Today we are going to take a look at the top 10 most popular sports in the world. But before we do that it is important to know the importance of sports and the criteria that should be used to make a ranking of sports.
Sports play an important role in our lives. From the early childhood years where we take sports very seriously to the later years in life where we consider it as a hobby, a fitness ritual, and sometimes even a profession. Today in every part of the world some sport is passionately followed. People take their sporting heroes as their role models and often have an emotional attachment with their favorite sports stars and sports teams. People in different regions of the world have different favorite sports. This makes ranking sports quite a challenging and difficult job. This is exactly why it is hard to ascertain the reliability and accuracy of different sports lists out there.
Here, it is important to know exactly what do we mean by most popular sports. The word “popular” could mean “most watched sports,” “most played sports,” or “most revenue-generating sports”. But in all honesty, it would be unfair to rank the sports by popularity, if we take just one or two criteria. Therefore, we have decided to use 15 different criteria in order to rank the most popular sports in the world.
Criteria Used for Ranking:
- Global Fan Base and Audience
- Viewership on TV
- TV Rights Deals
- Popularity on Internet
- Presence on Social Media
- Number of Professional Leagues in the World
- Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues
- Sponsorship Deals
- Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular
- Biggest Competition
- Relevancy Throughout the Year
- Gender Equality
- Access to the General Public
- Number of Amateur Players in The World
- The prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media
We have used these extensive criteria in order to make sure that we can accurately ascertain the popularity of different sports and rank them in the correct order. Hopefully, this list compiled after thorough research would be helpful for you. Do let us know what you think about this list and the popularity of different sports in the world in the comments section below.
Most Popular Sports in The World
1. Soccer / Association Football – 3.5 billion fans
At the top of the list of Most Popular Sports is soccer with 3.3-3.5 billion fans all over the world.
2. Cricket – 2-3 billion fans
Cricket is 2nd Most Popular Sport in the World with 2-3 billion fans (Across India, UK, Pakistan, Asia, Australia, etc.
3. Basketball – 2-3 billion fans
With approximately 2-3 billion fans in the US, Canada, China, and the Philippines, Basketball is the 3rd most popular sport in the world.
4. Hockey – 2.2 billion fans
Hockey [field + Ice] is the 3rd Most Popular Sport on Earth with 2-2.2 billion fans in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, etc.
5. Tennis – 1 billion fans
At No 5 in This List is Tennis. with around 1 billion fans in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
6. Volleyball – 900 million fans
With around 900 million fans across Asia, Europe, Americas, and Australia, Volleyball is the 6th Most Popular Sport in the World.
7. Table Tennis – 900 million fans
Around 900 million fans from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas makes Table Tennis 7th most popular sports in the world.
8. Baseball – 500 million fans
There are Around 500 million fans in the US, Japan, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, making Baseball 8th Most Popular Sport in the World.
9. Rugby – 410 million fans
The 9th most popular sport with around 390-410 million fans (France, England, New Zealand, and South Africa mainly)
10. American Football – 410 million
The 10th most popular sport with around 390-410 million fans (the US mainly)
11. Golf – 390 million fans
Golf is at No 11 in Popularity in the World among other Sports. with more than 390 million fans in the US, Canada, and Europe.