The 10 Most Popular Sports in the World

The 10 Most Popular Sports in the World 1

Why are sports important? What are the 10 most popular sports in the world? Read this article to find out.

A healthy life is what we all wish to lead. To lead a healthy life, we need a healthy body which includes physical as well as excellent mental health. Sports play an essential role in not just in developing our health, but also imparting character values.

Advantages of Sports

A. Healthier Heart

Since the heart is a muscle, it needs to be exercised to keep healthy and fit. When the heart is regularly challenged to exercise a little more, it will improve in performance and circulate blood around the body more efficiently. This, in turn, improves our overall health too.

B. A Sound Sleep

Sports and exercises trigger certain chemicals in the brain that make us feel relaxed and happy. Also, when we engage in outdoor sports, the fresh air benefits us and helps us get a good night’s sleep.

C. Increase in Confidence

People playing sports daily and working toward their goals, develop their abilities and confidence. It can be easily observed in tournaments and matches that require team participation. All members of the team are united and confidently put their skills to test.

D. Meet New People

It is because of sports that people from diverse communities, beliefs, and backgrounds come together. It helps you interact with new people daily whom you may not have communicated otherwise.

E. Better Mental Health and Reduced Stress

When a person is physically active, the mind gets distracted from the daily stress and strains of life. Also, the stress hormones in the body are reduced during physical activity, and endorphins are released.

Regular participation in sports also helps in achieving good mental health. Sports enhance our sense of well-being, improve our mood, reduce stress or anxiety, and thus protect us from depression.

Sports have several other advantages that improve and balance our overall life. The choice of sports may vary from person to person. However, certain sports are being viewed and played by large masses.

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The criteria of the ranking of sports based on popularity depend on various factors such as the global fan base, viewership or people who have watched sports, access to the general public, sponsorship deals, presence of social media, and many others. Here are the most popular sports in the world.

The 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

1. Soccer/ Football

With a fanbase of 3.5 million all over the world, soccer tops the list of the ten most popular sports in the world. It is commonly called soccer or football and is played between two teams of eleven players each, using a spherical ball.

This sport is played on a rectangular field, and there is a goal at each end of the field. Soccer aims to score using any part of the body except the hands and the arms to get the ball in the opposite goal. The only players who are allowed to use their arms and hands to touch the ball till it is in play are the goalkeepers.

The most significant sporting events of football are the FIFA world cup, which is held every four years, has enormous prize money for the winning team and the Premier League.

2. Cricket

It is one of the most popular sports in the world and is loved by 2-3 billion people. The game of cricket is played using a bat and ball. It is played between two teams comprising of 11 players each on a field. There is a 22-yard long, rectangular pitch at the center of the area.

The two teams competing with each other take turns to bat. Each team tries to score the maximum number of runs while they bat. When one team bats, the other team is fielding. Each turn is called innings.

There are three different formats in cricket known as T20, Test, and ODI. The popularity of cricket has seen a tremendous increase after the introduction of the T20 format. Cricket is very popular in many countries, including India, England, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh.

3. Basketball

With a fanbase of 2 to 3 billion, Basketball is the third popular sport out of the ten most popular sports in the world.

Basketball is a sport played between two teams of five players each. It is played in a rectangular court—the aim to shoot a ball through the hoop measuring 18 inches in diameter. The hoop is mounted to a backboard at the height of 10 feet.

If the ball is shooted through the basket during regular play, a field goal of 2 points is scored.

4. Hockey

With 2.2 billion fans in the world, field hockey, as well as ice hockey, is the fourth most popular sport in the world. In hockey, two teams compete with each other by trying to maneuver a ball into the goal of the opponent with the help of a hockey stick.

Field hockey is the national game of India and Pakistan. Ice hockey is prevalent in many places like Sweden, Canada, the USA, and Latvia. The presence of this game on social media is average and not impressive.

5. Tennis


Photo by Renith R on Unsplash

Out of the 10 most popular sports in the world, tennis is in the fifth position. It is a sport that people may play as individuals against each other ( known as singles) or as teams having two players each ( known as doubles). Tennis is played using a racket, which is strung by chord to strike a rubber ball around the net such that it is in the opponent’s court.

The game’s objective is to play the ball in a manner that the opponent is unable to play a good return. This sport is more prevalent in developed countries than in developing countries. Tennis players like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have hundreds of millions of fans around the world and are known widely.

6. Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport loved by a broad audience and is lived by 900 million people spread across Australia, America, Europe, and Asia. It is one of the most popular sports in the world and has gained a lot of recognition as a team sport. In volleyball, each team tries grounding ball on the other team’s court under specific rules to score points.

Since 1964, Volleyball has been part of the official program in the Summer Olympic Games. The social media presence of volleyball is low compared to other sports, but its fans widely follow it on TV in the Olympic games. This is one of those sports which are widely accessible to the public as it requires only a ball and a net.

7. Table Tennis

Table Tennis

Photo by Wan San Yip on Unsplash

This sport has 900 million fans from Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. This makes it one of the 10 most popular sports in the world. Table tennis is also known as ping pong and is equally played by both men and women.

In this sport, two players or four players in teams of two compete against each other and use a racket to hit a lightweight ball back and forth. Table tennis is played on a table, that is divided by a net. While playing, the players must ensure that the ball played towards them must bounce only once before they return the ball, except for the initial serve.

The internet popularity, as well as the social media presence of this game, is moderate.

8. Baseball


Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash


With 500 million fans in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Japan, and the United States, baseball has become the eighth most popular sport in the world. Baseball is a game that requires a bat and ball. It is played between two teams consisting of 9 players each, and each team takes turn batting and fielding.

The offense puts all efforts to score more runs than the opponent by hitting the ball with a bat, which is thrown by the pitcher and then moving in the counter-clockwise direction around the four bases. The bases in series are first, second, third, and the home plate. When the runner returns to the home plate after advancing through all the bases, a run is scored.

This sport is prevalent only in the countries where it is played, and the same goes for its viewership on television.

9. Rugby


Rugby stands on the ninth position in the list of the 10 most popular sports in the world. It has more than 400 million fans, mainly across England, South Africa, New Zealand, and France. This game was introduced in the 19th century by English-speaking settlers in England.

The fans of rugby eagerly await the Rugby world cup. Rugby is a full-contact team sport and is bases on running with a ball in hand. The TV viewership of rugby is quite good in the countries where it is played.

10. Golf

At the tenth position among the most popular sports, Golf has 390 million fans in Europe, the US, and Canada. In this sport, the competing players use several different clubs to hit balls into a series of holes using minimum possible strokes on a course.

Golf is one of those sports which is more prevalent among older people than the younger ones. The TV viewership of this sport is high among male adults and very low among young men and women. The popularity of golf is quite limited on the internet. It is also known as a sport for the rich.

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These were the 10 most popular sports in the world. Which is your favorite sport, and what do you love about it the most? Please share it with us in the comment section given below.

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