Indoor sports: A list of the best indoor sports and games in the world

Indoor sports: A list of the best indoor sports and games in the world

Claudia Kogi
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:25 PM

Everyone enjoys games as they are a good way to pass time and are entertaining; and for some who are pros, sports are very lucrative. While people are used to outdoor activities such as surfing, soccer, basketball, and baseball, among other sports, indoor sporting activities could get you off the bench.

Indoor sports activities for adults
Indoor sports: A list of the best indoor sports and games in the world. Photo: Be Funky (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

These types of games are often played under a roof with particular sizes of audiences on the watch. They involve less stamina as most require athletes' minds and skills to play most of them. Some indoor sports activities for adults include Ludo, Carrom, puzzle, card games, chess, table tennis, and board games.

A list of the best indoor games in the world

Indoor games are often organised, so the contestants are physically and mentally involved without crossing the threshold of their homes. That said, these types of games can be played in a room with few preparations.

According to various online sources, SportsBrief has compiled a list of indoor sports and games that people find fascinating today. Take these games as those played on table surfaces throughout a specific period.

10. Bowling

World of indoor sports
A young Emirati girl wearing traditional black Abaya throws the ball in the bowling alley in the Mall of Emirates games hall on Friday night in Dubai city on 9 May 2008. Photo: Kaveh Kazemi
Source: Getty Images

Bowling is where an athlete rolls a ball to hit a target. The ball is rolled on a flat wooden or synthetic surface to strike near the given mark. Although it might sound less interesting, winning brings a fantastic feeling, at least the athletes would say.

The sport's essence is ensuring that the 10 to 16-pound ball knocks down ten pins. The more pins are knocked down, the more points the roller earns.

9. Kabaddi

Action indoor sports
Players in action during a kabaddi match in Panchkula, India. Photo: Sant Arora
Source: Getty Images

Kabaddi is an indoor game that originated in India and is currently the most popular sport in the country. It involves physical contact between two teams consisting of seven players. The goal of the sport is for the single offensive player, the raider, to run into the opposing team's half of the court.

Nevertheless, the sport involves the ultimate multitasking, whereby an athlete simultaneously plays offense and defense while constantly thinking about how to win the game. It is a competitive sport in the Olympics and one to play with your family and friends.

8. Volleyball

Indoor sports activities
Marin Dukic of Montpellier and Renan Buiatti of Tourcoing, and Lucas Van Berkel of Tourcoing during a Ligue A match on 21 January 2023 in Castelnau-le-Lez, France. Photo: Alexandre Dimou
Source: Getty Images

Yes, volleyball is an indoor sport that helps you remain physically active throughout the match. It is one game that has a net separating two teams of six players under organised rules and regulations.

The essence of the game is to ground the ball on the opposing team's court without any of the athletes dropping it. It is a popular sport in Brazil, Russia, Serbia, Cuba, the USA, Italy, and many more.

7. Squash

Indoor sports activities for adults
Players compete with each other in a squash mixed doubles match in the Birmingham, England. Photo: Eddie Keogh
Source: Getty Images

Squash is one of those games where you can play individually, in double formation, or between teams. As much as it is a sport, most people play it to burn calories or keep fit. It involves the use of rackets on a four-walled court with a tiny-sized rubber ball by two or four players in case of double formation.

The essence of the game is to strike the ball in such a way that it prevents the opponent from making a legitimate return. It is among the action indoor sports that do not require massive numbers of people on the cheering squad.

Most athletes who play squash often claim that the sport is like food for the mind and body. Additionally, it enhances cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, hand coordination, and much more.

6. Badminton

Indoor sports and games
Fajar Alfian (at the back) and Muhammad Ardianto of Indonesia in action against Liang Wei Keng and Chang of China during the men's doubles on 15 January 2023,in Kuala, Malaysia. Photo: How Foo Yeene
Source: Getty Images

By now, you can tell that most tennis games are categorised as indoor activities. Well, like squash, badminton is the more accessible and cheaper version. It is one that can be played with family and friends on a non-busy day.

Internationally, badminton is a racquet sport played between two athletes or teams of two players, each placed on the side of a rectangular court divided by a net. Players are required to strike the shuttlecock within the opposing side's half of the court.

It is quite an ancient sport as it has been traced back to Greece, China, and India, and it's associated with the old children's games battledore and a shuttlecock. One of the most notable advantages of the sport is the fact that it increases one's muscle strength.

5. Futsal

A list of indoor games in the world
Players in action during the UEFA Women's Futsal EURO 2022 Semi-final match between Portugal and Hungary at Gondomar Arena on 1 July 2022 in Porto, Portugal. Photo: Octavio Passos
Source: Getty Images

Yes, just like soccer. Who does not appreciate a little soccer? The only difference between soccer you are aware of, and futsal is that the latter is played indoors. It is an exciting sport where two teams of five players compete against each other, one of them tending the goal.

Futsal, anciently dubbed five-a-side soccer, is a sport that dates back to the 1930s in Montevideo, Uruguay, when Juan Carlos Ceriani created a five-a-side form of soccer for youth competition in YMCAs.

One interesting fact about the sport is that it can also be played on basketball-sized courts with no sidewalls, indoors and outdoors. Players who play futsal have been said to have unique decision-making skills.

4. Table tennis

Indoor sports and games
Lin Gaoyuan and Lily Zhang (R) compete in the mixed doubles round of 16 matches against Kirill Skachkov and Olga Vorobeva of Russia on 26 November 2021 in Houston, Texas. Photo: Liu Guanguan
Source: Getty Images

Of course, you know table tennis is underway once you see badminton. Such a simple sport yet challenging and lucrative to play. Often dubbed ping pong, it is one of the most underrated games involving combined body and mind skills.

Like badminton, it can be played in a double formation or just a team of two players. Here, a small lightweight ball is hit back and forth with a small tennis bat on a hardwood table divided by a small net. The sport is more about mentality than physical fitness, as it enhances mental agility and alertness, especially during an action.

3. Boxing

Indoor sports activities for adults
Zak Chelli punches Anthony Sims Jr during their Super Middleweight fight at OVO Arena Wembley on 11 February 2023, in London, England. Photo: James Chance
Source: Getty Images

While one might think boxing is an outdoor game, it is among the few physical contact indoor sports as of 2023. It involves two individuals throwing punches back at each other with the primary goal of endurance, strength, speed, reflexes, and critical thinking.

An athlete has to be not only aware of the possible punch coming in but also of where exactly it would land. However, unlike wrestling, participants are given protective gear such as gloves, helmets, mouthguards, and knee guards.

2. Martial arts

Indoor sports activities
Martial artistes compete during Men's 87kg semifinals Taekwondo Championships Guadalajara 2022 on 15 November 2022 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo: Alfredo Moya
Source: Getty Images

Mixed martial art is yet another action indoor sport played today. It is a discipline and combat practice involving two individuals. Primarily, it is used for self-defence, fighting, fitness, relaxing, and fitness.

Martial arts are divided into various forms, such as Judo, kickboxing, Karate, Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, and many more. Even though most of the forms are traced back to China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, and Israel, today, they are categorised among the most common sports worldwide.

The primary purpose of the sport is to enhance one's physical aspects of the body, such as strong muscles, flexibility, strength, defence skills, and mind.

1. Basketball

Wide world of indoor sports
Hampton of the Lakeland Magic takes on Stacy Davis of the Salt Lake City Stars on 11 February 2023 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. Photo: Phelan M Ebenhack
Source: Getty Images

At the first position sits basketball, which is currently among the most followed sports in the world. It is one sport that can be played both indoors and outdoors. However, in or out, it is played between two or five teams on a large rectangular court with the primary goal of scoring points.

It is among the most interesting indoor games to play with family and friends. Generally, basketball enhances motor coordination, flexibility, stamina, strength, dynamism, and flexibility.

Playing indoor sports today is the best way to eliminate common lifestyle conditions such as stress, pressure, and many other underlying conditions. So, what indoor activity was your favourite indoor sport with your friends and family this summer?

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Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.