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Greetings, net sports fans!

Are you ready to jump into the action?

Discover our net sports list, sorted by popularity.

From seasoned pros to enthusiastic rookies, there’s a game for everyone in this collection of captivating sports!

#1 Volleyball

Volleyball

Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA. It was initially designed as a more gentle alternative to basketball for older members of the YMCA.

Today, volleyball is a popular sport worldwide, played both indoors and on the beach, and celebrated in the Summer Olympics since 1964.

The FΓ©dΓ©ration Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) governs the sport and organizes major volleyball tournaments such as the World Championships and the Volleyball Nations League.

#2 Tennis

Tennis

Tennis has its origins in the 12th-century French game of jeu de paume, which evolved into modern tennis in the late 1800s in England, where the first Wimbledon Championship took place in 1877.

Today, tennis is a popular sport with professional tours such as the ATP Tour and WTA Tour. The sport’s pinnacle events are the four Grand Slam tournaments: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

Tennis has been part of the Olympic program since 1896, with a brief absence from 1924 to 1984.

#3 Badminton

Badminton traces its roots back to an ancient Indian game called Poona, which gradually evolved and gained worldwide popularity in the 19th century.

The modern sport of badminton is governed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and has been part of the Olympic program since 1992. The BWF organizes the annual World Championships and the prestigious BWF World Tour.

Badminton is particularly popular in Asian countries like China, India, and Indonesia.

#4 Table Tennis (Ping Pong)

Table Tennis (Ping Pong)

Table tennis, or ping pong, originated in England during the late 19th century as a leisurely parlor game. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) was founded in 1926, and the sport made its Olympic debut in 1988.

Table tennis is immensely popular in East Asian countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, which dominate the sport at the international level. The ITTF organizes the Table Tennis World Championships and the ITTF World Tour.

#5 Pickleball

Pickleball

Pickleball is a relatively recent sport, created in 1965 by American families on Bainbridge Island, Washington. This paddle sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, but is played on a smaller, modified tennis court with a perforated plastic ball.

While pickleball has gained significant popularity in the United States, it is also growing in other countries. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) helps to promote and govern the sport with annual tournaments such as the US Open Pickleball Championships.

#6 Squash

Squash was developed in the early 19th century at Harrow School in England, an adaptation of the older game rackets. The sport quickly gained popularity and is now played globally, with the World Squash Federation (WSF) governing its rules and tournaments such as the World Squash Championships.

Squash has not been included in the Olympic program, but its proponents are consistently lobbying for its inclusion in future Games. The sport is particularly popular in England and Egypt, among other countries.

#7 Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball emerged as a variation of indoor volleyball in the 1920s on the beaches of Santa Monica, California. The sport gained rapid popularity and became a billion-dollar industry with professional circuits like the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Beach volleyball made its Olympic debut in the 1996 Atlanta Games. The sport is most popular in North and South America, Europe, and Australia.

#8 Paddle Tennis

Paddle Tennis

Paddle tennis, or platform tennis, was invented in 1928 by American Fessenden Blanchard and has since gained a loyal following, especially in the United States. The game is played on an elevated, smaller tennis court with solid paddles and a modified tennis ball.

The American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) governs the sport and organizes events such as the APTA National Championships. Paddle tennis is most popular in the northeastern United States.

#9 Racquetball

Racquetball

Racquetball was invented in the early 1950s by American Joe Sobek as a hybrid of squash and handball. The sport is played indoors on a fully walled court with a small rubber ball and short-stringed racquets.

The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) governs the sport and organizes events like the IRF World Championships. Racquetball is most popular in North America, particularly the United States, where it was invented.

#10 Sepak Takraw

Sepak takraw, also known as kick volleyball, originated in Southeast Asia, with historical mentions dating back to the 15th century. The sport’s modern rules were established in the mid-20th century, and the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) was formed in 1988.

Sepak takraw is played mainly in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, with the ISTAF SuperSeries and the biennial King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship being the premier events for the sport. While not part of the Olympic program, it is a regular event in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

More Net Sports

  1. Platform Tennis: Originating in the 1920s in Scarsdale, New York, platform tennis is played on an elevated, smaller tennis court with wire mesh fences. The sport is most popular in the northeastern United States, with the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) organizing the APTA National Championships.
  2. Footvolley: Footvolley was created in 1965 on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and combines elements of beach volleyball and football. The sport is popular in Brazil and other South American countries, with tournaments such as the Footvolley World Championships taking place regularly.
  3. Speedminton: Speedminton, a fast-paced hybrid of badminton, squash, and tennis, was invented in 2001 in Berlin, Germany. Using a modified shuttlecock called the “speeder,” this sport can be played indoors and outdoors without a net. Though not an Olympic sport, it is gaining popularity in Europe and the United States.
  4. Bossaball: Bossaball, a combination of volleyball, football, and gymnastics, was developed in Spain in the early 2000s. Played on an inflatable court with trampolines, Bossaball is popular in Europe and South America, with the Bossaball World Cup as its main international event.
  5. Jianzi (Shuttlecock): Jianzi, a traditional Chinese sport dating back to the 5th century BC, is similar to hacky sack but played with a weighted shuttlecock. The sport is popular in China and Southeast Asia, with the World Shuttlecock Championships organized by the International Shuttlecock Federation (ISF).
  6. Throwball: Throwball, a non-contact sport similar to volleyball, was developed in India in the early 20th century. The sport is most popular in South Asia, with the Throwball Federation of India organizing national and international championships.
  7. Teqball: Teqball, a combination of football and table tennis, was invented in Hungary in 2012. Played on a curved table, the sport is gaining popularity worldwide, with its governing body, the International Teqball Federation, organizing the Teqball World Championships.
  8. Beach Tennis: Beach tennis, a combination of beach volleyball and tennis, originated in Italy in the 1970s. Played on a beach volleyball court with a modified tennis ball, it is popular in coastal areas worldwide. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) oversees the sport and organizes the Beach Tennis World Championships.
  9. Padbol: Padbol, a hybrid of football and paddle tennis, was created in Argentina in 2008. The sport is played on a smaller, enclosed court with walls and is growing in popularity in South America and Europe, with the Padbol International Cup held annually.
  10. Water Volleyball: Water volleyball, which combines elements of volleyball and water polo, originated in the United States in the 1950s. While not an Olympic sport, it is enjoyed recreationally in swimming pools worldwide and has organized events at the local and regional levels.
  11. Spikeball: Spikeball, also known as roundnet, was invented in the United States in 1989 and gained renewed popularity in the 21st century. The sport involves teams hitting a ball into a small, trampoline-like net. The Spikeball Roundnet Association organizes tournaments throughout the year.
  12. Touchtennis: Touchtennis, a variation of tennis played on a smaller court with a foam ball and a shorter racquet, was created in the United Kingdom in 2002. The sport is growing in popularity worldwide, with the touchtennis World Tour and National Championships being organized annually.

FAQ

What are the most popular net sports?

The most popular net sports include volleyball, tennis, badminton, table tennis (ping pong), pickleball, squash, beach volleyball, paddle tennis, racquetball, and sepak takraw.

How many different net sports are there?

Our net sports list includes 22 unique net sports.

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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