Is your favourite sport on this list?
Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
Some Canadians may think the only sports that resonate with the entire human population include hockey, football, basketball, etc. But believe it or not, the world of sports is much more diverse than some people can imagine.
Whether it’s the barriers to entry, geographical regions, or just individual preferences, the popularity of some sports tend to vary depending on who you are and where you’re from.
Here are three of the most popular sports in the world (according to WorldAtlas.com).
Well, it looks like some Canadians aren’t completely wrong. Hockey is so popular that it has an estimated two billion fans. The sport has two variations with one revolving around two teams competing on the ice (ice hockey), and the other revolving around two teams competing on a grass/turf field (field hockey). The popularity of ice hockey is likely very apparent in places where the climate is cold. One crucial difference between the two is that field hockey doesn’t involve any body contact or “checking.”
This one might come as a surprise to many, but cricket also attracts an unbelievable amount of people as it has an estimated 2.5 billion fans. The sport is super popular in the UK and in some former British colonies such as India, Pakistan, and Australia. Reasons for the sport’s popularity include its simplicity and star power in the professional leagues. One of the reasons it may not resonate as much with North Americans is because of its similarity to baseball.
1. Football/Soccer (depending on where you’re from)
There is not even a
discussion on any sport that could even come close to the popularity of soccer.
More than half of the world’s population are fans of the sport, with over 3.5
billion people watching the last FIFA World Cup in 2018 and just over a billion of that audience watching
the World Cup finals. Those numbers are unprecedented; much of the unanimous
popularity potentially goes to the barriers of entry to playing it, as all a
player needs is a ball and two objects that can act as a net.
It will be interesting to see how the popularity
of these three sports will play out in the coming years.