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

Are you searching for a complete list of sports in English? Good news, here you will find a huge sports list with pictures and examples in English.

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.

Types of Sports

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:

Air Sports

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


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

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.

Board Sports

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

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.

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.


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.

Ice Sports

Ice sports, as its name suggests, include sporting events that are performed in an ice field. They are mostly held during winter sports competition.

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.

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.

Multisport Race

This refers to the events that consist of components upholding different sports. It mixes a group of disciplines, usually athletics, that are performed consecutively. Examples of this type are the triathlon, tetrathlon, pentathlon, and so on.


This is the general term referring to the various competitive sporting events that utilize motorized vehicles for racing or non-racing competitions.

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.

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.

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.

Water Sports

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

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

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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.

List of sports and games in English with example sentences, illustrated with interesting pictures.

Names of Different Types of Sports and Games


– Her husband is an archery instructor.

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Badminton can be played by two or four people.

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– The crowd loves to watch attacking cricket.

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– Do you want to go bowling with us Friday?

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– He is the boxing champion of the world.

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– She met her friends at a curling club.

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– She was one of the best tennis players of her generation.

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– These are only a few reasons why skateboarding is so popular.

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– They go surfing every weekend.

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– They were playing at hockey.

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Figure skating

– I like watching figure skating on TV, and rhythmic gymnastics.

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– She does yoga for an hour a day.

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– He is famous at fencing.

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– Physical fitness is having a healthy body.

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– We do gymnastics at school.

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– He holds a black belt in karate.

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– Tim plays for the national volleyball team.

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– How many referees are there in a weightlifting competition?

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– I am a member of the basketball team.

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– Why don’t we go to see a baseball game?

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– I play rugby purely for enjoyment.

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– He tends to get carried away when watching wrestling on TV.

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High jumping

– That school is famous for high jumping.

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Hang gliding

Hang gliding holds no fears for her.

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Car racing

– Sporting events such as car racing give me a headache.

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– We did a lot of cycling in France last year.

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– Did you go running this morning?

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Table tennis

– He loves to play table tennis.

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– They can go fishing in the lake.

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– Murray is a judo black belt.

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– There’s a lot of danger in rock climbing.

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Billiards/ Pool (U.S.)

– We had a game of billiards and then went to a restaurant.

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– I need more practice at shooting.

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Horse racing

– He spent too much money on horse racing.

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Horseback riding

– Some people like horseback riding, but I prefer golf as a hobby.

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– Do you want to play golf tomorrow?

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

– The boys wanted to play football.

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List of Different Types of Sports and Games | Picture

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Most Popular Sports List


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 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, 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 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 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 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.

Team Sports List


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 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

Combat Sports List


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 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 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 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 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.

Water Sports List


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 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 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 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 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.

Racquet Sports List


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 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

Other Individual Sports List


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 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 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 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 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.


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

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, 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.


Last Updated on May 9, 2023

74 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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