Most Popular Sports in the World

Sports play an important role in our lives. They give players an opportunity to exercise, as well as encourage them to inculcate the essential trait of teamwork. In fact, sports play a major role in bringing people together from all over the world. They make up for good occasions to meet new people and create long-lasting friendships. However, it is not necessary to play a sport in order to enjoy it, as many people satiate their fascination for a particular sport by watching it as a means of entertainment. There are a myriad of sports that are played and watched by numerous people all around the globe. Therefore, Podium brings you a brief insight into some of the most popular sports in the world.


A Popular Football Player, Cristiano Ronaldo

With an estimated 4 billion supporters, football, often known as soccer in the United States and Canada, is the most popular sport on the planet. Football’s popularity originates from the fact that, unlike other sports, football does not require expensive equipment. All you need to play is a ball and your trusted foot. Football is played all across the planet and is massively popular in Central and South America, Africa, as well as Europe.

In this sport, two teams of 11 players seek to manoeuvre the ball into the goal of the other team using any portion of their bodies, except for their hands. Meanwhile, the goalkeeper can handle the ball with his hands in the penalty box. The winner is the team with more goals after the end of a 90-minute long game.

Thanks to its simple fundamental rules and equipment, football can be played almost anywhere on the planet. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) claimed that there were approximately 250 million football players and over 1.3 billion people who were “interested” in football all around the world.

Players such as Cristiano RonaldoPele, and Maradona are some of the best in the history of football.

Origin of Football

Football was invented in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century. Since the middle ages, “folk football” games have been played in cities as well as villages of Cawston in Nottinghamshire, England, following local customs, and with few regulations. From the early nineteenth century onwards, the game’s status was harmed by industrialization and urbanisation, which reduced the amount of leisure time and space available to the working class. In addition, a long history of legal bans on particularly aggressive and destructive versions of folk football reduced the popularity of the sport.

In 1843, the University of Cambridge tried to standardise and codify the rules of play, and by 1848, most public schools had adopted these “Cambridge laws”. After a series of meetings with clubs from metropolitan London and neighbouring counties, the printed rules of football, which prohibited the carrying of the ball, were published in 1863. As a result, the Football Association (FA) excluded ruby’s “handling” game. The FA had ruled it unlawful for anybody besides the goalkeeper to touch the ball by 1870.


NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 20: India captain Virat Kohli celebrates reaching his century during day three of the Specsavers 3rd Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge on August 20, 2018 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Cricket, another popular game, has a 2.5 billion-strong fan following throughout the globe. The sport is vastly famous and enjoyed in countries such as India, Australia, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and other former British colonies.

Cricket consists of two teams and the one who scores the most runs wins the game. It is played on a pitch, which is a rectangularly shaped area in the middle of the ground where the bowler bowls to the batsman. When the ball is thrown towards a batsman at the other end of the pitch, it is the batsman’s aim to hit the ball and gather runs for his team. Two sets of three stumps, known as wickets, are set on the ground at each end of the pitch. In addition, two horizontal pieces, known as bails, are placed over the wicket, which helps to determine when the wicket is put down or broken. Each team takes turns batting and bowling in rounds known as the “innings”.

Each team has either one or two innings (in Test Cricket) to score more runs than the other. The bowlers use a straight arm to try and shatter the wicket by making the bails fall with the ball. In a variety of ways, the batsman might be dismissed or put out. A bowler can bowl six balls in a row to a particular batsman. This is known as an over. After completion of an over (six legal deliveries), the bowler changes and the batters have to change sides. For the new over, the batsman switches place with another batter who was at the non-striker end till the end of the previous over.

Players such as Virat KohliDon Bradman, and Brian Lara are considered the greatest cricketers of all time.

Origin of Cricket

Cricket was invented in a village during the 13th century. Experts agree that cricket originated from the games played by youngsters, who lived in Weald, a region of dense woodlands and clearings in southeast England, during the Saxon or Norman periods. Cricket was first mentioned as an adult sport in 1611, and a dictionary described cricket as a boys’ game in the same year. It’s also possible that cricket evolved from bowls, wherein, a batsman attempts to deflect the ball away from its intended target by hitting it away.

Since the 17th century, the ball, which was formerly a stone apparently, has remained largely unchanged. In 1774, the weight of the ball was standardised to be in between the range of 5.5 to 5.75 ounces (156 to 163 grammes). The primitive bat was most likely a tree branch shaped like a modern hockey stick, but much longer and heavier. To bat against length bowling, which had evolved among players in Hambledon, a small village in the south of England, the transition to a straight bat was made. Interestingly, batting dominated bowling during the 18th century due to the lack of superior bowling technique.

In the 17th century, Cricket was brought to North America for the first time. Afterwards, it spread to other areas of the world in the 18th century. Colonists introduced it to the West Indies, while British East India Company seafarers introduced it to India. It came to Australia immediately after settlement began in 1788, and it spread to New Zealand as well as South Africa in the early 19th century.


Hockey has a global audience of around two billion people who watch the game on ice as well as on the field. The sport is mostly played in Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as Australia. Unlike football, the teams have to put the ball inside the opposition’s goal with their hockey sticks, and not their foot.

Origin of Hockey

The Hockey Wizard of India, Major Dhyan Chand

Hockey’s origins can be traced back to antiquity. A rudimentary form of the game was played in Egypt 4,000 years ago and in Ethiopia around 1,000 BC. According to historical documents, around 2,000 BC, an older version of the game was apparently played in Iran. Several museums have evidence that the Romans, Greeks, as well as Aztecs all played a variant of the game over a long period of time.


A Tennis Player in the Middle of a Match

Tennis is enjoyed by an estimated one billion people worldwide, who tune in from every continent. Players on opposite sides of an extending net seek to strike a ball with their racquet, such that it either goes past or bounces twice on their opponents’ side, to score points in the game. Roger FedererSerena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray are some of the most renowned figures in the entire game’s history.

Origin of Tennis

Although there has been much debate about who invented modern tennis, the game was formally acknowledged as a centennial celebration in 1973, commemorating Major Walter Clopton Wingfield’s invention of the game in 1873. When J.M. Heathcote produced a superior tennis ball composed of rubber, coated in white flannel, the MCC established a new, standardised set of tennis regulations in 1875.


An Intense Volleyball Match

Volleyball is an extremely popular sport that has a strong fan base of 900 million people. The game is widely played in Western Europe and North America. Another form of the sport is beach volleyball, which is played on sand instead of a court.

Origin of Volleyball

The United States invented the sport. Volleyball is now beginning to gain the same level of popularity in the US as it has on a global scale, where it ranks second only to soccer in terms of participation sports.

Table Tennis

A Chinese Table Tennis Player

This sport is very similar to lawn tennis. However, unlike lawn tennis, it is played on a table instead of a lawn. The game is considered to be one of the most highly skilled sports to master. Table Tennis is very popular in Europe, Africa as well as Asian countries.

Table Tennis Origin

This sport too, like many others, originated in England. Table Tennis or Ping Pong was inspired by lawn tennis. Initially, when the game was first invented, a champagne cork would have served as the ball, cigar boxes as bats, and books as the net. The first game of tennis on a table was established in 1890 by David Foster, an Englishman. He was drawn to the game by its widespread popularity. Gould, a British bat enthusiast, was the first to develop rubberized pimples and bats. This led to the first match in table tennis history, and the game was on!


LeBron James, A Well Known Basketball Player

The goal of basketball is to score points by throwing the ball (basketball) into a hoop. The game is played on a rectangular court, and the number of points scored is determined based on the part of the court from where you successfully throw the ball into the basket. Dribbling or passing the ball can be used to move it around. The team that manages to secure more points than their opponent is declared the winner of the game. It is especially popular because, like football (soccer), it requires little equipment aside from two baskets and a ball, making it an accessible sport for people around the globe.

Origin of Basketball

Dr James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School (YMCA) (now, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, tried to keep his gym class busy on a rainy day in early December 1891. During the long New England winters, he looked for a vigorous indoor game to keep his students interested and fit. He drafted the fundamental rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot (3.05 m) raised track after rejecting alternative concepts as excessively harsh or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums. Unlike current basketball nets, this peach basket kept its bottom, requiring balls to be physically collected after each “basket” or point scored. This proved to be inefficient, and therefore, the bottom was removed, allowing the balls to be poked out with a long dowel each time.


A Scene From a Baseball Game

Rounders and cricket, two English games, are said to have influenced America’s national pastime. Like cricket, in baseball, two teams compete against each other and hit the ball with a bat in order to score points. The sport is so enjoyable that it has earned a lot of popularity.

Origin of Baseball

Between 1845 and 1857, the rules of baseball were written down in the New York Knickerbocker Club, where 17 clubs attended the conference, which ultimately led to the creation of the National Association of Base Ball Players. Alexander J. Cartwright, a bookseller and Knickerbocker Club founder, is credited with founding the 14 rules, including the three outs to end an at-bat, the concept of a foul ball, and finally, the usage of the word ‘to pitch,’ rather than the verb ‘to throw,’ as was the case at the time. William Wheaton, another Knickerbocker Club founder, was most likely one of the founding fathers of the sport, who played a key role in establishing the regulations of the game. In fact, the clubs also established the 90-foot space between bases, 9-man teams, and 9-inning games during the 1857 conference.


France’s scrum-half Antoine Dupont runs with the ball to score a try during the Six Nations rugby union tournament match between France and Ireland at the stade de France, in Saint Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 31, 2020. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Rugby is currently most popular in countries such as England, New Zealand, and Australia. The goal of the game is to score more points than your opponents in the 80 minutes that each rugby match is allotted. The team that manages to secure more points than their opposition becomes the winner of the game. It’s possible for the games to result in a tie. The players in this game wear very little protection compared to American football players, who wear a lot of padding and strong helmets to protect themselves.

Origin of Rugby

Rugby is supposed to have begun in 1823 at Rugby School in Warwickshire, England. It happened when William Webb Ellis decided to pick up a ball and run with it during a game of football. In 1863, a group of boarding schools and clubs agreed on a set of rules, and the Rugby Football Union was officially founded in 1871. The first-ever international match was played between England and Scotland in the same year, with Scotland winning 1-0.


Golf is a sport that consists of hitting the golf ball while aiming to put it into a small hole across the golf course, with the purpose of doing it with a minimum of strokes. The word “golf” is derived from the Dutch words “kolf” or “kolve,” which mean “club.”This sport is very popular in Western Europe, East Asia, and North America.

Golf Origin

A Player Swinging His Gold Club

In Scotland, in the kingdom of Fife, the first golf games were played. Initially, golf was played with sticks, pebbles, and rabbit holes. Interestingly, King James II despised all the fun since it distracted him from his military efforts. Wooden golf clubs were used in Scotland for the first time. King James IV, a big fan, had a bowmaker construct his own set of clubs.


People like sports because it provides them with goals. In addition, they are able to experience some fun family time and an enjoyable way to stay in shape. Moreover, sports, particularly popular ones like cricket and football have the ability to draw divergent individuals together in ways they would not otherwise interact. Thus, these are the reasons why a variety of sports have such die-hard fans and player bases all around the planet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Future of sports?

Answer: The sports sector of the future will most likely not resemble that of today. New ways of performance enhancement are being introduced as a result of technological advancements in coaching and training. Furthermore, fans will benefit from augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other new technologies that will bring them closer to sports stars and provide new insights into the games they love.

In addition, players will compete not only in real-world situations but also in virtual ones. The increased popularity of video games has spawned esports. These global circuits of gaming events now attract over 300 million followers.

All in all, both traditional and emerging sports will strive, expand, and provide new methods to entertain and enthuse fans.

Which is the most skilled sport?

Answer: Golf is, of course. Anyone who has never swung a ball about a field with a club has no idea how irritating and tough it can be. When you watch the pros play the game, you can’t help but respect their skill level. They frequently make the game appear to be quite simple. A golf swing is an art form in and of itself, with four essential components: grip, stance, backswing, and follow-through. Therefore, all of these elements necessitate a skill set that only the finest can provide. It takes days of practise and determination to become the best. The next time you consider playing golf, you may find yourself surprised by the degree of talent it takes to master the sport.

What is the easiest sport?

Answer: Running takes the title of the easiest sport to play in 2022. This is most likely the first sport that a person is taught. Walking is a fantastic sport in and of itself, but what could be better? Running or walking at a fast pace. Therefore, unless one is participating in track and field, there are no rules for this sport. Professional racing necessitates a great deal of preparation and discipline. If it’s simply for pleasure, however, there are no regulations to follow. Running is good for the heart and maintains the body in great shape.

Which is the most expensive sport?

Answer: Formula One is, without a doubt, the most expensive sport on the planet. Few people can afford to participate in this type of racing on their own. Thus, it is usually done with the support of corporate sponsors or patronage. A Formula One car can cost over a million dollars. The cost of fuel, racing track rentals, crew, and practice hours can quickly add up.

Who are the top athletes in football?


  • Cristiano Ronaldo: The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is hailed as the greatest footballer to have ever lived. Born in Madeira, Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo has played for four senior clubs across his illustrious career. These clubs include Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. He currently plays for Manchester United.
  • Lionel Messi: Is considered to be one of the greatest talents football has ever produced. In fact, Messi’s career has been nothing short of extraordinary. He is easily the greatest dribbler in the football industry. Mesi currently plays for Paris-Saint Germain, after making a move from FC Barcelona last summer.
  • Sergio Ramos: Ramos is hailed as the greatest defender to have ever played the sport. Sergio Ramos has several other achievements under his belt, including being the captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish Football Team for years. Like Messi, Ramos moved away to Paris-Saint Germain last summer.

Who are the top cricketers in the world currently?


  1. Virat Kohli: Many fans believe Virat Kohli to be the greatest cricketer of this generation and for good reasons. As Team India’s greatest test captain, Virat Kohli made it possible for the country to gain multiple wins against top cricketing nations. In addition, Kohli won the ICC Cricketer of the Decade trophy, thus cementing his legacy as the best in the sport.
  2. Rohit Sharma: Rohit Sharma, another great Indian cricketer, is known as one of the most consistent batsmen of the previous decade. He boasts an extraordinary record and has scored a lot of runs including three double hundreds in One Day International cricket.
  3. David Warner: Warner is the greatest Non-Indian player in the IPL. He is one of those flexible players, who are efficient in all three formats of the game. Furthermore, his consistency and power-hitting make him one of the most dangerous batsmen to bowl against.

Why are sports so important?

Answer: Sports are good for both a child’s mental and physical health. They can help youngsters enhance their scholastic performance as well as teach them the value of teamwork. In addition, they assist in strengthening bones and toning muscles. The following are some other benefits of sports:

Importance of Sports

Which are the best indoor sports?


Sr. No.Sport Name
2Hoola Hooping
3Table Tennis

What are the best sports brand?

Answer: Some of the best sports brands in the world are Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, Under Armour, New Balance, Jordan, and more.

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