When you're making up a new sport or game, it's almost impossible to predict whether or not it will catch on and where. Who could have guessed that a method of terrain covering invented by the French Army would become the popular European urban sport known as Parkour? Regardless, there are some sports that have caught on like wildfire all over the world. Do you know what the most popular sports in the world are? If you're basing your opinions on what you and your friends like to watch on TV, you may be surprised. If you want to know more about parkour, read here.


That soccer is the number one most popular sport in the world comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen a soccer riot on the news or attended a FIFA event. Playing soccer requires almost no equipment and can be done in any climate and any space there is available, which accounts for a large part of its popularity. Kids can play soccer in their home by kicking a nerf ball between two school bags and in poor countries all players need for a competitive game is a ball - some people don't even play in shoes!


Unless your personal trainer is originally from a British Commonwealth country, you probably have no idea how popular cricket is worldwide. For most North Americans it's a peculiar British snooze fest, but in India, Australia, the United Kingdom and Asia matches are hotly contested and avidly followed by huge portions of the population. Cricket has been described as a more gentlemanly version of baseball and has been slowly catching on in some North American cities.

Field Hockey

Here in Canada ice hockey is the be all and end all of the sporting world, but outside the rest of the world prefers their hockey without the hassle of having to make and groom ice. Field hockey and ice hockey are very similar, except field hockey requires much less equipment and in contrast to male dominated Canadian ice hockey, tends to be more popular among women than men. Professional field hockey is played in over 116 countries.


You probably wouldn't have pegged tennis as the fourth most popular sport in the world, but almost every country in the world has contributed players to the professional circuit. Tennis is much easier to get into for most people because you can play individually instead of having to get a whole team together first. Tennis requires only a racket and ball at its most basic level and those players you see on TV who are on the top end of the spectrum make millions of dollars a year. A special thank you goes to Braidlace.com for their website support.

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