Screenshot 2021 06 20 at 12.21.34 PM 730x350 1 - 10 Most Popular Sports in the World

There’s more to sports than just competing. In many cases, it’s about the culture, the people, and the atmosphere of a city or town that draws its inhabitants into a state of solidarity. There are hundreds, even thousands of different types of sports practiced around the world, yet some attract more participants than others do. The following is an unranked list of the 10 most popular sports in the world:

The Most Sought-After Sports:

  1. Football: There is perhaps no greater sport than football for attracting crowds who come together to watch their teams play week after week. Their passion and love for their clubs often run deeper than those who only cheer on their national teams in the biggest international competitions. Whether it’s high school football in Texas, college football in Tennessee, or professional football with Liverpool FC, people come together to celebrate the sport most of all every four years when the FIFA World Cup is played.
  2. Basketball: Though it may not be as big internationally as football, basketball is still one of the world’s favorite sports almost everywhere you go on this planet. Basketball is especially popular in places where robust economies have led to a large middle class who can afford expensive equipment and luxury tickets. It attracts massive crowds at events like The Final Four NCAA championships for both men and women while NBA games are regularly watched by millions around the world too.
  3. Baseball: America’s Pastime has come a long way internationally. It was once the game of choice in Japan but now it is one of the two most popular sports in the country as their professional baseball league is as successful as, if not more than, their professional football league. In America, baseball is traditionally the national pastime, and its popularity leads to some over saturation during the summer months, with Major League Baseball games being broadcast almost every night by multiple channels.
  4. Golf: Golf may not be a major sport in many countries, but paired with places like China where many people can afford to play this expensive sport, it is often growing in worldwide popularity. The rise of both men’s and women’s golf stars who have dominated tournaments around the world has helped this sport’s popularity. On the PGA Tour, it is Tiger Woods who continues to be the biggest draw in golf while the rise of women’s golf stars like New Zealand’s Lydia Ko may have led to a lot more female involvement in the sport too.
  5. Cricket: Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports for spectator popularity globally, partly because of India playing a major role in both Test and T20 cricket leagues. Many countries are starting their own professional cricket leagues as well, which helps create some interesting rivalries worldwide, as people love seeing their local teams compete against each other. Another reason new fans keep showing up every day is because there’s always something happening on a cricket pitch with close finishes, wickets being taken and big hits that no other sport can recreate.
  6. Hockey: Hockey is another major international sport where national teams are always highly anticipated because of the fierce competition which leads to uncertainty over who will win at any given time. Though it has its biggest events, like Russia’s Continental Hockey League or Canada’s World Junior Championships for Under 20s, hockey also has a strong culture in many countries like India boast its own 200-year-old ice hockey league called the International Hockey League .
  7. Table Tennis: Table tennis became popular in much of Europe in the 70s before spreading to Asia in the 80s where it caught on like wildfire, with China leading the pack for both men’s and women’s table tennis. China is the only country which competes at a professional level in both sports with their own national leagues, culminating in the World Table Tennis Championships every year. Over half a billion people watched that event on TV back in 2009 – an incredible six times more than watching Ice Hockey’s Stanley Cup finals that same year.
  8. eSports: The final sport which has seen a rise in popularity over the last few years is eSports or electronic sports. This relatively recent phenomenon sees organized video game competitions where athletes play computer games to compete for prize money on betting platforms like N1 Bet Sports. eSports are already incredibly popular in places like South Korea and North America and they’re starting to attract the eyes of major broadcasters who see them as a platform they can showcase to new audiences worldwide.
  9. American Football: American football is played in many countries but has never become more than a niche sport globally. NFL games are broadcast on TV in 222 countries and territories but not one of them has a professional league to call their own which shows you how difficult it is for this type of American football, played with the high safety standards, to take hold – at least as far as playing professionally goes.
  10. Rugby Union: Rugby union has seen better days as it’s one of the main football codes which has suffered heavily from soccer’s global dominance. You can still find rugby union in many countries, including somewhere it is played professionally, but when you compare its worldwide footprint to sports like cricket and rugby league, then there’s no comparison. With that said, rugby union’s World Cup is a very special event that draws in enormous crowds from around the world so it can’t be discounted completely.
READ MORE:  Matty Smith

So there you have it – the 10 most popular sports in the world! Of course, there are many other well-known sports around the world which didn’t make this list because of their limited fan base, but if we included them, then they probably would have made up five of the remaining spots. All of these global favorites do share one thing in common – their international competitions are some of the most expected events on the planet and attract millions of fans every time they’re held.

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