Ranked: Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

Ranked: Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

The article discusses sports and informs readers about the top 10 most popular sports in the world. It also informs readers about the sport’s initial region and where the sport was first played worldwide. 

Physical activity or games, sports, are mostly competitive and organised, which are utilised for improving physical ability or skills. In the history of sports, there are varied forms of games with differences in the number of participants, the number of people involved, and the nature of the game. The article discusses the most popular sports in the world, according to rankings.

What are the Benefits of Participating In a Sport?

An individual who participates in sports gains multiple benefits which support him in his physical, mental, and health well-being. The several benefits of participating in a sport are,

Physical Benefit

Actively participating in a sport can help you combat several health miseries. An active outdoor sport can help you in,

  • Maintain An Ideal Weight
  • Lessens Cholesterol Levels
  • Improvise Blood Circulation
  • Decreases Hypertension
  • Build a Stronger Immunity
  • Mental Benefits

Not only physical benefits but sport brings several mental benefits which are,

  • Lightens Mood
  • Lessens Stress
  • Fights Depression
  • Healthy Sleeping Schedule
  • Uplifts Confidence
  • Health Benefits

With the correct sports, you can combat several diseases that include

  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Heart Disease

The 10 Most Popular Sports in the World of All Time

After looking at the stats and participants, we have curated a list of top 10 sports in the world;

10. Horse Racing

Horse Racing

Country/Region: Worldwide
Foundation: While Horse Racing has an ancient history, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities was established in 1961.

In one of the most famous games of all time, stats reveal that in 2020, more than 1.45 billion people watched or placed a bet in the game. This game is mainly played in countries including the United Kingdom, Japan, France, the United States, and Australia. Horse racing includes two or more horses driven by Jockeys.

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9. Baseball


Country/Region: Worldwide; Prominent in the American and East-Asian Countries
First Played: 18th Century England

Known as the USA’s major sport, Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport which includes nine players in two teams. Not only in the United States, but the game has earned popularity across Japan and Cuba and attracts a viewership of more than 500 million audiences worldwide. In a report in 2023, the player, Shohei Ohtani ranked as the number 1 baseball player in the world.

8. Boxing


Country/Region: Ancient Greece
First Played: 23rd Olympia (688 BC)

With an estimated fan following of billions, Boxing is another popular sport worldwide, primarily played in Cuba. Known for its excessive adrenaline-hyper actions, Boxing is a combat sport where two people throw punches at each other; they are equipped with safety gloves and helmets.

A report reveals that approximately 59.6 percent of individuals showed interest in boxing during a survey. Talking about the history of boxing, The United States have clinched the highest number of medals winning more than 117 in various categories.

7. Rugby


Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: Summer Olympic Programme, Paris

With more than 410 million followers, Rugby is prominently played in France and border regions including Spain and France.

With an increasing number of players in the game, it is a close-contact team sport which started at Rugby School, in England. The famous international teams include the Mythical New Zealand All Blacks and the 2019 World Cup Winning Springboks.

Also Read – Ranking The Top 10 Boxers of All Time (2024)

6. Table Tennis

_Table Tennis

Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: 19th Century, England

Also known as Ping Pong, Table Tennis is a sport, wherein two or four players strike a ball forth and back utilising table tennis rackets. It takes place on a table which is divided through a net. However, the viewership of Table Tennis is only limited to important sports events like the Olympics. While table tennis is a leisure sport, few countries have considered it as a major sport.

5. Volleyball


Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: Holyoke, Massachusetts (1895)

A team sport, Volleyball is a game where two teams of six players are divided through a net. Opted as an Olympics official program since 1964, Volleyball players also earn a significant salary which ranges from 2-3 million dollars annually. Meanwhile, in Volleyball, the highest competition is the FIVB Volleyball Championship which is also the biggest Volleyball competition in the world.

4. Hockey

Hockey one of the Most Popular Sports

Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

A family of sports, Hockey is a game wherein two teams compete against each other by picking a ball into the opponent’s goal. In several regions, many refer to hockey as ice hockey, and both of them are popular in the world.

Field hockey, which is a national game in Pakistan and India, is popular in Europe, the USA, Canada, and Sweden. Meanwhile, as of 2024, the game has a fan base of more than 2 billion followers.

Also Read – Top 10 Highest-Paid Female Athletes in 2024

3. Basketball


Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

A sport played between two teams, Basketball’s motive is to shoot the ball through a hole which is placed 10 feet above the ground. The Basketball fans range from 2 to 3 million, the major fans are from the United States, Canada, China, Japan, and The Philippines. Meanwhile, the NBA, abbreviated as the National Basketball Association, sold the TV rights in a staggering deal worth $24 billion for 9 years.

 2. Cricket

Cricket one of the Most Popular Sports

Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: 16th Century

A bat-and-ball game, Cricket is the second most popular game in the world. Played between two teams of 11 players each, Cricket has two formats with a drastic increase in its popularity. Cricket has three formats which are T20, Test, and ODIs.

With 2-3 billion fans, Cricket has garnered billions of fans in India. Besides India, Cricket is popular in Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, and Bangladesh.

1. Football

football one of the Most Popular Sports

Country/Region: Worldwide
First Played: England (1888)

Also known as soccer or association football, it is the most popular sport in the world. The sport is played between two teams of eleven players and is played with the help of a spherical ball.

Played by 250 million players in more than 200 countries, Football is counted as one of the most-played sports in the world. Not only this but according to the TV Viewership, an international Football event attracts a billion viewers or audience hooked to the screen. Meanwhile, according to a media page, Football has a total of 3.5 billion enthusiasts.

Final Words

Sports have not only become a major source of entertainment but once practised can be a fitness regime. From the early childhood years of sports being an integral part to being a source of entertainment in the adult years, games have significantly contributed to our daily lifestyle. The above list educates readers about the famous sports in the world.

About the author


Erik Johnson

An ardent sports and fitness enthusiast, Erik Johnson joined the University of North Texas, attending a degree in Journalism. Initiating his journey as a sports anchor for his school’s radio station, he continued his passion for sports with NW Daily, where he worked as sports and fitness writer. For over two years now, Erik Johnson has been a sports writer for The Next Hint Media, wherein he continued to pursue his passion for sports. Besides his writing endeavours, Eric harbours aspirations of becoming a football’s coach, driving his unwavering passion for the game. His commitment to specialisation and and his deep-rooted passion makes him an invaluable asset to The Next Hint Media as well as the sports community.

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