Top 16 Most Popular Sports in the World

Competition, drama, tension, humor, sadness, joy – all within few hours, that’s the main reason for the growing popularity of sports worldwide.

Are you curious about the Most Popular Sports in the World? Would you like to know what the oldest sport is? 

Below you will begin a journey that will satisfy all your curiosity by answering questions like these and many more!

Top 16 Most Popular Sports in the World

16. Horse Racing

Coming at number 16 on the list of most popular sports in the world is Horse Racing.

The most ancient of all sports is Horse Racing. Riders compete on turf, dirt, or synthetic surface race track for the first position.

Horse Racing is very expensive and historic.

Moreover, this sport still has its own set of fans, mostly in the UK, USA, Australia, and UAE.

Kentucky Derby and The Breeders’ Cup are the major horse racing competitions that attract many audiences every year.

15. Swimming

Every people is into swimming daily since prehistoric times. Also, it is quite a popular hobby sport in many countries. 

However, professionally, it is more popular in developed countries.

Swimming is considered one of the top public recreational activities.

Also, it has become a compulsory part of the educational curriculum in many countries.

swimming world aquatics championship
A Glimpse of World Aquatics Championship

Olympics, World Aquatics Championships (50 m pool), and World Open Water Championships are major swimming competitions that attract many audiences.

14. Snooker

A trendy sport, Snooker, is played by about 120 million people across the globe.

Snooker is a cue sport. It was first played by the British Army officers stationed in India during the 19th century.

Moreover, it is fairly cheap and easy to play, which makes it very accessible.

Billiard table, snooker balls, cue stick, triangle, and chalk are all this game requires.

World Snooker Championships and the invitational master’s championship attract audiences from different countries.

This game is most popular in UK, China, Australia, and Pakistan.

13. Cycling

Cycling is mostly popular as a hobby sport all over the world. However, professionally, it is popular mostly in Europe.

Tour de France is one of the most-watched cycling competitions in France.

In fact, Cycling is a delightful and great form of exercise and is very good for health.

Therefore, it is at number 13 of our most popular sports in the world.

12. Badminton

At number 12 on the list of most popular sports in the world is Badminton.

According to the latest survey conducted by Nielson Sports in 21 Badminton markets globally, the estimated fan base of Badminton is about 681 million.

Badminton is a racquet sport which can be played as singles as well as doubles.

Moreover, this sport requires excellent stamina, speed, strength, and precision within the players.

Also, it is a technical sport that demands good coordination and the development of complicated racquet movements.

Thus, it is a delightful and challenging sport and is most popular in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea.

You may be interested in reading Top 12 Insane Sports Riots in History.

11. Boxing

Boxing involves two people wearing protective gloves and exchange punches for a certain time in a boxing ring.

In fact, the intensity, emotions, unpredicted turnouts, and game results make this game so popular.

Moreover, Boxing is still a major sport in the USA, UK, Philippines, Ukraine, and Poland.

10. Golf

Coming at number 10 on the list of the top 16 most popular sports in the world. It has a fanbase of about 450 million worldwide.

Players use various clubs to hit the golf ball, aiming for the holes in the least possible strokes.

In fact, golf can be very enjoyable and offers an excellent overall package. Also, it can be played alone, with friends, or even with strangers.

PGA Tours and European Tours are the major tournaments with a really huge prize pool.

Additionally, it attracts lots of audiences and massive views on the TV and internet.

The majority of golf fans are from North America, Europe, and East Asia.

You may be interested in reading Top 16 Richest Golfers in the World.

9. Rugby

Rugby is an outdoor team sport that originated in England. This sport has a fanbase of about 475 million.

In this game, two teams of 15 players try to score in the H-shaped goalpost by running with a ball in hand.

Rugby is a running game with continuous action for 80 minutes on a big pitch.

Moreover, it is a full-contact sport which makes it enjoyable as well as exciting.

Super Rugby, Premiership, and Currie Cup are some major professional competitions that attract a large audience.

Hence, Rugby is a popular sport mainly in France, New Zealand, England, and South Africa.

8. Baseball

The bat-and-ball team sport, Baseball, has about 500 million fans all over the world.

Baseball involves two teams of nine players who take turns in fielding and batting.

In addition, the batting team tries to hit the ball thrown by a pitcher from the fielding team and run clockwise around the bases to score points called runs.

Unlike other sports, this sport requires patience, strategy, and the ability to act well under pressure, including physical prowess.

Furthermore, this sport is for all races, sexes, and creeds that can be played in any open field. Also, it requires very low investment for equipment.

Hence, baseball is one of the most popular sports, especially in the US, Canada, Cuba, and Japan.

7. Basketball

James Naismith, a Canadian teacher in the US, invented this game which is now played worldwide. This sport has over 825 million fans worldwide.

Do you like to run, jump and shoot? If yes, then you will love basketball.

Basketball only requires two baskets and a ball. Hence, it is accessible for people of any class.

Moreover, this sport is very fast-paced and full of action. Also, it needs excellent stamina and ball control.

Moreover, it is considered one of the most popular sports, especially in the US, Canada, China, and the Philippines.

6. Table Tennis

Also known as Ping Pong and Whiff Whaff, Table Tennis has over 875 million fans and followers worldwide.

Moreover, two or four players can play at the same time. Players try to hit the lightweight tennis ball with the bat in the table divided by a net.

In fact, the demand for fast play, quick reaction, and techniques like spinning makes this sport very enjoyable and fun to play and watch.

Thus, Table Tennis is one of the most popular sport worldwide.

5. Volleyball

Volleyball is played between two teams consisting of six players. This popular sport has attracted about 900 million fanbases worldwide.

Both team players try to throw the ball over the net towards the other’s court to gain points.

It may seem simple. But, what’s interesting is that each team can touch the ball only up to 3 times.

Also, the individual players cannot touch the ball 2 times consecutively.

volleyball
Players Practicing Volleyball

Additionally, Volleyball is fast-paced and is a team sport. Moreover, it creates the feeling of adrenaline rush to the viewers.

Consequently, Volleyball is one of the most popular sport globally, particularly in North and South America, Western Europe, Australia, and Asia.

4. Tennis

Coming at number four on the list of the top 16 most popular sports in the world is Tennis. This Olympic sport has attracted about 1 billion fans worldwide.

Tennis is played singles or doubles where each player uses rackets to hit the hollow rubber ball over the opponent’s court to score points for the win.

The biggest tennis competitions, namely, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open, are watched by over 400 million people.

However, different physical advantages like burning fat, cardiovascular fitness, maintaining higher energy levels have also made this sport popular worldwide.

3. Hockey

Both field and ice hockey are popular sport worldwide. In general, Hockey has about 2 billion fans globally.

Players from both teams try to control and hit the ball using a hockey stick and score in the opponent’s goal.

Furthermore, the hockey world cup is a major field hockey tournament.

Additionally, both games of hockey are the major sporting events in Olympics.

Besides, hockey is a team sport where each player has the ability to control the game.

In fact, field hockey is the national game of India as well as Pakistan.

However, ice hockey is popular in Europe, especially in Canada, Sweden, the USA, and Latvia. 

2. Cricket

Another popular sport, Cricket, has a fanbase of 2.5 billion around the world.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball team sport played between two teams of eleven players. Those two teams take turns in batting and fielding.

In fact, cricket is a great sport for developing overall fitness, stamina, and hand-to-eye coordination.

However, players must wear protective gear during the game.

Moreover, ICC World Cup is the biggest cricket tournament held every 4 years.

Billions of fans worldwide gear up to support their country or favorite team in this cup.

Hence, cricket is the second most popular sport in the world.

1. Football/Soccer

Football, better known by the name soccer in the US and Canada, has a fanbase of over 4.5 billion worldwide.

Moreover, each player aims to score the goal by handling, dribbling, kicking, and passing the ball. 

However, hands and arms are not allowed to use in football.

football most popular sports in the world
Professional Footballers During a Match

Football is really sociable and fun. Also, it is a physically demanding sport with continuous action for 90 minutes.

Moreover, this game is a team sport and demands speed, strength, agility, precision, and technique.

The biggest football competition is the World Cup which is held every four years.

Further, over 3.2 billion people watched FIFA World Cup 2018, a record for most-watched sports events globally.

You may like to read Top 12 Best Soccer Players of All Time.

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