Most Popular Sports
Starting from the ancient civilization till the era of the technology, sports have always played a major role in the history of mankind. Various forms of gymnastics and acrobatics were probably the pioneer and the most popular sports of the pre-dynastic era, as it was recorded around 2000 BC. In those days, it was more of a skill development technique rather than for entertainment. Eventually, sports started to get used for recreational purposes. By looking at the Greek-Roman period, anyone can assume the wide popularity and the vital importance of the coliseum, and that of the gladiators as the main entertainment of the masses. At that time, ancient games are strangely crucial, violent or even deadly, and had their own ritualistic connections with the society. Today, the world enjoys mostly the non-morbid type of recreational, as well as traditional sports. And here is the list of 10 Most Popular Sports in the world.
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Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World
Soccer, also referred to as Association football, is a game between two teams with a spherical ball, consisting of eleven players on each side. The game is played on a rectangular field having goalposts at each end. The objective of the game is to score by placing the ball into the opposite goalpost. The goalkeepers are the only players on the ground that can touch the ball in their penalty area with their hands. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport as it is played in over 200 countries by 250 million players. It is widely considered to be derived from Ancient Greek sport “Episkyros” and the Roman version of the game “Harpastum”. The Laws of the Game were originally developed in England in 1863 by The Football Association and later governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football or FIFA.
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Cricket is a team game played between two teams with 11 players on each side mainly on round or oval shaped grounds while concentrating to the rectangular 22-yard long pitch for two main events called bowling and batting. The objective of the game is to score runs while batting turns while the other team bowls and fields. Each of that turn is known as an inning. It is widely believed that in 1301, Prince Edward, the son of Edward I, played this game at Newenden, England. The game had developed to be the national sport of England by the end of the 18th century. It was being played abroad by the mid-19th century due to the expansion of the British Empire. A team of England cricketers went on the first overseas tour to North America in 1859. This sport is often referred as the “Gentleman’s game” for the sportsmanship of the cricketers.
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3. American Football
American football, often referred as Gridiron in various countries and football in the United States, is a sport played by two teams consisting eleven players each on a rectangular field with goalposts on each end. The dimension of a typical football ground is 120 yards long and 53.33 yards wide. Most points are scored by placing the ball into the opposing team’s goalpost which is called touchdown. It is the most popular sport in the United States where the most popular forms of the game are professional football and college football. The most famous American football league, NFL, has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world in its final match called the “Super Bowl”. NFL is also one of the richest leagues with around $10 billion of annual revenue. The first American football game was played between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1869.
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Basketball is a sport played on a rectangular court by two teams of five players on each side. The objective of the game is to place the ball in the hoop, a hollow bottom net of 18 inches diameter placed 10 feet above the ground at each end of the court. Two points are given to the shooting team if the players shoot the ball in the net ahead of the three-point line. It is illegal to carry the ball without dribbling, or resume the dribble while holding the ball with both hands. The game was invented by Dr. James Naismith, at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School, while creating a game to achieve maximum fitness in December 1891. The first balls specifically for basketball which were brown in color were developed by Tony Hinkle in the late 1950s. The first official game was played by two teams of nine players each in the YMCA gymnasium in Albany on January 20, 1892.
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Baseball is a team game played between two teams of nine players each in turns of batting and fielding. The objective of the game is to hit the ball with a bat thrown by the pitcher. The scoring runs come by running counter-clockwise around a series of four bases after hitting the ball. When a player advances around the bases and returns to the home plate, a run is scored. Each baseball game is played in nine innings where two teams switch between batting and pitching whenever the fielding team makes three outs. This sport is believed to be derived from “la soule” which was described in a French manuscript from 1344. The early modern version of baseball was being played by the mid-18th century in England. Baseball was recognized as the national sport of the United States by the late 19th century.
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Tennis is a sport that can be played using a racquet, individually against a single opponent called singles, or between two teams of two players on each side. The grounds are rectangular with distinctive markings, and the racquets are knitted with chord or string. The objective of the game is to strike a hollow felt-over rubber ball into the opponent’s court around the net. The modern version of this sport originated in Birmingham, England and by the late 19th century it was widely played as lawn tennis” which was a combination of lawn games mainly between bowls and croquet. According to the 1845 novel Sybil by Disraeli, Lord Eugene De Vere once stated that he would “go down to Hampton Court and play tennis.” Now, four major tournaments or the Grand Slams are hugely popular which are Australian Open, French Open and the US Open.
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Boxing is a combat game between two players which was often called the sweet science and also the prize fighting in the past. The objective of this game is to throw punches for scoring a point against each other with gloved hands over a series of three-minute intervals called rounds. It is also included in two of the most popular event of the modern earth, the Olympic and the Commonwealth sports. It was recorded back as far as the 3rd millennium BC in a Sumerian relief and by the time of 688 BC, it was introduced in Olympic by the Greeks. The current version of this sport originated in Great Britain around 16th to 18th-century. The first bare-knuckle fight in England was documented in 1681 and in 1719 the first recorded bare-knuckle champion was James Figg in England. Three main styles used in modern boxing are fighter, brawler, and In-fighter.
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Golf is a club sport where competing players called golfers try to hit a ball into a series of holes on a course using the fewest strokes possible, with various bent sticks called the clubs or the golf bats. According to the modern Rules of Golf, the objective of the game is “playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.” This sport does not require a standardized playing area and played in the courses with either nine or 18 holes arranged in progressive order. It is widely believed to be derived from the Roman game of paganica, where participants used to hit a stuffed leather ball with bent sticks. The current record of this game was first documented when James II banned this game in 1457 because it was a visual distraction while learning archery. The most popular event of this game is the PGA Tour.
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Hockey is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each in a rectangular hockey ground with a goal post on each end. The objective of this game is to maneuver a hockey ball called the Puck into the opponent’s goal using hockey sticks. The name of this game was first recorded in the book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes by Richard Johnson in 1773. But it was also widely believed that it was first recorded by King Edward III of England in 1363. A stone work belongs of 2000BC Egypt was also scripted with teams playing with sticks and a projectile. In 600 BC, this game was called kerētízein or kerhtízein by the Greeks. There are two main types of hockey, Field Hockey and Ice Hockey. Field hockey is played on natural grass with a hard ball approximately 73 mm in diameter, whereas, the ice hockey is played on a rectangular field of ice with a three-inch-diameter vulcanized rubber disc.
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Volleyball is a team game which is played between two teams of six players on a rectangular court separated by a net. The objective of the game is to hit the volleyball with hands over the net and score points by grounding the volleyball on the opponent’s court. The defending team can touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual participants of the same team cannot consecutively touch the ball twice. The typical size of the volleyball ground is 50 feet long and 25 feet wide, and the topmost end of the net should be placed 6 feet 6 inches above the ground. This game was introduced in the Summer Olympic Games in 1964. It was invented by YMCA director, William G. Morgan as an indoor game on February, 1895 and named Mintonette, which can be played by any number of players. This game also has various other types such as Beach volleyball, Buka ball and Footvolley.
Various other sports are also very popular throughout the world such as Table Tennis or Track and Field. An important fact is that, around 13,000 athletes participate in one of the biggest event of the earth, the Olympic, in 400 events of 33 different sports.