Top 5 Must Follow Insanely Popular Sports Outside America
Football and baseball are undoubtedly the most popular sports in America. Basketball and ice hockey come next, and soccer is slowly gaining popularity, thanks to the U.S. national team winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. But outside of these mainstream sports, Americans hardly know anything about the sports that are insanely popular in the rest of the world. Americans know tennis, soccer, golf, and NASCAR racing, but what about badminton, cricket, rugby or Formula 1? These sports are insanely popular outside America, most with their own federations and world governing bodies. So, broaden your horizons and check out our guide to the top 5 sports insanely popular outside America that you should follow!
Popular Sports Outside America – Badminton
Similar to tennis, but not quite the same, badminton is a racquet sport played across the net by individuals (singles), partners (doubles) or mixed doubles comprising both men and women playing together. This Olympic sport is insanely popular outside America and one that you should follow if you are a fan of sports that demand speed, precision and extreme agility. Badminton is extremely popular in Asian countries like China, Japan, India, and Indonesia, and European countries like Denmark, Spain, UK, etc. have also produced many star badminton players. A must-watch sport in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, badminton is definitely a sport that you should follow!
Popular Sports Outside America – Cricket
After soccer, cricket is the most popular sport in the world. It enjoys a crazy fan following of about 120 million people around the world. Though it originated in England, it now enjoys more popularity in other countries like India, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, etc. Being a bat and ball sport, cricket enjoys many similarities with baseball, and should be quite easy for baseball fans to follow. Modern cricket is played in many formats, with games lasting anywhere from 4 hours to five days! Cricket is fast gaining popularity in America too and there are talks of making it a major American league-style sport. So, get in early on all the action and start following this insanely popular sport!
Popular Sports Outside America – Rugby
Rugby is another sport that Americans can easily follow thanks to its likeness to football. Rugby fans are spread across the world and this rough-and-tumble sport has events that are watched by millions. New Zealand, Australia, UK, South Africa, Fiji, Samoa and much of Europe religiously follows rugby. Just like American football, rugby is a team sport that has an oval ball. Rugby even has interesting terms like ‘scrum’, ‘ruck’ and ‘maul’ that you can enjoy learning about! Rugby is one of those sports that are insanely popular outside America and one that you should certainly follow!
Recognized as the world’s oldest competitive sport, wrestling has been played in some form or another in practically every country in the world. But we’re not talking about professional wrestling that is meant for entertainment or theatrics, but the kind of wrestling that is governed by a world body, United World Wrestling, and is a genuinely competitive sport. Divided into two types, Freestyle Wrestling and Greco-Roman Wrestling, wrestling has been an Olympic sport since 708 BC! Though most Americans do not follow this style of wrestling, American wrestlers are known to perform very well in the Olympic games. In fact, Kyle Snyder of the U.S. men’s wrestling team made history by becoming the world’s youngest Olympic gold medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympic games. If that’s not a reason for you to follow wrestling, we’re not sure what is?
While most Americans are familiar with NASCAR racing, everywhere else in the world, Formula 1 reigns supreme. It is considered to be the most premier forms of racing consisting of custom-built cars that can attain top speeds of about 235 mph! Formula 1 is an insanely popular sport outside America, with an approximate viewership of 600 million per race. Formula 1 races called ‘Grand Prix’, are held across the world at purpose-built circuits. Formula 1 is also one of the most expensive sports in the world, but with supercar brands like Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, BMW and the likes participating, money is no problem at all! For fans of high-octane car racing, with thrills and chills at every turn, Formula 1 is the sport to follow!