Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World

People from all over the world actively engage in sports either as a means of earning a livelihood, as a hobby or for fitness purposes. A number of sports have gained massive popularity commanding a huge following universally. For each of these games, there are a dynamic set of rules and guidelines that are overseen by international bodies. Almost all these games are included in Olympic Games and bring together different countries from all corners of the globe so as to compete against each other. In first world countries, sports are lucrative and a good source for generating huge revenues. Here are some of the most popular sports in the world.

1. Soccer

Soccer, also known as association football is one of the top most popular games in the globe. More than half of the world’s population is estimated to be football followers. Soccer proudly enjoys a huge following estimated to be 4 billion people and a universal sphere of influence. Pioneers of soccer have been traced in China back in the second century; it is also thought that Romans, Greeks, and Japanese are possibly the first players of soccer. It is more popular in Europe and America than in any other part of the globe. Normally, it consists of two different teams made up of up to eleven players with two goals. The aim of the game is to drive the ball towards the opponents goal so as to get a score.

2. Cricket

Cricket is estimated to have a 2.5 billion worldwide following, Commonwealth countries and the United Kingdoms being the primary spheres of its influence. The game originated from England in the 16th century and later in the 18th century, it was made a national sport. It usually has two sides each consisting of eleven members; each team wrestles to score more runs than the other. It is very popular in former British colonies

3. Hockey

Its estimated global person following is 2 billions, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia being its primary spheres of influence. England is a land where Hockey was first played in 1800s. It is similar to football only that in this case, sticks are used to move the ball instead of feet. This game is mostly played in India, Australia, and Pakistan.

4. Tennis

Tennis has an estimate of a billion universal following of fans. Its sphere of influence is global. Many different versions of this game are believed to have been played by Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks. Though its modern version was made known in France, it eventually spread to the whole world from France. Tennis consists of two teams with one or two players each. It involves bouncing the ball over a net using a racket. Points are earned when the opponent team fails to throw the ball in a correct dimension of the rectangular shaped court.

5. Volleyball

Volleyball was invented in the United States by William .G. Morgan around 1985. He was serving as a teacher in the Young Men’s Christian Association, and he adapted the concepts of basketball, tennis, handball, and baseball. Over the years, it has evolved into modern day sport, which usually consists of two teams of 6 players each who throw the ball over a net. It has an estimate of 900 million fans globally while its primary influence tracks in Western Europe and North America.

6. Table Tennis

Table tennis commands an estimate of 875 million followers and a global sphere of influence. Its origin is traced back to the 19th century in England. At some point, the game was known as ping-pong. It involves two opponents of two to four players, hitting a light ball over a net from a table using rackets. Countries in which this game is played most includes Korea, Sweden, and China.

7. Basketball

Basketball has a following of 825 million people worldwide and a universal sphere of influence. Dr. James Naismith is an original inventor of this game back in 1891 in the United States. He initially created it as an alternative to soccer because it could be played indoors with less possibility of causing injuries. It normally has two opponent teams each carrying 5 players. There is an elevated hoop a few feet from the ground, and their main aim is to make the ball pass through a hoop successfully.

8. Baseball

Baseball has a following of approximately 500 million followers. It is highly popular in the United States, Caribbean, and Japan. It consists of two teams with nine players each who engage in wrestling and fielding to earn points. Various forms of this game were played in the United States before it obtained national popularity in the 19th century. It then spread to other parts of the globe and evolved into this modern game we now see.

9. Rugby

Rugby’s sphere of influence is in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth; It has an estimate of 475 million people universally. The foundation of this modern day game is in Medieval England. From the United Kingdom, it spread further to British colonies such as Australia and New Zealand. It is played by two teams each having 15 players who carry or kick the ball to pass through the end lines to score some points.

10. Golf

Golf has a global following of 450 million people. Its primary influence is found in Western Europe, East Asia, and North America. Itis consists of the use of two clubs to hit a ball over a determined course using the least amount of strokes possible. The modern version of this game was initially played in Scotland, and from there it spread to the UK and further to other parts of the world.


From this article, it is easy to judge the most loved games the followers’ estimates. In this case, soccer clinches top position of the most popular sports globally. Different sports require different skills, strategy, and aptitude that in some cases are naturally gifted. Though they vary in countless ways, each is played with the same devotion, intensity, and passion by the participants. They are part of the players’ lives either as a hobby or as a career. People of all races, color, religions, gender, and cultures engage in these sports with their determining factors being how fast, strong, smooth and skilled they are. Sports indeed play a major role in uniting people across the world.

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