Hardest sports

Top 12 Hardest Sports in the World

There are different kinds of sports we all played or watched growing up. Most of them are pretty easy, and we played them as a hobby, but what sports do you think are the hardest sports in the world?

What makes a game hard? Well, basically, it is a combination of mental and physical difficulties.

Some sports have various rules that are very hard to grasp, and some other sports are outright physically hard for ordinary people.

Let’s get right into it.

Top 12 Hardest Sports in the World

12. Rugby

Rugby is one of the hardest sports that is played currently.

Unfortunately, rugby is not a sport that anyone can pick up as their hobby and start playing whenever they want.

The sport of rugby was founded back in 1871, and throughout history, it has evolved to what it is today.

A rugby player trying to score a goal (Source: TheGuardian)

Rugby is tough and requires you to train your body every day to an extreme extent.

Many even say if you don’t have the natural talent for the sport, then you are better off not trying it.

What makes rugby hard is also its rules. Unfortunately, the rules are very complicated, and you need to invest a lot of time learning them.

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11. Water Polo

Water Polo, known as one of the most brutal sports of present-day, falls on number 11 on our list.

This game might be something you can play in summer.

All you need to do is take a ball and hop in the swimming pool, but when you look at its professional scene, you will realize its difficulty.

Water Polo

Water polo requires massive upper body strength, especially the team’s goalkeeper, as he needs to jump out of the water to stop the goal.

You would require massive stamina as well.

Moreover, you are inside the water all the time, so you need to move around in the water while passing and trying to defend and score simultaneously.

It sounds tough!

10. American Football

Next on our list is American Football. Another physically tough sport where you need to train excessively.

American Football also has many rules that you need to learn before you can hop into the pitch.

Two American football teams ready to play (Source: opromouthguards)

One of the most crucial things about American Football is the offensive and defensive strategies that make it really difficult to play.

Despite the fundamentals of the game looking basic and easy, when you get into it, you will realize there is more to it them just the fundamental rules.

9. Skiing

Here is a sport that is one of the most difficult sports, even at the basic level.

Skiing is a sport that requires the skier to balance while going downhill from the top of a snowy mountain.

This sport is easy to play as a hobby but to master it; you need to commit yourself to it to the fullest extent.

Family enjoying skiing

While getting starting to skate, obviously, it’s hard to balance, but once you get hold of it, you can do it, but to do it on a professional level, just balancing isn’t enough.

There are various skiing competitions where the skier performs skills like backflips, 360s, etc., in the air, which is extremely hard to master.

Besides that, skiing in different locations and places with different turns and corners in various competitions also makes it a difficult sport.

8. Baseball

On the number 8 on our list, we have baseball. Baseball is the kind of sport where you need both mental and physical fortitude.

Baseball is extremely hard at the professional level because the professional teams often play around 162 games in 179 days.

The games are extremely long as well and last around 3-4 hours. Imagine doing that for 162 games in the summer. It’s exhausting!

Photo of a baseball stadium (Bloomberg)

The players need to be at their top-level physically too to perform their best in the game.

However, just being physically fit doesn’t guarantee that you will have a good game.

Baseball is complicated due to its mental aspects. As a baseball player, you need to be mentally fit to play every game.

7. Football

Football, also known as soccer in America, is one of the hardest sports out there.

You might be thinking, but I played that game as a kid, and it was easy.

Well, yes, comparing it to the basic level, it is effortless to learn. You can gather your friends and play but taking a look at the professional level gets extremely hard.

Footballers celebrating after a win (Source: independent.co.uk)

At the top level, Players need to play in their respective leagues (Premier League, Laliga, Seria A, etc.).

In addition, they also need to play in the champions league games and international games, if there are any, and various other tournaments.

Just looking at the list of the games they need to play, it’s already hard, but that’s nothing compared to the physical strength and stamina they require on the field.

The game is 90 minutes long, and they need to run all across the pitch with the ball throughout the game.

Also, there are chances of brutal fouls that can end their career in one second.

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6. Gymnastics

Halfway across the list, we have Gymnastics on number 6.

Unfortunately, gymnastics can be complicated for an average person, especially if you have no talent for it.

You need to train your body to be able to bend and turn at extreme points.

Therefore, the gymnasts need to be extremely flexible and keep their elasticity; they must practice it every day.


Asides from all those, Gymnastics also requires a lot of core strength, balance, upper and lower body strength, along with mental fortitude.

Throughout their training, they suffer various injuries, and if they fail to recognize it, it becomes severe and ends up causing them to lose their career as a gymnast.

5. Wrestling

Wrestling, probably WWE comes to your mind when you hear the word wrestling, right?

The sport of wrestling has been known to humanity for a very long period of time, and people have portrayed it in various ways.

Wrestlers competing for a medal (Source: Olympics)

Wrestling, as you can tell, is a tough sport due to its physical aspects.

Therefore, you need to train your body to handle all the pain and strengthen your body.

Wrestling is a sport that requires the athlete to have physical power, speed, technical skill, mental toughness, and endurance.

4. Basketball

Another trendy sport that most people play for fun is basketball, but basketball is harder than anything you can imagine at the top level.

Basketball is one of the hardest sports as you need a lot of stamina and technical skills to score in the match.

A basketball player trying to take a shot (Source: Britannica)

Anyone in basketball can have physical strength, but it results in nothing if you don’t have the technical skills.

In the sports of basketball, height is significant too. If you are not really gifted with tall height, then it might not be your sport.

Some exceptional players can be good even if they are not tall, but that cannot be said for everybody.

3. Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts or many might know it as MMA, is a combat sport that requires you to fight with your opponent using any martial arts.

MMA requires a lot of training and honing your skills before you get to the professional level.

Khabib Vs. Mc. Gregor in 2019
Khabib Vs. Mc. Gregor in 2019 (Source: Playersbio)

You need to train your body ruthlessly to make it able to sustain your opponent’s power.

Another thing about MMA is that it’s not only a strength but also accuracy and precision.

If you are strong and can hit hard, but if you can’t land a shot on your opponent, it’s basically useless.

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2. Ice Hockey

Coming as the runner-up on this list is Ice Hockey.

Ice Hockey is a challenging sport due to the terrain it’s played in. The players skate on the snow while dribbling the puck with the stick.

Balance and technical skills are the most important part of the sport. However, it would help if you are physically on top as well to defend.

Ice Hockey players posing for a photo

Ice hockey players wear big gear like Helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, Groin guard, etc., and it doesn’t seem very easy to move in it.

Hockey requires a lot of agility alongside balance to make it past the opponent and score goals.

1. Boxing

And as many of you probably have expected, we have boxing on the top of our list.

Boxing is also a combat sport that requires you to combat with your opponent. Compared to MMA, boxing has many rules.

Boxing is solely focused on the upper body, and unlike MMA, it has a lot of rules that keep the boxers safe.

Unfortunately, despite the rules, there have been many incidents in the boxing ring.

While boxing, you need to put your body and life on the line as it is hazardous and extremely hard to master.

People train all their lives to make it to the top, but some fail, and some reign, but that’s how every sport works.

The athletes boxing in the ring

Boxing requires extreme training and physical body improvement, and strength to start with the basics.

After that comes the technical part, where you need to learn how to throw punches. Moreover, your stance and positioning are critical.

There are various aspects of boxing that make it similar to MMA. But what makes boxing harder is the technical aspect and rules.

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