A list of all the sports that start with A in the world

A list of all the sports that start with A in the world

Ciku Njuguna
updated at February 13, 2024 at 9:22 AM

Only a couple hundred out of the thousands of sports in the world are internationally recognised, including sports that start with A. This article is a compilation of sports played worldwide that start with the letter A. Dig in for an extensive list of sports names and how they are played.

On the right, an aerial gymnast performs a routine. On the left, Elina Ussher scales a rock wall.
Elina Ussher (l) in action during the abseiling stage of the Mark Webber Challenge on November 22, 2007. An aerial gymnast (r) in action in Apricena, Italy. Photo by Clive Rose and Claudio Del Fuoco.
Source: Getty Images

What is the most recognised sport in the world that begins with A? While popular sports in this category, such as aquatic sports, acrobatics and American football, take the cake, several others exist worldwide. Scroll down for a list of sports that start with A.

What are sports that start with the letter A?

Similarities and differences in cultures around the world have led to the development of numerous types of sports. Sports Brief has conducted an extensive search to discover the most popular sports that start with A.

What are some sports that start with A?

From indigenous sports to modern-day sports, countless options exist for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Here is a comprehensive list of competitive and non-competitive sports around the world.

1. Abseiling

Abseiling, also known as rappelling, is an outdoor sporting activity used in leisure activities such as caving, canyoning, mountaineering and rescue activities. In abseiling, participants use ropes, harnesses, and belay devices to make a controlled descent down the face of a rock.

Elina Ussher pictured abseiling a rock wall in Tasmania, Australia.
Elina Ussher in action during the abseiling section of the 'Freycinet the other way' stage on day five of the Mark Webber Challenge on November 22, 2007, in Tasmania, Australia. Photo by Clive Rose.
Source: Getty Images

2. Acrobatic gymnastics

Acrobatic gymnastics is a synchronised, body-movement Olympic game performed by two players. Acrobatic gymnastics is a sporting and artistic discipline in which a male Base and a female Top perform choreographed routines that feature twists, somersaults, tumbles and the use of apparatus.

3. Aerial silk

Is aerial silks a sport? From the circus to the dance studio or gym, aerial silk blends aerial performance with body movement and acrobatics. While it is not a competitive sport, its enthusiasts benefit from physical exercise, stress relief and enjoyment.

4. Aerobics

Aerobics is a popular form of physical exercise. Aerobics exercises are performed using rapid, repetitive and rhythmic movement. According to various publications, participants receive several health benefits, such as a stimulated cardiovascular system, improved endurance, increased energy, and reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.

5. Aesthetic gymnastics

Aesthetic group gymnastics is a competitive discipline of gymnastics performed by a team of 6 to 10 members. The sport’s choreography, which uses rhythmic, synchronised body movement to tell a story, was adapted from Finnish Women's Gymnastics.

Aomori University Men's gymnastics team performs rhythmic gymnastics.
Aomori University Men's gymnastics team performed at Yoyogi Daini Gymnasium on July 18, 2013, in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by The Asahi Shimbun.
Source: Getty Images

6. Air hockey

Air hockey is a tabletop sporting activity. The sport loosely resembles ping pong, with two players competing on opposing sides of the table. Players attempt to score points by hitting the puck into the opponent’s goal.

7. Aikido

According to Aikido International, Aikido is a discipline of modern martial arts that combines physical techniques with traditional Japanese weapons such as the sword, knife and staff. It is estimated that the sport that was developed in the early twentieth century by Morihei Ueshiba is practised by millions in over 130 countries around the world.

8. All-terrain boarding

Extreme sports take many forms. In this action sport, players take on various terrains using specialised boards and safety equipment. It is also referred to as mountainboarding, dirtboarding, or off-road boarding.

A female athlete mountain boards over a hill.
A female athlete mountain boards over a hill. Photo by Wirestock.
Source: Getty Images

9. Alpine skiing

Alpine skiing is an internationally recognised sporting activity that made its Olympic debut in 1936. Competitive alpine skiing or racing requires participants to descend a snow-covered mountain as quickly as possible. In the Olympics, the sport is competed in four disciplines, including downhill, slalom, grand slalom and the super grand slalom.

10. American football

Gridiron football, or American football, is one of the most famous sports in the world. The team sport is played by opposing groups of eleven athletes on each side. American football games attract millions of spectators across the globe, particularly in the USA, making it one of the sports with the biggest fan base in the world.

11. Aquabike racing

What is aquabike racing? This is a multisport event with one of the fastest rising popularity. Aquabiking is a competitive sport that involves swimming and cycling events in intervals. Depending on organisers, distances can range between a 1-mile swim and a 25-mile bike race, a 1.2-mile swim with a 56-mile bike race or a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike race.

Athletes take part in an aquatic triathlon.
Athletes swim during the swimming leg of an aquatic triathlon. Photo by Zoonar RF.
Source: Getty Images

12. Aquathlon

An Aquathlon is a multisport event that involves swimming and running legs. World Triathlon regulations require participants to swim a kilometre in the first leg, followed by a 5-kilometre run. However, different forms of the sport exist with varying leg distances.

13. Archery

Archery is the only sport that starts with A and ends with Y. It is an ancient competitive sport that tests participants' bow and arrow shooting skills. As a sport, archery is competed at the highest level, with 128 competitors from 51 countries competing in the sport during the 2021 Olympics.

14. Arena polo

What is the difference between field polo and arena polo? Arena polo is a variation of traditional polo. Although the polo sport is played on horseback on outdoor pitches like classic polo, its pitches (both indoor and outdoor) are smaller, measuring 300 by 150 feet with walls about four feet tall. Additionally, the sport utilises a larger plastic ball than the small wooden ball used in regular polo.

Arena polo players of Valiente and the Daily Racing Form compete during the U.S. Open Polo Championship Final match.
Valiente and the Daily Racing Form ride after the ball during the U.S. Open Polo Championship Final match on April 22, 2018, at the International Polo Club in Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach.
Source: Getty Images

15. Arena football

Arena football is a variant of gridiron football played by two eight-man teams in indoor arenas. Compared to American football, arena or indoor football is played on a smaller field demarcated by a padded wall.

Until 2008, the Arena Football League was highly popular with millions of viewers in the USA. After years in obscurity, the sport's fortunes have begun to turn under the Indoor Football League.

16. Arimaa

Much like chess, Arimaa is a strategy board game played by two competitors. The Arimaa game was invented between 1997 and 2002 by Omar Syed, a computer engineer. Like in chess, players make calculated moves on the board to best their opponents.

17. Arm wrestling

Although various forms of the sport exist, the main goal in arm wrestling is to pin down the opponent's arm. Arm wrestling has become more than a bragging rights exercise, with the league experiencing a surge in popularity. The game is governed by the World Arm Wrestling League.

Elias Shammas (l) and Daniel Schwarz (r) compete during the 2021 98% Protest Series Arm Wrestling tournament.
Elias Shammas (l) and Daniel Schwarz (r) of the Urban Arm Wrestling League compete during the 98% Protest Series on May 15, 2021, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Al Bello.
Source: Getty Images

18. Arnis

What kind of sport is Arnis? Arnis is a traditional martial arts sport practised widely in the Philippines. Its prominence as a sport can be seen in its inclusion in Hollywood films and the success of the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation in the Southeast Asian Games.

The Philippine's national martial art is weapon based with its participants or arnisadores mainly fighting with a baston. Other techniques used in the sport include hand-to-hand combat, disarming and grappling.

19. Artistic cycling

Artistic expression in sports can take many competitive and non-competitive forms, such as cycling. In artistic cycling, athletes use a blend of balance, flexibility, strength, and courage to perform tricks on top of bicycles, such as in gymnastics.

20. Artistic gymnastics

Artistic gymnastics is a discipline of gymnastics that blends athletics and art. In this competitive discipline, gymnasts showcase routines on various apparatus such as the floor, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar, uneven bars, balance beam, and the vault.

United States gymnast Simone Biles performs a routine on a balance beam.
Simone Biles competes in the Women's Team Final during the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on October 4, 2023. Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

21. Artistic roller skating

What is artistic skating? Professional skating takes many forms, including figure skating, jam skating, speed skating and artistic roller skating. As an Olympic sport, artistic roller skating has been referred to as figure skating’s little brother. Speaking to the Olympic channel, famous artistic roller skater Giselle Soller, a sixteen-time World Champion, explained the differences between the two disciplines, saying,

“There are similarities in technique and jumps. Because the skates are lighter and the speed is faster, the jumps have more rotation. We do triple jumps, but in figure skating, they do quads.”

22. Artistic swimming

What is artistic swimming? Formerly known as synchronised swimming and water ballet, artistic swimming is a discipline of water acrobatics. In the Olympic sport, teams perform choreographed and synchronised limb movements called figures and lifts or highlights to music. For the first time in history, male teams will be able to compete in artistic swimming at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

23. Association football

Soccer, or association football, is the most famous ball game in the world. The team sport is played by two teams of eleven players who use their feet to move the ball across the field of play into the opponent's goalposts.

Arsenal's forward Alessia Russo runs with the ball during a Barclays Women's Super League match.
Arsenal's forward Alessia Russo in action during the Barclays Women's Super League match against Liverpool FC at Prenton Park on January 28, 2024, in Birkenhead. Photo by Alex Burstow/Arsenal FC.
Source: Getty Images

24. Association croquet

How do you play association croquet? The game is played by two opposing players on a golf course. However, unlike in golf, players take alternating turns to hit a stationary ball using mallets. The players score hoop points by passing the ball through a hoop.

25. Athletics

What is the meaning of athletics in the Olympics? Athletics, also known as track and field, is a blanket term that refers to sporting events such as walking, running, throwing, and jumping. The competitive events can be performed by single athletes or in teams. They can be performed as single or combined events in triathlon, decathlon or heptathlon forms.

26. Australian rules football

Association rules football has various names, including Aussie Rules, Australia football, or footy. Compared to Association football, which is played by two teams of eleven on a rectangular field, Aussie Rules is played on an oval field by two teams of 18 players kicking the ball towards opponents' goalposts.

27. Autocross

Autocross is a competitive form of motor racing sports where drivers navigate a paved course defined by traffic cones. These competitions are times with drivers competing one at a time compared to most racing competitions.

Blue Formula racing cars are pictured on the track.
Blue Formula racing cars pictured on the track in Italy. Photo by Simon Kr.
Source: Getty Images

28. Autograss

Autograss racing is an amateur form of motor racing practised widely in Britain. The races occur on muddy or grassy tracks, hence the name autograss. Unlike most major racing sports, autograss has limited restrictions, with children as young as 12 years of age taking part in it.

29. Auto-racing

Like athletics, the term auto-racing covers various professional and amateur motorsports. Open wheel racing includes some of the most popular types of auto racing, Formula One, NASCAR, IndyCar, and go-kart racing. Other types of auto-racing sports include drag races, simulation races and rally races.

30. Axe throwing

Axe throwing is a targeting game popularised by social events. Axe-throwing games require participants to aim at a wooden target. Players earn between one and five points depending on where the axes land.

Final word

From bar rooms to professional stages, sports enthusiasts are spoilt for choice when selecting a sport. Sports that start with A represent only a part of thousands of physical exercises that are played around the world.

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

Sports Brief published an article listing all the sports and games that are played around the world. Few limitations exist in sports, with amateur and professional athletes testing their physical abilities almost to the breaking point. Discover an extensive list of all the sports in the world and how they are played.

Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.