Today we are going to take a look at the top 10 most popular sports in the world. But before we do that it is important to know the importance of sports and the criteria that should be used to make a ranking of sports.

Sports plays an important role in our lives. From the early childhood years where we take sports very seriously to the later years in life where we consider it as a hobby, a fitness ritual, and sometimes even a profession. Today in every part of the world some sport is passionately followed. People take their sporting heroes as their role models and often have emotional attachment with their favorite sports stars and sports teams. People in different regions of the world have different favorite sports. This makes ranking the sports quite a challenging and difficult job. This is exactly why it is hard to ascertain the reliability and accuracy of different sports lists out there.

Here, it is important to know exactly what do we mean by most popular sports. The word “popular” could mean “most watched sports,” “most played sports,” or “most revenue-generating sports”. But in all honesty it would be unfair to rank the sports by popularity, if we take just one or two criteria. Therefore, we have decided to use 15 different criteria in order to rank the most popular sports in the world.

Criteria Used for Ranking:

  1. Global Fan Base and Audience
  2. Viewership on TV
  3. TV Rights Deals
  4. Popularity on Internet
  5. Presence on Social Media
  6. Number of Professional Leagues in the World
  7. Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues
  8. Sponsorship Deals
  9. Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular
  10. Biggest Competition
  11. Relevancy Throughout the Year
  12. Gender Equality
  13. Access to the General Public
  14. Number of Amateur Players in The World
  15. Prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media

We have used these extensive criteria in order to make sure that we can accurately ascertain the popularity of different sports and rank them in the correct order. Hopefully, this list compiled after thorough research would be helpful for you. Do let us know what you think about this list and the popularity of different sports in the world in the comments section below.

Most Popular Sports in The World

10. Golf

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World
Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

Golf is at No 10 in Popularity in the World among other Sports. with more than 390 million fans in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Golf is a precision club and ball sport in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course using the fewest number of strokes. Golf is defined, in the rules of golf, as “playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.”

Global Fan Base and Audience: Golf is one sport that is more popular in the elderly as compared to the young people. The sport has more than 390 million fans around the world. Most of these fans are concentrated in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Viewership on TV: Golf enjoys high levels of viewership among male adults belonging to upper class. The TV viewership of the sport is pretty low among females and among younger males.

TV Rights Deals: Being a sport of rich upper class, golf gets pretty good TV rights deals for the major tournaments in the US and Europe.

Popularity on Internet: The popularity of the sport is limited on the internet. There are a limited number of searches related to golf on the internet.

Presence on Social Media: As social media is mostly dominated by the younger generation, and golf is a sport mostly played and followed by people older than 35, the sport has very limited presence on social media.

Number of Professional Leagues in the World: Different individual tournaments of golf are connected into a series of tournaments via professional golf tours. The major tours include PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, and PGA Tour Champions.

Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues: Golf professionals enjoy handsome amount of salaries in the form of prize money and endorsement deals. Tiger Woods the most famous golf player of all time was the highest paid athlete among all sports for a number of years.

Sponsorship Deals: The golf tournaments are sponsored by major brands around the world. Golf athletes are also able to get pretty handsome endorsement deals from large companies. These sponsorship deals are often in millions of dollars.

Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular: There are 118 countries in the International Golf Federation. The sport has seen a lot of growth in countries like China, Turkey, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the recent years.

Biggest Competition: The Masters Tournament, The US Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship are the biggest golf competitions.

Relevancy Throughout the Year: The sport is relevant on the news and in general discussions only during the major championships.

Gender Equality: Although golf is more popular among men, the sport is followed and played by women as well. In the recent years the popularity of golf has increased in women especially in the developed countries.

Access to the General Public: When it comes to access to the general public, golf does not score well. It is mostly known as a sport for the rich. The sport has better access for general public in the US, Japan and in some countries of Europe. But overall it is considered a sport for the rich. Middle class and lower middle class people around the world don’t have access to golf facilities.

Number of Amateur Players in The World: The number of amateur player of golf is not that big all over the world. The US, Japan, Australia and some countries of Europe have more amateur players than other parts of the world.

Prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media: During the major tournaments golf gets high levels of prominence in the sports bulletins especially in the US and Japan.

9. American football

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World
Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

9th most popular sport with around 390-410 million fans (US mainly)

American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with it or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the ball to the opposing team.

Global Fan Base and Audience: Being a sport that is mostly played in the US, the fan base of American Football is concentrated in the US. It is highly popular in the United States.

Viewership on TV: American Football is one of the most watched sports in the US. Elsewhere it does not enjoy good levels of viewership.

TV Rights Deals: NFL, National Football League in the US is the most popular sports league in the world. The NFL TV rights are sold in billions of dollars per year.

Popularity on Internet: NFL is quite popular on the Internet in the US. Google records very high level of American Football related searches in the US. Elsewhere, the popularity of the sport is negligible.

Presence on Social Media: The sport enjoys impressive presence on the social media thanks to its US fan base. The teams and athletes of American Football are often among the top trends in the social media.

Number of Professional Leagues in the World: American Football does not have professional leagues in majority of the countries. The only renowned league of the sport is in the US. It is known as the NFL.

Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues: The professionals in the largest league of the game, i.e. NFL, enjoy average salary of $1.9 million dollars. This is very impressive as compared to other sports.

Sponsorship Deals: The teams of NFL and the professionals of American Football are able to land pretty handsome sponsorship deals from the major brands in the US. The numbers are often in tens of millions of dollars.

Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular: This is one area where American Football does not do well. Although it is the most popular sport in the US, it has negligible popularity in other countries of the world.

Biggest Competition: The biggest event of American Football is the Super Bowl. It is the National Football League Championship Game that is played annually between the champions of the National and the American Football Conferences. It is the most watched sporting event in the US.

Relevancy Throughout the Year: The sport is relevant almost throughout the year in the US. Its relevancy peaks up during the NFL season.

Gender Equality: American Football is one of the most male dominated sports out there.

Access to the General Public: The sport enjoys pretty good access to the general public in the US. Elsewhere, as the sport is not that popular, it is not accessible to the general public.

Number of Amateur Players in The World: American Football has a handsome number of amateur players in the US.

Prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media: American Football is prominent in the sports headlines on the print as well as the electronic media in the US, almost throughout the year. It is the most popular sport in the country and it is reflected in the sports bulletins. In other countries the sport rarely makes it to the news.

9. Rugby

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World
Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

9th most popular sport with around 390-410 million fans (France, England, New Zealand and South Africa mainly)

Rugby is widely played in France and has a strong tradition in the people of Basque, Occitan, and Catalan areas along the border regions between Spain and France. The game is very popular in South Africa, having been introduced by English-speaking settlers in the 19th century. British colonists also brought the game with them to Australia and New Zealand, where the game is widely played. It has spread thence to much of Polynesia, having particularly strong followings in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga

Global Fan Base and Audience: Rugby has a strong fan base in Australia, England, France and New Zealand. There are more than 390 million fans of the sport in these countries. Other countries also have limited number of fans of Rugby.

Viewership on TV: The TV viewership of Rugby is pretty good in the Rugby playing nations. In other countries it is negligible.

TV Rights Deals: The TV rights deals for Rugby tournaments are not as big as Football, Cricket or Tennis, but they are still quite costly.

Popularity on Internet: The sport is moderately popular on the Internet and enjoys a high level of searches during the rugby world cup, especially in the participating nations.

Presence on Social Media: Rugby enjoys limited presence on social media. Major Rugby clubs and Rugby stars are moderately popular on different social media networks.

Number of Professional Leagues in the World: Most of the developed countries have professional Rugby Leagues. The popularity of these leagues is quite varying.

Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues: The average salary of a rugby player is around $60,000 per annum.

Sponsorship Deals: Rugby players are able to get some good sponsorship deals from major sports brands around the world.

Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular: The sport is popular in only a handful of countries. In other countries the sport only enjoys limited popularity.

Biggest Competition: The biggest competition of Rugby is the Rugby World Cup that is held after every four years. 20 countries participate in the event.

Relevancy Throughout the Year: Rugby is mostly only relevant during the major tournaments or during the bilateral series among different rugby playing nations.

Gender Equality: Rugby is a male dominated sport both at the professional as well as at the amateur level.

Access to the General Public: Rugby does not enjoy good access to the general public as compared to other sports, primarily because of its nature and the large area required.

Number of Amateur Players in The World: The number of amateur player of rugby is not that big. The sport is moderately popular at the amateur level in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and France.

Prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media: Rugby is quite prominent in the sports news in the Rugby playing countries.

8. Baseball

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World
Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World

There are Around 500 million fans in the US, Japan, Cuba, and Dominican Republic, making Baseball 8th Most Popular Sport in the World.

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players who take turns batting and fielding.
The offense attempts to score more runs than its opponent by hitting a ball thrown by the pitcher with a bat and moving counter-clockwise around a series of four bases: first, second, third and home plate. A run is scored when the runner advances around the bases and returns to home plate.

Global Fan Base and Audience: Baseball enjoys a huge number of fans in the US, Canada, Cuba and Dominican Republic.

Viewership on TV: The sport is widely watched in the US, Cuba and Japan. The viewership is not that good in other countries of the world.

TV Rights Deals: The TV rights deals for MLB in the US and the Nippon League in the Japan reaches hundreds of millions of dollars.

Popularity on Internet: The sport is quite popular on the Internet in the countries where it is commonly played. The searches on Google in the US related to this sport are also pretty high.

Presence on Social Media: The social media presence of the sport is pretty good in the US, Cuba, Japan and the Dominican Republic. In other countries the presence is negligible.

Number of Professional Leagues in the World: There are only a handful of countries where professional leagues of baseball are in place. These include, the US, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Australia. Some other countries do have professional leagues of Baseball but they are on a very small scale.

Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues: The average salary of Baseball players in the MLB is more than $4 million. This is pretty good when compared to other major sports leagues around the world.

Sponsorship Deals: The Baseball teams and players in the US are able to get some excellent sponsorship deals, often reaching in millions of dollars.

Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular: The number of countries where Baseball is played is very limited. There are only a handful of countries where Baseball is played as a professional or even as an amateur sport.

Biggest Competition: Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic are the biggest tournaments of Baseball. All the major countries that play baseball participate in these international competitions.

Relevancy Throughout the Year: The sport is more relevant during the MLB season in the US. It is not that much relevant during the rest of the year.

Gender Equality: Baseball is one of the most male dominated sports out there.

Access to the General Public: The sport has good access for general public in the US. In other countries the access to the general public is not that good.

Number of Amateur Players in The World: The number of amateur players of Baseball in the world is limited to the US, Japan, Dominican Republic and Cuba. These countries have a fairly good number of amateur players of the sport.

Prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media: The sport enjoys reasonably good prominence in the sports headlines on the print as well as the electronic media in the US and in Japan.

1 of 8
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

SHARE
A huge sports buff. I always had a keen interest in the world of media, which eventually led me to join the advertising industry. However, i still wanted something else, something more. i wanted to fuse my love for sports, experience in media and desire for independent work environment.
  • adi

    what basketball is played in china,usa,canada ,whole europe and half south america

    • who Deny that?

      • bball-soccer

        I think that soccer and basketball should be the 2 most popular sports in the world but unfortunately soccer and cricket are.

        • shane

          u r ignorant about cricket it started repot16th century or before some times try to know

    • Steve Joseph

      Was that a question or an answer?

  • Guest

    Basketball should be ranked higher. Basketball is way more popular than American football and baseball.

    • junaid qayyum

      cricket should be the best

      • metalhead83

        Nah wrestling should be the best, which it is in my opinion of course. Lol

    • Zac

      Maybe in america but no one cares for nfl other than Americans

      • Adam Hovey

        I’m American and I prefer Soccer. I liked Basketball when I was young, but it got very fake. I think the only “American” sport I like is Baseball, but that is because I grew up going to baseball games. NFL is overrated. I think Arena Football is honestly better, though I still think Soccer is the best. An average NFL game has only 11 minutes of actual play, so I’ve always found it to be a bit ironic when some (not all and not even most, anymore, I’d say) say that soccer is boring.

        • Jermey

          Its not about play time, its about exciting plays and what actually happens. Soccer is stupid and for faggots, it is the most boring sport in the world. Its sad when 3 to nothing is considered a blowout in a sport. There are at most 5 people on the field doing something other than walking.

          • Jane

            aw is somebody mad soccer is the most popular sport in the world

          • you really are a retard

        • Sports Fan

          Dont be an idiot dude, NFL games have 1 hour of play. Your entire comment is Bullshit !

      • Sam Teele

        you acctually agreed with his point douche

  • dannyboy

    How is boxing not even ranked top ten but tennis is? Wtf..

    • Isacc Alves

      Tennis are by far most popular.

  • massive point, boxing is 11th most popular sports. if we talk about whole world. maybe one of top 3 in some countries.

  • Guest2

    Its not about population but how widespread in the world it is hence why cricket shouldn’t be in here at all, its not taken seriously outside of commonwealth countries and there’s no money in it lol. Correct list is as follows: Soccer, american football, golf, basketball, baseball, tennis, rugby, athletics, volleyball, billiards.

    • popularity means money according to you. for me its public interest, and numbers of people who watch, play and follow the game.

      • rahul

        You talk about public interest… Thats the reason cricket should be ranked number 1. Get your sources checked. Cricket is much more widespread and there is a lot of money involved. Its your opinion that you are uploading.

        • oh buddy your overrating cricket, i am also big big fan of cricket. doesn’t mean that the cricket is #1 in the world. you have to realize soccer’s popularity.

      • Ben

        I am only going to state my opinion. Not saying I am correct or incorrect. I feel you need to scale it somehow. Do median method or something. I agree with soccer but there is no way that 40% of the total world population watches football and is a fan. NO WAY! So many people in this world do not own TV and do not have access to TV. Then I would like to scale down India and Pakistan regarding Cricket. You also never state your sources. Everything tells me that Baseball is not that popular as you state here. Actually a dying sport. I am also interested where Handball comes. It is only popular in Europe but for me as a NON-sport fanatic, I think it is the most fasted and interesting sport there is out there.

    • Cricket’s popularity in India and Pakistan with combined populations that make up over 20 percent of the world’s total population has no doubt contributed largely towards making it the most popular sport following soccer. england, australia, srilanka, new Zealand, bangladesh and west indies are other countries cricket is most popular sports there.

      • bbb

        football is the most popular sport in england with out a doubt rugby a close second

    • Raw

      And how widespread is american football? As for no money in cricket, you obviously have heard nothing of the IPL!

      • Jojo

        Came her to say that. India is crazy about cricket.

    • Mokhash Parmar

      That’s not how you determine what sport is the most popular. It’s the most popular if more people play it. And cricket is so much more popular than American football and baseball. And there’s a lot of money in cricket, just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean it exists.

      • ss

        yyyyyyyyyyyy

    • Alejandro Hernandez

      That’s your opinion for which american football is at the end because its only played by anericans in a very small bubble of life 😉

    • Sudeep Shamdas

      Fuck bloody rascal.What do you know about inspiration of Cricket.You just a frog in the well.Sucker

    • theknight

      There is no money in cricket? Are you high? Ever heard of mahendra singh dhoni? He is the indian cricket team captain. He is ranked among the forbes most paid sportsperson. He is ranked 22. Cricket has changed a lot. The only reason many european and american teams dont play it is because it requires much more skill and precision and temperament compared to football. Not just any idiot can play cricket.

      • Zach

        Haha American Football is a collection of the most SKILLED atheletes in the world… only a select few can play a game as a fast and as technial as American Football… The reason soccer or Futbol is so popular is because is EASY to play… same with baseball and “Cricket” its easy to learn and not as hard or as fast or as dangerous as American Football…. there is a reason Why American Football is the most exciting sport to watch… compared to soccer which is like watching paint dry…. the reason soccer isn’t popular here in the USA is because we have sports like Football that make watching soccer kinda silly….

        • sv

          Skilled? my foot. Its all American marketing model to give hype for a pretty ordinary game. American kids think even WWE as a most demanding game interms of skills.. 😛

        • WhoAmI

          How to look of morons, Go to US they believe what ever TV tells them

    • Julian Thatuser

      You realize that virtually no one outside of the US gives a shit about American Football. This list seems pretty accurate to m. Although, rugby should probably be higher, but oh well.

    • Are you a retard? First you blab about a sport being widespread, then you say American Football is at second, which only America watches. I guess American Football is widespread with USA invading countries left right and center. 😀

    • have you ever heard about “IPL” … No Mony at all [lol]

    • suchkoff

      But based on your logic, American Football has no place on this list either. Sure 300 million people watch either College, NFL, or CFL, but they are primarily in Canada and America. Cricket is popular worldwide, it is just insanely popular in India. Soccer is #1 without a doubt. Then Basketball, Baseball, Cricket, Tennis, Volleyball, and Rugby. If of course the criteria includes worldwide popularity. Also, whoever wrote this article failed miserably at mentioning countries where the sport is popular. Rugby is everything in New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and is the #2/3 sport in France, England, Australia, Wales, Argentina, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, etc…

    • bnfvei

      It’s about how many fans there are fuckwit not the money. Plus if it were about how widespread it is then American football wouldn’t be on the list. Also the commonwealth includes a lot of countries, enough in fact to make the commonwealth games. You contradicted yourself retard.

    • usman

      for you information ms dhoni an indian cricket is most paid sposrtsman in the world more then ronaldo messi djokovic

    • Sports Fan

      Lmfao , you think golf is more popular then Basketball worldwide !

    • Guest

      You claim it should be based on how widespread the sport is and yet you think American Football should be second? No chance.

    • fuck u

      American football at No 2 haha stupid murican

    • John

      You could easily star a war with football and soccer XD

    • Dan

      Rubbish. There is plenty of money in cricket and the following is what matters. Outside the USA no one really cares about American football. And India alone is 3 times bigger and cricket mad

    • sup

      nonononononononooononon

    • Do you know that cricket is played by 16 nations? By the how many countries play American football except America?

    • Akash Patel

      Shut up… BCCI is richest sport body of world.
      IPL is most expensive and highest paid per match tournament of world..
      And popular thing is any football board is far behind.

    • sidd

      u get facts right . cricket stars earn 10 -20 times more than rugby stars . dhoni was in top 10 earning sprts stars by forbes. secondly baseball ?? u serious no one knws about tht game except us japan and few countries. cricket revenues are 20 times those of rugby volleyball..

    • Harwinder Singh

      No Money??!! You must be Murican.. Search IPL then come back knowing how much its worth

    • will

      if cricket doesnt count because it is only followed in a few countries than how could american football possibly make the list…?

    • Steve Bakewell

      “its not taken seriously outside of commonwealth countries”
      So what? i could say the same for any sport.. i do not take your sports seriously! doesn’t change the fact that so many countries play it.

      ” and there’s no money in it lol.”

      Oh yeah? i don’t think so.. go check out the average salary of an Aussie cricketer.. heck even the Indian cricketers earn buckloads of money.

      “Correct list is as follows: Soccer, american football,baseball”
      Because the World revolves around america eh?

    • Rohit

      Dude. If you feel cricket is not widespread, hoe cum you add american football in the 2nd.. Its not played or watched anywhere except USA..

    • dwwwww

      Funny that you mention “how widespread in the world”, and put American football as number 2…

    • Zorawar Heisenberg

      There’s no money in it ? Lol … ICC Cricket league is worth 5 billion dollars . The world cricket cup generates 2 billion dollars… lol.. Try again faghot

    • Chella Kanna

      You thought that American football is 2nd most popular game…then u r an idiot………no one out side America not knowing this game……you said there’s is no money in cricket ….you fool please refer ipl tournament……

    • Kallol Dasgupta

      Currently Indian Premier League is one of the top money money spinning sport with the last 2015 season yielding 11.5 billion approximately

  • fiction

    You should check your sources because all these numbers are way too high. Field hockey has 2 billion fans? Not even close. There are not even any really popular field hockey leagues in the world.

  • Josh

    Where the hells rugby?!

  • allen iverson

    hard to believe volleyball and table tennis are way above basketbal. Infact basketball should be just after soccer yo!!

    • your respected thoughts. as for my research, basketball is 10th most popular in terms of number people following.

      • Pjanic

        Says it’s 3rd most followed on this site. Like you said, only reason Cricket is above it is because a large chunk of it’s following comes from India, a cricket mad country. Otherwise since it’s not as widespread as Basketball, I wouldn’t call it more popular.

        • Shankar Bakth

          fuck you idiot.Football has no way here in India.U shit shut up

    • asdssdadasds

      Dude..Football is better any day any time anywhere

      • pissedoffandangryparty

        stfu arrogant american pig

        • Murica

          America >> your irrelevant country

        • Lee

          Ummm well im Canadian and Gridiron (imo the real football) is better than any other sport up there. So stfu indian or paki or chinese or english or irish or arabian or welsh or scottish or nigerian or french or japanese or korrian arrogant pig

          • Anti Racism

            American Football is stupid and dumb. I hate it and all of it’s fans if you’re gonna hate on brown people you racist bastard.

      • Chris Weeks

        man I hate to break this to you but the world is alot bigger than America

        • Jermey

          America is the best at everything cunt

          • Except Maths

          • JmThms

            Tell that to mathematicians at MIT, Harvard, etc. America has a proper bell curve when it comes to things like this. Our elite in math is as good or better than anywhere else.

          • millsy

            true. you are the best at obesity

          • JmThms

            And the best at being fit. We have it all. Good and bad. It’s called personal choice.

      • Steve Joseph

        LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL…you’re kidding right?

      • JmThms

        What form of football? Soccer, yes. American ‘football’? Weird, overly-produced event with refrigerator-sized freaks. And it physically and mentally destroys those who play it.

        • Kallol Dasgupta

          Right. Rugby in its pure form is way better than American Football.

      • Rodrigo Rodrigues

        England= Football
        Spanish= Fútbol
        Brazil= Futebol
        USA= Soccer!???

    • Pope Francis

      Didn’t Cricket originate in America? We’re playing an American sport that Americans find no fun in.

      • Tom

        No, cricket originated in Great Britain. I think you are thinking of lacrosse

      • yolo

        orginated in britain u dumbfuck

  • Luiz

    That´s clearly an USA pont of view ranking

    • how ?

      • sea

        wheres the best sport ever lacrosse this is fukin bad

        • Nathalia

          No one even know what lacrosse is outside of Canada… I just know after many months in Canada, but never even heard of it before.

          • blobfish

            uh actually, i’ve heard of it and we play it at school in australia so people actually do know what lacrosse is outside canada.

        • blobfish

          I KNOW RIGHT!!!!! i love lacrosse! it’s so much fun :P! don’t swear bro. it won’t get you anywhere…

  • Taipan

    Since Rugby Union isn’t on the list and American football is I will take this silly list with a grain of salt

    • check now

      • Gregory Newton

        Rugby Union got 119countries that play it.American football got 64 countries that play it

        • Geester

          Except the United states is the third most populous country in the world and it is by far the most popular sport in the US. This list is pretty spot on in terms of number of fans. More countries does not equal more fans friend.

          • bbb

            4th
            behind
            china
            india
            russia

          • Ddddddddd

            The U.S. is, literally, more than twice the population of Russia. Not even close. Then again, that might just be my shitty American education talking.

  • Shahnoor haider

    insha ALLAH Cricket will be first with in 10 years

    • Taha

      Huh cricket a bloody boring game which doesn’t require alot of fitness unlike football/soccer

      • Andrew

        After arrival of t 20 cricket is damm good. It requires fitness unlike golf.

      • Zorawar Heisenberg

        Thats like saying basball doesn’t require fitness

  • asdssdadasds

    Football and Cricket are surely correct to be on the top. Baseball is overhyped.

    • Steve Bakewell

      Baseball is nowhere near the top 5 most popular sports lol

  • holly

    i think netball sould be the 5 most popular sport in the world

  • Christian Dingayan Dejesus

    Add Asia on Basketball thats like +500million on my point of view. Philippines alone has like 70million+basketball fan..

  • sumer

    I love cricket

    • Andrew

      Everyone does

  • amboy

    stupid list

  • Sammy

    This is obviously wrong, Rugby should definitely be up there.

  • bill penis

    under water basket weaving

  • thank you

    • IamGrute

      What is a good top ten sports team?

  • terr

    LOL at basketball being 10, NBA is watched by everyone worldwide. 400 million fans in us and canada mainly?
    How bout looking at other sources which says there are 400 million recreational basketball players in china alone. Lets not talk about philippines which is their national sport and also europe which has a strong fanbase and competitive euroleague. hard not to imagine if basketball is not 2nd or at the worst 4th most popular sport.

  • travis

    Football should come second then third is baseball soccer is the populist sport it has way more than half of the people watching and playing. soccer sold 3.2 million tickets each week. It is my favorite sport 2014 world cup is coming the tickets already sold 3.1 million of people baught them. 🙂

  • nolan

    hockey should be first and baseball should be second

    • Alex

      Nolan, can I have some of whatever you’re smoking? Hockey first???!!! Baseball second???
      Football/Soccer is the most inevitable sport in the universe. Cricket is just strange-the only reason it is so popular is due to England’s colonazation of India.
      And will the author please hire an editor? The grammar is just awful!

  • ???????

    can you tel me more than 5 nation where cricket is in top 10 list i think so those 5 are-
    1.india
    2.pakistan
    3.sri lanka
    4.bangladesh
    5.australia
    i think now it is popular in west indies england and south africa and even netherland as top 10 sport
    Any other nation

    • Also in New Zealand, Kenya, Singapur, UAE, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

      • adi

        which is most popular cricket format

        • Now These Days Twenty over Cricket is Lot More Popular than ODI’s or Test Cricket

    • Andrew

      India, Australia, south Africa, sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zimbabwe, new Zealand, england, Netherland, Ireland, Scotland, west indies, UAE and Kenya are 15 major nations playing cricket

    • bbb

      australian football is the most popular sport in australia

  • aditya

    i respect your thoughts but check your source basketball is 3rd.It is one of most popular sport in china(1.6 bil)

    phillipines,germany,spain,brazil,argentina etc.I also have sources and it is fastest growing sport in india,japan etc. SOURCES:-

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_China

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_USA

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Spain

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Argentina

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Italy

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Spain

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Argentina

    wikipedia is not wrong and i request you to put basketball 3rd and rugby in the list if you can do some changes.

    • Just Wait, i will make some changes in List. at the moment i am searching on rugby, how popular is ?

      • Aditya

        see rugby is one of most popular in australia,new zealand,south africa,wales,fiji,england.If you will make these changes in list then no one will complaint against you.thanks.Please make changes as soon as possible most probably till next week so that i can prove everyone popularity of basketball and cricket.Did i mentioned that argentina dies for rugby………………..with france,italy.

        • have you noticed? list has been changed.

          • aditya

            yes and I am very happy with the list and now no one will complaint against your list………….

          • aditya

            Basketball with over 1.8-2 billion fans

          • aditya

            yes and list is awesome but basketball with over 1.8-2 billion fans.Field hockey is way more global

          • aditya

            just like you i dont want that people should get wrong knowledge and after searching about it for over 3 hours regarding the basketball and rugby popularity.I came to a conclusion that basketball is 6th most popular sport in the world with over 950-1000mill fans in europe,philiipine,usa,canada mainly.Wikipedia has overated basketball a little bit and rugby is 9th with over 310 million fans.So please make basketball no.6 so that no one gets a doubt.THANK YOU

  • aditya

    thanks for making some changes now no one is gonna complaint against your list but however some will object why american football is in list but not ice hockey but just ignore them coz now the list is much better and now there will be no complaints.

  • Skippypaccino

    How the hell did field hockey beat out actual hockey? Name me the best field hockey players in the world? Lol!

    • Arianna Paul

      Luciana Aymar, Jamie Dwyer, Carla Rebecchi, Tom Boon, and that’s only four of them. Just because you are uneducated when it comes to Field Hockey doesn’t mean its not a popopular sport, you are probably from the US where not a lot of people know what its is because they think ‘real’ hockey is ice hockey, when in fact the origins of field hockey are much old than ice hockeys, field hockey-like games were played back in Ancient Greece.

    • Arianna Paul

      Luciana Aymar, Jamie Dwyer, Carla Rebecchi, Tom Boon, and that’s only four of them. Just because you are uneducated when it comes to Field Hockey doesn’t mean its not a popopular sport, you are probably from the US where not a lot of people know what its is because they think ‘real’ hockey is ice hockey, when in fact the origins of field hockey are much old than ice hockeys, field hockey-like games were played back in Ancient Greece.

      • Skippypaccino

        Calling out someone’s intelligence and saying “ice hockey” in the same sentence is funny to say the least … It’s Hockey!!! There’s only one way to say it, only uneducated people say ice… Secondly I’m from Canada where “hockey” is glorified for everything that it is… Players have been playing for over 100 years to get a chance to drink from Lord Stanleys Cup (imo the most beautiful and coveted trophy on the planet) I don’t ever recall seeing over a 100000 people attending a field hockey game? I’m also not ignorant and saying that field hockey doesn’t have its roots and loyal fans.. I was merely trying to point out why “hockey” was left out and other sports were deemed more popular… If we look at the latest winter Olympics, no one can deny that hockey was the biggest and most coveted event at the games…. If anyone but a European would’ve wrote this article, hockey would’ve made the cut…

        To each his own

  • cod_player

    Where is call of duty?

  • rohan

    with in next 15-20 years cricket will become the as popular as football… thanks to 20-20 format.

    • Andrew

      I also agree. Cricket after arrival of 20 20 format is damm cool and awesome

  • guru

    Dude check your sources……Basketball is not completely chinese and european.Its a little bit phillipines and american sport and a few european liking the sport with china.I think 60% american like basketball,80% phillipines and just 20% chinese and european.Table tennis is way more popular in china followed by badminton and soccer.Basketball is 5th or 6th in china.Cricket is definetly no.2.In world basketball should be 6th.Believe me and please change the list as your list is very popular and people are getting wrong info

  • guest

    The one due to whom you changed the list also say that basketball should be no.6

  • i have changed on behalf of my own research.. h

  • aditya

    Dude rugby should be 6th.Its played in France, England, New Zealand and South Africa,Australia,Wales,Argentina,Italy,Fiji,Ireland etc.Its no.1 in new zealand,wales,fiji and being one of the most popular in australia,argentina,italy,england,ireland,south africa

  • aditya

    Rugby should be no.6.Its fastest growing sport in usa and 2nd fastest growing sport in china

  • Glorious_GOD_Gamers

    I wish Rugby were higher on the list.

  • it’s not just about India, it’s about India, Pakista, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, West Indies, Ireland, Scotland, Kenya and Australia… 🙂

    • kashifKHAN

      u r right

    • andrew

      Also netherland , Scotland, nepal , UAE and a few more as well

      • millsy

        Canada to. Australia even did exhibition matches in America against them

  • Snaddre

    This list seems fairly accurate to my observations. I am not surprised that any winter-sport is missing, but I though boxing was more popular. There is no way I believe the baseball one though, I mean, really? 500mill? That number seems oddly inflated.

  • Marcio

    I don’t really disagree with the order of sports but the number of fans is just plain rubbish. It’s like when you hear that a billion people watch the Oscars It’s rubbish. The world’s population is 7 billion. There is no way half of them are fans of soccer. I’m from Brazil, a soccer crazy country, and even there, maybe half of the population care about soccer. The only way you can come up with these numbers is if you count the entire population of a country where a sport is popular as fans of the sport. And that’s plain rubbish.

  • Marcio

    Oh, and take American football, which you claimed has about 390-410 million fans (US mainly). But there are maybe 150 million football fans in the US. If it’s US mainly, where are the other 250 millions fans from then? The only explanation is you counted the entire US population as football fans. And even then, where are the other 100 million coming from?

  • Football > Soccer

    Its not soccer, its Football.

    • Soccer_girl

      Canadians say soccer

    • bobby

      “Soccer” is short for “Association Football”

    • JmThms

      AsSOC(cer)iation Football. An Oxford -er treatment to Association football. That is of English origin.

    • Rodrigo Rodrigues

      Yeah!

  • ASD

    KEEP DREAMING

  • Danny

    OK, we all agree that football/soccer is the most popular sport in the world right? Right… You ladies carry on arguing about other sports.

    • Lil

      Girls like Football too,You insecure sexist dumbfuck.

  • troy

    Im an american and I do believe that soccer is the MOST popular sport in the world but I think soccer is gay because there is no point of playing it than compare of other american sports like football basketball and baseball and soccer is pointless it may be the worlds greatest sport… but. The most pointless game ever played all u do is kick a ball thats boring

    • chayra

      No offense, but I tried watching American football, and it’s the most boring game I’ve ever watched. Play stops every 3 minutes, and men in tights run holding a ball, and that’s it. Football is the real shit. Give it a try sometime.

  • LIl

    There are only 196 countries so how the fuck football is played in over 200 countries?LOL

    • bbb

      some countries are split

    • Isacc Alves

      “some countries are split”

      This^^….example.

      England, Wales, Scotland, North Ireland are different national teams..

  • Gregory Newton

    Rugby more popular than American football. Rugby Union got 119 countries that play it.
    American football got 64 countries that play it.

    • Geester

      More countries does not equal more fans.

  • Gregory Newton

    Yeah Rugby Union got 119 countries that play it. American football got 64 countries that play it.

  • umer

    actualy no body cares about cricket in england

    • Actually English Cricket Team Doing “very Well” these Days 🙂 thats why your saying this

    • Tom

      Actually we do!!

  • Ali

    Don’t. Say. Soccer.

    • Geester

      Why? It’s a game, and many people in the world call it soccer. It’s okay, you can still go on living if a game is called something different.

      • bbb

        4 countries call it soccer
        new zealand
        australia
        canada
        USA

        • Dddddddddd

          Japan
          South Africa
          Ireland

    • YOurMom

      Would you rather them say futbol like a pansy frenchman??

  • nkfriedrich

    This “article” could use some editing. Looks like there was a lot of copying and pasting, and very little actual research.

  • Elizabeth Haily

    There are two number “9”s. This is actually the top 11 most popular sports in the world.

  • Fanitic

    Dodgeball 🙁

  • Duh

    Add swimming

  • Duh

    Every kids wants to swim in pools so put it on list

    • WhoAmI

      Then what about running

  • molinek

    Football.and and the rest far far away !

  • qwertyabcdefg

    do you know the total population of all these nations? I would say not even 1/5th of India. and POPULARITY GOES BY THE NUMBER OF VIEWERS.

    • jack

      what about china popular games are foot ball and basketball

  • Jandeilson

    Football is a dump!

    • jermy

      Your a pussy

      • Jandeilson

        Football crazy game is for retards

  • F.a.g.g.o.t

    Where’s E-sports?

  • Dino Schipetta

    It’s funny how boxing is not even the top 10 popular sports, yet boxers are paid the most. Boxing is the best sport in the world, it’s just that many countries can’t produce a great champion

  • flip1sba

    Don’t you know how to spell? chaina, philippine?

  • Sanya

    Tennis and golf must be higher. The only American sport people besides Americans like is Basketball. Baseball in some Spanish countries and Japan. American Football just show US arrogance hence why the world don’t even look at it. And it’s too much brute force.

  • Sanya

    You need to modify this list and make it more of a world point of view and not American

    • Ddddddd

      Soccer, cricket, and field hockey are the top three. Perhaps we should include that sport where they ride around with goat carcasses on horseback at number four to make it less “American”.

  • Anna

    American football should be #1

    • world is not just in america 🙂

      • Mario Altamirano

        America is the name of a Continent not the name of a nation. America is compose by more than 30 + nations. The name of our country is the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”

    • WhoAmI

      In reverse order I guess

  • yo_daddy

    COD is a joke. Battlefield is where its at!

    • cs-player

      counter-strike is way better than both of them…both games are for pussys

      • Logan

        Counter-Strike is boring.

        • takasugi

          you were playing single player with bots

          • Logan

            Nope, I was just playing a better game. Counter-Strike is for people that are bad at other FPS’s.

          • MunchiePea27Roblox

            Counter strike is harder than all of those fps…

    • Steve Bakewell

      Bitch plz.. Socom is where its all at!

  • Truther

    Actually it’s soccer. Football is a generic term to describe any ball sport played on your feet as opposed to on a horse… Soccer, Rugby, League, Gridiron, golf, tennis, hockey, basketball are all technically forms of football. Polo, Motorsport, athletics, swimming are not football.

    • The_Last_Ride

      No it’s not, it describes the sport. American football aka handegg is not fotball it’s american rugby

      • Jermy

        I’ve never heard of fotball

        • Slayed

          Burn Bitch

        • That’s because your adopted

          • Ryan Lee

            that is not very nice

      • joe
        • The_Last_Ride

          It’s not football, they barely kick the ball, it’s handegg… Rugby is called rugby, they use their feet but it’s not freaking football…

          • Phil

            Rugby’s official name is “Rugby Football” so… good try bud.

          • The_Last_Ride

            They still use their feet more than american football, which is not football

    • Bumble tboy

      no, it was created by England and we originally called it football, so chop

      • Phil

        Typical arrogance thinking your country invented a sport that has been played since before your country even existed. The game was created around 400BC England wasn’t even a hint of a glimmer in the pages of history at that point. England didn’t come into existence until around 500AD and even that is giving you the benefit of the doubt. Technically England didn’t exist until 1000AD but I was being generous. Nice try there bud.

        • JmThms

          What are you, some kind of history moron? The MODERN game of soccer (football) was codified in England. Period. Nice try there bud.

    • Phil

      Tennis golf hockey and basketball are NOT football. I have no idea where you even get this kind of information.

    • JmThms

      I’ve heard that bogus ‘non-horse’ excuse for the word ‘football’. Face it. American football is simply a misnomer. Hand egg. throw ball. Whatever. But it is mis-named whereas association football (soccer) is properly named.

  • Stuart McNair

    Who ever wrote this artical obvious knows nothing about golf, It is also very popular in Japan and China and didn’t take that into consideration , Also football is liked more then just in North America. The NFL has had games played in Europe in places Like London England and Munich Germany where they played to sold out stadiums of over 100.000 people.

    • WhoAmI

      Is it, So you go and play a game in London then all London loves the game? Oh Well I played a game on Earth, now I have 7 Billion fans then

  • metalhead83

    Why can’t wrestling be on here man? I think we need a change in this list lol no offense to anybody else. 😛

  • WhoAmI

    What Indians are not people? Shut up dick head, Not just few white countries count.

  • WhoAmI

    Dear Terr, World =/= USA, Watching out of curiosity is different then taking it seriously .

    • Dddddd

      World =/= the British Commonwealth, either. The only team sport in PI is basketball. China takes it fairly seriously, as well … not to mention continental Europe. The fact that there are 37 countries represented in the NBA speaks to the quality of international talent.

  • Frankchard Goodjoint

    I am very surprised boxing is not on this list.

  • gene

    What are your sources? You should explain the numbers a lot better. Also your definition of a fan is very very loose. Take table tennis for example. It is only popular in China. I doubt all of them follow the sport regularly. There are a lot of people who dont follow sports at all in the world. Field hockey also has very poor attendance numbers in “major field hockey leagues” and you think it has over 2 billion fans. Not even close.

  • small44

    Does it matter if soccer or football

    • Say it ain’t so

      football or soccer or futbol don’t matter to me, so long as it is the most popular sport in the world…

  • Nedeo

    what about chess….

    • ChessLover

      It was popular during 90’s and 80’s thanks to Cold War. Its a way to show off who had better tacticians. But since then, its gone down. I love Chess wish it was popular but the sad fact is its not.

      • blobfish

        uh sorry guys but chess isn’t a sport…

  • Joseph

    someone can’t count.
    this list got 11 items, not 10.

    heading should be
    “Top 11 Most Popular Sports in The World”

  • David Peterson

    Where is running…. !! Or cycling!

  • sammy

    football and rugby were both # 9… I honestly think this list is accurate.

  • Antônio silva

    I gess cycling is not a Sport…..

    • Dddddd

      To paraphrase Kenny Powers … we’re talking about real sports here, not trying to be the best at exercising.

  • .

    they’re the same exact thing. call it whatever you want and shut up.

  • RacingWolf7957 .

    The sports I like are Soccer (Also known as Football), Formula One and MotoGP.

  • cach

    Sooo, there are two “9’s” and no one noticed it?

  • Akhil

    Hockey is the national game of india as well. U might have mentioned it.

  • ugur kork

    I think basketball is the second popular sport in the world. ıt is very popular in north america, the whole europe (mainly south), china, phillipines. Also every countries except of commonwelth, plays that sport. ıt ıs more spread than cricket. On the other hand, boxing and ice hockey should be the top 10. For my researches,

    Turkey (my country)
    1. Football (soccer)
    2. Basketball
    3. Volleyball
    4. Boxing
    5. Martial Arts

    In the world
    1. Football
    2. Basketball
    3. Cricket
    4. Hockey
    5. Ice Hockey
    6.Baseball
    7. Volleyball
    8. Boxing
    9.Rugby
    10. Tennis

    • blobfish

      DOES ANYBODY EVER THINK OF AUSTRALIA???!!! WE LIKE SPORT TOO! AND WE EXIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hockey Fan

    Field hockey ??? Really ? Lol what a load of absolute bs lol. There are so many field hockey leagues, tournaments, shops for that matter. When is it coming to the olympics? You try to reach out to sports fans, at least make some sense out of this and get your facts straight. Nobody plays field hockey. Its ice hockey.

  • sagnik_shaggy

    Actually to speak the truth i’ve read all of you guys bullshit comments over here, but even though i am from India, I still come to one conclusion…………. “soccer” rules the world of sports. And to the fuckin’ retards who think cricket is best, please guys ” go home you’re drunk” lol. You just cannot compare Lionel Messi’s worldwide popularity to someone like Sachin Tendulkar who is only popular in some cricket playing nations…and thats why Soccer is way better than “fuckin’ cricket” or any other sport in the world…!!!!!!! If you Indian’s think cricket is your religion then know this SOCCER is the whole world’s religion..!!!!

    • Andrew

      Shult the fuck up. Even we americans love cricket. We played 2011 world cup. You should be hyping cricket and don’t destroy its popularity after t20

  • Dennis H

    Technically it’s Association Football. There’s many forms of Football; eg. Australian Rules Football, American Football, Rugby League is called Football in some areas, Gaelic Football. Where ever any of these sports is the popular one, it’ll be called Football, Footy, etc.

  • Phil

    Tell that to the Brits who differentiated As”socc”iaction Footbal from Rugby Football by abbreviating the first to “Soccer” then bash the US for still using the term.

  • Seba115

    Seriously baseball behind volleyball come on baseball its sow much better than volleyball

  • Shehdhd

    Fútbol

  • Sports Fan

    Srry dude, but BasketBall is popular throughout the world. It takes alot to make it to the NBA, the world’s premier BasketBall Leugue, Michael Jordan , Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Shaquille O’neal and many more . Its a place where SuperStars are BORN

  • Anonymous

    that is so true

  • vagztafdswfrs

    That’s right, Americans call it soccer. We should call it Football

  • Venkata Srinivasa Praveen

    How Can u say Its football I will not agree with It Because India Vs Pakistan Cricket World cup 2015 Match Was Watched By 1.5Billion (apporx) It Is the highest Watched Match In the History Of the Sports

    • bbb

      whole sport not one event

  • Venkata Srinivasa Praveen

    It Must Be the 1st Popular Sport becuse It has 3.5-4 Billion Fans Across INDIA,Pakistan,Srilanka,Australia,South Africa ETC Parts Of the world

  • nice

    where is call of duty duh

  • bbb

    it was iventid by a brit in india

  • bbb

    is just not as popular

  • Millsy

    true, but if it haves heaps of followers across a lot of countries in the southern hemisphere than it is still technically the second most popular sport.

  • Miguel

    Where does horse racing rank?

  • smartypants

    No, Minecraft is.

  • Paul Joseph

    The true name of SOCCER game called by americans was association football which is corrupted to soccer, and association football was one of the form of football such as rugby football, and american football which is also called gridiron.

  • cock

    8====D

  • kiwikidaus

    Who put these stats together? Totally innacurate. Spelling alone is a giant red flag that its a load of rubbish…

  • Juan Olivier

    How can american football be more popular then Rugby?

  • Fyre

    Basketball is the 2nd most popular sport.

  • cod

    yeah where the cod at

  • HumanRam

    Exacly how is this ranking defined and sought out?

  • Sports Tv24

    I think “American football” should be the first….

  • takasugi

    hockey is more popular than basketball

  • Dyrus

    I believe League of Legends falls into 3rd place.

  • Sahib Sandhu

    cricket best game in world

  • Mr. Misanthropy

    american football shouldn’t be here. its really just an american sport not a world sport.

  • veeresh

    Never cricket… Handball. Should be initiated place

    • Zorawar Heisenberg

      retard

  • veeresh

    Team handball should be promoted please help…… Just Play it and u will realise wat a great game it is,,, handball should be in top 10

  • WhoAmI

    haha, British commonwealth ? what does it have to do with our discussion cant your american dumb cannot keep up with changes in real world or you still stuck with your ignorant mind ?

  • anmol

    actualy it is table tenis

  • William

    Rugby league should be first

  • jack bits

    Rugby is the best sport not foot(fake)ball

  • WhoAmI

    British common wealth =/= India . India is sovereign country . Just because some racists think world is still run by British and white people .

  • This is not Soccer, this sport is Football.

  • Saitama

    Basketball is better than cricket

  • Pingback: Tips to Practice Paintball - How To Win Paintball Game()

  • Justin LeGross

    1. Football (Soccer)
    2. Basketball
    3. Tennis
    4. Formula 1
    5. Football (NFL)
    6. Athletics
    7. Golf
    8. Boxing

  • Pingback: Wimbledon Retains Men’s Hockey League Title | Ref Submit Pro Blog()

  • Pingback: Audio: Volleyball The Under-Representation Of The Sport | ALT SPORTS()

  • Pingback: List of Batsmen with an ODI hundred on debut()

  • Arne Grostøl

    Soccer is non existent… its a false word. It is football…. the american rugby they claim is named football is just another stupid american attempt to own everything. Its downright imbecile to call a sport where all players but one are not allowed to kick the ball… this deserves the biggest facepalm ever..

  • Pingback: Hamilton Farmers' Markets & ICC Cricket World Cup - Run Recover Relax()

  • Pingback: Top 10 Easiest Sports In The World - Easiest Sports To Play()

  • Lee Paxton

    Boxing is the greatest and toughest sport worldwide; these other sports are pussy sports or for pussies, and that includes nitwit UFC or MMA BULL!

  • Bobby33x

    By 2060 Basketball will be the #1 sport in the world…look at its growth trajectory.