A list of all sports with balls: Find out how many there are

A list of all sports with balls: Find out how many there are

Claudia Kogi
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:28 PM

Sport has been an essential aspect of human history, and since its invention, it has influenced people's lives in all times and eras. Most sports are played by either throwing or hitting balls. Nowadays, sports with balls, such as hockey, cricket, and soccer, are the most famous, with millions of fans worldwide.

Sport with ball and scoop
A list of all sports with balls: Find out how many they are. Photo: Luke Walker, Hollie Adams (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Although some games are played without balls, those that are, are the most known and widely played. Sports play essential roles in society as it helps to bring people together despite their races, nationalities, and cultures.

A list of the top 15 sports with balls

Generally, in games, balls are caught, head-butted, thrown, hit, kicked, bumped, spiked, dunked, driven, served, bowled, broken, punted, volleyed, dribbled, or tossed by the players.

Professional athletes such as soccer players are among the world's wealthiest individuals since they take home millions of dollars in salaries, commercial agreements, and sponsorship deals. Here is a list of 15 sports with balls that are widely played all over the world.

15. Table tennis

Sports with balls and sticks
Chen Meng competes during the Women's Singles Semifinal on day three of the WTT Cup Finals Xinxiang 2022 at Xinxiang Pingyuan Sports Center on 29 October 2022 in Xinxiang, China. Photo: VCG
Source: Getty Images

Table tennis is one of the sports played using balls and bats. Although its best players are mainly from China, Sweden, and South Korea, it originated in England as an alternative to lawn tennis in the 19th century.

The game is played by two or four people who throw a ball over the net by hitting it alternatively using bats, and points are scored when one player commits a foul or misses.

14. Lacrosse

Sports with balls and sticks
Conor Foley (L) in action against Nelson Telemaco (R) during the 2022 World Lacrosse Men's U21 World Championship 7th place match in Limerick on 20 August 2022. Photo: Tom Beary
Source: Getty Images

Lacrosse is yet one of those sports in the list played using sticks and balls, where players use the former to carry, catch, pass, and shoot the latter into the goal to score points. The sport originated in North America and is indigenous to Canada.

13. Golf

Sports with balls and bats
Ashley Chesters of England plays his second shot on the 2nd hole on day two of the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge 2023 on 24 March 2023 in Bangalore, India. Photo: Luke Walker
Source: Getty Images

This game is common in East Asia, Western Europe, and North America and has over 450 million fans worldwide. It is among sports with balls and sticks in which players must hit them into the holes using particular rods to win the game.

12. Bowling

Sports with balls and nets
Pins are bowled over at All Star Lanes bowling alley at Westfield in White City on 15 August 2020 in London, England. Photo: Hollie Adams
Source: Getty Images

Bowling originated from skittles and has risen in popularity over the years. The game aims to knock down pins set at the end of board-less lanes using the lowest possible number of balls launched by hand.

The most common type of bowling in the world is the 10-pin one, played by two teams of 11 players, each trying to hit the pins set in the form of a triangle.

11. Netball

Olympic sports with balls
Brianna Holder of Barbados jumps to control the ball during the match against Scotland on day six of the Birmingham 2022 games on 3 August 2022 in Birmingham, England. Photo: Clive Brunskill
Source: Getty Images

The sport is one of the sports with balls and nets played primarily by women. It involves two opposing teams of seven members each, aiming to score points by throwing the ball into the opponent's basket.

10. Volleyball

Sports with balls and nets
Cucine Lube Civitanova during the match against Withu Verona valid for second round of the quarterfinals of playoffs on 22 March 2023 in Verona, Italy. Photo: Roberto Tommasini
Source: Getty Images

The sport was invented in 1895 by William J Morgan, an employee of the Christian Young Men's Associations. The sport then spread to Western Europe and North America and has amassed over 900 million fans worldwide.

It is played by two teams of six players, each trying to ground the ball on the opponent's side by kicking it over the net with their hands.

9. Handball

Sports with balls and bats
Linn Blohm, Orlane Kanor, and Pauletta Foppa during the International Women's friendly match between France and Sweden on 3 March 2023 in Strasbourg, France. Photo: Anthony Dibon
Source: Getty Images

As its name suggests, the game is played using hands. The sport involves two opposing teams of seven members who try to score points by manoeuvring other players and throwing the ball into the opponent's net.

8. Tennis

Sports with ball and racket
Maria Sakkari hits a backhand return to Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during their quarterfinal tennis match in Indian Wells, California, on 15 March 2023. Photo: Frederic J Brown
Source: Getty Images

Tennis became popular in France before spreading to other parts of the world. Two teams play made up of either one or two people who use rackets to hit the ball over the net to the opponent's half.

7. Baseball

List of sports with balls
John Schreiber delivers a pitch to the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth inning during a Grapefruit League Spring training game on 21 March 2023 in Sarasota, Florida. Photo: Julio Aguilar
Source: Getty Images

The sport is regarded as one of the world's most famous sports, played by two opposing teams of nine members each. Its primary objective is to score points by hitting a ball with a bat and running all the bases to the home plate. After nine innings, teams alternate from offence to defence.

6. Cricket

Types of sports with balls
Shai Hope (L) of West Indies and Temba Bavuma (R) of South Africa during the 2nd Betway ODI match on 18 March 2023 in East London, South Africa. Photo: Richard Huggard
Source: Getty Images

Cricket is a game played by two opposing teams of 11 members each and involves using a bat. The game aims to score more points than the opponents during the competitions.

The match is referred to as a test that consists of one or more parts called innings. The game is played when groups from each inning strike out to the opponent's team, thus making them pitch once.

5. Hockey

Sports with balls and sticks
Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils controls the puck as Shane Pinto #57 of the Ottawa Senators defends during the second period on 25 March 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. Photo: Sarah Stier
Source: Getty Images

There are different types of hockey, such as field and ice hockey, which involve using a stick and a ball during action. It is played by two opposing teams of 11 individuals who attempt to gain points by hitting it with a stick into the opponent's goal.

4. Rugby

Gymnastics sports with balls hoops and more
Taufa Funaki of the Blues during the round five Super Rugby Pacific match between Blues and Western Force on 26 March 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Dave Rowland
Source: Getty Images

Rugby is a sport that requires skill, speed, and strength since it is a challenging game. It is played by two teams of 15 players who try to score points by either carrying the ball toward the opponent's side or kicking it between the opponent's upright poles.

3. American football

Sports with ball and racket
The Kansas City Chiefs celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on 12 February 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo: Sarah Stier
Source: Getty Images

The sport is played between two opposing teams of 11 members each. The teams try to score points by carrying or passing the ball into the scoring area at the end zone. The team with the most points wins at the end of the game.

2. Basketball

Sports with balls and nets
Dennis Smith Jr #8 of the Charlotte Hornets drives to the basket during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on 26 March 2023 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Kent Smith
Source: Getty Images

The game has been one of the Olympic sports with balls since 1936. It is played by two opposing teams of 5 players who try to score points by throwing the ball into the opponent's basket while preventing them from gaining possession.

1. Soccer

Soccer is the world's most popular sport, with over 4 billion fans. Like most types of sports with balls in them, soccer is also played by two opposing teams, each aiming to score a goal using any part of the body except the hands and arms.

Sports with balls hoops and more
Kasper Schmeichel during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group H qualification football match between Kazakhstan and Denmark in Astana, Kazakhstan on 26 March 2023. Photo: Bo Amstrup
Source: Getty Images

Soccer is the most famous game in history, with over 250 million players in over 200 countries. It has risen and become an iconic symbol in the athletic world, and as of 2023, over 4 billion people consider themselves soccer lovers.

What sport uses 22 balls?

Snooker is a game played using 22 balls and a cue. It is played by sinking red and coloured balls attentively using the cue.

Gymnastics sports with balls, hoops and more

Rhtymic and artistic gymnastics perform choreographed routines using each of the following four pieces of apparatus: ball, hoop, clubs and a ribbon. Olympic female artistic gymnasts for South Africa's events have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1896.

What is the oldest known game with a ball?

Dodgeball is thought to be the oldest game in history. It was played over 3,500 years ago in Mesoamerica with a 4-kilogram rubber ball that could break other ones or even kill the participants.

Sports with balls are like a thread that binds people together from all over the globe despite their preferences and opinions. Besides being a source of joy and happiness, sports also maintain a healthy competitive spirit between different opponents, which has positively impacted society.

READ ALSO: Who invented hockey? history of the game, and how to play

SportsBrief has published an article about the history of hockey and how it is played. Hockey, one of the world's most famous sports, has a rich history and culture behind it. Ice hockey is native to North America, especially Canada, where it is considered a national winter sport.

The National Hockey League, NHL, ranks among the best leagues in the world and is today's most famous level of men's hockey. Check out the link above to learn who invented hockey!

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