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Top 7 Most Popular Sports in the World

Sport is one of the most important pastimes in the world. We like to do it because it’s fun and healthy. We also watch sports en masse. In packed stadiums and sports halls or on television and the internet. What are the seven most popular sports in the world when we add up spectators and practitioners? The outcome is sometimes surprising. The list was compiled from non-GamStop sports betting sites.

7. Baseball (500 Million Fans)

Baseball was developed in the United States in the 19th century.

Early on, the sport unleashed a real craze.

Baseball became the national sport and is inextricably linked to the American summer feeling. In addition, baseball has always been popular in Japan where it always attracts the most spectators. For a long time, Americans dominated their own sport, but Asian and South American players are increasingly making the switch to the Major League. Due to the large number of successful players in the Major League, the popularity of baseball in many Latin American countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic is at an all-time high. Star players have the same status as movie stars. Player strikes did not help the sport’s popularity in the early 1990s.

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Baseball as popular sport in the world
Photo Credits – Pixabay

6. Table Tennis (850 Million Fans)

Table tennis is certainly not the most popular spectator sport in the world. But since it has been China’s national sport for years, it has a large number of amateur players like no other sport. Table tennis is cheap and can often be played with improvised bats, nets and tables. Thanks to an abundance of talent, the international championships have been dominated by Chinese table tennis players for decades. Very occasionally a European manages to break through the hegemony, such as the Swede Jan-Ove Waldner who became the Olympic champion in 1992.

5. Volleyball (900 Million Fans)

Like table tennis, volleyball is easy to play. You just need a net and a ball. The game can be played on all kinds of surfaces (grass, concrete, sand), making it extremely popular in good weather. As a professional sport, it is quite young and was only introduced at the 1964 Olympics. Beach volleyball has become a craze and a popular beach sport in recent decades. In 1996, this variant where you can make spectacular dives was admitted as an Olympic sport. Brazil and the United States have dominated beach volleyball for years. In conventional volleyball, the strong countries, including the Netherlands, vary much more.

4. Tennis (1 Billion Fans)

The archetypal form of tennis dates back at least to the Middle Ages. In the 19th century, the sport was modernized and took on the form we still know today. The British supremacy was quickly overturned and since then top players can come from all over the world. Tennis is one of the most popular spectator sports in the world and the four major tournaments (Grand Slam) are spread over three continents. Roland Garros and Wimbledon in particular traditionally attract many viewers. Tennis courts can be found everywhere on which people play for fun until old age. Tennis was far ahead of its time in terms of commercialism and prize money. As a result, tennis players are invariably among the highest-paid athletes in the world.

3. Hockey (2 Billion Fans)

The basis of hockey is also ancient. Like tennis, it was transformed into a modern sport with fixed rules in the 19th century in Britain. Hockey is surprisingly popular worldwide without having developed into a successful commercial spectator sport in the West. Hockey was widely played in the British colonies, including densely populated India and Pakistan. Both countries, together with the Netherlands, have been in charge for a long time, in addition to which Germany sometimes plays a significant role with a good generation of players. The sport is also very popular in Argentina, which means that the country is increasingly getting high marks at major tournaments.

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England Cricket Team
England Cricket Team(Image: ECB)

2. Cricket (2.5 billion fans)

Too often cricket is seen as an old-fashioned English pastime. But like hockey, the popularity of cricket in the rest of the world can be traced back to the British Empire. In India and Pakistan, the sport is followed with passion and it is many times more popular than the sports we like to watch in Europe. Cricket is one of the oldest sports with official rules that are difficult for outsiders to follow at first. The fact that competitions can sometimes last for days creates a unique slow competition rhythm that is at odds with the hectic pace of modern life. Cricket is widely played in Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean. Since 1975, cricket has had a world championship that, like football, is played every four years. The painful detail is that England has never managed to win the tournament. The Netherlands has participated in the World Cup four times so far.

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Most Popular Sports in the World
Photo Credits: Man City Football Club

1. Football (3.5 billion fans)

By far the most popular sport in the world is football. This British invention also became an official sport with fixed rules in the 19th century. Some of the clubs playing in the Premier League today are among the oldest in the world, such as Stoke City, which was founded in 1868. Football soon spread to the rest of the world. After all, all you need for football is a ball. You can make a goal with stones, trees or jackets. Football can be played anywhere on the street, in the park or on the beach. Football emerged in South America in the 1920s and Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil are still superpowers where the sport is followed with passion. The rise of television has been critical to football. This allowed more and more money to be generated and professional leagues sprang up everywhere. Despite temporary dips in popularity, from hard play in the 1960s to fan riots and stadium disasters, football always manages to bounce back. In recent years, women’s football has been on the rise (also in the United States), which means that the number of fans is only increasing. The World Cup has been held every four years since 1930 and has become the most-watched sporting event in the world.

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