In as much as it is quite hard to calculate exact participation numbers for sports all over the world, it is feasible to give a general idea of some of the most participated sports utilizing the research that is available, in as much as we appreciate that the list can change anytime.

1) Soccer/Football

Some things can rival football as a spectator sport and this is also matched by the number of people who take part in the sport, be it at the grassroots level, 5-a-side leagues or simply playing for fun with friends. In the last global population undertaken by the sports heading body FIFA, it was said that there are 265 million individuals who play the sport along with more than 5 million referees, which is equal to 4% of the world’s population.

2) Field Hockey

This fast-paced sport is played by men and women in over 100 countries on 5 continents throughout the world. A firm favorite at the Olympic Games, field hockey is a highly technical sport, played by 10 outfield players plus a goalkeeper and its rules is different from the Ice hockey variation of the sport.

3) Volleyball

Originating from America, volleyball boasts an impressive 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 ‘FIVB’.

4) Badminton

It might come as a surprise to some people that badminton is among the world’s top 10 most participated sports. But badminton is an extremely popular indoor sport, which is played regularly by an estimated 220 million people around the world. It is especially popular in Asia, with many of the best players ever to grace the game hailing from the continent.

5) Tennis

Globally known as the topmost individual sport in the world, tennis is played by a total number of 60 million men and women around the globe, based on a ranking by Topend Sports. The doubles version of the sport is also very popular around the world, which is why it ranks on this 6 most participated sports list.

6) Basketball

The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) states that a minimum of 450 million people plays the sport around the world, it could be recreationally or through planned competitions. Legendary figures in the world of basketball such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, have assisted the rise in global fa of the sport from its American roots.

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