The World’s 10 Most Popular Sports

By: Emily Asciutto | emily.asciutto@activecities.com

Nearly everyone has a sport they are passionate about. And, in many cases, entire countries share the same love for a certain sport. Whether it be be support for a specific team or individual interest, the entire world can be mapped out based on popularity of sports. Here is a list of the world’s 10 most played sports, including continents where they are most popular, and an interesting fact about each sport.


10. SKIING

Most Popular In:
Europe, North America

Did You Know?
The downhill skiing speed record is 156.2 mph, held by Simone Origone of Italy.


9. RUGBY

Most Popular In:
Australia

Did You Know?
The first time a national anthem was sung before a sporting event, it occurred at a rugby game.


8. WRESTLING

Most Popular In:
Central Asia, Eastern Europe

Did You Know?
Wrestling was one of the original events of the Ancient Olympics, and has been a part of the Modern Olympic Games since returning in 1896.


7. BASKETBALL

Most Popular In:
Europe, North America

Did You Know?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played 20 seasons in the NBA, holds the record for most points scored in a career with 38,387.


6. TABLE TENNIS

Most Popular In:
Asia

Did You Know?
A Table Tennis racket can be of any shape, size or weight according to International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) regulations.


5. BASEBALL

Most Popular In:
North America, South America

Did You Know?
A regulation baseball consists of 108 stitches. Yarn used to wrap the cork or rubber core can measure up to a mile in length.


4. CRICKET

Most Popular In:
Australia, India

Did You Know?
The longest recorded match took place in 1939 between England and South Africa lasting 14 days; it ended it a tie.


3. AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Most Popular In:
North America

Did You Know?
The first official game took place on November 12, 1892 between the Allegheny Athletic Association football team and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.


2. ICE HOCKEY

Most Popular In:
Europe, North America

Did You Know?
The fastest slap shot on record belongs to Bobby Hull, clocked at 118 mph.


1. SOCCER/FOOTBALL

Most Popular In:
Africa, Europe, South America

Did You Know?
There are over 1,000 activity changes in a soccer match, and players run an average of 6 miles throughout each game.