented by a Canadian teacher named James Naismith, in the US during the 19th century. Now Basketball has become popular worldwide with more than 825 million fans followers. 

There are two teams in basketball, trying to attempt to dribble up the court and shoot the ball into a raised net to score points. If you love to jump, run, and shoot balls, then you will definitely love this sport. Similar to football, basketball does not require much equipment besides a ball and basket, making it an accessible sport for all classes and age groups. 


8. Baseball – 500 million

Baseball is said to have emerged from a worldwide famous English sport, Cricket. Like any other sport, baseball involves two teams, both trying to hit the ball using a bat between two white lines. The batsman has to run around the court from base to base in order to score runs.

Now, Baseball is not only popular in the US, but it is among the most played sports in Latin America and East Asia. Baseball has an estimated fan following of a 500 million fan base. 


9.Rugby – 475 million

How could we not mention Rugby in our list of most popular sports in the world? Rugby has a fan following of 475 million people from all around the world. 

Rugby first originated in England and now is the most popular sport in some other countries of the world too, like New Zealand and Australia. There are two teams in rugby trying to carry, kick, or pass on the ball over the goal line in order to score points. 

Rugby is a contact sport with lots of tackling like American football. In American football, players wear proper padding and helmets, whereas rugby players have very little protection. 


10.Golf – 450 million

With a fan following of 450 million people, Golf first originated in Scotland in the 15th century. This sport involves putting a small ball into a hole with as minimum strokes as possible. 

Let me tell you an interesting fact; the word golf originated in the Netherlands from the word Kolve or Kolf, meaning club. Golf is a popular sport in East Asia, Western Europe, and North America. 


Final Words:

Sports are as old as human civilization. As per several historical pieces of evidence, human beings have been playing sports for more than 3,000 years. Several things have changed about sports over the years, with two things remaining the same; athletic prowess and a love for dynamism. 

With the evolution of new technologies, the way these sports are played has changed overtime now. In this article, we have mentioned the top most popular sports globally and the basic insight into how they are played. 

If you think we should mention some other sports on this list, leave your suggestions in the comment section. 



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