Sports and games are a universal language of health, fitness, and excitement. The idea of games and sports dates back to the Bronze Age when Europeans first invented games nearly 7000 years ago. People all over the globe have actively participated in indoor or outdoor sports or board war games like Viking chess, Medieval Mill games, Norwegian Knight games, etc.
Olympic Games were held for the first time in 776 B.C. in Olympia, a site in southern Greece where ancient Greeks worshipped Zeus, the king of the gods. The evolution in human society brought us closer to sports; now, we play thousands of indoor and outdoor games. Sports go back thousands of years, and its interesting how games, uniforms, equipment, advertising – and sports stadium wayfinding – have changed along the years.
In this article, we will discuss the seven most popular outdoor sports played all over the world.
Hockey is one of the most popular outdoor sports played in over 100 countries, with millions of spectators and avid players around the globe. While there are many types of hockey games, field hockey and ice hockey are among the most-played hockey variations.
The National Hockey League (NHL) is responsible for holding ice hockey tournaments every year. Two teams of 6 players each play in a 200-feet long and 85-feet wide ice rink. This rink is divided into two halves, with goals and creases at each end. To win a game of ice hockey, a team must score more goals within three 20-minutes rounds. Players must play another 5-minute overtime if there is a tie to score a goal and claim victory. If you want to know more about how to play ice hockey, check out this guide to ice hockey rules.
IIHF World Championship is among the most prominent annual international men’s ice hockey tournament, and 16 national teams participate in the mega event. Famous hockey leagues include National Hockey League, Ice Hockey League, Elite Ice Hockey League, ECHL, and Canadian Hockey League.
Volleyball is another popular sport among sports lovers, and it is among the most-played family game on beaches, backyards, and open spaces. In a typical court volleyball match, two teams of 6 players play against each other on a court that is 18m long and 9m wide. A net and a line separate the two halves; players of each time bounce and strike the ball with their hands; if the ball touches the ground, the opposing team wins a point.
You can play volleyball in different variations, including standard indoor, beach, sitting, aquatic, and jolly ball. Beach volleyball has only two players and is widely popular among people who like to hit the beach and have a super-active and fun activity with friends and family. Apart from a domestically-played game, there are popular local and international volleyball leagues, including FIVB Volleyball World League, Pro Volleyball League, Premier Volleyball League, USA Volleyball, and PlusLiga.
Soccer or football is among the most played and watched worldwide, particularly in Europe and South America. According to the latest statistics, more than 275 million people actively play soccer around the globe, with nearly 4 billion fans which make up around 43% of the world’s population. FIFA world cup is the most famous sports event in the history of humankind as billions of people watch the competition live in stadiums and on their television screens. The FIFA world cup is held every four years, and 32 national teams participate in the main event. Apart from the world cup, numerous international tournaments are held yearly, with players from different countries teaming up for the event. The most famous European men’s leagues include the super-hot Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, English Football League, MLS, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and Bundesliga.
A typical soccer field is 131 x 87 yards or 136 x 93 yards at max with a 1.5m pitch outside the marked playing field. Two teams play against each other in two halves of 45 minutes, and the team that scores the most goals wins.
Basketball is a popular sport, particularly in North and South America, with over 70,000 professional players and 2 billion fans worldwide. Some famous basketball players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry have gained worldwide recognition. FIBA Basketball World Cup is one of the major sporting events in the US, Canada, and parts of Europe. The National Football Association (NBA) holds an annual basketball event that is watched worldwide by millions of fans. With over 30 teams, the famous NBA leagues include WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and Basketball Africa League.
Two teams of 5 players play against each other for four quarters of 10 minutes each, and the team scoring the highest number of goals wins. Most people believe that you need to be tall to play basketball, but it’s merely a myth. Although tall people are preferable for playing a league match, people of any age and height can participate in basketball.
Tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports these days. It is played in both singles and pairs. Tennis is a famous sport throughout the globe, and people from many countries actively watch and play tennis. A single person or country has never dominated the game. In both the Men’s and Women’s tours, 14 tennis players from 8 different countries have grabbed the world title over the years, which shows how globally popular tennis has always been.
Famous tennis stars like Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Martina Hingis, and Steffi Graf are some of the world-famous tennis players with billions of fans throughout the globe. Tennis has a huge fanbase from the US, Europe, North America, Asia, and parts of Africa, making it one of the most watched sports in the world.
6. Rugby or American Football
Millions of Americans consider rugby or American football a national obsession, making it one of the most popular sports in all parts of the US and North America. There are more than 400 million fans of rugby worldwide, and millions of people watch the world-famous Super Bowl, the Rugby World Cup, and the American Football World Championship. Although most teams hail from North America, NFL Europe arranges games in England and Europe yearly.
American football is a team sport with eleven players on each side. Each team plays on a rectangular 120-yard field with two goalposts. Players must catch an oval-shaped ball or pass the goalpost before a touchdown. The offense must advance the ball at least ten yards for a new set of four downs. If they fail, they must turn the ball over to the opposing team.
Cricket is a world-famous sport with over 14 national teams playing tournaments against each other throughout the year. Cricket is played in three formats: test match, one-day international (ODI), and T-twenty International (T20I). England is the pioneer of cricket, and now it is most famous in parts of Asia, Europe, Australia, Canada, and the Middle East.
International Cricket Council (ICC) is the governing organization for various international competitions. These include ODI World Cup (every four years), T20 World Cup (every year), and other famous international events like the Ashes, Asia Cup, NatWest Series, ICC Champions Trophy, etc. Various countries hold their national premier league events, which have grown in popularity over the years, including the world-famous Indian Premier League (IPL), County Championship, Big Bash League (BBL), and Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Cricket is a fast-growing sport with nearly 2.5 billion fans worldwide. A team of 11 players plays against the other team for a 50 or 20-over match. The opponent must score higher in the limited-over match. The team batting first can win if it successfully defends its score by sending all players back to the pavilion before reaching the target score or failing to score the runs within the specific overs.
Sports is undoubtedly a healthy and fun activity. The above list provides complete detail of the most popular sports worldwide. If you follow the rules and practice your favorite sports more often, you can easily become an avid player and grab your place in a local or international team.
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