Every sports fan has a sport they associate more with, whether by watching or through active play. Considering that most sports fans watch a couple of sporting events, how does one determine the most popular sport? Primarily, the popularity of a given sport is often determined by data which reflects some interest in the game. It could be in terms of spectator viewership and media participation. Here are some of the world’s most popular sports based on these two parameters.


Played by two teams of 11 players, football enjoys a massive following by over four billion fans, and it is often described as a “universal language”. Its immense popularity in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia is influenced by the non-stop action on the pitch and the excitement attached to the game. Anyone can play football regardless of their financial status or class.


Cricket is known as one of those sports which are associated with the colonial era of the British Empire. It is immensely popular on a global scale, especially in Asia. This game is known for its various intricacies and excitement. Another attraction towards this game is that it is particularly easy for anyone to learn and play.

Field Hockey

Field hockey has close to two billion fans, which is somewhat surprising for most people. Its popularity is attributed to its massive demand in India and Pakistan, which are amongst the populous nations in the world. Its popularity in the British colonies is also a reason why field hockey is third on our list.


Volleyball has close to 900 million fans. The ease of playing and the fact that it is safe are some key reasons why it is increasingly becoming popular. This sport enjoys massive popularity in Brazil. The advent of sports betting is a testament why volleyball is poised to continue with its meteoric rise.