A detailed list of all individual sports in the world currently

A detailed list of all individual sports in the world currently

Kevin Omuya
updated at December 15, 2023 at 7:02 AM

People can participate in individual sports if they prefer to do it alone. To participate in a sporting event in a competitive setting is to go up against another human being. Individual sports are entirely up to the participants having to push themselves. Which sports are considered individual sports? Read on to find the full list.

Individual Sports
Female freestyle swimming competitor in action. Photo: Microgen
Source: Getty Images

Unlike team sports, competitors take on each other individually in individual sports. These sports emphasize the individual athlete's performance and accomplishments so that you can play them solo.

Which sports are considered individual sports

The term "solo sport" can describe a variety of sports you can play alone. Athletes compete only against themselves in all individual sports. Players do not rely on their teammates to help them reach their goals when competing in a particular competition. Since they are unaffected by the progress of other athletes, they let athletes go at their speed.

List of individual sports

While not comprehensive, the following illustrates the breadth and depth of all individual sports worldwide. The thrills, challenges, and abilities required to excel in any competition are diverse and exciting.

13. Weightlifting

Individual Sports
Venezuela's Keydomar Vallenilla Sanchez competes in the men's 89kg weightlifting in Santiago on October 22, 2023. Photo: Ernesto Benavides
Source: Getty Images

The objective is to determine who can competitively lift the most weight. Different weight classes are used when weightlifters compete. Shoulder, back, and leg muscles must be robust to participate in the game.

Weightlifting is an individual sport because competitors compete independently, and their results are evaluated entirely by their lifting accomplishments. Competing in weightlifting is not about the team but each lifter's strength, technique, and skill.

12. Boxing

All Individual Sports
Chantelle Cameron during her undisputed super lightweight championship fight with Katie Taylor at the 3Arena in Dublin on May 20, 2023. Photo: Stephen McCarthy
Source: Getty Images

Boxers square off in a square ring for strictly fistfighting. As a result of the one-on-one nature of the fights and the fact that each boxer's performance is the only factor in deciding the winner of a match, boxing is considered an individual sport.

11. Skateboarding

List Of Individual Sports
A girl skateboarding. Photo: Ben Welsh
Source: Getty Images

Skate parks host the most popular forms of this sport, in which players use a four-wheeled board to execute various tricks and jumps to score points. Skateboarding is characterized as an individual sport because it is primarily a solo activity that rewards skill, style, and creativity.

10. Gymnastics

Sports You Can Play Alone
Germany's Sarah Voss during the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the St Jakobshalle, in Basel, on April 21, 2021. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini
Source: Getty Images

Gymnasts put their flexibility, strength, and stamina to the test through various exercises. Your style and technique will determine your score. Each gymnast's performance, routine, and judging of their abilities is centred on them.

9. Snowboarding

List Of Individual Sports
A father holding his son during a snowboard lesson. Photo: Daniel Milchev
Source: Getty Images

Rather than using skis, participants in this competition ride boards. The competitors show off their freestyle skills to the judges, who score them based on how well they execute a variety of tricks and jumps.

Most snowboarders ride down the slopes by themselves. Unlike team sports, you will not need your teammates to do well. The snowboarder must be responsible for their every move, choice, and style.

8. Martial arts

List Of Individual Sports
A teenage girl doing a Karate pose. Photo: GoodLifeStudios
Source: Getty Images

In this martial arts match, two practitioners attempt to dominate one another through a specific kind of hand-to-hand combat. To combat it, one must be familiar with a particular style. Some forms of martial arts include karate, jiujitsu, and Brazilian jiujitsu.

Group classes and cooperative drills are a part of martial arts training, but ultimately, the focus should be on the individual's growth and quest for mastery. Martial arts are unique among competitions because practitioners must exercise self-control and self-discipline and never stop honing their craft.

7. Skiing

Sports You Can Play Alone
A female skier enjoying deep snow in the Austrian Alps. Photo: Andre Schoenherr
Source: Getty Images

There are a lot of different ways to play this solo sport. On top of the skis, you do each variation in the snow. They are associated with various drills, including speed skiing, air jumps, and manoeuvres.

Skiing is primarily about the skier's experience, abilities, and decisions, though it can be a social activity done with loved ones. Skiing is the perfect game for individuals because it allows them to express themselves and achieve their goals, whether taking it easy on the slopes or taking on challenging runs.

6. Surfing

All Individual Sports
A female surfer riding a wave. Photo: Thomas Barwick
Source: Getty Images

Surfers must ride ocean waves and score points by performing jumps and manoeuvres on the waves. While surfing can also be a social activity, the essence of the sport lies in the personal connection between the surfer and the waves. The freedom to express oneself on the water, make independent decisions, and take responsibility for one's actions defines surfing as an individual game.

5. Climbing

Which Sports Are Considered Individual Sports
A wide-angle view of a sporty female rock climbing on Via Ferrata in Switzerland. Glacier in the distance. Photo: Mystockimages
Source: Getty Images

Participants must climb up a natural or artificial rock formation as fast as they can or along a route. It intensely engages one's upper body, especially muscles in the hand. While climbing was more of a leisure activity, as of 2020, it was added as an Olympic event where athletes compete to reach the top of a route in the shortest time.

While climbing can also be a social activity, with climbers supporting each other and sharing experiences, the essence lies in the personal connection between the climber and the rock. Climbing encourages self-discovery, self-reliance, and continuous self-improvement.

4. Archery

All Individual Sports
Japan's Tomohiro Ueyama competes against Thailand in open archery in Hangzhou, China's eastern Zhejiang province, on October 26, 2023. Photo: Hector Rematal
Source: Getty Images

A long-standing sport, this one. It would be best to be very focused and steady-handed to do it. Each player has a specific distance from which they must shoot arrows into a target. Hits by archers count toward a score, with higher scores given for hits closer to the centre or bullseye. Before it became a popular sport, archery was a tool for hunting and warfare.

Results in archery events are determined by how well each competitor does on their own. How close an archer gets to the centre of the target and how accurately it hits it specify how many points they earn. A person's success in hitting the target is reflected in their total score.

3. Cycling

Which Sports Are Considered Individual Sports,
Maria Novolodskaia of Russia and Team Lifeplus Wahoo in the breakaway during the 8th De Brabantse Pijl - La Fleche Brabanconne on April 12, 2023, in Overijse, Belgium. Photo: Luc Claessen
Source: Getty Images

Competitors in cycling races time themselves to see who can pedal a set distance the quickest. Many cyclists participate in the annual Tour de France, the most prestigious cycling race in the world.

Cyclists can choose their paths, which can be flat, scenic, or filled with challenging climbs. Each cycling experience is unique, and one reason is the ability to customize routes.

2. Swimming

Individual Sports
Milorad (Mike) Cavic, European champion (2007) in the 50-meter butterfly, is photographed on location at Founder's Park swimming pool during an ad shoot. Photo: Stephen Frink
Source: Getty Images

The object of the race is to see who can swim the designated distance in the shortest amount of time. Typically, the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the Olympics are broken down by style.

Particular swimming styles, such as freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, or backstroke, are practised by swimmers. People typically base their decision to specialize on their tastes, abilities, and aspirations.

1. Running

Sports You Can Play Alone
A sprinter from team Philippines competes in the women's 4 x 400m relay final athletics event in China's eastern Zhejiang province on October 4, 2023. Photo: Jung Yeon
Source: Getty Images

Runners race against each other to determine the fastest time over a specific distance. Runners compete against each other and themselves, making running one of the most personal forms of athletic competition.

Individualized training programs are designed to meet runners' specific needs, fitness levels, and goals. Long runs, speed workouts, and other elements adapted to each runner are standard components of training sessions.

Frequently asked questions

Apart from individual sports, team sports are currently exciting. These are various queries about distinguished sports.

What are some benefits of participating in individual sports?

Getting in shape, learning self-control, and boosting confidence are all possible outcomes. As a bonus, participating in individual sports allows you to carve out your path to success by establishing and working towards specific objectives.

How do individual sports differ from team sports?

The success or failure of an athlete in an individual competition is entirely up to them. On the other hand, to succeed in teams, players must constantly update one another and work together to accomplish the objective.

Final word

An individual sport is an athletic activity where participants compete or perform independently, relying on their skills, efforts, and achievements. Athletes in individual sports often set personal goals, engage in solo training, and compete against others based on their abilities and accomplishments.

READ MORE: Sir Kenny Dalglish's net worth, age, stats, daughter, family, is he still alive?

Sports Brief revealed Sir Kenny Dalglish's net worth in a recent article. His net worth spiked high after winning several trophies with Celtic and Liverpool, including the European Cup, European Super Cup, and Football League Super Cup.

Dalglish has been involved in various business ventures, endorsements, and ambassadorial roles. Sir Kenny Dalglish's net worth includes earnings from playing contracts, managerial positions, endorsement deals, and other experiences. Find out more about Sir Kenny Dalglish's' net worth and how he made his riches.

Kevin Omuya photo
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.