Most Popular Sports in The World
Last Updated on February 28, 2021 by Daniel Lawrence
Most Popular Sport in The World
All over the world, Sport is played either as hobbies, careers, or as a part of fitness regimens in addition, several games have grown in popularity to amass a huge following across the globe. The rules and characteristics of these most popular sport are dynamic and are governed by international bodies.
The most popular sports are included in the Olympic Games, where different countries from all around the world compete against each other. in addition these sports also are very lucrative industries, generating billions of dollars in revenues, especially in developed countries.
However, this does not mean that sports not included in the Olympic games are not popular. For this post, we’ve decided to mention a few while leaving out others like cycling sports. This does not mean that cycling, for example is not popular.
What Are the Most Popular Sport in The World Today?
The table below shows a breakdown of each sport according to its popularity and many more.
|Rank||Sport||Estimated Fan Base||Primary Sphere of Influence||Inventors||Year|
|1||Soccer (Association Football)||4 billion||Globally||England/Chinese||2000 yrs ago|
|2||Cricket||2.5 billion||UK and Commonwealth||south-east England||18th century|
|3||Field Hockey||2 billion||Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia||England||19th century|
|4||Tennis||1 billion||Globally||Walter Wingfield||1873|
|5||Volleyball||900 Million||Western Europe and North America||William G. Morgan||1895|
|6||Table Tennis||875 Million||Globally||Parker Brothers||1901|
|7||Basketball||825 Million||Globally||James Naismith||1861|
|8||Baseball||500 Million||United States, Caribbean, and Japan||Abner Doubleday||1839|
|9||Rugby||475 Million||UK and Commonwealth||William Webb Ellis||1895|
|10||Golf||450 Million||Western Europe, East Asia, and North America||Scotland||1457|
Association Football (Soccer) – 4 Billion Fans
Football is a sport characterized by two teams of eleven players and two goals. The objective of the sport is to drive a ball into the goal defended by the opponent team.
Soccer, is the most popular sport in the world. It is estimated that more than half of the world’s population consider themselves to be association football (soccer) fans. The sport enjoys an estimated 4.0 billion person following, and a global sphere of influence. Ancient soccer has been traced to China, as early as the 2nd Century. The Romans, Greeks, and Japanese have also been thought as possible first players of the sport. Contemporary soccer began in England, where it amassed considerable interest and spread to other parts of the world. The sport is more popular in Europe and Americas than in any other continent.
Cricket – 2.5 Billion Fans
The game Cricket is characterized by two teams of eleven players each, where each team attempts to score the most runs. Cricket has a 2.5 billion person estimated global following, and its primary sphere of influence is in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. The cradle of the sport was the 16th Century England and it was made a national sport in the 18th Century in the country. The sport is overwhelmingly popular in former British colonies such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Australia.
Field Hockey – 2 Billion Fans
This game is mostly similar to soccer except that the players use sticks to drive the ball instead of feet. Field hockey has an estimated global following of 2 billion fans and sees its primary sphere of influence in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The contemporary field hockey sport was first played in England in the 1800s. Field Hockey is widely played in India, Australia, and Pakistan, whose teams are formidable on the sport.
Tennis – 1 Billion Fans
The game Tennis is played by two teams of either one or two players each and involves bouncing a ball over a net by use of tennis rackets. Points are earned when the opponent does not throw back the ball in the predetermined dimensions of the rectangular court. Tennis has an estimated global following of 1 billion fans and a global sphere of influence. Different versions of the sport are believed to have been played by the Egyptians, Romans and the Greeks, although the modern sport was first popularized in France. From France, it spread to other parts of Europe and eventually to the whole world.
Volleyball – 900 Million Fans
The primary influence of volleyball is seen in Western Europe and North America, and the sport has an estimated global following of 900 million fans. Volleyball was invented in the US by William G. Morgan in 1895. He was part of the Young Men’s Christian Association as an instructor, and he copied from basketball, tennis, handball and baseball’s elements. The sport has evolved over the years to the modern day sport, characterized by two teams of 6 players each who throw a ball over a net.
Table Tennis – 875 Million Fans
The sport is widely referred to as “Ping Pong”. The modern sport involves two teams of between two to four players, hitting a lightweight ball over a net on a hard table, by use of rackets. Table Tennis enjoys a global sphere of influence and has an estimated 875 million followers worldwide. The sport began in the 19th Century in England as a miniature version of the sports lawn tennis. Formidable global countries in the sport include South Korea, Sweden, and China.
Basketball – 825 Million Fans
Basketball is played by two teams of five players each, where the goal is to successfully shoot the ball through a hoop elevated 10 feet from the ground. The sport was invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 in Massachusetts, United States. He created it as an alternative to football since the sport could be played indoors and had less potential to cause accidents. Basketball boasts of having an estimated 825 million followers worldwide, and a global sphere of influence
Baseball – 500 Million Fans
The sport is a bat and ball sport involving two teams of nine players each, who participate in batting and fielding to earn points. Baseball has an estimated 500 million global followers and enjoys its highest levels of popularity in the United States, the Caribbean, and Japan. Different versions of the sport were played in the US before it gained nationwide popularity in the 19th Century. From the US, the sport spread to other parts of the world and evolved to the modern game as played today.
Rugby – 475 Million Fans
The sport is played by two teams of 15 players each, who carry, kick or pass a ball across the end line to score points. Rugby has its primary sphere of influence in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, and an estimated global following of 475 Million people. The foundation of the modern day sport was laid out in medieval England. From the UK, it spread to British colonies such as Australia and New Zealand.
Golf – 450 Million Fans
This game is played by use of different clubs to hit a ball, over a determined course, using the fewest possible amount of strokes. Importantly, with an estimated global following of 450 Million people, golf has its primary influence in Western Europe, East Asia, and North America and the sport was first played in Scotland from where it spread to the UK and to the rest of the world.