The 5 Most Popular Sports In The World

Sports are something the entire world shares in common. But which sports are the most beloved? Do Americans and Europeans enjoy the same sports? The answer may surprise you! Here are the top 5 most popular sports in the world. 

1. Football

Football is also called soccer and is consistently ranked the top sport around the globe. It has over 4 billion fans! It was codified in the 19th century in England around the time of Queen Victoria. One of the reasons that football is so popular across the world is because of its extremely low cost. You really only need a soccer ball to get started! Other countries where football is popular include Africa, Canada, China, and the United States. 

2. Cricket 

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, but many people in America don’t know what this sport is. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, it is a bat-and-ball sport similar to baseball, where players try to score runs. Cricket has 2.5 billion fans worldwide and is most common in Australia, India, and Pakistan. The main difference between cricket and baseball is that a cricket field has a long, rectangular pitch at its center instead of a baseball mound. A pitcher in cricket is called a bowler, whose purpose is to put down the wicket at either end of the field. 

3. Hockey 

Hockey is next up on the list of most popular sports across the globe. At 2 billion fans, hockey is almost as popular as cricket! The two types of hockey that people like to play are ice hockey and field hockey. Ice hockey is very popular in Canada and Europe. The main difference between ice hockey and field hockey is the aggressive body checking seen in ice hockey.  Field hockey takes place outdoors in a field and involves players using a hockey stick to guide a ball down the field and into the other team’s net. Field hockey usually does not allow body checking. If you want to play a safer version of hockey, field hockey is your best bet!   

4. Tennis 

Tennis is the fourth most popular sport in the world with 1 billion fans. This sport requires players to apply both their cognitive abilities and their physical prowess. The most famous tennis player in the world is Serena Williams, followed by Roger Federer. The word “tennis” is derived from the French word “tenez,” which means to “receive” or “take” something. As both a non-contact and low-impact sport, it’s one that many people can enjoy even if they aren’t able to do things like jogging or swimming. 

5. Volleyball 

The fifth and final most popular sport worldwide is volleyball with 900 million fans. It can be played indoors on a basketball court or volleyball court, or on a beach. All you need to play volleyball is a net, a volleyball, and enough players. Volleyball is more popular in some countries than others, like Australia, Asia, and the U.S. This is a very physical sport, with players jumping on average around 300 times every game! In professional or college-level volleyball, the ball can go as fast as 87 MPH! The sport originated in America in 1895 and at that time, the ball was called a “mintonette.”