1) Football Soccer.
The most important and popular sport in the world. In Europe and Latin America is the number one sport in all countries, in Africa is almost the most important sport as well its becoming a mayor popular sport in China, Korea, Japan and the Middle East.
Weakness: Its no so popular in India, USA and Canada. Women Football is not as popular as men.
The second most popular sport in the World. Its one of the most popular sports in USA, Canada, the second in importance in Europe, Brasil, Argentina and China. Nļ1 sport in Lithuania, Turkey, Greece and Israel.
Weakness: Itís a sport for tall people, not so popular in Africa, the middle east, India, and East Asia.
3) Car Racing (F1, Rally, etc).
The highiest TV rating sport in the World.
Weakness: Some people donít consider this to be a real sport.
A worldwide sport, played everywhere. Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open, Australia and the Davis Cup are mayor world sports events. For Women itís the most popular sport in the World.
Weakness: Itís a sport for middle and high class people.
5) Athletism (includes swimming).
The World Cup is the third in importance after the Soccer World Cup and the Olympic games.
Weakness: Its being constellation of sports in which Capitalism fought peacefully against the Communist countries. In Latin America and the Third World Countries, this kind of sports are not that popular.
Another Worldwide sport, played everywhere. Specially in USA and Europe.
Weakness: Its a sport for very high class people.
Some people consider Boxing the second sport in popularity. But it depends too much on the actual boxers in activity.
Weakness: Itís a danger sport, only occasionally there is a fight that stimulates the worlds attention.
The nļ1 sport in USA.
Weakness: Itís a local sport, only being popular in USA, Venezuela, Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Japan. It doesnít have a World Cup, and the best players never attend in the Olympic Games.
9) Volleyball (includes beach volley).
A Worldwide sport. Being played in every corner of the planet. Itís the second most popular sport in Brasil. Woman Volley is the second sport for Women.
Weakness: Many people practice it, but doesnít follow the professional tournaments. Its a īport without "Stars"
The best players are not known by the people and the mass media.
10) Hockey (ice, field and roller).
Another Local Sport. Field Hockey: Itís the National and Second in Popularity sport in India and Pakistan. Also a mayor Olympic Sport.
Ice Hockey: The National Sport in Canada and very popular in USA, Russia and Northern Europe. A mayor sport in the Winter Olympic Games.
Weakness: Itís a sport being played in few countries with no big popularity. In Latin America its only being played in Argentina where the women version of field Hockey is more popular than the men s one.
11) Water, Wind Sports. (surf, wind-surf, boating, etc).
Too many and of different kinds. Only popular in the high class people.
Surf itís a very popular sport everywhere.
Weakness: competitions doesnít awake the worlds attention.
Highly practiced in the countries were there is snow: North-Europe, USA, Canada, Russia.
Weakness: Many people practice it but doesnít follow the Mayor Tournaments.
Another Local Sport. Played almost in the British Colonies, itís the most important sport in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the West Indies (Bahamas), and its the national sport in England and the third in popularity in Australia and South Africa.
Weakness. Its just a Local sport with no existence in the rest of the World. Its not an Olympic Sport.
14) Rugby (union, league and seven).
A Local Sport. Played in the British Colonies and in France. Itís the most popular sport in New Zealand, the second in England, France and South Africa. And very popular in Australia.
Weakness: Its not an Olympic Sport. In some parts of the World, specially in the whole American continent, East Europe, Asia and Africa this sport is donít even known.
In South Africa Rugby was only for White People.
15) Table Tennis.
Itís an important Olympic sport. The National Sport in China.
Weakness: In most parts of the World its just a game.
16) Martial Arts (Judo, Taek Won Do, Karate, etc).
Another important Olympic Sports.
Weakness: The ordinary people doesn t understand its rules, so its difficult to follow it if you have never practice them.
A Mayor Sport. Important in the Olympic Games. The nļ1 sport in the Basque Country (Spain).
Weakness: Itís a borring sport to watch it on TV.
18) American Football.
A Sport only being Popular in USA. It doenst have a World Cup, of course, only USA will win all of them .
A Sport only important cause its an Olympic Sport. Popular in Germany, Swedden, Hungary and Spain.
A Sport only important cause its an Olympic Sport. Only popular in Spain.
Only popular in Spain and Mexico.
A Sport only important cause its an Olympic Sport, in many countries its just a game.
National Sport in Indonesia and very popular in Malaysia.
Itís a sport for Aristocrats. Only Popular in Argentina.
24) Australian Football.
Nļ1 Sport in Australia.
Only played in Britain and some parts of USA.
26) Paddle Tennis.
Only Popular in Argentina and Spain. Former spanish president Aznar favourite sport.
This is not a sport
28) Turf: Gambling not a sport.
29) Shooting: Fighting not a sport.
biggest most popular sport on the planet, yet still people call it by some stupid made up name that has no relevance to the sport... it's called football, mostly because you use your foot, and there's a ball
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I think there are multiple factors to rank sports based on popularity. Two main criteria can be: "number of people who watch/play" and "number of countries in which the sport is played". I think a 'democratic' way of ranking should be number of people who watch/play. In that sense, cricket has caught up a lot (and should continue to do so after introduction of 20-20). By the way, an interesting thing to note is - Rugby (American Footbal) and Cricket are the only two sports in the top 10 which are not part of Olympic Games. Hmmm.....