Top 11 Most Popular Sport In The World In 2023: Who’s No. 1?

Most Popular Sport In The World

Sports are not only enjoyable to play but also to watch. This is why most games, such as Football, Cricket, and Basketball, have a Billion fans across the world. 

Not only do these fans put an effort into learning the game, but they also stay up late to watch the matches, which are set in bizarre time zones. And God forbid if their favorite team loses, it’s the end of the world. 

Regardless, if you are curious about the most popular sport in the world, then keep reading. 

Top 10 World’s Most Popular Sports (2023)

In the table below, I have mentioned the 10 most popular sports as of 2023, along with their estimated fans. So, on that note, let’s skimp through it. 

RankSportEstimated Fans
1Football4 Billion
2Hockey3.5 Billion
3Cricket2.5 Billion
4Basketball2.2 Billion
5Horse Riding1.45 Billion
6Tennis1 Billion
7Volleyball900 Million
8Table Tennis875 Million
9Rugby 500+ Million
10Baseball500 Million

In the list below, I have given the eleven most popular sports at the moment. Additionally, I have also briefly explained how the game works and how many players each team has. 

1. Football

Source: Wikipedia

While some parts of the world address this game as Soccer, Football is a widely celebrated sport. Additionally, the teams are divided into two parts with eleven players each, and both teams need to compete to score a goal where they hit the ball with their foot toward the opposing team’s net. 

Now, to stop the goal from happening, each team’s Goalkeeper will stand in front of their respective nets. And in case of any foul or free kicks, players receive yellow/ red cards. 

2. Hockey

Source: Wikipedia

There are two main variants of Hockey: Ice Hockey and Field Hockey. And in each game, there are two teams trying to score a goal in the opposing teams’ nets. 

However, unlike Football, where players hit the ball with their feet, Hockey players have to hit the ball or, in the case of ice Hockey, the flat pucks. Again, just like Football, players have to score the goal in the opposite team’s net. 

3. Cricket

Source: KreedOn

Essentially a Bat and Ball game, Cricket is a widely celebrated game that first originated in England. Here, there are two teams with eleven players each. First and foremost, there is a toss; the winning team will decide whether they want to bat or ball. 

If they choose to bat, the opposite team will be spread across the ground, known as fielding. The batsman and his supporting mate’s goal is to stay on the field as long as possible while earning maximum scores with sixes, fours, and runs. 

However, if the opposite team gets a direct catch, then the batsman is out. 

4. Basketball

Source: The New York Times

Five players are divided into two teams, where each team’s goal is to shoot the ball in the opposite team’s basket. Obviously, it won’t be an easy task as the rest of the players (or defenders) are trying to snatch the ball away. 

Additionally, players move ahead with the ball by bouncing it on the ground by either walking or running, which is also known as dribbling. 

5. Horse Racing

Horse Racing
Source: Britannica

Horse Riding is also known as Equestrianism in some parts of the world. In fact, as the name suggests, this game involves controlling and riding the Horse. Additionally, the sport involves two or more horses who are ridden by jockeys. 

Depending on the competition and countries, the distance varies. Essentially, the motive of the game is to see who wins the race. 

6. Tennis

Source: Pro.Direct Sport

The double racquet game is generally played on a rectangular court. In addition, there are two types of matches, singles and doubles. In the case of the first one, there are two individuals on opposite ends of the net. And the person with the maximum number of misses will lose. 

Likewise, the doubles match is the same. The only difference is that instead of a single player on each end, there is a team of two on each end.  

7. Volleyball

Source: The Economic Times

Another united by the team and divided by the nets game. This fast-paced sport needs six players each on one side of the net. With the help of interlocked fingers, players would shoot the ball at the opposite team in a way that they could not shoot the ball back. 

By doing so, the team will score a point. Additionally, if the player accidentally shoots the ball in their own net, then they lose the point. 

8. Table Tennis

Table Tennis
Source: Medium

Also known as Ping Pon, Table Table is an indoor game that is generally played on a rectangular table with a net in the middle, which divides the table into two parts. Now, each player will stand on either side of the table with small racquets in their respective hands. 

One person will slowly serve the ball in a way that the ball would first drop on their side of the table and then go ahead. After the serve, each player’s ball must be on the opposite player’s side of the table. And if they hit the net by chance, then they lose. 

9. Rugby

Source: World Rugby

There are two types of rugby: Union and league; the former has 15 players in each team, whereas the latter has 13. 

Additionally, both teams compete with the help of an oval-shaped ball where each player runs, kicks, and passes the ball to the goal in the opposite team’s net. Both Rugby games require proper physical strength, teamwork, and strategy. 

10. Baseball

Source: Wikipedia

Another bat and ball game, where each team is divided into nine players. Here, each team needs to score some runs by first hitting the ball and then running across all the bases. Meanwhile, the other team would catch the ball and try to out the batter. 

However, the batsman reaches all bases and comes back home, and then they win a point. 

11. Boxing

Source: Britannica

In this port, two people fight each other using their fists. However, to protect their hands, they are given special gloves. 

Additionally, the motive is to hit the opponent with punches while avoiding theirs. The whole match is set in a boxing ring with multiple rounds; whoever lands up more clean punches wins the game. 

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Conclusion: What Is The Most Popular Sport In The World?

As of 2023, Football or Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with 3.5 Billion estimated fans. Additionally, the sport has over 240 Million registered players. 

The popularity of the game skyrocketed in the early 20th century during the 1930s World Cup, and to date, the FIFA World Cup stirs utter madness. 

In fact, every four years, there is an original song dedicated to the team: Waka Waka by Shakira is the most widely spread. And if you’re curious about the latest one, Jeon Jungkook of BTS opened the FIFA Qatar World Cup with his Dreamers performance. 

Overall, Football stans all over are growing every day. 


What are the top 5 most played sports?

The top most-played sports include Football, Hockey, Cricket, Basketball, and Volleyball. Four out of these games are played between two teams where they have to score in the opposite team’s territory. 

What is the 2nd most popular sport in the world?

Hockey is the second most popular sport worldwide, with estimated fans of about 3.5 Billion. 
Additionally, the sport requires eleven players in each team, where they try to hit the puck or ball with the Hockey stick in the opposite team’s net to score a goal. 

Which sport has the most fans in the world?

Football undoubtedly has the most number of fans in the world. In fact, the estimated number is about 3.5 Billion each day, which keeps increasing. 

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