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Ever wondered what stirs up action and excitement in the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia?

It’s not just about spectacular beaches and diverse cultures!

Soccer certainly captures hearts, but a plethora of other sports light up Indonesian spirits.

Discover the most popular sports in Indonesia in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Indonesia:

  1. Badminton
  2. Soccer
  3. Volleyball
  4. Basketball
  5. Sepak Takraw
  6. Athletics
  7. Swimming
  8. Pencak Silat
  9. Table Tennis
  10. Boxing
  11. Taekwondo

#1 Badminton

Badminton
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Indonesia: Susi Susanti (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Indonesia: 4 Million

Badminton is unarguably one of the most beloved sports in Indonesia. Played at various levels, the sport has garnered widespread admiration among Indonesians.

The Indonesia Open is a highlight in the regional badminton calendar, attracting top players and huge crowds. Susi Susanti, a legendary Olympian, has brought immense pride to the nation with her numerous titles and accomplishments.

Indonesia’s domination in international badminton events, such as the Thomas and Uber Cups, showcases the country’s prowess. With such a rich legacy and significant cultural significance, badminton continues to reign supreme in Indonesia.

#2 Soccer

soccer
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Indonesia: Bambang Pamungkas (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Indonesia: 10 Million

Soccer holds a special place in the hearts of Indonesians, serving as a unifying force amidst the nation’s diverse culture.

Liga 1, the top-tier professional soccer league of the country, showcases intense competition between clubs and captivates millions of fans. Bambang Pamungkas stands as a hallmark of Indonesian soccer, known for his skill and tenacity.

National team matches and popular foreign leagues, such as the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, captivate Indonesian viewers. Soccer’s popularity and cultural significance in Indonesia remain unmatched.

#3 Volleyball

volleyball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1929
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Indonesia: Aprilia Santini Manganang (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Indonesia: 3 Million

Volleyball in Indonesia enjoys a loyal following, with the sport played at various levels, from local to professional.

The Pro Liga Volleyball Indonesia is the nation’s premier competition, featuring thrilling matches and captivating audiences. Aprilia Santini Manganang, known for her remarkable athleticism, is a standout player in Indonesian volleyball.

Local tournaments and international competitions like the FIVB Volleyball World Cup capture the attention of volleyball enthusiasts. With a strong presence and continued growth, volleyball is a vital part of Indonesia’s sports landscape.

#4 Basketball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1950s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Indonesia: Mario Wuysang (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Indonesia: 1 Million

Basketball has found an enthusiastic audience in Indonesia, with the sport growing steadily in popularity and talent.

The Indonesian Basketball League (IBL) is the premier professional men’s basketball league, featuring competitive games and dedicated fans. Mario Wuysang, a skilled point guard, is a household name and inspiration to aspiring players.

In addition to local tournaments, the NBA attracts a sizable fanbase in Indonesia. Basketball’s growth, particularly among the youth, affirms its place in the country’s sporting culture.

#5 Sepak Takraw

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1940s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Indonesia: Saiful Rijal (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Indonesia: 800,000

Sepak takraw, a blend of volleyball and soccer, is a uniquely Southeast Asian sport that enjoys immense popularity in Indonesia. The game, played with a rattan or synthetic ball, showcases incredible acrobatic skills.

The Indonesian Sepak Takraw League and national team competitions draw passionate fans from across the country. Saiful Rijal, a skilled player and coach, is a respected figure in the sport.

Sepak takraw’s distinct nature and cultural significance make it an essential part of Indonesia’s sports scene. With every head-spinning kick and gravity-defying save, the sport continues to captivate the nation.

#6 Athletics

Athletics
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: Ancient Times
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Indonesia: Maria Natalia Londa (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Indonesia: 5 Million

Athletics, the foundation of many sporting events, has deep roots in Indonesia’s sporting tradition, with the nation producing numerous champions and record holders.

Long jumper and sprinter Maria Natalia Londa has brought prestige and pride to Indonesian athletics through her achievements and titles. Indonesia regularly hosts national and regional athletic events, like the Southeast Asian Games, drawing athletes and spectators from across the region.

As the nation continues to invest in training facilities and nurturing talent, athletics in Indonesia thrives, creating champions who stand proud on global platforms.

#7 Swimming

Swimming
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Swimmer from Indonesia: Albert Christian Sutanto (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimmers in Indonesia: 2 Million

Swimming, as both a recreational and competitive activity, holds an important place in Indonesia’s sports landscape due to the nation’s many islands and coastal areas.

Albert Christian Sutanto is a celebrated Indonesian swimmer, known for his record-breaking performances at national and regional championships. The Indonesian Swimming Championships is one of the country’s premier events, attracting the best swimmers across Indonesia.

With its vast aquatic resources and growing interest in the sport, swimming continues to make waves in Indonesia, nurturing talent and promoting aquatic achievements.

#8 Pencak Silat

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: Centuries Ago
  • 🌟 Most Famous Practitioner from Indonesia: Cecep Arif Rahman (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Practitioners in Indonesia: 1 Million

Pencak Silat, a traditional Indonesian martial art, is an integral part of the country’s cultural heritage and a source of pride for many Indonesians.

Cecep Arif Rahman, an acclaimed martial artist and actor, has gained international recognition for his Pencak Silat skills, showcasing the art form to a broader audience. National and international competitions, such as the Pencak Silat World Championship, fuel the sport’s growth and prestige.

With its roots deeply entrenched in Indonesian history and continued practice, Pencak Silat remains a vital and cherished aspect of the nation’s sports culture.

#9 Table Tennis

Table Tennis (Ping Pong)
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1950s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Indonesia: Anton Suseno (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Indonesia: 1.5 Million

Table tennis, a sport popular across the world, has found a loyal following in Indonesia. Its fast-paced gameplay and strategic elements make it an appealing pursuit for many.

The Indonesian Table Tennis Association hosts national championships, fostering the sport’s growth and talent development. Anton Suseno, a celebrated Indonesian table tennis player, has brought recognition to the country with his numerous victories.

Local clubs and international competitions, such as the World Table Tennis Championships, captivate Indonesian fans. With its roots in Indonesian culture and sports, table tennis continues to blossom across the nation.

#10 Boxing

boxing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1920s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Boxer from Indonesia: Chris John (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Boxing Enthusiasts in Indonesia: 2 Million

Boxing holds a prominent position in Indonesia’s sports landscape, demonstrating discipline, power, and focus. The nation has produced numerous champions and contenders throughout the decades.

Chris John, Indonesia’s most famous boxer, is a former world champion with an illustrious career. His achievements have inspired countless aspiring pugilists and brought pride to the nation.

From small gyms to grand arenas, boxing events such as the Indonesian Boxing Championship and international fights captivate fans. With every bout, boxing’s legacy in Indonesia grows stronger and more vibrant.

#11 Taekwondo

Taekwondo
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Indonesia: 1970s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Practitioner from Indonesia: Defia Rosmaniar (Indonesian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Practitioners in Indonesia: 500,000

Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, has become a popular sport in Indonesia, with practitioners valuing its physical and mental benefits.

The Indonesian Taekwondo Association promotes the sport through local dojo participation, national championships, and international competitions. Defia Rosmaniar, Indonesia’s first gold medalist at the 2018 Asian Games, has elevated the country’s taekwondo presence on the world stage.

Indonesians are captivated by events like National Taekwondo Championships and international contests, such as the Olympics. Taekwondo’s balance of athleticism and discipline continues to draw new practitioners and enthusiasts across the nation.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Indonesia?

Badminton is the most popular sport in Indonesia, deeply embedded in the country’s culture and loved by millions, with numerous international champions hailing from the nation.

What is the national sport of Indonesia?

Pencak Silat, a traditional Indonesian martial art, is considered the national sport, showcasing the nation’s rich heritage and being an essential part of Indonesia’s sporting and cultural identity.

What are the most watched sports in Indonesia?

The most watched sports in Indonesia include badminton, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and sepak takraw, drawing massive audiences and boasting significant fan bases throughout the country.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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