Although it is difficult to determine specific participation figures for sports around the world, available research can be used to provide a basic notion of some of the most popular sports, though we recognise that the list is subject to controversy. The Top 10 Most Popular Participation Sports in the World given below.



Few sports can match football as a spectator sport, and the number of individuals who participate in the sport, whether at the grassroots level, in 5-a-side leagues, or simply for enjoyment with friends, is comparable. According to the most recent global census conducted by FIFA, the sport has 265 million participants and more than 5 million referees, equating to a total population of 265 million individuals.



Some people may be surprised to learn that badminton is one of the top ten most popular sports in the world. However, badminton is a very popular indoor activity, with an estimated 220 million people playing it on a daily basis.It is particularly popular in Asia, where many of the game’s greatest players have come from.

Hockey on Ice


Men and women compete in this fast-paced sport in over 100 nations across five continents. Field hockey is a highly technical sport played by ten outfield players plus a goalkeeper, and its regulations differ from those of ice hockey.



Volleyball, which originated in America, has an estimated global participation of 998 million people. Volleyball is played inside and outdoors all over the world, with over 220 associated national federations registered with the sport’s worldwide regulatory body, the ‘FIVB.’



The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) estimates that 450 million individuals worldwide participate in basketball, whether recreationally or in organised events. Basketball legends such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have enhanced the sport’s global popularity as it has grown from its American roots.



According to a Topend Sports ranking, tennis is the most popular individual sport in the world, with an estimated 60 million men and women participating. The sport’s doubles form is also immensely popular around the world, which is why it is in the top ten most popular sports.



Cricket is most popular in Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, but it is also gaining popularity in other nations across the world. According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), cricket is played in 125 nations throughout the world.

Tennis table

table tennis

With schools, social organisations, and athletic centres all over the world participating, this indoor sport has increased in popularity. Table tennis is played by an estimated 300 million individuals globally, according to Topend Sports.



Baseball has always been more popular in America than anywhere else on the planet, but it is gaining traction in other countries, such as Japan. Softball is the female version of the game, and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) estimates that 65 million individuals in over 140 nations play baseball or softball.



Golfis one of the most popular sports in the world, with 60 million people participating on a daily basis, according to Golf Today. Regularly playing golf in these statistics is defined as participating in one round of golf per year or using a facility such as a driving range.