The idea of playing sports dates back to around 2000 BC when sports were treated as tests of skills and endurance. In addition to this, they were first and foremost, competitions that were played for the entertainment of the spectators. These days, playing sports has become more than just a form of entertainment and a hobby. Professional sports players in all fields are being paid millions of dollars, not only from playing the game, but also from endorsement deals and sports contracts.
Here is a list of the most popular sports in the world. By popular, it could mean some or several of these factors. First, the most played, the most talked about and the most watched. Second, the most number of registered participants. Third, the most number of national associations. Fourth, the most number of tournaments held across the globe. Lastly, the most number of facilities and stadiums available globally.
BASEBALL Baseball is the sport that is considered to be the favorite pastime in the United States and is among the top ten lists of the most popular sports in the world. At the professional level, it is also considered as a very high paying sport. In the United States in particular, individual players earn approximately $33 million per year. At the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament, the total prize money amounted to as much as $14 million.
BASKETBALL Basketball is a sport that has been around for decades now. It originated in Canada and is particularly popular in China, Philippines and the United States. Basketball is an action-packed sport where players demonstrate athleticism, skills, and strategy. As compared to other sports, basketball has one of the shortest time duration. Top basketball players in the world, like Michael Jordan, make millions of dollars for every game.
CRICKET Cricket is considered to be the third most popular team sport in the world. It is a game that originated in England and is also gaining popularity in Asia, Australia, India and the Middle East. Cricket is a sport with a variety of formats. It can be played by test matches which can last for about five days, or it can be played in a 20-20 format which lasts for about three hours. The 20-20 format is particularly favored by most countries participating in this sport in the international level.
FOOTBALL Football is also known as Soccer in many regions. It is considered to be the oldest, apart from being the most celebrated, sport in the world. Soccer is a team sport with a huge following and it is mainly because it is one sport that requires very little equipment and the basics can be learned quite easily in the amateur level. The game is highlighted by simply driving the ball to the opponent’s goal post and blocking the opponent from doing so. At the professional level, football is also among the highest paying team sports.
GOLF Golf is among the most popular sports which can be played individually. The focus in this game is the player’s unique skill and brilliance. Although this sport is considered to be a game that can be played only by the wealthier class, people from various walks of life choose to watch. Unlike other sports, a golf course offers a unique and natural environment where players can play in the quiet of scenic beauty and green lands. Golf is an individual sport where famous players like Tiger Woods can earn millions of dollars.
RUGBY Rugby is a sport that can be played in two forms. One is Rugby Union and the other is Rugby League. Rugby Union is among the biggest sports events in the world. It is particularly famous in Argentina, Australia, Cook Islands, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Madagascar, New Zealand, Romania, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga and Wales. With just a few minor changes in rules, the Rugby League is much the same as the Rugby Union. This sport is famous in Australia, England, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom and Wales.
TABLE TENNIS Table Tennis is one unique game as compared to other sports in that it requires a relatively lesser space. This is why so many schools, recreational centers and clubs have a table tennis court in their facilities. Although the game involves less running, a serious game of table tennis is a good alternative for exercise because of the swift movements that it requires.
TENNIS Tennis is a sport that is popular and can be played by both men and women. It can be played in two variants. One is between two individual players and the other is between two teams with a pair of players each. There is no fixed time duration in this game so it can actually turn out to be a test of stamina and endurance.
VOLLEYBALL Volleyball is a team sport that is gaining popularity among both men and women across the globe. It is played between teams with six players each and the game can be held indoors or outdoors. Volleyball is the national sport of Sri Lanka and is particularly famous in Brazil, Canada, Italy, Russia and the United States.