Top 10 Most Popular Sports In The World In 2021
Approximate # of fans: 450 million
Dating back to the 13th century in theory, golf wasn't solidified as a sport until the early 1400's in Scotland, where it was promptly banned by King James II. Possibly the only sport where its home of origin is still used as a playing ground in modern times, the Old Course at St. Andrews has been used for the last 500 years for golfing. The indirect nature of competition in the game tends to be an issue for potential fans - unlike all of the other sports on the list, golfers are never face to face in contest with each other, creating a lack of conflict or perceived competitiveness. American players have dominated the sport, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods, although a number of Asian countries have begun to catch up.
Approximate # of fans: 500 million
Developing in England from the game of rounders, baseball has one of the longest-standing codes of play - the major rules have not changed since 1901. The first formal league, the National League, was founded before then, in 1876, and consisted of American teams. The game is unique, with the direct competition of single players - the batter and pitcher - within a team sport. The sport has developed fans across the world, becoming the leading spectator sport in Japan and a national sport in a number of Central and South American countries, all of whom now provide talent to Major League Baseball. Cuba has developed into a world power in the sport, winning numerous Olympic golds, while the Japanese have won two out of three World baseball Classics. In the MLB, teams such as the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals are the most successful and popular.