10 Global Sports to Play in the World

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Sports are cherished globally for a multitude of reasons. Many adore them for recreational purposes. While others cite sports participation as a medium to good health a reason. In fact, sports are even more loved by individuals who do not necessarily participate in them but enjoy viewing them.

While sports are immensely popular, deciding which sport is the most loved one is a challenge.

Attendance counts, TV viewership, income earned and other such metrics are generally used to measure sports’ popularity. The world’s most loved sports lay a profound impact on the lives of players and others who are a part of them.

Even the spectators get affected directly or indirectly by sports. This has made sports an integral part of our culture. Sports are a great way of bringing people together, allowing them to relax and admiring the raw athleticism and strategic genius of the world’s best sportspersons.

List of Top 10 Global Sports to Play in the World

In this article, we have listed the top 10 most popular sports in the world.


Soccer is also considered the most popular sport in the world, with an expected following of 4 billion fans. Be it at the grassroots level, in 5-a-side leagues or simply playing for fun, no other sport can match soccer for participation.

One reason behind this immense popularity is that it does not require expensive equipment unlike other sports – all you need is a ball and your feet.

Therefore, anyone, whether rich or poor, can play and relish this sport. While soccer is played all over the world, it is specifically popular in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.


The majority of sports people of this game belong to Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK. However, this sport is becoming popular in other countries as well.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has stated that almost 125 countries around the world play the sport.

Cricket holds an impressive following of 2.5 billion. The game is the most popular in India, Pakistan, Australia and UK.

It comprises two teams, a bat, a ball and a large field. The field contains a long rectangular pitch at the center, where a ball is thrown to a batsman.


Hockey, both on ice and on a field, boasts a strong fan base of 2 billion people. This fast-paced sport is played by men and women on 5 continents in 100+ countries in the world.

A favorite for many at the Olympics, field hockey is a highly strategic sport, played by 10 outfield players plus a goalkeeper. Its rules are different from the Ice hockey variation.

While field hockey is mainly played in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, ice hockey is popular in the USA, Canada and Northern Europe.
Both the games comprise two teams trying to put a ball into the opposing team’s net with a hockey stick. However, unlike ice hockey, field hockey does not involve body contact in the form of checking.


Almost a billion souls follow tennis worldwide, tuning in from around the world. It is estimated that about 60 million men and women play this sport. It is widely recognized as the most prevalent individual sport in the world. The doubles version of the sport is quite popular as well.

In this sport, players on both sides of an elongated net try to hit a ball with a racket in a quest to make it past their opponents or bounce on their opponents’ side twice to score points.
Tennis champs like Serena Williams and Roger Federer have now become household names around the world.


FIBA or The Federation of International Basketball Association has estimated that a minimum of 450 million people play the sport around the world, be it through structured competitions or recreationally.

Legendary basketball players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have helped to uplift this sport’s popularity from its American roots.

In basketball, two teams struggle to dribble a ball up a court and shoot it into a raised, hoop-shaped net to score points. Thus, individuals who love to jump and run and going to adore this game. And just like Soccer, basketball is popular because much equipment is not required besides a ball and two baskets. Hence, it has become an accessible sport regardless of class.


Volleyball comprises two teams, each on one side of a raised net, trying to “volley” a ball onto the ground of the opposing team’s side to score points.

With its origins in the USA, volleyball has become an international sensation and has grown to an estimated participation figure of 998 million people. It is especially popular in North America and Western Europe but also in Australia, Asia and South America.

There is another popular variant of the sport, also known as beach volleyball. This sport is played on sand with two people on each team. However, in the case of regular volleyball, there are usually six players on each team.

Outdoor and indoor versions of this sport are played worldwide, with 220+ affiliated national federations listed in volleyball’s global governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball.


You may be surprised to know that badminton is among the most played sports in the world. Yes! Badminton is exceptionally popular and played regularly by an estimated 220 million people around the world.

It is mainly popular in Asia, with several of the best players on Earth emerging out of this continent.


Originated in Scotland in the 15th century, over 450 million people are fans of this sport. Golf involves a player who tries to put a small ball in a hole with the least strokes possible. This sport is especially prevalent in East Asia, Western Europe and North America.

The meaning of regularly playing golf indicates taking part in one round of golf per year or using a facility such as a driving range.

Table tennis

This sport has increasingly become one of the most preferred indoor games, mainly due to its integration in schools, sports centers and social clubs across the world.
It includes a table with a net at the center and players on each side, who are supposed to get a ball past their rivals. This sport is also known as Ping Pong and is now popular globally, with around 875 million followers. It is particularly popular in Asia but is also prevalent in Africa, Europe and the Americas.


America’s national pastime is thought to have descended from the English sports, rounders and cricket. Baseball involves two teams Today, baseball is popular, not only in the US but also in East Asia and Latin America. The sport has an estimated following of 500 million fans.

The national pastime of the USA, Baseball is thought to have originated from the English sports like cricket. The sport involves two teams trying to hit a ball with a bat, with the batters running around a series of bases to score points.
On Japanese TV, baseball has become the most-watched sport among viewers.

Final words

Many aspects of sports have evolved over time. What remains the same is the love for dynamism and athletic prowess.

One recent trend in sports that is widely discussed is the attempt towards making sports safer. Hence, it is being suggested that athletes in the future may face a lesser risk to their well-being than their present counterparts.

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