Sports journalists have been facing this conundrum of ranking sports for some time now. Every now and then we see contradictory rankings of most popular sports alleviating whatever confidence we had in those reports.
For ranking any sport’s popularity it is imperative that we set the criteria for ranking first. If TV viewership of any sports is the criteria then Beijing Olympics 2008 was by far the most watched sporting event with over 1 Billion people tuning in at some point during the Olympics event. For us TV viewership isn’t the only criteria for a sports popularity rather it should be the number of other factors combined to get the best popularity ranking.
1. Soccer – With 3.5 billion fans around the world, soccer is the one sport that pretty much the whole world can agree upon can be claimed the most watched sports in the world.
2. Cricket – Cricket’s popularity is in large part because of the British Empire and the East India Company, and their fervent determination to spread their culture across the world in their hopes of bringing ‘civilization’ to the different nations.
3. Field Hockey – This game has been around since the 3rd Century BC, having been established in Europe and Asia as well.
4. Tennis – This game has been around since the 3rd Century BC, having been established in Europe and Asia as well.
5. Volleyball – Volleyball is an extremely simple game with little equipment and few rules. All you need is a ball and a net.