most popular sports in america

Top 12 Most Popular Sports in America

Sports are immensely popular in the United States, both to watch and to play. 

The love of sports continues to become dominant in American culture.

Also, sports is one of the things that draws Americans together, whether it’s screaming to support their favorite players or shouting at the TV during the Super Bowl.

Thus, sports are an important part of the culture.

Are you curious to know which is the largest followed sports in the United States? Here, we have listed our top 12 picks for the most popular sports in America.

Top 12 Most Popular Sports in America

12. Skiing

At number 12 of our list of top 12 most popular sport in America is a recreational sport, skiing.

Skiers move over snow by using a pair of flat and long skis. The shoes or boots are linked to the skis.

In fact, professional skiers can compete in Nordic, Alpine, and Freestyle events.

Family enjoying skiing

Moreover, the number of active skiers and skateboarders in America was over 9.2 million in 2017/18.

However, skiing is top-rated in America as there is more run for beginners with the availability of the best ski resorts. 

11. Volleyball

In America, volleyball is played by both males and females of all ages.

The two teams of six are separated by a net where they try to ground the ball into the opponent’s court.

Almost every high school and college in the United States consists of a volleyball team.

In fact, volleyball is a recreational activity. More than 37 million people in America enjoy this sport.

volleyball most popular sports america
Volleyball Girls’ Junior Team (USA)

Volleyball is a gender-neutral game and requires a high energy level in the players.

Also, it creates excitement within the viewers by developing the feeling of adrenaline rush.

Over 255,000 members, 12,000 teams, and 5,000 clubs have been registered in the US Volleyball.

10. Wrestling

The 10th most popular sport in America, Wrestling, was first played in the 19th century. This sport can be played solos as well as in teams in a ring.

With time, this sport has become one of the most popular entertainment sport around the world.

WWE broadcasts in over 180 countries and 28 languages, reaching over 900 million television households each week.

Wrestlers competing for a medal (Source: Olympics)

In fact, all people know that the events that occur in wrestling are staged and scripted. However, millions of people follow wrestling ignoring the fact.

Action, drama, humor, love stories, betrayal, overcoming adversity, facing tough obstacles, mental and physical pain, joy, happiness, and family issues make this sport very popular.

Wrestling events like WWE World Championship is one of the biggest events in America.

In addition, such events are watched and followed by millions of people from around the world. 

9. Motor Sports

Motor Sports is not only the most popular but is also the most-watched sport in America.

Moto GP, Formula One, Monaco Grand Prix, NASCAR, Indy-car series has been radical for the growth of motorsports.

Car Racing was firstly held in 1867. With the advancement in the auto industry, different thrilling forms of motorsports have emerged.

A racer showing his skills
A racer showing his skills (Source: Pexels)

The annual attendance at all U.S. motorsports events is estimated to be over 15 million audiences.

In fact, during a race, the audience can discuss, debate, and cheer for all the happenings on the track. That social element for fans allows them to mingle with others with similar interests. 

Thus, Motor Sports is in number 9 of our list of top 12 most popular sports in America.

You might be interested in reading about Lewis Hamilton: Girlfriend, Controversies & Net Worth.

8. Boxing

Boxing is a combat sport played between two players. The rules in boxing are quite different from that of wrestling.

Especially Americans have shown a great deal of interest in boxing after the emergence of several Americans in the boxing scene since the 1960s.

Boxers fighting for a win (Source: ocregister)

In fact, some professional boxers are currently listed as the richest athletes in the world.

MGM Grand Garden Arena is one of the biggest boxing events in America, which attracts the attention of millions of audiences.

Americans love this sport due to its intensity and emotions. Boxing matches have unexpected turnouts and results, which create hype among the people. 

Therefore, boxing is number 8 in our list of 12 most popular sports in America.

7. Golf

Golf is the 7th most popular and most-watched sport in America. Players hit the hardball using clubs aiming for the hole in the least possible strokes.

In America, PGA Tours are conducted where professional golfers compete to win a huge amount of money.

In addition, it attracts many golf lovers and sponsorship deals for players.

A man enjoying his free time playing golf (Source: Unsplash)

Many towns and cities offer magnificent golf courses. Moreover, its availability made this sport one of the most popular sport in America.

Also, it can be played alone, with family or friends.

Furthermore, it has been estimated that in 2019, about 34.2 million Americans played golf.

Also, 5 of the 10 top professional golfers in the world are from America.

6. Tennis

Americans have dominated tennis on the International level.

In tennis, players use a tennis racket and strike the hollow rubber ball over the net towards the opponent’s court.

Tennis was played first in the U.S. on a grass court set up on the Estate of Col. William Appleton in Nahant in 1874.

A tennis player trying to take a shot (Source: Wimbledon)

Recently, various major tournaments like U.S. Open have seen a huge increase in viewers.

Moreover, the techniques, tactics, and score twists of the sport are the reasons behind the popularity of this sport.

This racket sport is huge; over 17.9 million players reportedly played the game in 2019 in America alone.

Since the USA has participated in this sport, they have had glorious records in tennis.

5. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a team sport in which players use a hockey stick to hit a rubber puck into the opponent’s net.

As it is played on ice, it is popular in colder regions of the USA.

The thrilling and chilling nature of this sport is one of the reasons for being 5th most popular sport in America.

Ice Hockey players posing for a photo

NHL and Stanley Cup are the major hockey league in America.

Furthermore, about 4% of Americans regard Ice Hockey as their favorite sport to watch.

Also, The Big Chill at the Big House is one of the major events of hockey in America.

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, 561,700 hockey players were registered in the United States for the 2019/20 season.

4. Soccer

Of course, Europe’s top-list sport, soccer, actually lands 4th in America’s most popular sports list.

With over 4 billion fans worldwide, soccer is one of the most-watched and played sport in the world.

soccer women most popular sports America
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

Likewise, soccer also has great fan-following and fame in America. Also, The U.S. Soccer has registered over 4.2 million soccer players.

In a 2020 poll, 13 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they were big soccer fans, while 47 percent said they didn’t care for the sport.

You might be interested in the Top 12 Best Soccer Players of All Time.

3. Basketball

At number 3 of our list of top 12 most popular sport in America is a team sport, basketball.

Basketball was played first in 1891 in the U.S., which is now the most popular and one of the most-watched sports.

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

NBA is the major basketball league in the U.S. It attracts millions of audiences from around the world.

During the 2020/21 NBA regular-season games on ABC, ESPN, and TNT, an average of 1.34 million viewers tuned in.

Additionally, basketball is broadcast everywhere on the internet. Thus, it has also helped to boost the popularity of basketball.

2. Baseball

Many Americans state that this sport captures what their country is all about.

So, baseball holds a special place in the minds and hearts of many Americans.

Photo of a baseball stadium (Bloomberg)

There are mainly two levels of baseball leagues for which millions of fans are crazy. Its the minor league baseball and major league baseball (MLB).

Moreover, Americans stated that there is beauty to this game – its geometry, pace, measurableness, lessons, magic – that make it uniquely sublime.

Over 8.237 million. American tuned in FOX to watch the 2020’s annual American League-National League battle.

1. American Football

American Football (also known as gridiron) is the most popular sport in America and is different from Football or Soccer.

Moreover, this sport was originated in the U.S., and it is so popular in America as this sport reflects competitive American values.

In this sport, two teams of eleven players compete on a rectangular field with goalposts at either end.

The NFL has the biggest TV ratings of any major sport globally, and it has been ingrained in American culture.

Also, the Super Bowl has become an unofficial holiday in which football fans and non-fans alike enjoy the event.

In 2014, the U.S. sports recorded over 167 million people have watched the game.

American football most popular sports america
American Football Player Holding USA Flag

In fact, about 37% of Americans declared this sport their favorite sport.

Thus, it is without a doubt the most popular sport in the United States. The NFL has a record-breaking attendance of 67,591 fans (average).

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