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Attention, army sports fanatics!

Are you prepared for an adrenaline rush?

March into our army sports list, sorted by popularity.

From battle-hardened veterans to fresh-faced recruits, there’s an exhilarating activity for all levels of athleticism!

Army Sports List

  1. Football
  2. Basketball
  3. Volleyball (Indoor and Beach)
  4. Swimming (includes Lifesaving)
  5. Track and Field
  6. Cycling (Cyclo-cross, Mountain Biking, and Road)
  7. Boxing
  8. Golf
  9. Tennis
  10. Skiing (Alpine, Biathlon, Cross-country, Mountaineering, Orienteering, and Patrol)

#1 Football

Soccer

Football, also known as soccer, has its origins in various ancient cultures, with evidence dating back to 2nd and 3rd century BC in China. The modern version of the sport was formalized in England in the 19th century.

Football is now the most popular sport worldwide, with over 270 million people playing the game. Prominent tournaments include the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and various national leagues.

Football has been an Olympic sport since the 1900 Paris Games.

#2 Basketball

Basketball

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian-born physical education instructor, James Naismith, in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. The sport has grown immensely in popularity and is now played globally.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States is the pinnacle of professional basketball, while other prominent leagues exist worldwide. Basketball made its Olympic debut in the 1936 Berlin Games.

#3 Volleyball (Indoor and Beach)

Volleyball was created in 1895 by William G. Morgan, an American physical education director, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA. The sport was designed as a softer alternative to basketball.

Volleyball is now popular worldwide, with indoor and beach volleyball being the two main variations. Major competitions include the FIVB Volleyball World Championships and the World Tour for beach volleyball.

Volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1964, while beach volleyball made its Olympic debut in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

#4 Swimming

Marathon swimming

Swimming has a long history, with early evidence of it dating back to the Stone Age in 7,000 BCE. It is popular worldwide, with competitive swimming events held globally.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) governs the sport. Swimming made its Olympic debut in 1896, with the inclusion of four races.

Lifesaving, a discipline of swimming, focuses on rescue, survival, and first aid skills, with competitions like the Lifesaving World Championships demonstrating these abilities.

#5 Track and Field

Athletics

Track and field has its origins in ancient Greece, with the first recorded Olympic Games taking place in 776 BC. The sport includes various running, jumping, and throwing events, and is now popular around the world.

Top competitions include the World Athletics Championships and the Diamond League. Track and field has been part of the Olympic program since the first modern Games in 1896.

#6 Cycling

Road Bicycle Racing

Cycling traces its origins back to the early 19th century in Germany and France, with the invention of the “laufmaschine” or “velocipede.” The sport has evolved, now incorporating various disciplines such as road cycling, mountain biking, and cyclo-cross.

Major events include the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and the UCI World Championships. Cycling has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games, while mountain biking made its Olympic debut in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

#7 Boxing

Boxing

Boxing has a long history dating back to ancient times, with the earliest evidence found in Egypt around 3000 BC. Modern boxing originated in England during the 18th century.

Boxing is popular worldwide, and major competitions include the World Boxing Championships and various professional bouts. Boxing was introduced into the Olympic program in the 1904 St. Louis Games.

#8 Golf

Golf

Golf’s origins can be traced back to 15th-century Scotland, where the game was played on coastal links courses. The sport is now popular across the world, predominantly in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Major professional golf tournaments include the PGA TOUR, European Tour, and the four annual major championships. Golf was reintroduced into the Olympic program in the 2016 Rio Games after being absent since the 1904 St. Louis Games.

#9 Tennis

Tennis

Tennis is believed to have originated in 12th-century France, initially played with a palm and a ball, evolving into racquet usage during the 16th century.

The sport is now globally popular, with four major tournamentsβ€”the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Openβ€”known as the Grand Slam events.

Tennis has been part of the Olympic program since the 1988 Seoul Games and was reintroduced in 1968 after its withdrawal in the 1924 Paris Games.

#10 Skiing

Alpine Skiing

Skiing can be traced back to prehistoric times, with the earliest evidence found in Russia dating to 8000 BC.

Skiing has developed into various disciplines, including alpine (downhill), cross-country, biathlon (a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting), ski mountaineering, ski orienteering, and military patrol.

The sport is most popular in countries with snowy conditions, such as those in Northern Europe and North America. Skiing has been part of the Winter Olympic program since the inaugural Winter Games in 1924.

More Army Sports

  1. Equestrian (Dressage, Endurance, Eventing, and Jumping): Equestrian sports date back to ancient Greece and Rome, with modern dressage originating in Renaissance Europe. Equestrian sports are now popular worldwide, particularly in Europe, and consist of four main disciplines: dressage, endurance, eventing, and show jumping. Major tournaments include the FEI World Equestrian Games and various national championships. Equestrian sports have been part of the Olympic program since the 1912 Stockholm Games.
  2. Judo: Judo originates from Japan and was founded in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. The martial art focuses on throws and grappling techniques and has become popular globally. World Judo Championships are held annually, and judo became an Olympic sport in the 1964 Tokyo Games.
  3. Wrestling: Wrestling has its origins in ancient civilizations, with evidence dating back to 3000 BC in Sumer. The sport consists of two main styles: freestyle and Greco-Roman. Wrestling is popular in countries such as the USA, Russia, and Iran, with major competitions including the World Wrestling Championships. Wrestling has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games.
  4. Sailing: Sailing, as a sport, can be traced back to 17th-century England. The sport is popular in coastal areas and large lakes, with various types of boats and competitions. Top events include the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race, and the Olympic sailing competition. Sailing has been part of the Olympic program since the 1900 Paris Games.
  5. Handball: Modern handball has its origins in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The sport is played between two teams of seven players, with the objective being to score goals by throwing a ball into the opponents’ net. Handball is popular in Europe, with the EHF Champions League and the IHF World Men’s Handball Championship being major tournaments. Handball has been part of the Olympic program since the 1936 Berlin Games.
  6. Fencing: Fencing has its origins in ancient civilizations and developed into a sport in Europe during the Renaissance. The sport consists of three main disciplines: foil, epee, and sabre. Fencing is popular worldwide, with major competitions such as the World Fencing Championships and various national championships. Fencing has been part of the Olympic program since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
  7. Marathon: The marathon race has its origins in ancient Greece and is based on the legend of a messenger running from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to bring news of the victory. The marathon is now a major event in athletics, with numerous races held worldwide, including the World Marathon Majors. The marathon has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games.
  8. Triathlon: The triathlon is a multisport race consisting of swimming, cycling, and running. The modern triathlon was developed in California during the 1970s. The sport is now popular globally, with numerous events and series, including the ITU World Triathlon Series and Ironman races. Triathlon made its Olympic debut in the 2000 Sydney Games.
  9. Orienteering: Orienteering has its roots in 19th-century Sweden as a military exercise and has evolved into a navigation sport requiring map reading and navigation skills. The sport is popular in Europe, with major competitions including the World Orienteering Championships. Orienteering is not part of the Olympic program, but it is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  10. Taekwondo: Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that combines combat techniques, self-defense, and sport. The sport became popular worldwide in the latter half of the 20th century. World Taekwondo and the International Taekwon-Do Federation organize major championships. Taekwondo became an Olympic sport in the 2000 Sydney Games.
  11. Shooting: Shooting sports have origins in hunting and military exercises, dating as far back as the Middle Ages. The sport now encompasses multiple disciplines, including rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Major competitions include the ISSF World Shooting Championships and various national championships. Shooting has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games.
  12. Cross Country Running: Cross country running can be traced back to 19th-century England, originating from the sport of paper chasing. The sport involves athletes running over a variety of natural terrain, including grass, mud, and hills. Major competitions include the World Athletics Cross Country Championships and various national championships. Cross country running is not part of the Olympic program, but it is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  13. Modern Pentathlon: Modern pentathlon was created by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, and was introduced in the 1912 Stockholm Games. The sport combines five disciplines: fencing, swimming, horse riding, shooting, and running. Major competitions include the UIPM World Championships. Modern pentathlon has been part of the Olympic program since the 1912 Stockholm Games.
  14. Aeronautical Pentathlon: Aeronautical pentathlon is a military sport comprising shooting, fencing, swimming, basketball throw, and an obstacle course run. It is similar to the modern pentathlon, but with a focus on military skills. Major competitions include the Military World Games. Aeronautical pentathlon is not part of the Olympic program but is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  15. Military Pentathlon: Military pentathlon is a sport involving five military-related disciplines, including swimming, shooting, cross-country running and obstacle racing, throwing, and cross-country orienteering. The sport is primarily competed by military personnel. Major competitions include the Military World Games and various national championships. Military pentathlon is not part of the Olympic program but is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  16. Naval Pentathlon: Naval pentathlon is a military sport consisting of five disciplines: swimming, obstacle racing, shooting, seamanship, and cross-country running. The sport is primarily competed by naval personnel. Major competitions include the Military World Games and various national championships. Naval pentathlon is not part of the Olympic program but is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  17. Parachuting (Accuracy Landing and Formation Skydiving): Parachuting as a sport dates back to the early 20th century and has evolved into various disciplines, including accuracy landing and formation skydiving. Major competitions include the FAI World Parachuting Championships. Parachuting is not part of the Olympic program but is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  18. Short Track Speed Skating: Short track speed skating, a variation of speed skating, was developed in the 20th-century USA and Canada. Races take place on a smaller indoor track, and skaters compete in both individual and relay events. The sport is popular in countries such as South Korea, China, and the USA. Short track speed skating has been part of the Winter Olympic program since the 1992 Albertville Games.
  19. Sport Climbing: Sport climbing has its origins in the 1970s and involves athletes climbing pre-set routes on a wall while secured with safety ropes. The sport is popular worldwide, with major competitions including the IFSC Climbing World Championships. Sport climbing made its Olympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

FAQ

What are the most popular army sports?

The most popular army sports include football, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track and field, cycling, boxing, golf, tennis, and skiing. These sports are often practiced by military personnel and have specific events or tournaments dedicated to the armed forces.

How many different army sports are there?

Our army sports list includes 29 unique sports, ranging from traditional sports like football and basketball to military-specific events such as aeronautical pentathlon, military pentathlon, and naval pentathlon.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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