Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World

The popularity of sports depends on many factors, one of which is the number of fans around the world.
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We all have our favorite sports, but which sports are the most popular around the world? The problem is coming up with a clear defining meaning for popular. In the following list, the popularity of sports is calculated based on:

- The number of fans of that particular sport on social media

- The number of professional leagues around the world

- Number of professional people associated with that sports

- The popularity of prominent athletes or players of that sports

- The number of people who follow or watch mega-events of that sports

- Wealth or Net Worth of professional individual or teams associated with that sports

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Golf (Photo: Tag Heuer)

Golf

Number of Fans: 450 Million

Popularity Region: United States, Italy, New Zealand

Number of Leagues: More than 10

Mega Events: Olympic Games, Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup

Popular Leagues: PGA TOUR, LPGA, THE PLAYERS Championship

Perhaps one of the most popular pastimes in the world, according to Golf Today, 60 million people around the world regularly participate in the sport. The definition of regularly playing golf in these figures equates to taking part in one round of golf per year or using a facility such as a driving range.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Baseball. (Photo: Jakarta Globe)

Baseball

Number of Fans: 480 million

Popularity Region: United States, Mexico, Cuba

Number of Leagues: 10 Plus

Mega Events: World Series, World Baseball Classic

Popular Leagues: MLB, Minor League Baseball, National League

Historically baseball was more popular in America than anywhere else in the world, but the sport is now becoming increasingly popular in other countries such as Japan. Softball is the female version of the game, and it is estimated by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) that 65 million people play either baseball or softball in over 140 countries.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Ice Hockey. (Photo: Olympics News)

Ice Hockey

Number of Fans: 500 million

Popularity Region: Canada, United States, Russia

Number of Leagues: More than 30

Mega Events: Winter Olympics, Stanley Cup, World Cup

Popular Leagues: NHL, KHL, American Hockey League

Ice hockey is the 8th most popular sport in the world right now. It has around 500 million fans that made it one of the most followed and most-watched sports around the globe. It is a contact team sport which is played on ice. Ice hockey is one of the most entertaining sports in the world.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Rugby (Photo: AP)

Rugby

Number of Fans: 500 million

Popularity Region: USA, England, France

Number of Leagues: More than 20

Mega Events: Olympic Games, World Cup

Popular Leagues: Super League, National Rugby League

Both rugby and American football originated from soccer. The split between the sports has created three sports, all of which are widely watched. Like American football, rugby enjoys popularity in highly condensed regions. Australia, New Zealand, France, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga are the countries where rugby is most regularly watched, with Australia pulling in the most viewers.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Photo: CGTN

Volleyball

Number of Fans: 900 million

Popularity Region: Brazil, China, Russia

Number of Leagues: More than 50

Mega Events: Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup

Popular Leagues: FIVB Volleyball World League, Federation Internationale de Volleyball

While volleyball may not have the money or viewers of other sports on this list, it is unique. Volleyball is one of the most evenly spread sports in terms of popularity. Almost every country watches a moderate amount of volleyball. In fact, volleyball isn’t the leading sport of any country, yet it makes our list at number 6, above football and baseball. Most of this popularity stems from its Olympics status, and it’s one of the most-watched Olympic sports during the Summer Games, said Baller Status.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Boxing (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Boxing

Number of Fans: 900 million

Popularity Region: USA, Mexico, Japan

Number of Leagues: More than 50

Mega Events: Boxing at the Olympics Games, World Boxing Championships

Popular Leagues: Ultimate Fighting Championship, One Championship

Boxing is the fifth most popular sport in the world with more than 900 million fans around the world. Another popular and powerful factor about boxing that made it popular, is the individual wealth and net worth of players. Some boxers are listed among the richest athletes in the world. People worldwide, especially in the USA, Mexico, and Japan like and watch boxing.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Tennis (Photo: Web The Thao)

Tennis

Number of Fans: 1.5 billion

Popularity Region: Europe, America, Asia

Number of Leagues: More than 50

Mega Events: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon

Popular Leagues: US Open, Davis Cup

Tennis is the fourth most popular sport in the world with more than 1.5 billion fans. There are more than 50 professional tennis leagues around the world with a number of mega-events. This is a different type of sport with a single or two team members. Mega-events and big rivalries matches have more than 1.5 billion fans.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Cricket (Photo: Cricket World)

Cricket

Number of Fans: 2.6 billion

Popularity Region: Asia, South Africa, Australia

Number of Leagues: 10+ (Series Based)

Mega Events: ICC World Cup, ICC T20 world cup, Champions Trophy

Popular Leagues: IPL, PSL, BPL

The majority of participants of this sport come from Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK, but cricket is also on the rise in other countries all over the world. The International Cricket Council (ICC) identified that an impressive 125 countries around the world play the sport.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Basketball (Photo: NBA League)

Basketball

Number of Fans: 2.7 billion

Popularity Region: USA, Canada, Europe & Africa

Number of Leagues: More than 100 Around the world

Mega Events: FIBA World Cup, NBA Finals, Olympic Games

Popular Leagues: NBA, FIBA, EuroLeague

Basketball is a very popular sport played all around the world, though it is more popular in certain countries particularly the US where it was invented.

The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) estimates that a minimum of 450 million people play the sport around the world, be it recreationally or through structured competitions. Legendary figures in the world of basketball such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, have aided the rise in global popularity of the sport from its American roots, according to Real Buzz.

Top 10 Most Famous Sports In The World
Football (Photo: Olympics)

Football

Number of Fans: 4.1 billion

Popularity Region: Worldwide, especially Europe & Africa

Number of Leagues: More than any other sports

Mega Events: FIFA World Cup, Euro Cup, UEFA Finals, El Classico

Popular Leagues: English Primer League, La Liga, UEFA Champions League, Series A

No matter where you watch a football match, one thing never changes. That one thing is the passion that everyone around the game contains for football. Regardless of what part of the world you are in, the passion for the sport remains the same. No other sport in the world can rival the passion during matches and in the week leading up to each match every week in world football, said Bleacher Report.

One of the best times during each football season is when two bitter rivals face off against each other. A perfect example of this would be the Manchester United vs. Liverpool matches that showcase two of the most successful clubs in English football. Other rivalries get created through continental matchups like Barcelona vs. Manchester United in two of the last four UEFA Champions League finals.

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20:55 | 26/11/2022
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