List of Sports: Names of Different Types of Sports and Games

Last Updated on November 21, 2023

A way to relieve stress and maintain a healthy body is by engaging in different types of sports. With them, you don’t just enhance your physical health, you also enjoy and have a great time with friends. Sports promote friendliness, teamwork, hard work, and discipline. The satisfaction you get while playing the sport equals, or even exceeds, the one you get from winning it. For information purposes, run through this article as it lists out the different types and examples of sports known today.

In this section, you are going to be learning the correct English names for a variety of sports which will improve your vocabulary and build you confidence in both speaking and listening.

List of Sports

The sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators.

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Common Names of Sports and Games

Archery

Archery is the sport or practice of shooting arrows with a bow.

  • Example: She had been practicing archery for years and was excited to compete in the upcoming tournament.

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Badminton

Badminton is a racquet sport played by two or four players who hit a shuttlecock back and forth over a high net with small racquets.

  • Example: She enjoyed playing badminton with her friends on the weekends.

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Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a circular field with a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch in the center.

  • Example: He grew up playing cricket with his siblings in the backyard.

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Bowling

Bowling is a sport or leisure activity in which a player rolls or throws a bowling ball towards a set of ten pins in an attempt to knock them down.

  • Example: She enjoyed going out with her friends to play a few rounds of bowling on the weekends.

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Boxing

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people wearing gloves punch each other in a boxing ring.

  • Example: He trained hard for months in preparation for his upcoming boxing match.

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Curling

Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area, while teammates use brooms to sweep the ice in front of the stone to control its speed and direction.

  • Example: She and her friends joined a curling league and enjoyed playing together every week.

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Tennis

Tennis is a racket sport played by two or four players who hit a ball back and forth over a net with small rackets.

  • Example: She practiced tennis every day after school to prepare for the upcoming tournament.

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Skateboarding

Skateboarding is a recreational activity or sport in which a person rides on a board with four wheels and performs various tricks and maneuvers.

  • Example: He spent most of his free time skateboarding at the local skate park with his friends.

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Surfing

Surfing is a water sport in which a person rides on a board on the surface of a wave.

  • Example: She had always wanted to try surfing and finally got the chance on her vacation to Hawaii.

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Hockey

Hockey is a team sport played on ice or a field, in which players use sticks to hit a ball or puck into the opposing team’s goal.

  • Example: He played hockey in high school and was the team’s top scorer.

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Figure skating

Figure skating is a sport in which individuals or pairs perform various artistic and athletic movements on ice, including spins, jumps, and lifts.

  • Example: She had been taking figure skating lessons since she was a child and dreamed of competing in the Olympics one day.

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Yoga

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.

  • Example: She enjoyed practicing yoga in the morning to help her feel centered and calm throughout the day.

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Fencing

Fencing is a sport in which two competitors wearing protective gear use swords to strike each other while trying to avoid being hit themselves.

  • Example: He trained hard for months to prepare for the national fencing championship.

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Fitness

Fitness refers to a state of physical health and well-being that can be achieved through exercise and proper nutrition.

  • Example: She made it a priority to maintain her fitness by going to the gym regularly and eating a balanced diet.

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Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport or activity that involves performing acrobatic feats, such as tumbling, balancing, and contorting the body, often on equipment like a balance beam or parallel bars.

  • Example: She had been practicing gymnastics since she was a child and had won several medals in competitions.

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Karate

Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan, and involves various striking and blocking techniques using the hands, feet, and other parts of the body.

  • Example: He had earned his black belt in karate after years of dedicated training and practice.

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Volleyball

Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players hit a ball back and forth over a high net, trying to make the ball touch the ground on the opponent’s side of the court.

  • Example: She played volleyball in high school and loved the feeling of camaraderie and teamwork on the court.

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Weightlifting

Weightlifting is a sport or activity in which a person lifts weights, usually in the form of barbells or dumbbells, to build strength and muscle mass.

  • Example: He spent hours in the gym every week, focusing on weightlifting to improve his physical fitness.

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Basketball

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players each try to score points by shooting a ball through a hoop elevated 10 feet above the ground.

  • Example: He had always been a natural athlete and excelled at basketball in high school.

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Baseball

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players on a field with four bases in a diamond shape. The objective is to score runs by hitting the ball and running around the bases while the opposing team tries to get the ball and tag the runners out.

  • Example: He loved going to the ballpark to watch his favorite baseball team play.

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Rugby

Rugby is a team sport played with an oval-shaped ball in which two teams of 15 players each try to score points by carrying or kicking the ball across the opposing team’s goal line.

  • Example: He had grown up playing rugby with his friends and continued to play in college.

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Wrestling

Wrestling is a combat sport in which two people grapple with each other, trying to pin their opponent’s shoulders to the ground or force them to submit.

  • Example: He had trained for years to become a skilled wrestling champion.

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High jumping

High jumping is a track and field event in which athletes jump over a horizontal bar placed at a certain height without knocking it down.

  • Example: She had always been good at high jumping and set a new personal record at the regional championships.

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Hang gliding

Hang gliding is an air sport in which a pilot flies a lightweight glider through the air by hanging from a harness beneath a fabric wing.

  • Example: He had always been fascinated by the idea of hang gliding and decided to take lessons to learn how to do it himself.

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Car racing

Car racing is a motorsport in which drivers compete against each other to complete a set number of laps in the shortest amount of time possible, usually on a closed circuit track.

  • Example: He had always dreamed of becoming a professional car racer and spent years working his way up through the ranks.

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Cycling

Cycling is a sport or activity in which a person rides a bicycle for exercise, recreation, or competition.

  • Example: She enjoyed going for long rides on her bike and had even participated in a few cycling races.

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Running

Running is a physical activity or sport in which a person moves rapidly on foot, usually over a long distance, as a form of exercise or competition.

  • Example: He went for a run every morning to start his day off with some exercise and fresh air.

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Table tennis

Table tennis is a sport in which two or four players hit a small ball back and forth over a table using small paddles.

  • Example: She and her friends often played table tennis in the basement during their free time.

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Fishing

Fishing is an activity or sport in which a person tries to catch fish, usually with a rod and reel or a net.

  • Example: He enjoyed spending his weekends fishing at the lake near his house.

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Judo

Judo is a martial art that originated in Japan and involves various grappling and throwing techniques to subdue an opponent.

  • Example: She had earned her black belt in judo after years of dedicated training and practice.

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Climbing

Climbing is a sport or activity in which a person ascends a steep or vertical surface, such as a rock face or mountain, using specialized equipment and techniques.

  • Example: He had always loved the challenge of climbing and had scaled some of the tallest peaks in the world.

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Billiards/ Pool (U.S.)

Billiards is a cue sport that is played on a table with six pockets, in which players use a cue stick to strike balls and score points.

  • Example: He and his friends enjoyed playing billiards at the local pool hall on Friday nights.

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Shooting

Shooting is a sport or activity in which a person uses a gun or other projectile weapon to hit a target.

  • Example: He had won several awards for his skill in shooting and enjoyed spending time at the shooting range.

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Horse racing

Horse racing is a sport in which horses and jockeys compete against each other to be the first to cross the finish line in a race.

  • Example: She loved going to the racetrack to watch the horse racing and bet on her favorite horses.

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Horseback riding

Horseback riding is an activity or sport in which a person rides a horse, usually for recreation or as a form of exercise.

  • Example: She had always loved horseback riding and went on trail rides whenever she had the chance.

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Golf

Golf is a sport in which players hit a ball into a series of holes on a course using as few strokes as possible.

  • Example: He enjoyed playing golf with his colleagues on the weekends and had even won a few tournaments.

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Football (U.K)/ Soccer (U.S., Australia)

Football is a team sport in which two teams of eleven players each try to score points by carrying or throwing a ball across the opposing team’s goal line.

  • Example: He had played football in high school and had been recruited to play in college.

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Sports List

Here is a list of sports arranged alphabetically:

  • Acrobatics
  • Aerobic Gymnastics
  • Archery
  • Arnis
  • Artistic Gymnastics
  • Artistic Swimming
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Baton Twirling
  • Bicycle Motocross (BMX)
  • Billiards/ Pool (U.S.)
  • Bobsleigh
  • Bodybuilding
  • Bowling
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Car Racing
  • Cheerleading
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Croquet
  • Curling
  • Dance Sport
  • Darts
  • Diving
  • Dodgeball
  • Fencing
  • Figure Skating
  • Football (U.K)/ Soccer (U.S., Australia)
  • Frisbee
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Hang Gliding
  • Hockey
  • Horseback Riding
  • Horse Racing
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Jet Ski Racing
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Kayaking
  • Kendo
  • Kick Boxing
  • Kite Surfing
  • Lacrosse
  • Luge
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Motocross
  • Muay Thai
  • Paintball
  • Parachuting
  • Paragliding
  • Parkour
  • Polo
  • Pool/Billiards
  • Powerlifting
  • Rafting
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Sandboarding
  • Scuba Diving
  • Shooting
  • Skateboarding
  • Skeleton
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Softball
  • Speed Skating
  • Sport Climbing
  • Squash
  • Sumo Wrestling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized Skating
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Trampolining
  • Triathlon (Tetrathlon, etc.)
  • Tug of War
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Windsurfing
  • Wrestling
  • Wu Shu

List of Sports Image

List of Sports: Names of Sports and Games in EnglishPin

Types of Sports

When it comes to talking about hobbies and interests, being able to refer to the different names of sports in English can be of a real benefit. This is very useful knowledge if you are passionate about playing or watching sports and would like to begin talking about this with English speakers. It is also great for reading about sports such as in newspaper articles or online.

Before enumerating the list of known sports, let us first discuss their classifications. Sports are classified either according to the primary equipment used or to the setting where it is played. Here are the different types of sports:

Team Sports

Hockey

Hockey comprises several sports, such as field hockey and ice hockey. In both, two teams compete against each other by moving a small ball or puck into the opponents’ goal using sticks. Field hockey is played on grass or artificial turf, with 11 players on each side. Ice hockey, on the other hand, is played in an ice rink, with six players per team, including the goalie.

Volleyball

Volleyball is a popular indoor and outdoor sport, with two teams of six players each. The objective is to send a ball over a net and ground it on the opposing team’s side without letting it touch one’s side. Beach volleyball is a variation, typically played outdoors on sand with two players per team.

American Football

American football, also known as gridiron football, is a team sport that involves 11 players on each side. The goal is to advance the ball to the opposing team’s end zone, either by running or passing, to score touchdowns. Teams engage in offensive and defensive plays to gain field position and prevent the opposition from scoring.

Association Football

Association football, commonly known as soccer, is played by two teams of 11 players each. The objective is to score goals by kicking a spherical ball into the opponent’s net. Soccer is played in over 200 countries and is considered the world’s most popular sport.

Australian Rules Football

Australian Rules Football, or Aussie Rules, is an exciting fast-paced sport primarily played in Australia. It is played with 18 players on each team, with the aim to score points by kicking an oval-shaped ball between goalposts. The game requires a unique mix of speed, strength, and agility.

Rugby Union

Rugby Union is a team sport played between two teams, each with 15 players. The focus of the game is to score points by running, passing, or kicking an oval-shaped ball into the opposition’s goal area, known as the “try zone.” Rugby Union emphasizes continuous play and players must contest for possession of the ball in rucks and mauls.

Rugby League

Rugby League is a full-contact sport, similar to Rugby Union, with two teams of 13 players each. The objective is to score points by carrying the ball and grounding it in the opponents’ in-goal area. Rugby League differs from Rugby Union in its rules, such as the six-tackle rule and the play-the-ball rule, making it more focused on speed and continuous play.

Explore more: Team Sports

Individual Sports

Athletics

Athletics is a collection of sports that involve running, jumping, throwing, and walking. Events are usually divided into track and field, road running, and racewalking. Some famous athletic events include sprints, marathons, hurdles, long jumps, high jumps, shot put, pole vaulting, and discus throw.

Cycling

Cycling is a sport that mainly focuses on the use of bicycles for racing, time trials, and long-distance adventures. The most famous cycling event is the Tour de France, which covers over 2,000 miles throughout France. Other notable events are the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. Cycling also includes mountain biking, BMX, and track cycling.

Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport that consists of a variety of disciplines, including artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline. Gymnasts perform routines on various elements such as the balance beam, uneven bars, pommel horse, and parallel bars. This sport requires tremendous strength, flexibility, balance, and agility.

Skateboarding

Skateboarding is an action sport that involves riding and performing tricks on a skateboard, usually in skate parks, streets, and ramps. Key elements of skateboarding include ollies, kickflips, grinds, slides, and aerials. This exciting, predominantly urban sport has gained popularity over the years and will debut at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Surfing

Surfing is a water sport where athletes ride the naturally occurring waves of water using surfboards. The goal is to ride the wave as long as possible and perform various maneuvers while maintaining balance. Some well-known surfing competitions include the World Surf League and the International Surfing Association.

Triathlon

A triathlon is a multi-sport endurance event that combines swimming, cycling, and running. Athletes compete in a sequence, starting with swimming, followed by cycling, and finishing with running. The most recognized triathlon event is the Ironman, which involves a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a marathon 26.2-mile run. This sport tests athletes’ stamina and perseverance, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a physical challenge.

Learn more: Individual Sports

Extreme Sports

Skydiving

Skydiving is an incredible adrenaline rush that involves jumping out of an aircraft with a parachute. The thrill comes from the freefall and the sense of weightlessness, followed by the deployment of the parachute and a peaceful glide to the ground. When you try skydiving for the first time, you’ll typically be accompanied by an experienced professional in a tandem jump.

Bungee Jumping

If you’re not quite ready for skydiving, bungee jumping might be a better choice. This extreme sport involves jumping off a high structure (such as a bridge, platform, or even a cliff) while attached to an elastic cord. The exhilarating experience comes from the freefall and the subsequent rebound when the cord reaches its maximum stretch. We found it immensely thrilling to feel the stomach-churning drop, followed by the whiplash-like bounce back up.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving allows us to explore a whole new world beneath the waves. This extreme sport can be both thrilling and serene, as you encounter diverse marine life and get up close and personal with coral reefs. However, there is also an element of danger, particularly when diving in deep waters or diving at night.

Mountain Biking

If you love cycling but crave a bit more adventure and adrenaline, mountain biking is an extreme sport worth checking out. It involves tackling rugged terrain, steep descents, and technical trails on a specially designed off-road bike. We’ve found that mountain biking challenges our stamina, balance, and agility. Plus, the thrill of conquering tough trails and nailing challenging jumps is incredibly satisfying.

Explore more: Extreme Sports

Air Sports

Air sports include a vast domain of aerial activities done as sporting events.

Paragliding

A paraglider is a lightweight, free-flying glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. It is controlled by the pilot’s weight shift and uses wind currents to stay aloft. Paragliding is often done in mountainous areas and is a popular adventure sport.

Skydiving

Skydiving involves jumping from an airplane or helicopter at high altitude and freefalling before deploying a parachute to slow the descent. Skydiving is a thrilling sport and is often used for military training.

Hang Gliding

Hang gliding involves a person flying in a harness suspended from a lightweight glider frame. The pilot controls the glider by shifting their weight and using a control bar. Hang gliding is often done in mountainous areas and is a popular adventure sport.

Hot Air Ballooning

A hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft that uses heated air to rise and fly. The pilot controls the altitude by heating or cooling the air inside the balloon. Hot air ballooning is often done for leisure and sightseeing.

Gliding

Gliding involves flying a motorless aircraft called a glider. The glider is launched by a tow plane or winch and then uses wind currents to stay aloft. Gliding is often done for leisure and competition.

BASE Jumping

BASE jumping involves jumping from a fixed object such as a building, bridge, or cliff and freefalling before deploying a parachute to slow the descent. BASE jumping is a dangerous sport and is often illegal.

Aerobatics

Aerobatics involves performing acrobatic maneuvers in an aircraft. The pilot performs loops, rolls, spins, and other maneuvers to demonstrate skill and precision. Aerobatics is often done for competitions and air shows.

Paramotoring

Paramotoring involves flying a motorized paraglider. The pilot controls the paraglider by using a motor attached to their back. Paramotoring is often done for leisure and adventure.

Learn more: Air Sports

Athletics

Athletics refers to sports events that test the athlete’s endurance, strength, and speed. It involves competitive running, walking, jumping, and throwing.

Sprinting

Sprinting is a race in which runners compete to cover a short distance in the shortest possible time. The most common sprinting distances are 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters.

Long-distance Running

Long-distance running is a race in which runners compete to cover a long distance in the shortest possible time. The most common long-distance events are the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and marathon.

Hurdles

Hurdles is a race in which runners jump over a series of hurdles placed at regular intervals along the track. The most common hurdle distances are 100 meters and 400 meters.

High Jump

High jump is a field event in which athletes jump over a horizontal bar placed at a certain height. The athlete with the highest jump wins the event.

Pole Vault

Pole vault is a field event in which athletes use a long, flexible pole to jump over a horizontal bar placed at a certain height. The athlete with the highest jump wins the event.

Shot Put

Shot put is a field event in which athletes throw a heavy metal ball as far as possible. The athlete who throws the ball the farthest wins the event.

Discus Throw

Discus throw is a field event in which athletes throw a heavy disc as far as possible. The athlete who throws the disc the farthest wins the event.

Javelin Throw

Javelin throw is a field event in which athletes throw a long, spear-like object as far as possible. The athlete who throws the javelin the farthest wins the event.

Decathlon

Decathlon is a combined event in which athletes compete in ten different track and field events over two days. The athlete with the highest total score wins the event.

Heptathlon

Heptathlon is a combined event in which athletes compete in seven different track and field events over two days. The athlete with the highest total score wins the event.

Discover more: Athletics Games

Ball Sports

Ball sports are those games that use a ball in play. This includes various categories, including ball-over-net, ball-and-bat, and ball-and-stick games.

Soccer

Soccer, or football as it is known outside North America, is a popular sport played with a round ball. Its main objective is to score more goals than the opposing team by kicking the ball into the opposing team’s net. Soccer is played by over 270 million people worldwide, making it the most popular sport globally.

Basketball

Basketball is a fast-paced ball sport where two teams compete to score points by shooting a ball through the opponent’s hoop. The sport consists of two halves and is played on a rectangular court. Basketball has become very popular with professional leagues like the NBA (National Basketball Association) and international tournaments like FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Championship.

Baseball

Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport with two opposing teams of nine players each. The main objective is to score by hitting a ball with a bat and running around four bases. The team with the most runs after nine innings is the winner. Baseball is especially popular in the United States, where the MLB (Major League Baseball) is a highly followed league.

Volleyball

Volleyball is a team sport where two teams of six players each try to score points by grounding the ball on the opponent’s side of the court. The sport is played on an indoor court or on sand (beach volleyball). The game consists of multiple sets, and the first team to reach the set score wins.

Tennis

Tennis is a racket sport played on a rectangular court with a net separating the two players or two teams of doubles. The main objective is to hit the ball past the opponent and make it land within the court’s boundaries. Major tennis tournaments include Wimbledon, the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open.

Golf

Golf is a sport where players use clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course. The objective is to complete the course in the fewest number of strokes. Golf is played in various formats, including stroke play and match play. Prestigious golf tournaments include the Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship.

Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams with 11 players each. One team bats, while the other team bowls and fields. The main objective is to score runs by striking the ball and running between the wickets. Cricket is especially popular in countries like India, Australia, and England.

Rugby

Rugby is a contact sport played between two teams of 15 players (rugby union) or 13 players (rugby league). The main objective is to score tries by carrying, passing, or kicking the ball into the opponent’s in-goal area. The sport is popular in countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the UK, with Rugby World Cup tournaments held every four years.

Board Sports

These types of sports are played with a specific board used as primary equipment. Examples of this type are surfing and skateboarding.

Surfing

Surfing is an exhilarating board sport with a rich history rooted in Hawaii and Polynesia. The art of riding breaking waves towards the shore, typically on a surfboard, has evolved over the years, bringing with it a strong sense of camaraderie and a deep connection to the ocean.

Skateboarding

In the early days, skateboards were makeshift contraptions, with simple wooden boards mounted on roller skate wheels. Nowadays, skateboarders can choose from several different types of boards, including longboards, cruisers, and the traditional popsicle-shaped decks, catering to different riding styles and preferences.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding, a winter activity that involves riding down snow-covered surfaces on a snowboard, has its roots in the United States. Inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing, and skiing, snowboarding has grown in popularity worldwide since the late 20th century. The sport made its Winter Olympic debut in 1998 at Nagano, Japan, and was introduced to the Winter Paralympics in 2014 at Sochi, Russia.

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is a thrilling water sport that combines elements from surfing, water skiing, and snowboarding. Invented in the 1980s in New Zealand and Australia, it was initially called “skurfing.” The name “wakeboarding” was later coined by Paul Fraser.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is an exhilarating board sport that combines elements of paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and wakeboarding. We harness the power of a large kite to glide across water, land, or snow surfaces, making it a versatile and thrilling activity for adventure seekers.

Sandboarding

Sandboarding is an exciting board sport that’s somewhat similar to snowboarding. Instead of gliding down snow-covered hills, we ride across or down sand dunes on a board, which could be strapped to our feet or left without bindings. It’s an extreme sport that caters to adrenaline-seeking enthusiasts and offers a thrilling experience.

Combat Sports

Combat sports are also called fighting sports. It is a competitive contact sport that involves one-on-one combat. It covers all martial arts and ancient fighting events, whether they use brute force or specific weapons.

Boxing

Boxing is a well-known combat sport in which two individuals, wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time. It has its origins in ancient civilizations and has evolved into a regulated and popular sport worldwide. Boxing competitions are typically divided into amateur levels for those starting out, and professional levels for more experienced fighters.

Wrestling

Wrestling is a type of grappling sport in which competitors try to gain and maintain a superior position over their opponents. There are various forms of wrestling practiced around the world, including amateur wrestling, freestyle wrestling, and Greco-Roman wrestling. Participants often employ techniques like holds, joint locks, and leverage to try and control their opponent.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that combines various fighting styles such as boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, and more. Fighters can strike, grapple, and use submissions while standing or on the ground. MMA has gained immense popularity in recent years, with organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) showcasing top-level competitors from across the globe.

Judo

Judo is a Japanese martial art and combat sport that emphasizes throws and grappling techniques. It is often practiced as both a self-defense art and an Olympic sport. The goal in judo is to throw or take down an opponent onto the mat and then immobilize or submit them using a joint lock or chokehold. Judo promotes values like discipline, respect, and sportsmanship.

Karate

Karate is a striking-based martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan, and later developed into various styles practiced around the world. It involves techniques like punches, kicks, knee strikes, and elbow strikes, as well as self-defense movements and kata – which are pre-determined choreographed sequences of techniques. Karate is known for its emphasis on self-discipline, strength, and coordination.

Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and combat sport characterized by its high, fast kicks and jumping and spinning techniques. It is both a popular form of self-defense and an Olympic sport. Taekwondo places significant emphasis on discipline, respect, and mental fortitude, in addition to physical prowess.

Find out more: Combat Sports

Cycle Sports

Cycling, or cycle sports, includes all competitive physical activities that use bicycles. They can be carried out as a race or a performance that shows tricks through using bikes.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is an exhilarating and challenging cycling sport that takes place off-road, usually on rough terrain. This discipline requires strong technical skills and excellent physical fitness, as riders navigate their way through natural obstacles such as rocks, roots, and steep inclines. There are several sub-disciplines within mountain biking, including cross-country, downhill, and dirt jumping.

Road Cycling

Road cycling is a popular and highly competitive form of cycle racing that takes place on paved surfaces. This discipline encompasses several different race formats, including stage races, one-day races, and time trials. Stage races, such as the famous Tour de France, consist of multiple stages held over several days, with the overall winner determined by cumulative time.

Track Cycling

Track cycling is a fast-paced and highly technical cycling sport that takes place on specially-designed indoor tracks called velodromes. These tracks feature steeply banked turns, requiring riders to maintain high speeds and precise control of their bikes.

Gymnastics

Gymnastics is the performance of systematic exercises that requires and shows balance, flexibility, coordination, strength, and overall physical conditioning. These are often done by using different apparatuses, such as rings, beams, and bars.

Tumbling

Tumbling is a truly impressive form of gymnastics, showcasing incredible acrobatic feats. It involves executing a series of somersaults, handsprings, and flips down a spring runway. We love how it highlights the gymnast’s strength, flexibility, and agility in a seamless display of athleticism.

Gymnastics

When we think of gymnastics, we often think of artistic gymnastics. It is made up of multiple events and apparatuses for both men and women. For the ladies, we have the balance beam, uneven bars, floor exercise, and vault. For the men, we’ve got the pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars, horizontal bar, floor exercise, and vault.

Springboard

Springboard is an integral part of the gymnastics world, primarily in conjunction with the vault event. The springboard is essential as it provides launching power for the gymnast to soar high and complete spectacular moves while transferring from the board to the vault. This event allows the gymnast to showcase their precision, timing, and strength.

Aerobic Gymnastics

Did you know that aerobic gymnastics combines heart-pumping exercises with gymnastics elements? It’s typically performed in teams, emphasizing synchronization and a strong focus on rhythm. This form of gymnastics tests fitness, coordination, and agility, making it a fun and energetic discipline for both participants and spectators.

Discover more: Types of Gymnastics

Winter Sports

Skiing

Skiing is a popular winter sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It involves gliding on snow using specially designed skis. There are different types of skiing, such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and freestyle skiing. Each type offers unique challenges and thrills, making skiing a versatile and exciting option for winter sports enthusiasts. Whatever your skiing style, remember to bundle up and hit the slopes with confidence!

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a fast-paced, action-packed team sport played on an ice rink. Two teams of six players, including goalies, compete against each other to score goals by hitting a puck into the opposing team’s net. The sport requires a combination of speed, skills, and strategy to outwit the opponents. Ice hockey is not only fun to play but also exhilarating to watch, making it a popular winter sport for both athletes and spectators.

Figure Skating

Figure skating is an elegant and graceful winter sport that involves performing routines and maneuvers on ice. Skaters showcase their skills and creativity by executing jumps, spins, and intricate footwork while maintaining perfect balance. The sport is a great combination of athleticism and artistry, making it a spectacle to watch and a rewarding pursuit for those who participate in it. If you have a flair for the dramatic and enjoy ice, figure skating might be the perfect winter sport for you.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a thrilling winter sport that involves descending on snow-covered slopes using a specially designed board attached to your feet. It has gained widespread popularity due to its exhilarating and adventurous nature, with participants performing daring tricks and jumps along the way. Snowboarding offers a fresh and exciting alternative to skiing, and whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s a slope waiting for you to conquer.

Curling

Curling is a unique winter sport that combines strategy, teamwork, and precision. It is played on ice, with two teams sliding granite stones towards a target, called the “house.” Team members use specially designed brooms to sweep the ice in front of the stone, controlling its speed and direction. Curling is an accessible sport for people of all ages and skill levels, making it a great option for those looking for a social and competitive winter activity.

Study more: Winter Sports

Indoor Sports

These are those games that do not require an open field to be played. They can be carried out at home or in a specially structured indoor setting. Most table-top games are indoor ones. Some outdoor sports were developed to be played indoors, too. Examples of these are indoor cricket and indoor soccer.

Table Tennis

Often called ping-pong, table tennis is a fast-paced sport played by two or four players. It originated in England during the 19th century and has since become popular worldwide. The game is played on a table, with a net dividing it in half. Players hit a lightweight ball back and forth using small rackets

Basketball

Basketball is another popular indoor sport, invented in 1891 by Canadian-American Dr. James Naismith. It’s played on a rectangular court, where two teams of five players compete to shoot a ball through a hoop mounted at each end. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Badminton

Badminton is a racket sport, played using a shuttlecock (made of feathers or synthetic material) that is hit back and forth over a high net. This indoor sport can be played by singles or doubles and requires speed, agility, and precision.

Bowling

Bowling is a fun and social indoor sport, where players roll a heavy ball down a long, narrow lane to knock down pins. Though there are variations of the game, the most common one played is ten-pin bowling.

Indoor Volleyball

Indoor volleyball is a popular team sport where two teams of six players, separated by a net, try to score points by making the ball touch the opposing team’s ground. It was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895, only four years after basketball. The sport became part of the Olympics in 1964. 

Mind Sports

A mind sport is a game based on a particular intellectual ability to strategize and win competitions. It does not need arduous physical exercise and movement of the body. Therefore, it requires more mental than physical skills.

Chess

Chess is a classic mind sport that has captivated players for centuries. It’s a two-player strategy board game played on an 8×8 grid called a chessboard. The objective is to checkmate the opponent’s king while protecting your own. Chess demands strategic thinking, anticipation, and creativity. It’s a prestigious game with various international competitions, including the World Chess Championship.

Go

Another ancient and popular mind sport, Go, originated in China over 2,500 years ago. It’s played on a 19×19 grid with black and white stones as the playing pieces. The goal of Go is to surround more territory than your opponent. Despite its simple rules, Go provides a vast number of possibilities and demands deep strategic thinking and intuition. This mind sport has gained international recognition with world championships and a dedicated following.

Poker

Poker is a mind sport that combines skill, strategy, psychology, and a bit of luck. There are various types of poker games, but the most popular is Texas Hold’em, where players receive two private cards and share five community cards. The objective is to have the best five-card hand or make your opponents fold by bluffing. Poker is widely played around the world, from professional poker circuits like the World Series of Poker to friendly games at home.

Racket Sports

Racket sports encompasses all games that involve hitting a ball or another object through the use of rackets. These types of sports showcase and improve the agility and speed of the players.

Badminton

Badminton is a popular racquet sport played worldwide by singles or doubles players. The game involves hitting a shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, over a net with a racquet. Points are scored when the shuttlecock lands in the opponent’s court, or if the opponent is unable to hit it back over the net.

Some key aspects of badminton include:

  • Court dimensions: Rectangular, 44 feet long and 17 feet wide for singles, and 20 feet wide for doubles.
  • Scoring system: Matches are played best of 3 games, with each game played to 21 points.
  • Equipment: Lightweight racquets made from materials like carbon fiber, and feather or synthetic shuttlecocks.

Squash

Squash is an indoor racquet sport that involves two players hitting a small, hollow rubber ball against a wall, with the goal of making it difficult for the opponent to return the ball. The game is played in a four-walled court, where the walls and floor are marked with specific measurements and lines.

Some important elements of squash include:

  • Court dimensions: The court is 32 feet long, 21 feet wide, and 15 feet high.
  • Scoring system: Matches are played best of 5 games, with each game played to 11 points. A player must win by at least 2 points.
  • Equipment: Shorter and lighter racquets, and a small rubber ball with varying levels of bounce depending on skill level.

Table Tennis

Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a racquet sport played by two or four players where they hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table, divided by a small net. The objective is to score points by making the opponent fail to return the ball or return it in a way that it cannot be hit again.

Some key aspects of table tennis include:

  • Table dimensions: Rectangular, 9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 2.5 feet high.
  • Scoring system: Matches typically consist of best of 3, 5, or 7 games, with each game played to 11 points.
  • Equipment: Small wooden racquets (paddles) covered with rubber on one or both sides, and a lightweight plastic ball.

Each of these racquet sports has its unique rules, techniques, and strategies. Whether you’re interested in badminton, squash, or table tennis, these sports provide excellent opportunities to improve hand-eye coordination, agility, and overall fitness while enjoying a fun and competitive game.

Discover more: Racket Sports

Strength Sports

The focus of this type of sport is an athlete’s muscular strength and capability. A strength athlete trains and competes by showing his muscle build or power. Examples of these sports are weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding.

Powerlifting

Powerlifting is a sport that focuses on three main lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The goal is to lift the heaviest weight possible for each lift. Competitors get three attempts at each lift, and the best one counts toward their total score. Powerlifting is popular among athletes looking to build raw strength and showcase their abilities in a controlled environment.

Strongman

Strongman competitions truly test the mental and physical capabilities of the athletes involved. These events consist of a variety of challenges that can include lifting odd objects, carrying heavy weights, and pulling vehicles. Strongman is known for its exciting and entertaining competitions that push the boundaries of human strength and endurance.

Weightlifting

Weightlifting, also known as Olympic lifting, consists of two lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. These movements involve lifting a weighted barbell from the ground to overhead in one or two motions, respectively. Weightlifting focuses on speed, athleticism, and technique, making it an exciting and captivating sport to watch.

Highland Games

Originating in Scotland, the Highland Games are a unique fusion of traditional Scottish culture and strength sports. The games include events such as the caber toss, hammer throw, and weight for height. These events test strength, power, and coordination, while also celebrating the rich history of the Scottish Highlands.

Crossfit

Crossfit is a sport that combines elements of gymnastics, weightlifting, and conditioning exercises to form a dynamic and high-intensity workout. Crossfit competitions, including the Crossfit Games, engage athletes in a series of workouts that test their strength, endurance, and overall fitness. In Crossfit, athletes constantly strive to improve their performance in search of the title “Fittest on Earth.”

Target Sports

This refers to competitive games that involve throwing or shooting a piece of equipment to hit a target. It enhances focus and concentration and promotes patience.

Archery

Archery, one of the oldest target sports, involves shooting arrows at a target using a bow. This sport has evolved from hunting and warfare to a competitive activity. Today, archery is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide and has become a popular Olympic event.

Shooting Sports

Shooting sports encompass a wide range of activities that involve the use of firearms or airguns. These sports can be classified into three main types:

  • Rifle shooting: This discipline involves the use of long-barreled firearms. Competitions can take place in both indoor and outdoor settings, with various distances between the shooter and the target.
  • Pistol shooting: Pistol shooting focuses on the use of short-barreled firearms. It also has various disciplines, such as rapid fire, air pistol, and standard pistol.
  • Shotgun shooting: In this category, participants shoot at moving targets, like clay pigeons. Trap and skeet shooting are the most popular forms of shotgun shooting.

Darts

Darts is an indoor target sport where players throw small, pointed projectiles at a circular target called a dartboard. Different games can be played with darts, but the most common is 501, where the aim is to reduce the player’s score to exactly zero by throwing darts at specific numbered sections on the board.

Billiards

Billiards is a family of indoor target sports played with a cue stick and balls on a cloth-covered table. Some popular forms of billiard games include:

  • Pool: Played with 15 colored and numbered balls, pool requires players to pot them in a specific order or using specific rules, depending on the version of the game.
  • Snooker: A more complex form of billiards, snooker is played with 21 balls, including 15 red and 6 balls of different colors. The aim is to score points by potting the balls in a predefined sequence.
  • Carom billiards: Played on a pocketless table, this game has various variations and involves striking the cue ball to hit opponent’s ball(s) and specific rail cushions in a single shot.

Golf

Golf is a well-known target sport in which players use clubs to hit a small ball into a series of holes on a golf course. The goal is to complete the course with the fewest strokes possible. Golf tests the player’s precision, strategy, and endurance, making it a popular choice for millions of enthusiasts worldwide.

Water Sports

Water sports cover all sporting events played or performed in water.

Swimming

Swimming is a popular individual and team water sport that involves using the entire body to move through the water. It is practiced both recreationally and competitively, with various disciplines such as open water swimming and synchronized swimming. Swimming has numerous physical and mental health benefits, making it a popular activity for people of all ages.

Diving

Diving is an aquatic sport where athletes jump or dive from a platform or springboard into a pool. It is categorized into two main disciplines: high diving and springboard diving. Divers perform acrobatic maneuvers in the air before entering the water, and judges score them based on technique, height, and entry into the water.

Sailing

Sailing is a water sport that involves using wind power to propel a watercraft, typically called a sailboat or sailing yacht. Participants can engage in various types of sailing activities, such as dinghy sailing or yacht racing. Sailing can be practiced recreationally, competitively, or for transportation purposes.

Water Polo

Water polo is a team water sport played in a pool, where two teams of seven players each try to score by throwing a ball into the opponent’s goal. The game requires players to have strong swimming skills as well as endurance, teamwork, and strategy. Water polo is played at various levels, including club, collegiate, and international competitions.

Canoeing

Canoeing is a water sport that involves paddling a small, narrow watercraft called a canoe with a single-bladed paddle. There are various disciplines of canoeing, such as canoe sprint, canoe slalom, and canoe polo. Canoeing can be practiced individually or in teams, and the sport is popular for both recreation and competition.

Rowing

Rowing is a water sport where athletes propel a boat, called a rowing shell or scull, across the water using oars. Rowing can be practiced both as an individual and team sport, with events such as single sculls and eight-oared boats. Rowing requires a combination of strength, endurance, and teamwork, and it is popular at the club, collegiate, and international competition levels.

Most Popular Sports List

Baseball

Baseball is a popular sport with approximately 500 million fans worldwide. It is most popular in the United States and Japan, however, its growing popularity can be seen in other countries such as South Korea and Cuba. Baseball is a sport played between two teams, each with nine players, and involves hitting a ball with a bat and running between four bases to score runs.

Basketball

Basketball has around 825 million fans across the globe. It is predominantly popular in the United States, China, and European countries like Spain and Lithuania. The sport is played between two teams of five players each with the primary objective of shooting a ball through a hoop positioned at each end of the court on a rectangular court.

Football

Football, also known as soccer, is the most popular sport in the world with over 3.5 billion fans. It is played in virtually every corner of the planet and enjoys massive support from both casual and dedicated fans. A football match consists of two teams, each with eleven players, and the objective is to score more goals than the opposing team by kicking or heading the ball into the opponent’s goal.

Cricket

Cricket is predominantly popular in countries like India, Pakistan, Australia, and England. The sport has a massive following, estimated at around 2.5 billion fans. It is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players, where the primary objective is to score runs by hitting a ball with a bat and running between wickets. There are three formats of the game: Test, One Day International (ODI), and Twenty20 (T20).

Golf

Golf is a sport played by around 450 million fans worldwide. It is particularly popular in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Golf is played on a course, and the objective of the game is to use various clubs to hit the golf ball into a series of holes with the fewest number of strokes.

Tennis

Tennis enjoys a following of around 1 billion fans across the globe. The sport is played by two (singles) or four (doubles) players who use a stringed racket to hit a ball over a net and into the opponent’s court. Tennis is played on various surfaces including grass, clay, and hard courts. It has four prestigious Grand Slam tournaments – The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open – which attract global viewership each year.

Notable Sports Events

Olympic Games

The Olympic Games, a global sporting event, bring together athletes from around the world. Held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Games, they feature a range of traditional athletic events such as track and field, gymnastics, swimming, and various team sports. The marathon, a long-distance running event, traces its roots to ancient Greece and is a cornerstone of the modern Olympic Games.

  • Summer Olympics: Held every four years, the Summer Games feature a wide range of sports, including track and field, swimming, gymnastics, and team sports like basketball and football.
  • Winter Olympics: Held every four years, the Winter Games focus on sports that are played on snow or ice, such as skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, and figure skating.

Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is another significant international sporting event. It takes place every four years and brings together athletes from the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth. The event features a mix of Olympic sports and unique disciplines that are popular within Commonwealth countries, such as rugby sevens and netball.

Wimbledon

Wimbledon, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, is held annually in London, England. It is known for its prestigious history and unique traditions, including a strict dress code of all-white attire for competitors and the consumption of strawberries and cream by spectators. Wimbledon is played on grass courts, adding an additional level of strategy and challenge for the players.

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl, the championship game for the National Football League (NFL), is one of the most popular and widely-viewed sports events in the United States. Played annually between the winners of the AFC and the NFC, the game is often accompanied by extravagant halftime shows and innovative commercials. The event is known for its immense cultural impact and has become an unofficial national holiday in the U.S.

List of Sports Video

Sports video with American English pronunciation.

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71 thoughts on “List of Sports: Names of Different Types of Sports and Games”

  1. I’m pretty late to this I’m guessing, I forgot the date this was posted but I hope you know this was really helpful!

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