10. Golf


Easily one of the most played sports in the world, 60 million people around the world regularly play golf according to Golf Today magazine.The definition of regularly playing golf in the above figure refers to playing at least one round of golf per year.

09. Baseball


For many years, baseball was most popular in America than anywhere else, but nowadays it’s one of the most played sports in the world with participation rising rapidly in countries like Japan. The sport’s international governing body, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), estimates that 65 million people play either baseball or softball in over 140 countries. 

08. Table Tennis

Table Tennis

Table tennis has become one of the most popular sports in the last decade following its integration in schools, social clubs, and sports centres around the globe. Topend Sports estimate 300 million people worldwide play table tennis. 

07. Cricket


The majority of participants of this sport come from Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and the UK, but cricket is also on the rise in other countries all over the world. The International Cricket Council (ICC) states an incredible 125 countries around the world play the  sport. 

06. Tennis


Widely recognised as one of the most popular individual sports in the world, tennis is played by an estimated number of 60 million men and women according to Topend Sports.  The sport is growing at serious speed in Asia, so don’t be surprised to see tennis rank higher among the most played sports in years to come. 

05. Basketball


The Federation of International Basketball Associations estimates a minimum of 450 million people play the sport around the world.  Thanks to global superstars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, basketball is very marketable and that is reflected in its top 5 ranking among the world’s most-played sports. 

04. Volleyball


With its origins in America, volleyball has grown to an estimated global participation figure of 998 million people. Indoor and outdoor versions of the sport are played all over the world, with over 220 affiliated national federations registered to volleyball’s global governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball. 

03. Field Hockey

02. Badminton


It may come as a surprise to some people that badminton is among the world’s most played sports. However, it is extremely popular and played regularly by an estimated 220 million people around the world. It is particularly popular in Asia, with many of the best players ever to grace the game hailing from the continent. 

01. Soccer


Be it at grassroots level, 5-a-side leagues, or at the top level, no sport rivals soccer for participation. In the last global census undertaken by the sports governing body FIFA, it was estimated that there are 265 million people who play the sport along with more than 5 million referees, which equates to 4% of the world’s population, thus cementing its place atop the list of the world’s most-played sports.