The World’s Top 10 Most Popular Participation Sports: Best Sports


It is feasible to provide a basic notion of some of the most popular sports in the world based on available research, despite the difficulty of estimating actual participation rates for sports around the globe. However, we recognize that this list is debatable.

10: Golf

Perhaps one of the most popular pastimes in the world, according to Golf Today, 60 million individuals around the world routinely participate in the sport. The criterion of frequently playing golf in these data equals taking part in one round of golf per year or using a facility such as a driving range.

9: Baseball

Historically baseball was more popular in America than everywhere else in the world but the sport is currently becoming increasingly popular in other nations 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 individuals play either baseball or softball in over 140 countries.

8: Table Tennis

This indoor activity has gotten more and more popular over the years, with incorporation in schools, social groups and athletic centres across the world. Topend Sports ranking also predicted that 300 million individuals globally play table tennis.

7: Cricket

The bulk of participants in 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) revealed that an amazing 125 countries around the world play the sport.

6: Tennis

According to a ranking by Topend Sports, tennis is played by an estimated 60 million men and women worldwide, making it the most popular individual sport in the world. The doubles version of the sport is also incredibly popular worldwide, which is why it is included on this list of the 10 most popular sports.

5: Basketball

The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) believes that at least 450 million individuals participate in basketball worldwide, whether for enjoyment or in organised contests. Legendary figures in basketball, such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, have contributed to the sport’s globalisation from its American roots.

4: Volleyball

Volleyball, which originated in the United States, has an astounding projected global participation rate of 998 million people. Over 220 affiliated national federations are enrolled with the FIVB, the global governing body for volleyball, which governs both indoor and outdoor variations of the sport.

3: Field Hockey

This fast-paced sport is practised by men and women in over one hundred nations on five continents. Field hockey, a firm favourite at the Olympic Games, is a highly technical sport played by 10 outfield players and one goaltender, and its regulations differ from those of ice hockey.

2: Badminton

Some may be surprised to learn that badminton is one of the top 10 most popular sports in the world. However, badminton is an incredibly popular indoor sport that is frequently practised by an estimated 220 million people worldwide. It is especially popular in Asia, with many of the game’s greatest players hailing from the continent.

1: Soccer/Football

Football’s popularity as a spectator sport is matched by the number of people who participate in the sport, whether at the grassroots level, in 5-a-side leagues, or just for pleasure with friends. According to the most recent global census conducted by the sports regulating body FIFA, there are 265 million players and more than 5 million referees, which represents 4 per cent of the world’s population.