19 Different Types of Sports Played Around the World
Sports are more than just fun games to play with your friends for contests or exercise. They bring energy, passion, pride, meaning, rush, and entertainment to people across the world. It’s the one thread that ties human beings no matter where you go.
Some people like to play, while some just like to show up to support the home team and players who bring pride to their community. Almost everyone gets involved with sports in some way. This article takes a look at some of the different types of sports that are played around the world.
19 Different Types of Sports Played Around the World
A kayak is a small narrow boat usually only fit for one person. It’s got a light frame and is watertight with a small hole for the paddler to sit in. Kayaks are not made for transport, only for sports and recreation.
Kayaking involves rapidly traversing large distances over water bodies, usually rivers and streams. It is one of the best exercises as paddling tones almost every muscle in your upper body, from your back and shoulders to your arms and chest.
Skiing involves balancing yourself on two thin wooden planks with poles to help you push yourself over snow. It’s an incredibly thrilling sport, bound to get your heart rate up.
Skiing offers the perfect balance of adrenaline and calmness, allowing you to traverse great distances over mountains and fields of snow while doing stunts and taking in the beautiful sights. In the Olympics, there’s a version of skiing called ski-jumping that has grown in popularity in the recent decade.
Surfing is a surface water sport that’s sometimes competitive but mostly done for recreation. It involves balancing yourself over a board to ride waves. In order to surf, however, you need to find waves that are appropriate for surfing. If they’re too small or calm, you won’t be able to surf, and if they’re too high, it’s dangerous.
Surfing is most popular in coastal regions like California, Florida, and the Island of Hawaii. However, if you’re an amateur, you should probably consider training programs as surfing is a dangerous sport.
When swimming, you use your own body to push through and cover distances across the water. There are many different ways to swim, like breaststroke, butterfly, sidestroke, and freestyle.
Primarily an individual sport, races are usually held in categories of style. It’s a sport that exercises almost every muscle in your body and involves tremendous stamina and endurance.
Aerobics is by definition a sport, but rather an exercise that’s been growing rapidly in popularity across the world. It involves rhythmic aerobic exercises and stretching exercises that look like a dance.
The repetition of the sequences, however, usually demonstrated live by a professional instructor, helps develop strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness.
It’s called “aerobic” because it helps improve the flow of oxygen to your cells and strengthens them, giving you a myriad of health benefits.
Although practiced as just a sport today, before guns were invented, archery was used in warfare and for hunting throughout the world. The history of archery as a crucial survival skill goes back thousands of years.
The sport involves using a bow to shoot the arrow at a particular target. It’s a measure of one’s skill, accuracy, and sometimes eyesight. The Olympic games have 3 types of events for archery, namely, Recurve, Compound, and Barebow.
Gymnastics, contrary to most sports, does not test speed or power. It tests the body’s flexibility and its limitations in stretching and maintaining different shapes. It’s more of a show-sport than competitive, although the Olympic games do hold categories of gymnastics.
There are several variations of gymnastics, some involve using a trampoline, some a pole, and some are freestyle. It takes years of arduous physical training and an almost draconian dietary regimen to achieve the physique and skills of a professional gymnast. Among the many different types of sports, gymnastics is a highly-praised sport for both its grace and difficulty.
Boxing is a full-contact individual sport that involves two players punching each other until one gives in or faints.
Despite precautions such as using boxing gloves to cover up the hard and rough edges of their fists, it’s still a pretty brutal sport but glorious to watch. Boxing is not just a contest to test how hard you hit, but it also tests your stamina and endurance for taking hits.
Boxing as a sport has produced some of the world’s most remarkable athletes, such as Muhammad Ali, a world-famous champion, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Mike Tyson.
You could cycle for fun, to get around, or to explore trails, and you can cycle competitively in a race.
It’s a sport that tests your stamina and concentration above all else. There are currently 4 disciplines of cycling followed in the Olympic games: Track Cycling, Road Cycling, Mountain-biking, and BMX.
#10. Discus Throw
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Discus throwing is one of the oldest and most athletic Olympic sports that involves throwing a heavy discus like a frisbee to see how far it goes.
The very first Olympic games held in Greece had discus throwing, and it was believed that Hercules participated. It takes both strength and skill to successfully throw a discus across a great distance.
Equestrianism is also simply referred to as horse riding. Unlike horse racing, it’s not a competitive sport and usually just involves walking through beautiful trails on a horse.
The Olympic games don’t distinguish racing from equestrianism because their categories involve more than just racing. They also involve showjumping and rallies. The term equestrianism has often been considered an umbrella term for all things related to horseback riding.
#12. Pole Vault
Pole vaulting is one of the oldest Olympic sports in the world. It involves making a run-up and using a tall pole to push your body into the air and over obstacles. This is one of the different types of sports that can get dangerous, especially at the Olympic level, where obstacles are more than twice or thrice the player’s height.
The potential for head injury is high, and there have been more deaths in pole vaulting than in any other sport in the world.
Powerlifting is one of the toughest competitive sports in the world. It’s purely a test of strength that requires not only diligent exercise and good nutrition but also incredible genetics, especially if you’re competing.
There are different size categories for players in powerlifting, similar to boxing, to keep things fair.
Football is arguably the most popular sport in the world. It’s called soccer in the United States, so don’t confuse it for the version of football that involves players tackling each other. That’s a whole other sport.
But football throughout the world and most dominantly in Europe and South America is played by feet. It’s a team sport where the objective is to strike a goal against your opponents while defending your own.
Handball is a popular Olympic team sport where you hit a ball in the air using your fists to get it over the net to the other side. Players need to prevent the ball from hitting the ground on their side of the net without each player touching the ball more than twice to pass it.
If the ball touches the ground on their side, it’s a goal for the opposing team. Handball tests your reflexes, accuracy, strategy, and team coordination skills. It’s a game for both the mind and body.
Golf involves using a golf club to hit a ball into a small hole. There are about 18 holes to fill throughout the course of a normal game, which means a game of golf can last a whole day. It tests your patience, strength, and precision. You also have to factor in the wind speed and ground elevation when aiming your shot.
Golf is played on vast and lavish estates that require a golf cart to explore fully. To win the game, you must finish potting your balls before the other players.
#17. Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey is Canada’s most popular sport. It is also popular throughout the United States. It is, however, an incredibly dangerous contact sport that’s produced some of the worst injuries seen in sports over the years. Players wear ice skating shoes with blades under the sole, special headgear, and protective equipment while playing the game.
It’s a team sport played on a rink or field of ice, using sticks and a puck that’s hard enough to break bones. The objective of the game, like with football, is to score on your opponent while defending your own.
You’d more likely see kids and teens on a skateboard to get around, but it’s also a popular sport with its own crowd and can be somewhat risky.
Skateboarding involves pushing yourself forward on a board with four wheels while maintaining balance using your hips. It’s tricky to learn. At the professional level, some of the stunts include jumping over obstacles, kickflips, sliding up and down a ramp with some air time, and even sliding down the handlebars for stairs.
If you live in America, unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard of baseball. It’s one of the most followed sports in the United States with a long and cherished history.
The game is pretty simple. A pitcher at the center of the field pitches the ball straight for the batter. The batter hits it, and unless the ball leaves the field, which is considered a home run, they have to run for safety to the next baseball tile in an anti-clockwise order. There are 4 tiles they must cover for a full run before the ball reaches the pitcher or one of the players standing at the tiles.