Whereas there are several sports that are played across the world today, some of them are nevertheless popular than others. Therefore, it is hard to tell which sport is popular than the other, if one doesn’t know the estimated number of fans of a particular sport. Most people do not only like sports, but there are also some of them who play sports as well. Here is a list of the world’s 10 most popular and viewed sports of all time that you need to know.
With an estimated 3-5 billions fans across the globe, soccer-also popularly known as football– is the world’s most popular sport. The sport is normally played between two teams comprising of 11 players each. Soccer is played by an estimated 250 million players drawn from over 200 nations. It is usually played on a 90m x 120m rectangular pitch that has a goalpost at each end. When playing soccer, players of the two teams aim at kicking or heading a ball inside the goalpost on their opponents’ side. This is commonly known as scoring. In front of the goalpost is a player referred to as a goalkeeper whose role is to stop the ball from going inside the goalpost. Apart from goalkeepers, no other player is allowed to touch the ball using their arms or hands.
With an estimated 2.5 -3 billion fans across UK, Pakistan, India , Australia, Asia and other parts of the globe, cricket is the world’s 2nd most popular sport. This sport is typically a bat-and-ball game that is played between 2 teams comprising of 11 players each. Cricket is played on a 22-yard rectangular pitch. When playing cricket, the two teams will normally take turn to bat-hit the cricket ball using an object commonly known as a cricket bat- as the other team is fielding. Each turn is referred to as innings. The game has three formats knows as T20, Test and ODIs.
Though common in the US, Canada and other nations across Europe and Asia, basketball is the world’s third most popular sport with an estimated 2-3 billions fans. The sport is played on a rectangular court by two teams comprising of 5 players each. The objective of this sport is to simply shoot a ball right through an 18-inch diameter hoop that is mounted on a 3-meter high backboard at each end of the pitch. The objective of this sport is to shoot the ball right through the hoop during regular play. The hoop normally has a net underneath it. The team that puts most balls earns more points and hence considered the winners of the game.
7. Field hockey
With an estimated 2-2.1 millions fans across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, field hockey is the world’s 4th most popular sport. While playing field hockey, players of two competing teams face off against each other by attempting to maneuver a puck or a ball into their opponent’s goal using an object known as a hockey stick. Hockey is normally played on a rectangular pitch with a goal post at each side. Each attempts to score their opponents.
Tennis is the world’s 5th most popular and viewed sport with an estimated 1 billion fans across Americas, Europe and Asia. It is a sport where one player plays individually against a single player. It can also be played between 2 teams comprising of 2 players each. It is normally played on a rectangular court that is separated at center by a net. When playing tennis, competing players stand opposite sides of the court and then use a racket for purposes of striking a hollow rubber into their opponent’s court. The objective of the sport is to keep striking the ball in such a manner that the opponent is unable to return all the balls without hitting the net or striking the ball out of their court.
The world’s 6th most popular and viewed game is volleyball with an estimated 900 million fans across the universe. It is a team sport whereby two teams comprising of six players each competes on a small rectangular area that has a net at the center. The net separates the two teams. Each team attempts to ground a ball on their opponents’ side under organized rules in order to score points. Volleyball has been part of Olympic Games since 1964.
4. Table Tennis
With an estimated 800 million fans across the globe, table tennis is the world’s 7th most popular sport. It is also referred to as ping pong. When playing this sport, four or two players use tennis rackets to hit a small-lightweight ball back and forth. Table tennis is played on a big hard table that is divided by a net. Players attempt to return the ball on their opponents’ side. The player or players who manage to return most balls on their opponents’ side without missing are the winners.
With half a million fans drawn from Japan. US, Dominican Republic and Cuba, baseball is the world’s 8th most popular sport. The bat-and-ball game is played between two teams comprising of nine players each .Baseball players normally take turns to battle and field. The offensive side tries to score more runs than their competitors by hitting a ball using a bat while moving counter-clockwise around four bases namely 1st , 2nd , 3rd and home plate.
Rugby is the world’s 9th most popular sport with an estimated 400 million fans from Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. It is played by two teams comprising of eleven players each on a 120mx53.3 m rectangular field. The field has wide goalposts at each end. One team struggles to advance a ball down the field while running with it and passing it from one player to the other. The other team will be trying to stop them from advancing and possessing the ball in the meantime.
This prestigious game is the world’s 10th most popular sport with an estimated 390 million fans in US, Europe, Canada and across the world. When playing golf, competing players use golf sticks to hit golf balls into multiple holes on a course. The players must use the least number of strokes as possible in order to score more points.
Apart from these 10 sports, there are other sports that are equally popular and watched by scores of people across the world. It is only that they are not as popular or frequently watched as these 10 sports. Athletics, a collection of jumping, running and throwing games, is mostly watched during key sporting events like the Olympics Games which are hosted after every four years. To determine how popular a sport is, you simply need to know how many fans it has and how many people watch as well as play that particular sport.