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Greetings, sports aficionados!

Looking to dive into the realm of non-contact sports?

Discover the best ways to stay fit and competitive while minimizing physical contact with our Non-Contact Sport List, ranked by popularity.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner looking for a new challenge, there’s an exciting and injury-free activity out there for you!

Non-Contact Sports List

  1. Swimming
  2. Running
  3. Cycling
  4. Golf
  5. Tennis
  6. Gymnastics
  7. Figure Skating
  8. Diving
  9. Synchronized Swimming
  10. Rowing

#1 Swimming

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 World Aquatics formerly known as the International Swimming Federation (FINA), governs the sport. Swimming made its Olympic debut in 1896, with the inclusion of four races.

Now, the Summer Olympics feature numerous swimming events, and the World Swimming Championships are held every two years.

#2 Running

Running

Running is one of the oldest and most fundamental forms of human movement, with evidence dating back to prehistoric times. It is a popular activity worldwide and can be both recreational and competitive.

Major running events include marathons, half-marathons, and shorter distance races.

The Olympics feature various running events, including sprints, middle distance, and long-distance races. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) oversees the sport.

#3 Cycling

Cycling

Cycling’s origins can be traced back to the early 19th century when the “Draisine,” a two-wheeled human-powered vehicle, was invented by German Baron Karl von Drais.

Today, cycling is a popular sport and mode of transportation worldwide. It is both a competitive and recreational activity, with events such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España drawing significant attention.

Cycling has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) governs the sport.

#4 Golf

Golf

Golf’s origins can be traced back to 15th-century Scotland. Today, it is a popular sport globally, played on golf courses with varying terrain, length, and difficulty.

Major tournaments include the four annual majors: The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship.

Golf was reintroduced to the Olympic program at the 2016 Rio Games after a 112-year absence. The International Golf Federation (IGF) governs the sport.

#5 Tennis

Tennis

Tennis has its roots in 12th-century France and has evolved into a popular sport played worldwide. The modern game’s governing body is the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

The four prestigious Grand Slam tournaments make up the sport’s pinnacle—Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Tennis has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games, except for the period from 1924 to 1984.

#6 Gymnastics

Gymnastics

Gymnastics has ancient origins, with early evidence of it dating back to the ancient Greeks. The sport has evolved over the years and now includes various disciplines such as artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, and aerobic gymnastics.

It is popular worldwide, with countries like the United States, Russia, and China dominating in competitions.

Gymnastics has been part of the Olympic program since the inaugural modern Games in 1896. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) governs the sport.

#7 Figure Skating

Figure Skating

Figure skating, as a sport, can be traced back to the 19th century in Europe and North America. It involves the performance of athletic and artistic movements on ice.

Figure skating is popular in countries with strong winter sports traditions such as the United States, Russia, Canada, and Japan.

The sport has been part of the Olympic program since the 1908 London Games. The International Skating Union (ISU) governs figure skating.

#8 Diving

Diving

Diving’s origins can be traced back to ancient times, with early evidence from countries like Egypt and Rome. The modern sport involves athletes jumping and performing acrobatic maneuvers from platforms and springboards into water.

Diving is popular worldwide, with countries like China, Russia, and the United States dominating in competitions.

The sport has been part of the Olympic program since the 1904 St. Louis Games. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) oversees diving.

#9 Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized swimming, a blend of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, originated in the early 20th century in countries such as Canada and the United States.

The sport is predominantly female, with athletes performing choreographed routines in the water, accompanied by music.

Synchronized swimming has been part of the Olympic program since the 1984 Los Angeles Games. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) governs the sport.

#10 Rowing

Rowing

Rowing dates back to ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Rome, and Greece. The sport involves athletes propelling a boat on water using oars, with various types of boats and racing formats.

Rowing is popular worldwide and has been part of the Olympic program since the 1900 Paris Games. The International Rowing Federation (FISA) oversees the sport, organizing events such as the World Rowing Championships and the World Rowing Cup series.

More Non-Contact Sports

  1. Track and field: Also known as athletics, track and field has ancient origins dating back to the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece. The sport consists of various disciplines, including running, jumping, and throwing events. It is popular worldwide and has been a fundamental part of the modern Olympic Games since 1896. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) governs track and field.
  2. Skiing: Skiing’s history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of early ski-like objects found in Russia and Scandinavia. Today, skiing is a popular winter sport worldwide, with disciplines such as alpine, cross-country, ski jumping, and freestyle. The International Ski Federation (FIS) oversees the sport, and skiing has been part of the Winter Olympics since the inaugural Games in 1924.
  3. Skateboarding: Skateboarding originated in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s and gained global popularity in the following decades. The sport involves performing tricks and maneuvers on a skateboard, with ramps, rails, and other obstacles often used. Skateboarding made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) governs the sport.
  4. Surfing: Surfing has its origins in ancient Polynesian culture, particularly in Hawaii, where it was a central part of society. Today, surfing is popular in countries with coastlines offering good wave conditions, such as the USA, Australia, and Brazil. The World Surf League (WSL) holds the annual Championship Tour, and surfing made its Olympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
  5. Windsurfing: Windsurfing, a combination of surfing and sailing, was invented in the late 1960s by Californians Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer. It is popular in coastal areas worldwide, particularly in destinations with consistent wind, such as the Canary Islands and Tarifa, Spain. The International Windsurfing Association (IWA) governs the sport, and windsurfing has been part of the Olympic program since the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
  6. Snowboarding: Snowboarding originated in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, evolving from a combination of skiing, surfing, and skateboarding disciplines. The sport involves riding on a snowboard (a flat, wide board) on snow-covered slopes, performing various tricks and races. Snowboarding has been part of the Winter Olympics since the 1998 Nagano Games, and the International Ski Federation (FIS) governs the sport.
  7. Triathlon: The triathlon, a multi-sport race involving swimming, cycling, and running, originated in the United States in the 1970s. The sport has since gained popularity worldwide, with the International Triathlon Union (ITU) overseeing the sport. The triathlon made its Olympic debut in the 2000 Sydney Games and has since been a fixture in the Summer Olympics program.
  8. Water polo: Water polo is believed to have originated in England and Scotland in the late 19th century. The sport, consisting of teams trying to score goals by throwing a ball into the opposing team’s net, is played in a swimming pool. It has been part of the Olympic program since the 1900 Paris Games. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) governs water polo.
  9. Horse riding: Also referred to as equestrian sports, horse riding has a long history across different cultures and regions, with evidence of early horse domestication dating back thousands of years. Competitive horse riding includes disciplines such as dressage, show jumping, and eventing. Equestrian sports have been part of the Olympic program since the 1912 Stockholm Games. The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) governs the sport.
  10. Archery: The practice of using a bow to shoot arrows, archery has ancient origins and has been used for hunting, warfare, and sport. Competitive archery includes various disciplines, such as target archery and field archery. Archery has been part of the Olympic program since the 1900 Paris Games, with some interruptions. The International Archery Federation (World Archery) oversees the sport.
  11. Shooting: Shooting sports have a long history, with early firearms used for hunting, warfare, and sport. Modern competitive shooting includes various disciplines, such as rifle, pistol, and shotgun events. Shooting has been part of the Olympic program since the 1896 Athens Games, and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) governs the sport.
  12. Badminton: Badminton’s origins can be traced back to ancient Indian and British games, with the modern sport developing in the 19th century. It is played with a racket and a shuttlecock, with players attempting to score points by hitting the shuttlecock into their opponent’s half of the court. Badminton has been part of the Olympic program since the 1992 Barcelona Games, and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) governs the sport.
  13. Kayaking: Kayaking is a versatile water sport where participants propel themselves in a small, narrow boat called a kayak using a double-bladed paddle. Kayaking is popular in rivers, lakes, and coastal areas, with various types of kayaking, including whitewater, sea, and recreational. It has been an Olympic sport since 1936.
  14. Rafting: A thrilling water sport, rafting involves participants navigating a raft through rough waters, typically in whitewater river conditions. Rafting is popular in regions with fast-flowing rivers, such as the Colorado River in the USA and the Zambezi River in Africa.
  15. Paddleboarding: Stand-up paddleboarding has its roots in ancient Polynesian culture but gained modern popularity in Hawaii in the early 2000s. The sport involves standing on a large, stable board and propelling oneself using a long paddle. SUP is popular in coastal areas, lakes, and rivers worldwide.
  16. Fishing: An ancient practice and recreational sport, fishing involves catching fish using various methods such as angling, netting, or trapping. It is popular worldwide in various water bodies, including oceans, lakes, and rivers.
  17. Orienteering: Orienteering is a navigation-based sport that originated in Sweden in the late 19th century. Participants navigate from one point to another using a map and compass, often in unfamiliar terrain. The sport is popular worldwide, with the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) governing the sport.
  18. Hiking: Hiking, also referred to as trekking or walking, is a popular outdoor activity that involves walking in natural environments, often along trails or following specific routes. Hiking can be a recreational activity, a sport, or a form of tourism.
  19. Rock climbing: Rock climbing has its origins in the late 19th century, with the sport becoming more established in the 20th century. It is a physically demanding activity that involves using the hands and feet to ascend natural or artificial rock formations. The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) governs competitive rock climbing, which is set to make its Olympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
  20. Bungee jumping: Bungee jumping is an extreme sport that originated in the 1980s in New Zealand. It involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. Though not a competitive sport, bungee jumping has become a popular adrenaline-seeking activity globally.
  21. Paragliding: Paragliding is an adventure sport that originated in the 1960s, involving flying a lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft. Paragliding is popular worldwide, with numerous schools and competitions held globally. The sporting aspect is regulated by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).
  22. Skydiving: Skydiving, also known as parachuting, involves jumping from an aircraft and free-falling through the air before deploying a parachute to land safely. The sport has its origins in the 18th century but has modernized and become more popular over the years. The International Parachuting Commission (IPC) governs skydiving as a competitive sport.

FAQ

What are the most popular non-contact sports?

The most popular non-contact sports include swimming, running, cycling, golf, tennis, gymnastics, figure skating, diving, synchronized swimming, and rowing.

How many different non-contact sports are there?

Our non-contact sports list includes 32 unique non-contact sports.

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 ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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