What are the Top Three Most Popular Sports in the World and Why?

What are the Top Three Most Popular Sports in the World and Why?

Lauren Bisping

People like to watch sports because it’s entertaining and personal. You have your team and your players and you love to see them win and score. There are different forms of sports played in different countries so naturally, they have different amounts of popularity. Some sports are also unique to one specific country. So what sports are the most popular worldwide?

#1: Soccer

While soccer may not be the most popular sport in the United States, It is the most popular sport in the world by a large margin. Its popularity is due to its fanbase with roughly 3.5 billion fans worldwide. Soccer is a timed sport that consists of two 45-minute halves for a total of about 90 minutes of playtime. It can be played on any surface, it has very good advertising and funding, and there are 350 million players across 200 countries around the world.

A professional soccer game will be played on grass or artificial grass. There is a goal on opposite ends of the field. There are two teams each made up of 10 field players and 1 goalkeeper for a total of 11 players. The keeper can use their hands to protect the goal but only within the goalie box otherwise, it would be called a handball and result in a penalty kick. The field players can’t use their hands anywhere on the field except for when they are throwing the ball in after it has gone out of bounds. Soccer is changed to accommodate different age groups, for younger players the field is much smaller and there are a lot fewer people on the field.

#2: Cricket

A Lot of us might not know exactly what cricket is or how it is played. The majority of its fanbase is found in countries in Asia. Cricket is similar to baseball. The players use a large club to hit a ball. The “pitcher” is called the bowler, and the “batter” is called the batsman. The bowler tries to hit down the wicket a wood tower that stands next to the batsman, and the batsman tries to hit the ball and protect the wicket. If the ball is hit the pitcher’s team fields it like in baseball. The batsman does not then have to run but it is in the best interest of their team for scoring points that they run the bases. 

Cricket has 2.5 billion fans and is played worldwide. The majority of it can be played indoors. Professionals play cricket on grass.  We see different forms and mutations of cricket, for example, baseball which is also a popular sport. 

#3: Basketball

Basketball is a game most of us have probably heard of. Basketball is a timed sport that is played on a court with two hoops opposite each other. Two teams try to protect their hoop and score on the other team’s hoop. Depending on how far you are when you shoot the ball into the hoop you can earn a different amount of points. There are five players on the court for each team and the goal of the game is to score as many baskets as you can before you run out of time. 

For professional players the hoops are ten feet high, meaning the players themselves are also very tall. The average male basketball player’s height is six foot six. But with the tallest player standing at seven foot seven and the shortest at five foot three. Basketball has roughly 2.2 billion fans worldwide. You can find people playing different forms of basketball across different countries.