How many sports are there in the world? A list of all sports and games

How many sports are there in the world? A list of all sports and games

Kevin Omuya
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:23 PM

A sport is any competitive physical activity that requires training and expertise. Sports are typically competitive, yet the wide variety means that some are more so than others. Many people all over the world enjoy taking part in sporting events. Read to find out how many sports are there worldwide.

How many sports are there?
Beth Mooney of Australia bats during game two of the T20 International series between Australia and Pakistan at Blundstone Arena on January 26, 2023, in Hobart, Australia. Photo: Robert Cianflone
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There are no limits based on gender. Both genders are welcome to participate in team or individual competitions. They are about more than just keeping healthy; they are also a great way to test your mental and emotional strength against other people.

Types of sports

One way to categorize sports is by the major tools or environments required to participate. They can be broken down into the following categories:

Air sports

How many sports are there today?
A member of the US Air Force Academy's demonstration team parachutes into Arizona Stadium on December 30, 2022, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Photo: Christopher Hook
Source: Getty Images

It describes various activities that include flying through the air, such as air racing, aerobatics, aeromodelling, hang gliding, human-powered aircraft, parachuting, paragliding, skydiving, and many others. There is only one rule in this game: to go as far as possible.


The term "athletics" is used to describe competitions in which physical abilities like speed, strength, and stamina are put to the test. It is a form of athletic competition that uses running, walking, jumping, and throwing.


In this context, it refers to any game in which a ball is used. Games played with a ball, bat, or stick fall under this broad category.


The primary piece of equipment for these games is a specially designed board. Skateboarding and surfing are two popular forms in this category.


It is where competitors face off against each other in a confrontation. It includes all martial arts and historical combat competitions, whether they rely on unarmed combat or weaponry.


How many sports are there in total?
Davide Bais of Italy, Team of Denmark, and Team DSM led the breakaway during the 39th Vuelta a San Juan International 2023 on January 25, 2023, in San Juan, Argentina. Photo: Maximiliano Blanco
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All forms of competitive physical activity where bicycles are used are collectively called cycling. They might be run in a race or a demonstration of tricks performed on bicycles.


Gymnastics is the practice of performing a series of exercises designed to develop and display one's physical poise, agility, coordination, strength, and stamina. Equipment like rings, beams, and bars are used for these.


As the name suggests, these are those that take place on a rink. Competitions in winter are a common time for them to occur.


How many sports are there in the world 2023?
Carmelo Musumeci of Italy battles for possession with Donat Gashi of Sweden during the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup Qualifier match on November 09, 2022, in Aversa, Italy. Photo: Francesco Pecoraro
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These contests can be held anywhere, indoors or out. They can be done in a home setting or a controlled indoor environment. Playing games at a table is often an indoor activity. It is no secret that several outdoor activities have found their way indoors. Indoor cricket and indoor soccer are two such games.


It is a competitive game requiring a certain set of cognitive skills to succeed. There is no need for strenuous workouts or bodily movement. This means that intellectual rather than physical prowess is required. A good example of a mind sport is chess.

Multi-sport race

The events in question are those that feature elements from a variety of games. A variety of athletic disciplines are combined into one continuous performance. The triathlon, tetrathlon, pentathlon, and so on are all examples of this form of competition.


How many sports are there in the Olympics?
Action Express Racing driver Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims, & Jack Aitken (31) of GTP, Cadillac V-LMDh during the Roar Before the 24 Qualifying. Photo: Andrew Bershaw
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Sporting events that feature motorized vehicles, whether for racing or other purposes, are collectively known under this umbrella word. Grand Prix racing, speedway racing, stock car racing, car racing, drag racing, midget car racing, karting, hill climbs, and trials are a part of this genre.


All games played with rackets that involve striking a ball or other object are classified as racket sports. Agility and speed are highlighted and developed in these competitions.


This is a competitive sport where physical strength and agility are valued. One who competes and trains to display strength. Bodybuilding, powerlifting, and weightlifting are all examples of such games.


How many sports are there in the world?
Athletes participate in a local archery championship in Yemen's Huthi rebel-held capital Sanaa on January 12, 2023. Photo: Mohammed Huwais
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This is where participants aim to hit a target by throwing or shooting an object, which is included here. It is a great way to improve concentration and learn to wait patiently.


They occur in water bodies. The extent to which their participants are immersed in the experience defines the categories.

Sports list

Do you know how many sports there are in the world in 2023? Included here is a list of sports arranged alphabetically:


Aerobic Gymnastics



Artistic Gymnastics

Artistic Swimming




Baton Twirling

Bicycle Motocross (BMX)

Billiards/ Pool (U.S.)






Car Racing






Dance Sport





Figure Skating

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




Hang Gliding


Horseback Riding

Horse Racing

Ice Hockey

Ice Skating

Jet Ski Racing





Kick Boxing

Kite Surfing



Mixed Martial Arts


Muay Thai









Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rock Climbing





Scuba Diving







Speed Skating

Sport Climbing


Sumo Wrestling



Synchronized Skating

Table Tennis



Track and Field


Triathlon (Tetrathlon, etc.)


Water Polo




How many sports are there in the world?

In his book Encyclopedia of World Sports, Professor Wojciech Lipinski claims that more than 8,000 sports and games are played worldwide today. And the most recent publication features 3,000 sports in 2023.

How many sports are there in the world?
Matthew Thums of Team United States competes against Team Canada at the National Aquatics Center on March 07, 2022, in Beijing, China. Photo: Zhe Ji
Source: Getty Images

Sport originated from all corners of the earth, especially including the United Kingdom, the United States, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, and so on. With 28 sports at the summer Olympics and 28 at the Winter Paralympics, it is clear that both events are massive.

How many sports are there, and what are they?

Roughly two hundred sports are officially recognized globally by an international regulatory body. Not all of the estimated ones in the world even get played.

How many sports are there today?

The majority of these activities are those that have official governing bodies at the national or international level (now numbering over 200). All the different types played in different parts of the world are also listed.

How many sports are there in America?

How many sports are there in America?
Los Angeles Chargers safety Alohi Gilman (32) and safety Raheem Layne (41) at Empower Field at Mile High on January 8, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Dustin Bradford
Source: Getty Images

The Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Soccer are all lucrative in America. Each team is in one of 52 United States and Canadian cities.

How many sports are there in the Olympics?

There are 40 events in the Olympics, with 32 events scheduled for the Paris 2024 Summer Games. From the same event, eight are for the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Games.

How many sports are there in Nintendo switch sports?

How many sports are there in Nintendo switch sports?
Visitors play "Nintendo Switch Sports" on the Nintendo Switch console. Thailand Game Show 2022 is the largest gaming exhibition in Thailand, with the latest games on the market. Photo: Guillaume Payen
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Bowling, tennis, volleyball, and chan-bara were only some of the six games available at launch. The most recent patch added a seventh one to the game.

How many sports are there in total?

The majority of these activities are those that have official governing bodies at the national or international level (now numbering over 200). All the different types played in different parts of the world are also listed.

What are the three biggest sports in the world?

Over 350 million individuals participate in sport in 200 nations, and an estimated 3.5 billion spectators watch it regularly. Field hockey, with 2.2 billion supporters worldwide, and basketball, with 2.5 billion fans, round out the world's top three most popular games (2 billion).

What is the hardest sport in the world?

What is the hardest sport in the world?
Water polo player ready to throw the ball in for a goal. Photo: Leeznow
Source: Getty Images

This Olympic sport is the official toughest in the world, but it is often neglected in conversations. Like handball on land, water polo is ideally suited to be played in the water.

How many sports are there in the world? From the list we provided, countless others are played with slight variations or entirely new rules, and new ones are introduced daily.

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Kevin Omuya
Kevin Omuya is a Content Writer with 4 years of experience who joined Sports Brief in 2022. In 2019 he held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Digital Media from KCA University.