We are reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Get ready, team players!

Are you prepared to cheer on your side?

Dive into our team sports list, sorted by popularity.

From devoted athletes to fun-loving beginners, there’s a team sport out there for everyone!

Team Sports List

  1. Soccer (Football)
  2. Basketball
  3. Cricket
  4. Volleyball
  5. Rugby
  6. American Football
  7. Baseball
  8. Ice Hockey
  9. Field Hockey
  10. Handball

#1 Soccer (Football)

Soccer

Soccer, known as football outside North America, originated in England in the mid-19th century. Today, it is the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 4 billion fans.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) governs the sport globally. The FIFA World Cup, held every four years, is the most prestigious tournament in soccer.

The sport has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1900 for men and 1996 for women.

#2 Basketball

Basketball

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. The sport is hugely popular in the USA and around the world, particularly in Europe, South America, and Asia.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) governs the sport globally. Major tournaments include the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US. Basketball has been an Olympic sport since 1936 for men and 1976 for women.

#3 Cricket

Cricket

Cricket originated in southeast England during the 16th century and grew in popularity throughout the British Empire. Today, it is especially popular in India, Pakistan, Australia, England, and the West Indies.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) governs the sport, organizing major tournaments like the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup. Cricket has not been part of the Olympics, but efforts to include the sport are ongoing.

#4 Volleyball

Volleyball

Invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, in 1895, volleyball quickly gained popularity around the world. It is highly popular in Brazil, the United States, Russia, and several European countries.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) governs the sport, and popular tournaments include the FIVB Volleyball World Championship and the FIVB World Cup. Volleyball has been part of the Olympic Games since 1964.

#5 Rugby

Rugby

Rugby originated in England during the early 19th century, eventually bifurcating into Rugby Union and Rugby League. The sport is popular in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, and France.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) governs Rugby Union, while the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) governs Rugby League.

The Rugby World Cup, held every four years, is the most prestigious tournament. Rugby sevens, a variation of Rugby Union, has been part of the Olympic Games since 2016.

#6 American Football

American Football

American football evolved from rugby and soccer in the late 19th century in the United States. The sport is predominantly popular in the US, with the National Football League (NFL) being the highest professional level.

The Super Bowl, held annually, is the most-watched sporting event in the US. American football is not part of the Olympic Games, but it is played at the collegiate level and in several international competitions.

#7 Baseball

Baseball

Baseball is believed to have originated from various bat-and-ball games played in England in the 18th century. It gained popularity in the United States and is now also popular in countries like Japan, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) governs the sport, with notable leagues including Major League Baseball (MLB) in the US. Baseball was an Olympic sport from 1992 to 2008 and returned in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

#8 Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey originated in Canada in the late 19th century, gaining popularity in North America and Europe. The sport’s greatest following is in Canada, the United States, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) governs the sport, with the most prestigious tournament being the National Hockey League (NHL) in North America. Ice hockey has been an Olympic sport since 1920 for men and 1998 for women.

#9 Field Hockey

Field Hockey

Field hockey has its origins in ancient civilizations, but the modern version of the sport emerged in England during the late 18th century. It is popular in countries such as India, Pakistan, Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) governs the sport, and major competitions include the FIH Hockey World Cup and the Hockey Champions Trophy. Field hockey has been an Olympic sport since 1908 for men and 1980 for women.

#10 Handball

Handball

Handball, also known as team handball or Olympic handball, originated in northern Europe in the late 19th century. The sport is popular in countries like Germany, Denmark, Spain, and France.

The International Handball Federation (IHF) governs the sport, organizing the IHF World Men’s Handball Championship and the IHF World Women’s Handball Championship. Handball has been an Olympic sport since 1936 for men and 1976 for women.

More Team Sports

  1. Water Polo: Water polo originated in England and Scotland in the late 19th century. Today, it is popular in European countries like Hungary, Serbia, and Croatia, as well as in the United States and Australia. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) governs the sport, and top tournaments include the FINA Water Polo World Championships and the Olympic Games. Water polo has been an Olympic sport since 1900 for men and 2000 for women.
  2. Gaelic Football: Gaelic Football is an Irish team sport that dates back to medieval times. The sport is most popular in Ireland, where it is governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Major tournaments include the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and the National Football League. Although not part of the Olympic Games, there is an international presence with invitational tournaments played worldwide.
  3. Hurling: Hurling is an ancient Irish sport with origins dating back over 3,000 years. It is predominantly popular in Ireland and is governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Key tournaments include the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and the National Hurling League. Like Gaelic Football, Hurling is not an Olympic sport but has a growing international presence.
  4. Netball: Netball evolved from early versions of women’s basketball in the late 19th century in England. The sport is most popular in Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand, England, and South Africa. The International Netball Federation (INF) governs the sport, with major competitions like the Netball World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. Netball is not an Olympic sport.
  5. Beach Volleyball: Beach volleyball, a variation of indoor volleyball, originated in the United States in the 1920s. The sport is popular in countries like the USA, Brazil, Australia, and several European nations. The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) governs the sport, with top tournaments including the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and the Olympic Games. Beach volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1996.
  6. Futsal: Futsal is a modified version of soccer played indoors on a smaller court. It originated in Uruguay in the 1930s and is now popular worldwide, particularly in South America and Europe. The sport is governed by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF). Major competitions include the FIFA Futsal World Cup and the AMF Futsal World Cup. Futsal is not an Olympic sport.
  7. Korfball: Korfball originated in the Netherlands in 1902 and is a mixed-gender sport similar to basketball and netball. The sport is most popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. The International Korfball Federation (IKF) governs the sport, and the IKF World Korfball Championships are held every four years. Korfball is not part of the Olympic Games.
  8. Ultimate Frisbee: Ultimate Frisbee was invented in the United States in the late 1960s. The sport is played worldwide, with strong participation in North America, Europe, and Asia. The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) governs the sport, and top tournaments include the WFDF World Ultimate and Guts Championships. Ultimate Frisbee is not part of the Olympic Games but has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
  9. Rowing (Eights): Rowing dates back to ancient Egypt and has been a competitive sport since the 18th century in England. Rowing is popular worldwide, with strong participation in Europe, North America, and Oceania. The International Rowing Federation (FISA) governs the sport, with the major competition being the World Rowing Championships. Rowing has been part of the Olympic Games since 1900 for men and 1976 for women.
  10. Australian Rules Football: Commonly known as Aussie Rules, this sport originated in Australia in the 1850s. It is most popular in Australia, where it is governed by the Australian Football League (AFL). Major tournaments include the AFL Grand Final and the International Cup. Australian Rules Football is not part of the Olympic Games.
  11. Sailing: Sailing as a sport has ancient origins, with competitions dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. Today, it is popular worldwide, particularly in coastal areas and large lakes. The International Sailing Federation (World Sailing) governs the sport, with the major events including the Sailing World Championships and the Olympic Games. Sailing has been an Olympic sport since 1900.
  12. Tennis (Doubles): Tennis has its roots in 12th-century France and has evolved into a global sport. Doubles tennis, featuring teams of two players, is hugely popular alongside singles tennis. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) governs the sport, with major tournaments including the Grand Slam events and the Olympic Games. Tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988 for both singles and doubles events.
  13. Table Tennis (Doubles): Table tennis, also known as ping pong, originated in England during the late 19th century. Doubles table tennis is played alongside singles, and the sport is popular worldwide, particularly in China, Japan, and Europe. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) governs the sport, with top competitions including the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships and the Olympic Games. Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988, with doubles events included.
  14. Badminton (Doubles or Mixed Doubles): Badminton has its origins in ancient India and is popular worldwide as both a singles and doubles sport, including mixed doubles. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) governs the sport, with major tournaments including the BWF World Championships and the Olympic Games. Badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992 for both singles and doubles events.
  15. Squash (Doubles): Squash is an indoor racket sport that originated in England during the 19th century. Both singles and doubles formats are popular worldwide. The World Squash Federation (WSF) governs the sport, and major tournaments include the WSF World Doubles Championships. Squash has not been part of the Olympic Games.
  16. Fencing (Team Épée): Fencing’s origins date back to ancient civilizations, and today’s modern sport was developed in Europe during the 19th century. Team Épée is a competitive format involving teams of three fencers. The International Fencing Federation (FIE) governs the sport. Fencing has been part of the Olympic Games since 1896, with team épée included since 1908.
  17. Gymnastics (Team Competition): Gymnastics has its roots in ancient Greece, and it has evolved into various forms and disciplines. The team competition format involves gymnasts from each country competing together to achieve a combined score. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) governs the sport. Gymnastics has been part of the Olympic Games since 1896, with a team competition included for both men and women.
  18. Track and Field (Relay races): Track and field has its origins in ancient Greece, and relay races are a team-based format that involves runners passing a baton along a specified distance. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) governs the sport. Relay races have been part of the Olympic Games since 1912 for men and 1928 for women.
  19. Skiing (Team Alpin): Skiing has been a mode of transport for thousands of years, and competitive skiing emerged in the 19th century. Team Alpin competitions involve skiers competing in various disciplines to achieve a combined score. The International Ski Federation (FIS) governs the sport. Skiing has been part of the Olympic Games since 1924, with team formats introduced in recent years.
  20. Snowboarding (Snowboard Cross Relay): Snowboarding originated in the United States in the 1960s and grew in popularity worldwide. The snowboard cross relay is a team event where riders compete in a head-to-head race format. The International Ski Federation (FIS) governs the sport. Snowboarding was introduced to the Olympic Games in 1998, with the snowboard cross relay event under consideration for future inclusion.
  21. Cycling (Team Pursuit): Cycling has its origins in the early 19th century, and team pursuit is a track cycling event where teams of riders race against each other. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) governs the sport. Cycling has been part of the Olympic Games since 1896, with the team pursuit event included since 1908 for men and 2012 for women.
  22. Archery (Team Round): Archery dates back to ancient civilizations, and modern competitive archery emerged in the late 19th century. The team round format involves teams of archers shooting together for a combined score. The International Archery Federation (WA) governs the sport. Archery has been an Olympic sport since 1900, with the team round event introduced in 1988.
  23. Wrestling (Dual Meet, Team Greco-Roman, Team Freestyle): Wrestling has ancient origins and is practiced in various styles worldwide. Dual meets and team events in both Greco-Roman and freestyle styles are popular competitive formats. The International Wrestling Federation (UWW) governs the sport. Wrestling has been part of the Olympic Games since 1896, with team competitions under consideration for future inclusion.
  24. Judo (Team Competition): Judo is a Japanese martial art that was developed in the late 19th century. The team competition format involves judokas competing for cumulative team points. The International Judo Federation (IJF) governs the sport. Judo has been an Olympic sport since 1964, with a mixed team event introduced in 2020.
  25. Taekwondo (Mixed Team Poomsae, Team Sparring): Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that was developed during the mid-20th century. The mixed team poomsae and team sparring formats involve teams competing for aggregated scores. The World Taekwondo Federation (WT) governs the sport. Taekwondo has been an Olympic sport since 2000, with team events being considered for future inclusion.
  26. Synchronized Swimming: Synchronized swimming, which combines elements of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, originated in the early 20th century. It is performed by teams of swimmers who create a coordinated routine in the water. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) governs the sport. Synchronized swimming has been an Olympic sport since 1984.
  27. Figure Skating (Team Event): Figure skating, which involves performing athletic and artistic movements on ice skates, dates back to the 19th century. The team event involves skaters competing in various disciplines for a combined team score. The International Skating Union (ISU) governs the sport. Figure skating has been an Olympic sport since 1908, with the team event introduced in 2014.
  28. Curling (Traditional Curling, Mixed Doubles): Curling, which involves sliding stones on an ice surface towards a target, originated in Scotland during the 16th century. The sport is played in both traditional and mixed doubles formats. The World Curling Federation (WCF) governs the sport. Curling has been an Olympic sport since 1924, with mixed doubles introduced in 2018.
  29. Bobsleigh (Four-man Bobsleigh): Bobsleigh, a winter sport involving sliding down an ice track in a sled, was developed in the late 19th century in Switzerland. The four-man bobsleigh event is a team format where four athletes compete together. The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) governs the sport. Bobsleigh has been an Olympic sport since 1924.
  30. Luge (Team Relay): Luge, which involves sliding down an ice track on a small sled, originated in Switzerland during the late 19th century. The team relay event involves athletes competing in a relay format for a combined team score. The International Luge Federation (FIL) governs the sport. Luge has been an Olympic sport since 1964, with the team relay event introduced in 2014.
  31. Kayak Polo: Kayak polo, a blend of water polo and kayaking, was developed during the late 20th century. Teams paddle in kayaks and attempt to score goals against the opposing team. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) governs the sport. Kayak polo is not part of the Olympic Games but is played in various regional and international competitions.
  32. Equestrian (Team Dressage): Equestrian sports have ancient origins, and team dressage is an event that requires riders and their horses to perform a series of movements in a coordinated routine. The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) governs the sport. Equestrian events have been part of the Olympic Games since 1900, with team dressage included since 1928.
  33. Polo: Polo, a team sport played on horseback, originated in Persia over 2,000 years ago. The sport is played worldwide, being most popular in countries like Argentina, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The Federation of International Polo (FIP) governs the sport. Polo was an Olympic sport between 1900 and 1936 but has not been included in the Games since.
  34. Rodeo (Team Penning): Rodeo, which includes competitive events based on traditional cowboy skills, has its roots in the early 19th-century United States and Mexico. Team penning is an event where teams of riders work together to separate cattle from a herd. Rodeo is governed by various organizations, including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Rodeo is not part of the Olympic Games but is a popular spectator sport in the United States.
  35. Swimming (Relay races): Swimming has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations. Competitive swimming emerged in the 19th century, and relay races involve teams of swimmers competing for combined points. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) governs the sport. Swimming has been part of the Olympic Games since 1896, with relay events included since 1908.
  36. Triathlon (Mixed Team Relay): The Triathlon Mixed Team Relay is a variant of the original triathlon sport, where teams of two men and two women each compete in succession. The sport originated in the 21st century and is popular worldwide. The International Triathlon Union governs the sport and it made its Olympic debut in 2020 at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The top tournament is the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships.
  37. Modern Pentathlon (Mixed Relay): The Modern Pentathlon Mixed Relay, where a male and female athlete each compete in five disciplines – fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, and a combined event of pistol shooting and running, originated in the 21st century. It is governed by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) and the top tournament is the UIPM World Championships. The mixed relay is not an Olympic sport as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.
  38. CrossFit (Team Competition): CrossFit Team Competition is a variant of CrossFit, a high-intensity fitness regimen that originated in the United States in the early 21st century. The sport is now popular worldwide. The CrossFit Games, governed by CrossFit, Inc., serve as the sport’s top international competition, where teams of athletes compete in a series of varied, intense workouts.
  39. Skateboarding (Team Park): Skateboarding Team Park is a variant of the skateboarding sport, where a team of skateboarders compete in park-style courses with transitions and complex features. The sport is popular worldwide, particularly in the USA, Brazil, and Australia. The World Skate governs the sport, with major competitions like the World Skateboarding Championships. Skateboarding made its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, although the team event is not included as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.
  40. Roller Derby: Roller Derby is a contact sport that originated in the United States in the mid-20th century. It is a sport predominantly played by women and is popular in the USA, Canada, and the UK. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is the sport’s main governing body, with the WFTDA Championships serving as the primary international tournament. Roller Derby is not an Olympic sport.
  41. Lacrosse: Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin, primarily popular in North America. The sport is governed by the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) and the major tournaments include the FIL World Lacrosse Championships. Lacrosse was included in the Olympic Games in 1904 and 1908, and has not returned as a medal event since.
  42. Floorball: Floorball, a type of indoor floor hockey, originated in Sweden in the late 20th century. It is popular in Nordic countries, Switzerland, and Czech Republic. The sport is governed by the International Floorball Federation (IFF), with the major tournaments being the Men’s and Women’s World Floorball Championships. Floorball is not an Olympic sport.
  43. Quidditch: Quidditch is a mixed-gender contact sport with a unique blend of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and tag. It is inspired by the fictional game in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The International Quidditch Association (IQA) governs the sport, with the Quidditch World Cup serving as the top international tournament. Quidditch is not an Olympic sport.
  44. Rounders: Rounders is a striking and fielding team sport that originated in England and Ireland. It is primarily played in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the National Rounders Association (NRA) serving as the main governing body. The sport’s top competition is the National Rounders Championship. Rounders is not an Olympic sport.
  45. Dodgeball: Dodgeball is a team sport where players aim to hit opponents with balls while avoiding being hit themselves. It is popular worldwide, with various local adaptations. The World Dodgeball Association governs the sport and organizes the Dodgeball World Championships. Dodgeball is not an Olympic sport.
  46. Tug of War: Tug of War is a team sport that involves a test of strength, as two teams pull on opposite ends of a rope. The sport is played worldwide and has ancient origins. The Tug of War International Federation (TWIF) governs the sport, with the TWIF World Championships serving as the major international competition. Tug of War was part of the Olympic Games until 1920 but has not been included since.

FAQ

What are the most popular team sports?

The most popular team sports include soccer (football), basketball, cricket, volleyball, rugby, American football, baseball, ice hockey, field hockey, and handball.

How many different team sports are there?

Our team sports list includes 56 unique team 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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments