What Are the Most Popular Sports In the World?

No one in their right mind would chastise you if you knew nothing about a sport like Jai-Alai (a variation of the Basque pelota where you throw the ball at a wall at incredible speed using a hook of sorts). On the other hand, even those among us who are not athletically-inclined have had plenty of opportunities to cheer their country on during world championships.

Some sports are more popular than others. To find out which is which, simply look out the window, and watch what the children are playing on the street. We have made it our mission to find out more, so we have compiled a list of the most popular sports in the world. Enjoy!

Soccer

This is the undisputed number one in the world of sports. The whole world enjoys this sport, and everyone and their grandma played it when they were younger. If you are not familiar with it, it is a sport played between two teams of 11 members each. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hand. The goal is to strike the ball into the net of the opposing team.

Believe it or not, soccer has been around for quite some time. In fact, one of its predecessors was played as far back as 200 BC. There were variations that were much more violent and, often, with higher stakes than today. Over 3 billion people watch this sport, meaning that, roughly, one in three people on this planet is a soccer fan.

Cricket

This might shock some, but the second place doesn’t go to baseball, tennis or even basketball – it goes to cricket. It isn’t played just in England. The place where most people play it is in India, where they have 51 international cricket grounds, and more than 20 teams.

India has given England a run for their money in this sport. Other notable countries that play it often are Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Be careful who you colonize, eh? 2.5 billion people enjoy cricket.

Field Hockey

Not going to lie, this one caught me by surprise as well. Apparently, field hockey is a sport that has its origins in the Middle Ages on the British Isles and the Netherlands. There are eleven players on each of the two teams and they try to hit a ball using sticks.

There are two international events where field hockey steals the spotlight – the Olympic Games and the Hockey World Cup (interestingly enough, this competition also takes place once every four years).

Tennis

Here is the sport that has been getting a lot of media attention in the past twenty years. Even if you are not a tennis fan, you no doubt know who Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are. You are also aware of the names that have rocked the female tennis like Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Angelique Kerber, and Serena and Venus Williams.

There are four annual events that are the most important in the world of tennis. They are the Grand Slams, and they are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. These events are followed around the globe, and it isn’t unusual for a crowd to gather outside the Wimbledon to enjoy the game on the giant screen. Now, that’s love and dedication.

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