Best Mega List: Top 50 Most Popular Sports in the World 2021
Last updated on February 20th, 2021 at 07:14 am
Which are the top 50 most popular sports in the world today? Baseball is on this list but let’s find out the rest like soccer, shall we?
Today you will be able to find out the top 50 most popular sports in the world in 2020.
Attention: I will start this list with the top 10 world’s most popular sports down to the top 50…
So make sure you stay to the end because this is a really gigantic list.
but first here are some criteria with which you and I will measure the top 50 most popular sports in the world 2020.
I won’t touch each one of them but just the most important.
The list above is to give you a narrative of how I picked who came first and who came last on this list of most popular sports in the world.
Here we go!
- Fan base around the world
- Popularity around the world
- Popularity on social media
- Sponsorship deals
- TV right deals
- TV Audience
- It’s most renown competition
- How often is it talked about on the Internet
- How much does it make yearly
- Is it accessible to the public
- Average salary by professional sportsmen
Also please know that some of the criteria here are hatched by Sportsshow.com.
I find it particularly if not almost accurate so I have taken some which I find in line with my research to further drill down on this post.
Does the first question become what are the top 10 most popular sports in the world today?
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What are the 10 most popular sports in the world? the top 10 most popular sports in the world is…
- Soccer (4 billion global fans)
- Basketball (3 billion global fans)
- Cricket (2.5 billion global fans)
- Ice and Field Hockey (2.2 billion global fans)
- Lawn Tennis (1 billion global fans)
- Volleyball (900 million global fans)
- Table tennis (850 million global fans)
- Baseball (510 million global fans)
- American football Rugby (411 million global fans)
- Golf (400 million global fans)
Top Ten Most Popular Sport in the World 2020
In deciding who makes this top 10 list, I am going to use things like popularity, fan base and other factors to determine this.
On the No1 spot is football and you probably wondering What is the most played sport in the world right?
The answer is football!
but let’s dive in to find out more about What is the second most popular sport in the world and then the 3rd, 4th, 5th etc.
Soccer 4 Billion Global Fans
You and I probably didn’t know it as soccer then.
but your popular soccer today originated from China over 2000 years ago…
and here is a link for you to catch up on the history of football.
I guarantee it will make up for me not writing much about the history here.
You have heard of soccer but what is it?
How is the game of soccer played?
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world by participation.
Did you know that it is played by 22 players on the football pitch?
Heck look at me!
My bad, I almost forgot you typed the most popular sports in the world into Google just to get here.
but even with that, let me still shed a little light on this hoping you do not mind.
Soccer is played by two teams with 11 players each.
The ultimate goal is to put the ball at the back of the next as this is the only way to win.
The more goals you score, the better you could secure your 3 points.
Usually in the game of soccer, there is the Goalkeeper, Defenders, Midfielders and the attackers.
The Goalkeeper tries to always keeps the ball away from going into his net.
This is because if the ball gets through then his entire team trails behind the opponent.
You may call the goalkeeper the last line of defense…
As for the defenders, their duty is to keep the attackers of the opponent from scoring goals.
The midfielders are the engine room for the game of soccer because a midfielder decides the pace of the game.
As for the attackers, their job is strictly to score goals except you are under strict advice by your coach to also assist in the midfield.
but that’s rarely ever the case!
If you want to become super rich quick then play International football.
The money you could make is just insane but make sure you do because your heart is there.
If it isn’t you could easily just find it very boring…
At least you get the drift from this brief explanation correct?
What is the Global Fan Base of Soccer
Soccer enjoys a huge global fan base that runs into billions.
This is like half of the world’s population…
Imagine that right?
In my country, it is popularly known as the sport that could make the world come together.
These days having a huge following on the Internet means more money.
So you could technically say the new currency is your audience.
With a global fan base of 4 billion soccer sits on the number one spot as the most popular sport in the world.
What is the Popularity of Soccer Around the World
Soccer is almost played in over 199 countries all over the world.
and here is the crazy part, each of these footballing team has a national team as well as a national league.
The national team of Nigeria are popularly known as the Super Eagles.
For England they are called the 3 lions, for Ghana it’s the black stars of Ghana.
Cameroon are known as the indomitable lion of Cameroon.
The list goes on…
While these are the national teams, each country also has a league.
The national league of Nigeria is known as NFL, an acronym for Nigeria football league.
Also you have probably heard of FIFA right?
Well that’s the world’s governing body of football first put together in France.
Also, the world’s most renowned soccer competition which is played by 32 teams is held once every 4 years.
and only Pele is the player in history that have won the FIFA World Cup 3 times in history.
No doubt soccer is the most popular sport worldwide.
What is The Popularity of Soccer on Social Media
Football and social media just goes hand in hand if you ask me.
This is a personally opinion but hey the numbers don’t lie if you are willing to look at it.
On social media football is one of the most followed sport in the world.
Facebook did a great job once they introduce the Facebook live streaming.
This made it even more possible for friends and family to follow it on the go.
and to even think that some iconic stars known worldwide uses these social media platforms is insane.
Here is a few artists that are active on social media…
- Eden Hazard
- Kylian Mpappe
What is The Popularity of Soccer Based On TV Audience
TV audience is another very rich criteria which I believe should be used in the ranking of the most popular sports in the world.
Thankfully I do not stand alone in this school of thought.
I mean Sports shows share this same idea too…
As a matter of fact when football is compared to any other sport based on this factor alone, I think others will lose.
Here in my country, you need to see the population of people that go to a match viewing center.
Even in some cases when there is lots of heat, you still see me focused on the TV because I don’t want to miss anything.
I in particular love watching matches on sport viewing centers because of the fun and arguments on who is the best players in the world.
You would see people from all walks of life sharing their thoughts on this although mostly without concrete facts.
but hey that’s why I enjoy it.
Basketball 3 Billion Global Fan Base
I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of basketball at all.
The last time I tried playing that game was like in the 2002.
As a matter of fact my friend KD is the reason I even tried playing it in the first place.
He was great at soccer but I knew he was much better at basketball.
You that day when we played I jokingly told him, I was never going to play ever again.
and that first time was equally the last time played b-ball.
Basketballers enjoy a very lucrative salary which makes some of its players rank on the list of richest athletes in the world.
Plus in the 3rd world countries like mine, I love how teens and early adults (18 years) come together. form an imaginary court and just start playing the game.
It is magnificent to watch if you ask me but as an individual I simply prefer being by the stand watching.
How is The Game of Basketball Played
Before I tell you how it is played, let’s take a little walk back in time.
I know that line is crazy especially because despite you and I leaving in a modern age, Time Machine has not be invented.
Hopefully 30 years from now it would have been invented.
Basketball was invented in the year 1891 by a Canadian teacher in Springfield Massachusetts.
and it’s been over 100 years old and the name of the invented is James Naismith.
I won’t be delving deep down into the histories of the games listed here.
but I will definitely leave some good links to external sources which will help you drill down on the histories of the game should you want.
Now that you know, I will answer the question of how the game is played.
The game of basketball is played by a team of 5 players on each sides.
The goal is to shoot a ball into the opponents hoots 18inches (46cm) which hangs exactly 10 feet (3m) above the ground with your hands.
During regular play on the field, each player can either score a 3 point or a two-point.
Unlike soccer which one ball through the net is counted as just one, basketball is totally different in this regard.
As a matter of fact a 2 point is scored when you have crossed the 3 point shooting line.
and a 3 point is scored when you are behind the 3 point shooting line.
The ultimate goal is to score more points than your opponent so that you can win.
Basketball is the second most played sport in the world behind soccer.
and it’s biggest event comes up during the FIBA World Cup which is played once in every 4 years.
FIBA on the other hand is the governing body of of basketball.
Basketball enjoys a lot of TV rights and sponsorship deals thanks to a lot of big brands like Nike struggling to get on the financial part of the game.
What is the Global Fan Base of Basketball
Basketball holds a global fan base of 3 billion fans worldwide.
More fans equals more money because the new form of money is in having a fan base.
Basketball may be popular in the US and Canada but this popularity doesn’t extend further than this.
This does not to imply countries around the world do not have national teams or national leagues.
It just means that unlike football it’s less popular around the world but still holds a very good number of fan base.
What is the Popularity of Basketball around the World
Basketball is not as popular as football but hey it’s still very popular around the world.
My country has a national team that competes in the world Cup if she made it through the qualifiers.
it also has a national league much like football but in comparison with football, very few people play this game in my country.
but when you talk about its popularity in the US then it’s a different thing altogether.
because in the US, Canada, China a lot of people play this game there hence it is very popular in all these regions of the world.
What is The Popularity of Basketball on Social Media
Basketball on Social media is just as big as a football, taking the likes of Michael Jordan who are very famous worldwide and a mentor to so many players.
Their fame came about as a result of the game and today the likes of Kobe Bryant may his soul rest in peace and O’Neil all has a huge following on Social media.
Thanks to modern-day technology which provides a means for you and I following some of these stars just by holding the smartphone.
It may not be as popular as football, but it’s by far the second most talked about on Social media in terms of sports worldwide…
Now if you take news headline into account, it’s also on a whole another level.
For example, when Kobe Bryant died, every news outlet in the world picked that…
News headlines don’t talk about what is not popular.
What is the popularity Based on TV Audience
In the USA Basketball is a very popular game.
and the NBA is by far one of the most popular leagues in the world.
I remember my friend Felix in 2019, he did not miss a single FIBA world cup game.
He is so into basketball that I can almost swear he sleeps and dream about basketball.
As for the NBA it is really popular around the world and it is watched by fans all over the world.
but unlike football it does the viewing centers which brings every single fan of football together under one roof.
It is popular around the world but not as popular as soccer by a margin of assembling the criteria I listed above.
Cricket 2.5 Billion Global Fan Base
Oh the mighty cricket game was invented in the year 1901.
about 11 years after basketball was invented by James Naismith.
I won’t talk much on the history because that can make for a whole new blog post…
So here is a link for you read up on the history and rules of the game.
The players of cricket also enjoy a good amount of income but it’s nowhere near basketball or football.
and it’s despite being the 3rd most popular in the world, cricket foot hold is only deeply rooted in 15 countries of the world.
Among these countries are Pakistan and India, UK and Australia.
Yes it may not be as popular as football but a salary of $500K is quite good for such a developing sport.
The number of countries playing cricket can as well double in the coming years.
The game of cricket much like soccer and basketball also enjoy good chunk of sponsorship deals and TV right deals.
Sports Brand around the globe all struggle and compete to land lucrative deals with these teams.
I can’t even begin to stress ICC competition which is the largest height any cricket player dreams of competing in.
ICC is an acronym for International cricket cup.
Despite the less popularity in several countries, cricket is still one of the most popular participation sports in the world.
How is The Game of Cricket Played
The game of cricket is usually called a bat and ball game.
This is because it involves a bat and a ball and 11 players on each team battling it out for the big win.
Essentially there are two innings in the game of cricket.
With each team taking a turn to win the game by preventing opponent from scoring more shots.
I will explain in a very lame man’s theory so you can properly have an understanding.
but before I do that, it is good to know that cricket has 3 formats namely:
You are team A with 11 players…
I am team B with 11 players…
Team A is playing defense in the first innings…
and team B is playing offense in the first innings…
Now team B has all it’s 11 players lined up and Team A is on the wicket trying to keep the ball out with his flat bat.
Now, team B will get the ball, throw it at team A with the utmost force.
Team A’s job is to keep as many as the ball out as possible.
In the second innings team A which has been the defensive team in the first innings would now play offense following the exact same description above.
Whichever team scores more shot wins the game it’s that simple..
Like most sports with a set of rules, cricket also has rules guiding the game, you can read up on it in your spare time.
What is The Global Fan Base of Cricket
Cricket has a global fan base of 2.5 billion only 3rd to basketball and football.
The most interesting thing about this fact is that it is only played in about 15 to 20 countries around the world.
However, these countries’ populations run into several thousands of millions.
Having such a huge global fan base has increased the viewership of the sport in recent years.
What is The Popularity of Cricket Around The World
Cricket’s majority of popularity is in Pakistan, Australia, UK, USA.
Other than being popular in these countries and about 17 more, cricket lags behind in terms of the world’s popularity.
Despite these, it still manages to secure the number 3 spot as SMCE 3rd most popular sport around the globe.
What is the Popularity of Cricket on Social Media & The Internet
Well, thanks to Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg for an idea that’s changed the world in recent years.
Today you can search for almost anything on Google while staying connected to friends and family on Facebook.
Cricket is one of the top 10 most followed sport on Social media.
and when you talk about the Internet using news headlines as a factor, well this is one hell of a popular game on news headlines.
because it is talked about regular with it’s more than 80 matches annually.
This contributes to one of the multiple reasons it has remained relevant all through the season.
Facebook and the Internet have made it very easy to connect to the world.
and as cricket garnered a huge social media presence, this has helped it’s spread to other countries.
What is the Popularity of Cricket Based on TV Audience
Okay, you probably don’t know this but did you know that cricket is one of the most watched sports in the UK?
I bet you did not know!
but hey let me indulge you a little…
Yeah football is a very popular sport in the UK but statistics show that cricket is among the most viewed sports in the UK.
If you combine countries like Sri Lanka, India, this number more than triples.
You remember the 2015 International Cricket World Cup right?
Well, 2.5 billion people around the world tuned in just to see the game.
That’s just crazily huge if you think of the numbers like that.
Ice & Field Hockey 2.2 Billion Global Fans
If you are like so many people in the world today who get tired to do a little research then you probably don’t know when hockey was found.
but, I will tell you because I know I need to tell you.
The debate on who found hockey won’t die down any time soon.
but so you know the first organized hockey game took place in Montreal in the year 1875.
but there is reason to believe that Canada may not be the birthplace of the game.
This however is just a debate with many claiming the game may have first originated from England in the 1790s.
but of course I won’t dive deeper, here is a link to an amazing resource that will guide your part.
Ice hockey and field hockey is the popular form of hockey.
and countries like Canada, UK, US all play the sport but ice hockey has been shown to be a thing of Continent Europe.
Hockey World Cup is the highest stage of the sport with both usually fielded in the Olympics.
Also professional hockey players in NHL record more than $2 million annual salary.
If you think of it, that’s no small money if you ask me right!
So many sports have the female version of the game but I have seen the male version of these sports to be more popular.
Unlike basketball and football hockey is not open to everyone.
This is major because it costs a lot to put the hockey pitch and everything necessary to ensure the game is a success together.
How is The Game of Hockey Played
Hockey is a sport comprising of two teams of 11 players each.
This two team try to outperform each other by using the hockey stick to smash the ball into the opponents goal.
The ultimate goal is to score more goals so you can win the game.
Like every other the previous 3 sports, there are set of rules guiding the game.
Field and Ice hockey are both the different form of hockey.
However, both share the same fan base.
Ice hockey is more popular within Europe and countries like India play more of field hockey.
With hockey holding a fairly larger number of population to the other sports that comes below it, hockey enjoys a good sponsorship deal, particularly in the US.
However, another part of the world that plays the game is just fairly moderate.
What is The Fan Base of Ice and Field Hockey
When you and I talk about ice hockey and field hockey, it is easy to think both are different sports.
but that is not the case, as a matter of fact, the only glaring difference is the fact that one is played on an ice field and the other on a field.
both ice and field hockey share a massive global fan base of 2.2 billion people worldwide.
What is The Popularity of Hockey in the World
Well, hockey is a very popular sport in the world today thanks to the fact that it is played in over 78 countries in the world.
While cricket lags behind in terms of world population playing the sport, hockey isn’t shy of this figure.
but despite being played in over 78 countries, cricket still ranks on top.
Guess it’s clear enough to see that it’s not about the number of countries playing the game.
Due to it’s 2.2 billion population, huge sport and non-sports brands compete for TV right deals.
What is the Popularity of Hockey on Social Media and Internet
Hockey has a reasonable social media following which ultimately means money.
searches on Google about hockey are relatively on the medium but this is can be due to several factors such as time of the year.
In countries like Germany and Netherland, hockey makes the news headline.
but you can’t compare the headline of these countries to that of the US where NHL is the most popular hockey league in the world.
Having said that,
What is the popularity of Hockey On TV Audience
Well when it comes to the TV audience of Hockey, it’s nothing compared to the previous 3.
but its TV audience may vary due to different countries and regions playing the game.
Take for example in India the TV audience for hockey is large.
and in the US and Canada, ice hockey receives a fairly annual audience viewership.
Lawn Tennis 1 Billion Global fans
The game of lawn tennis was invented by Major Walter Wingfield in the year 1873.
The aim was to develop another version of real tennis that could be played as an outdoor sport.
and it was first introduced into the Wales United Kingdom.
Lawn tennis players rank among the sports men with a huge salary.
The annual salary of lawn tennis players can run into several million and the fact that the female audience play this sport too is just another icing on the cake.
You and I know players like Serena Williams who may likely be the female greatest of all time.
Although this is debatable given the fact that such comparisons can hold very true for people athletes born in the 1980s.
Summer looks to be the year that this game is much relevant.
but in general, if you consider how much fans follow Rogers Federer, and other high profile lawn tennis players, there isn’t a year when the game is boring.
with that out of the way,
How is The Game of Lawn Tennis Played
Let me tell you a quick story for fun and please don’t laugh.
So one day, I went to the lawn tennis court to watch a friend play.
I am more of a soccer fan because at some point my big dream was to become a professional footballer.
but that didn’t happen and know that I am totally cool with it so that you don’t start feeling sorry for me.
Okay back to the story!
When I got to the court my friend asked me to handle a racket.
I was hesitant because I have never played this game before.
He was very insistent so I picked up a racket and when I hit the first ball his return almost got me in the eye.
Thankfully some matrix action saved my eyes from getting plucked out that day.
I didn’t return to the court ever again…
So let me show you how the game is played.
Lawn Tennis is game played between two individual known as (singles) or pair of players known as (doubles)
For example, I am playing against you…
i will assume you are individual A and I am individual B.
Individual A serves me the ball, now it is expected that I return your services by using by racket to hit the ball.
Now if I fail to return the ball to you in a tricky way that makes sure you are unable to return it back to me then I lose a point.
Also if my service hits the net then I lose point…
The umpire decides what happens during when the match is being played.
The same thing goes for a pair of players, only this time we are four players in the court with 2 on each side of the court.
What is the Fan Base of Lawn Tennis
The global fan base of lawn tennis stands at 1 billion people worldwide.
Its huge fan base in recent years has also emancipated this sport into the spotlight of most competitive sport in the world.
but a larger of the fan base of lawn tennis can be found in developed countries like the USA and UK among others.
As for the developing countries in the world, they are gradually embracing the game slowly.
If placed on a head to head comparison with cricket or soccer, the global fan base is nothing compared to any of the aforementioned two.
What is The Popularity of Lawn Tennis in the World
Often times I get asked this question a lot Which is the most popular professional sport in the world?
Then I simply respond with “Football” without a second thought.
but if you ask me to list the most participated sports in the world, I definitely would add Tennis to my top 10 of a top 50 list.
Having said that, tennis is very popular and it’s huge fan base highlights this.
I mean competitions like the French Open and Grand Slam is followed by several million around the world.
However, it’s popularity is starting to nudge up in a positive way in several other developing countries.
No doubt tennis is one of the top 50 most popular sports in the world.
Even better is the fact that it holds a comfortable sport in the top 10.
What is the Popularity of Lawn Tennis on Social Media and Internet
The likes of Rogers Federer and Selena Gomez are very popular athletes in the world.
If not even the most talked about in the game of tennis since the mid-2000s.
Their fan base on Social media in a lot of ways come to their aid especially if you pick a debate such as who is the best tennis player between Selena and Stiff?
You should be ready for a long debate…
Internet has become a place where you can find everything and anything.
and as such, news headline, especially in developing countries, uses this to their advantage.
Thus, tennis is very popular among news headlines whether from brands to players to endorsement and sponsorships.
All of these are being read in the news daily, making it a very important sport in headlines.
Popularity Base on TV Audience
Okay, I may not be a fan of tennis but damn 500 million people watching the game is huge.
I have to admit there was a time I would say lawn tennis is among my least favorite sports.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching champions play because it puts every of their practice to the test.
I am talking mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Particularly these are some of the reasons I watch high performing athletes.
It helps me learn to stay on top of my game as a freelance writing and Internet Marketer.
Table Tennis 900 million Global Fan Base
Table tennis (ping pong) was invented by an English firm J Jaques and Sons at the end of the 1800s which is the early 20th century.
The game was later trademark by the Parker brothers a board game company.
According to athleticscholarship.net, the game’s tournament was organized in 1901 with 300 participants.
If you are considering this as a professional job please don’t…
You may ask why and here is my answer.
The salary of table tennis players is low, I mean to the point where it should only be considered as an additional hobby that makes you money.
but if you are passionate about this sport then you may discredit my advice on the matter.
When it comes to sponsorship deals in this sport, it’s pretty low as well as TV right deals.
In general, I won’t consider it as a professional sport despite it being relevant and open to a larger audience of people.
with that out of the way,
How is the Game of Table Tennis Played
Table tennis is a bat and ball game played between two opponents also known as singles or pair of opponent also known as doubles.
The ultimate goal is to keep the ball in play as long as possible hitting it with a bat.
Now whoever if the ball takes a double touch on your half of the table, you lose a point.
Also if the ball lands on your half of the table but failed to return it then you also lose a point.
Here is a photo for you so you do not start to imagine things.
What is the Global Fan Base of Table Tennis
Table tennis is 100 million shy of 5th place lawn tennis.
It holds a global fan base of 900 million worldwide.
Its fanbase comprises of Professional, amateur table tennis players as well as people who play it as a hobby.
This is why it readily displaces golf on top of this list.
What Is the Popularity of Table Tennis in the World
Okay frankly, I am confident this game is very popular.
I remember this one time during the rainy season when I and my brothers use to play table tennis.
It was local giving that we only had a bench we could use.
As a matter of fact the bench was so tiny you almost could feel that it’s impossible to play ping pong on such surface.
but we did, I actually got really good that a contest was organized and I lost to my brother in the end.
The popularity of the game around the world can’t be overemphasized giving the fact that it is played in both developed and less developed countries as a hobby sport.
Its the biggest stage is WTTC which is an acronym for World Table Tennis Championships.
What is the Popularity of Table Tennis on Social Media and Internet
Well I believe by now it’s obvious that table tennis despite being popular among amateurs and hobbyists, it’s social media presence is quite poor.
The only time you almost certainly hear social media and the Internet talking about this sport is during WTTC and in the Olympics.
Other than these times, you could barely hear anything about the game all through the year.
What is TV Audience of Table Tennis
I would say not very much because it’s only rarely played.
Unlike other sports, this majorly played as an hobby except during the Olympics.
For this reasons it’s TV audience is just so small.
Volleyball 900 Million Global Fans
Volleyball was invented by William G Morgan in the year 1895.
The game came four years before Basketball’s invention.
In the early day’s of its invention the game was called mintonnett.
Compared to some of the top 5 most popular sport in the world, the salary of Volley is just normal.
Nothing above the ordinary if put on a head to head comparison with Basketball and football.
Sponsorship and TV right deals look a bit low too but in countries like the US, volley ball league tries to secure a mega-million deal for their brand.
Volleyball is played most especially by men in the larger part of Africa in a non-professional form.
However if you and I consider countries like the US and other developed European countries, VB is played both by the female and male population.
The popularity of volleyball spreads around the world today.
and being a sport that does not need too much to be played, it has become easily available to a larger number of people around the world.
but wait there is more!
How is the Game of Volleyball Played
Morgan who is a graduate of Springfield College invented Volleyball to be a combination of both tennis, basketball, baseball and handball.
It is a game that is played between two teams totaling 12, 6 on each side of the volleyball court separated by a net.
Now, the ultimate goal is scoring enough points by hitting the ball strategically so it touches the ground on the opponent’s court.
If you do this, then you have successfully secured a point.
If you do get enough point during the rounds under the rule of the game then you probably come up as the winner.
What is the Global Fan Base of Volleyball
Volley global Fanbase stands a whopping 900 million people in every nook and cranny of the world which is insane.
This number can’t be exaggerated if you and I consider how readily available the sport is around the world.
I mean even in developing and hunger-stricken part of the Continent of Africa, you still see this game being played severely.
Plus since it’s a semi-professional sport, a larger part of the world continues to adopt it as a hobby sport.
What is the Popularity of Volleyball
Here we go right, in my opinion, if I want to honest, I think volleyball is much popular than cricket.
This is debatable though!
but if I have to consider just one factor and the ready openness to the public then volleyball is more popular.
but this data can be skewed because I am not using just one factor to determine the popularity of all the games listed here.
Volleyball takes the 7th sport on the Shoutmeceleb Entertainment list of top 50 most popular sports in the world.
How Popular is it on Social Media and the Internet
Okay, volleyball may be played around the world even in less developed countries.
but the social media presence is fairly on an average scale relative to other sports on the topmost part of this list.
Plus you seldomly hear about it on news headline and on the Internet in general.
but during the Volleyball championship, this can be different.
If I consider how basketball is popular all throughout the year, I could say VB is also popular almost throughout the year.
but the difference is by far noticeable when you put both sports on an analytic database based upon its social media activities.
What is the Popularity of Volleyball Based on TV Audience
Other than the Olympics where a lot of people who have passion for the sport follow it, I respectfully say it does not have the same amount of TV audience when compared with soccer or basketball.
Baseball 500 Million Global Fanbase
Baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in 1838 in the united state of America.
He wrote and made the rules as well as decided the position of each players of the game.
Doubleday further went on to become a civil war hero according to history.com.
You may read all about the history of baseball to arm yourself with more knowledge on the sport.
Since this is a list of most popular sports in the world, I won’t dive too deep into history.
Do you know that baseball average an annual salary rate of over $3.5 million?
If you compare this figure to some of the popular sports above this is more than a decent amount of annual return.
I love baseball because like basketball, it is widely open to the public especially in the US where it was found.
but other than a few countries where the sport is played, it is negligible in some parts of the world.
The major league of the game is the baseball World Cup.
How is the Game of Baseball Played
The game of baseball is played between 18 players with 9 on both sides.
Baseball joins the family of bat and ball and each of the players take the turn to bat the ball.
The ultimate goal is to score more runs than the opponent team.
The ball is usually thrown by the pitcher and the offense team hits the ball with the bat.
The offense team then move in a counter-clockwise direction around a series of 4 bases termed first, second, third and home plate.
Consequently a run is scored when the runner moves counter-clockwise around the base and then back to the home plate.
I know you are thinking this is a crazy game right?
Well, it’s pretty fun to watch for me especially when I see each of the players making that counter-clockwise run.
What is the Global Fan Base of Baseball
Baseball enjoys a fan base of 500 million people around the globe.
Although this is no where near soccer, cricket, and basketball.
but 500 million is quite huge if you think about other sports around the world not coming close to a million.
Although the game is played majorly in developed countries like the US, it will be fun to see it shift to the developing countries in the world like Nigeria.
I doubt in the next 20 years this will be the case considering Nigeria is more of a footballing country.
What is the Popularity of Baseball in the world
During my research for this post, I see a lot of articles rank baseball above volleyball.
but I am inclined to disagree which is why I have it on the 8th spot of most popular sports around the world.
Although my opinion is based upon hard research, however, this may be debatable considering different sites have their own ranking criteria.
The countries around the world where baseball is played is very small in comparison to volleyball.
As a matter of fact, though open to the public, it’s limiting number of countries plays a huge factor in my ranking.
I may be biased but after considering several ranking factors that I listed at the very beginning of this post, I have to say baseball is the 8th most popular sport in the world today.
What is the Popularity on Social Media and the Internet
Okay, on Social media these guys displace volleyball.
but this data is particular to a few countries like Canada and the US.
While on major news headlines, baseball is popular and searches on Google is pretty high on some of the above-listed countries.
What is the Popularity of Baseball Based on TV Audience
When compared to the other top 6 most popular sport games in the world, baseball TV popularity falls behind.
However, in countries like Japan, the game has a pretty high TV audience.
The same can be said for the united state of America as well.
Okay quickly let’s head on to the 9th most popular sport, shall we?
Rugby 410 million Global Fanbase
According to BBC modern-day Rugby can trace its roots back to 1823 in Warwickshire.
However, it was Williams Webb Ellis that takes the credit for inventing modern-day Rugby.
Here is a link where you can read about the history of the game…
A couple of days back I did a search on Google stringing some of these keywords together…
What is the difference between American football and Rugby?
Here is the difference between Rugby and American football: The key difference between American football and Rugby is that in American football, a field goal is attempted with a teammate holding the ball while that of Rugby is attempted using a dropkick.
I only learned that recently because in my country, other than watching it in movies I have never really had a thing for Rugby.
Unlike most sport games on this list Rugby’s annual salary is low.
According to report by Shmoop.com this figure stands at $50,000 to $60,000 per annum.
The game’s biggest tournament is the Rugby World Cup which is hosted and played every 4 years.
The game is played twice in a decade just like the world Cup which enjoys more TV audiences when compared to Rugby.
The nature of Rugby has made it a very dominant sport within the males and openness to the public is conceivably lower.
I have been telling you all of these but not how the game is played so here we!
How is the Game of Rugby Played
Rugby is a sport played by 23 players on the Rugby pitch.
However, only 15 gets on the pitch with 8 as a substitute.
Position 1, 3 through 9 are known as the forward and 10 through 15 are known as the defense.
Each position requires the body of the player to built in a particular way that can either aid more offense or defense.
A point is scored when a team player touch down with the ball on the opponents half of the field.
The game of Rugby is a very physical game hence protective gear are usually worn to protect different body parts.
but when compared to American football, this is a much less dangerous sport.
What is the Global Fan base of Rugby
Rugby holds a global fan base of 390 million people around the world.
Rugby despite this number is only played in few countries with the game has a very strong footing in France as well as England.
Okay, I know so many sportss on this list enjoy good accessibility to the public.
I may be biased with this judgment because I just got back from a YouTube video where the guy claimed Rugby is accessible to the public.
I beg to differ, I respectfully beg to differ in this opinion simply because Rugby is very physical.
and in my opinion, this is one of the major reasons it’s been majorly dominated by males and also one of the reasons it’s seldomly open to the public.
What is the Popularity of Rugby in the World
While sports like football enjoys great popularity around the world, I can’t say the same for Rugby.
Africa as a continent rarely plays Rugby as a sport with SA being an exception to this.
This is because during precolonial era, the whites specifically the British brought this sport to South Africa.
and after gaining independence, the sport is still very much played because of it’s missed heritage of white and black.
Rugby is majorly popular in some European countries despite this, sports games like B-ball edge Rugby by several million when you and I talk about popularity.
but due to putting together this post, I found out that Rugby is the 9th most popular sport around the world today.
What is the Social Media and Internet Popularity of Rugby
Stars of American football are popular but Rugby just holds a little above average popularity on Social media.
You and I may argue that in countries where Rugby is played they may be popular but just not around the world like CR7 of football.
but when it comes to making news headlines, this is a whole different story.
Rugby is relatively popular on the news, more popular than volleyball despite having a poor social media presence.
What is the Popularity of Rugby-based on TV Audience
Rugby is a popular sport in countries where Rugby is majorly played.
but relative to several countries in the world, Rugby has a pretty low lagging TV AUDIENCE.
Honestly I have never seen anyone gather in my country to watch a Rugby march but if you talk about basketball and football there is a huge gathering.
Having said that, Rugby still enjoy good sponsorship deals as well as TV right deals.
but you seriously cannot compare these figures with soccer.
Finally here is the number 10 on this list…
American Football 410 million Global Fan Base
However a brief history suggests that the sport came about due to reinventing Rugby.
You may knock yourself out with the history here should you please.
American football has been dealing Rugby a knockout punch in recent years.
With the popularity and growth of the sports comes mega brands willing to do business with authorities of the sport.
Take for instance, the sponsorship and TV right deals this sport enjoy is unlike nothing when compared to other sports below it in the ranking.
It has also been a game dominant between the males because of the physicality involved.
Hence it’s less accessible to the general public in countries where the sport is not played.
The reverse of this is the case where American football is being played.
If you watched the just concluded version of Super Bowl then thumbs up to you.
As for me I seldomly watch American football simply because I am a soccer guy.
However, Shakira and Jlos performance at the Super Bowl really drew me in.
and I begin to nod my head, I realize just how easy one sport can cause a rebirth of another.
I mean Rugby rebirthing American Football.
but just in case you do not know why I keep saying Super Bowl, well, it’s every dream of Gridiron soccer players to be on this stage.
Reason being that it’s the league biggest in the history of the game with several US citizen tuning in just to watch the game.
You can ultimately say this is one of the most watched sports in the US today.
Now how is it played?
How is the Game of American Football Played
Gridiron soccer also American football is a field sport played by a team of 22 players with 11 on each side of the pitch.
The ultimate goal of the game is to take the oval ball while passing it around to make a four touch at the opponents 53-yard goal post on the extreme end of the rectangular pitch.
Now here’s where things get a little crazy!
If the team that’s with the ball fails to advance at least 10 yards making these touch down then they risk giving the ball to the opponent’s team.
A crazy set of rules right?
Well, that’s what makes it more fun if you ask me…
American football is extremely physical hence the reason for protective gear like helmet won around the head for protection.
There are different positions assigned to every 11 players on the field giving each player a sense of the duty.
I particularly don’t like this sport because for me the physicality is something I can’t stand honestly.
Sometimes I just feel that running into someone intentionally is crazy but hey for the Americans, this is one of the most enjoyed sports in the US.
Having said that…
What is the Global Fan Base of American Football
American football has a whopping 400 million global fan world wide.
That’s a pretty huge number that plays in just a few countries around the world.
Most of the fan base of Gridiron soccer are the United States of America citizens.
but if you take this same sport and put in the same bucket with basketball with reference to popularity around the globe, basketball comes out on top.
because basketball resonates with a lot of people both in developed and less developed countries in the world today.
What is the Popularity of American Football in the World
American football is popular in quite a handful of countries.
but the majority of its followers are based in the US…
You probably want to ask which countries play American football?
Well, the sad news is it’s only popular in the US as the name suggests.
While football, cricket and tennis enjoy a good global participation, American football lags behind in this aspect.
Well, let’s look at the criteria of social media and the Internet then.
How Popular is Gridiron Soccer on Social Media and Internet
First thing is first, American football players are very popular on social media.
With millions of followers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, America football high profile players are most talked about on the news.
Players in this sport earn an average of $2 million annually.
That’s an absolutely insane number when compared to certain sports on this list.
but all of its social media popularity comes from the US unlike football which stems from all nook and cranny of the world’s population.
What is the Popularity of American Football Base on TV Audience
It has a good TV audiences which usually hits all-time highs during NFL matches.
Again most of these searches comes from the US.
When you take this figure and compare it to the rest of world, what you will find is that TV audience around the world is really poor.
Okay this about summarise the top 10 most popular sports in the world.
but here is something I will do for you as a bonus…
I am going to list each of these sport based on how much views they get, how much participation they also get.
So brace yourself…
Top 10 Most Popular Sports According to YouTube Subscribers
Now this data is not that accurate giving the fact that new subscribers are made almost every day.
Based on YouTube subs this is how the world’s most popular sport ranks
- Association Football Fifa TV 8 million
- Basketball Fiba TV 570K, NBA 10 million
- Cricket ICC 1.5 million.
- Badminton BWF 800K, Shuttle Flash 270K
- Tennis Australia Open TV 270K And ATP Tour 272K
- Baseball MLB 1.5 million
- World Rugby World Rugby 480K
- Volleyball FIVB Volleyball 390K
- Golf Pga Tour 390K
- Table Tennis ITTF 290K
- Ice Hockey NHL-1 million, and Hockey 197K IHF
Top 10 Most Participated Sports in the world includes
This is a list conjured based on the participation so here we go…
- Football (Over 1.5 billion)
- Badminton( 450–800 million)
- Volleyball (300 milliom, however some figures suggest that over 700 million people play the sport.
- Basketball (400 million-800 million
- Cricket (100 million – 500 million)
- Tennis (100 million -300 million)
- Table Tennis (200–250 million)
- Baseball (50–100 million)
- Hockey (Field and Ice) 50 million
- Golf (50 million)
Top 10 most watched sport event in the world includes:
The precise question should be is there any country that football is not the most popular sport?
While soccer is the most viewed sport in the world here is a top 10 list for you…
- Volleyball and Baseball
- Table Tennis
I have written extensively on the top 10 most popular now, let’s dive into the top 20 most popular sport in the world shall we?
Top 20 Most Popular Sport in The World
This list of the top 20 most popular sports in the world continues from where the top 10 stops.
So right on our 11 to 20 spot have got this list…
Here we go!
- Formula 1
- Moto GP
Golf 390 million Global Fanbase
The history of golf is somehow daunting but what I can tell you is that modern-day golf was developed in 1764.
Technically this is when the 18 holes game of golf was invented.
Golf however is popularly known today as a game for the super-rich.
Golf players have been enjoying higher pays in the past decade with the likes of Tiger Wood on several occasions being the world highest paid golfer at some point.
The game of golf is now being increasingly embraced by women too in recent years.
This is particularly good considering it’s been largely considered as a game for the rich men of the society.
Golf is played fairly in developed countries like the US, the UK where the world’s biggest game of golf is being played.
The biggest stages of golf include the US Open and Open Championship both in UK and the US.
Being a rich man sport, sponsorship deals are huge as well as TV right deals during any of the above mention competitive stages.
Now how it played?
How is the Game of Golf Played
The game golf is a game of club and ball that requires precision and focus to land your strokes.
Different players may use different types of a club while hitting the ball to the numbers of hole available.
The key goal is making as many shots with very few strokes as possible in other to win.
What is The Global Fan Base of Golf
Golf has been around for a very long time but being a game of the elderly, this has drastically reduced the number of following globally.
Whereas had it been a game for Millenials, I am confident it would have hit a billion fans’ landmark like most on this list.
With 390 global fan base, the game of Golf sits at the number 11th position just above athletics and badminton.
What is the Popularity of Golf in the World
Golf is a very popular game in the US and UK and some other parts of Europe.
However, this is not the case for less developed countries like Africa.
Plus the fact that it’s a game for majorly the rich of the society has further dwindled its chances of moving up this list of top 50 most popular sports in the world today.
As you may have noticed the game of golf is played between elderly people.
which is more like Millenials already on their peak.
What is the Social and Internet Presence of Golf
The 390 million global fans are majorly elderly people and this is bound to affect its performance on social media.
After all recent studies confirms that social media is mainly Millenials these days.
During the US Open and Open Championship, the game enjoys a massive stream.
and often talked about on Google and the Internet at large.
What is the Popularity of Golf Based on TV Audience
While golf is a very good and professional sports viewership is between the elderly just like I have been saying.
but I find women not to be in this category with scarcely few Millenials turning on their TV to see the sport during its competitive period.
The history of athletics is dated back to 777 BC according to Wikipedia.
The rules and modern-day athletics got a rebrand in the 19th and early 20th century.
You can read about the history of Athletics here assuming you could spare some time.
When you and I talk popularity, this sport is among the oldest and one of 12th popular sport worldwide thanks to Olympic.
The downside though is the fact that its popularity is strictly restricted to the Olympic game.
During this time, the game garners several millions of view.
I love how the sport continues to hold strong during the Olympics and best of all, the male and female gender can participate.
It’s highest competitive stage is WAC acronym for World Athletic Championship formerly known as IAAF.
Who doesn’t love the game of boxing especially after big names like Mike Tyson delivered quite a spectacle during their peak.
The most recent spectacle delivered came in the match between Tyson Fury and Deotaney Wilder.
I mean the guy literally rose from hell’s gate when Wilder delivered a good combination of jabs and the ultimate right hand.
However the world broke into craziness when Fury rose up from Wilder’s right-hand punch.
If you didn’t see that match then you missed a lot but the good thing is you can watch it on YouTube.
The earliest form of boxing can be traced back to the land of the Pharaohs around 3000 BC.
Boxing was introduced to the ancient Olympics by the Greeks.
Then soft leather thongs were used to bind boxer’s hands and forearms for protection.
If you fast forward to modern-day 21st century the game have seen a lot of improvements.
It’s open to the public and it’s majorly a sport for the males.
Its popularity spreads to every nook and cranny of the world.
Boxing competition is a game that involves two opponents attacking and defending with their hands.
It’s made up of 12 rounds and whoever delivers more point by the end wins the game.
Major boxing competitions are held in Europe and US.
Formula A as it is previously called can be traced back to having it’s beginning foundation in European Grand Prix in the 1920s.
However, modern day Formula one dates as far back as 1946 and in 1950 it’s first World Championship of Drivers was held.
The game involves several drivers racing to the finish line and whoever crosses the finish line first wins the race.
The sports cars for this race is developed by several car brands such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Mclaren and more.
The game has become so popular that for its intensity and ability to get you screaming.
It’s open to the public and it’s more of a male sport.
You can read more on the history of formula one here.
Mixed Martial Arts began in the year 1980, it is also popularly known as cage fighting.
It’s a combat sport that involves striking and grappling.
its early origin can be traced back to Brazil and Asian countries such as Japan.
Modern-day MMA is fast growing with an incredible audience.
Anyone can involve in this sport however it’s been found to be more dominant between males.
MMA is gaining momentum in countries like US and its popularity in no time is predicted to spread throughout Europe.
It takes the 14th spot on the top 50 most popular sport in the world.
MotoGP was first invented in the yeae51946 by the Federation of International Motorcyclist.
Since then this sport has gone to one of the popular sport in Europe and the US.
It involves several motorcycle riders racing to the set finish lines.
Whoever crosses the finish line first wins the race…
It’s biggest competitive stage is MotorSport World Championship.
It has also become popular in places like Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and San Marino.
Badminton originated from the Indian version of the game called Poona.
However it was in 1870 that British Army learned the game before the Duke of Beaufort introduced the game at his countries estate in 1873 according to badmintonalberta.ca.
Badminton is game played as an hobby sport around the world today.
It involves hitting a shuttlecock with a racquet across a net.
Point are scored when the shuttlecock lands on the opponent’s side of the court.
You can read about the rules of the game by doing a Google search or follow this link to read all about the sport.
It is the second most participated sport in the world after football.
Cycling was first invented in 1817 by Kari Von Drais who was a German Baron.
Since then, it’s been modified severally to what the bicycle is today.
The game of cycling is way popular in France especially if you have watched Tour de France.
It is obviously is the biggest cycling race in the world but other than this, this sport is mostly preferred as a hobby sport like badminton.
However it enjoys a lot of stream during when tour de France begins.
It involves racing several marathon to cross the finish line.
and whoever crosses the finish line first wins the race.
Swimming became a competitive sport in the year 1830 in England.
Despite swimming being as old as man itself if you and I consider the origin of man Adam. It only became a sport in the 18th century.
Today there ared different swimming competition with the biggest stage being the Olympics.
Swimming involves several competitors battling it out to reach from one end of the pool to another using several swimming strokes such as breast stroke, butterfly stroke and backstroke.
Its popularity is though limited to the Olympics.
Around the world its very popular but mostly as a fun game.
Snooker was invented by Sir Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain in 1856 precisely January 13th.
The game involves using a cue to hit the snooker balls into different pockets.
It’s highest governing bodies include the World Professional Billiard and Snooker Association.
Snooker is played almost all around the world but mostly as a fun sport.
In the UK and Pakistan, it’s plated on a more professional level.
Popularity is there but not it’s social media presence and TV popularity.
Okay,, this ultimate ends this list now let’s get into the top 30 most popular sport in the world, shall we?
Top 30 Most Popular Sports in the World
I know you are tired because this is a really huge list.
However, its worth considering it provides you a lot of value and insight.
Having said that, here is the 30 most popular sport in the world…
- Horse racing
- Water Polo
There you have it top 50 most popular sports in the world. This list comprises so many sports.
And I created it for just you…
So let me know what you think on the comment session.
Thanks if you love it then please share on Facebook today.