The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.

According to the World Sports Encyclopaedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.[1]

Acrobatic arts

Main article: List of acrobatic activities

Air sports

Lima Lima aerobatics team performing over Louisville.

Main article: Air sports

Wingsuit flying

Aquatic and paddle sports

These sports use water (a river, pool, etc.).

For a more comprehensive list, see List of water sports.

Further information: Outline of kayaking and canoeing



Main article: Kayaking




Other paddling sports

GreeceHungary water polo match (World Junior Championship 2004 Naples, Italy)

Aquatic ball sports



Competitive swimming

Main article: Competitive swimming

Kindred activities

Subsurface and recreational

Main articles: Underwater sports and Recreational diving



Members of the Gotemba Kyūdō Association demonstrate Kyūdō.

Main article: Archery

Ball games

Main article: List of ball games

Bat-and-ball games

Main article: Bat-and-ball games

Awaiting a pitch: batter, catcher, and umpire in baseball

Invasion games

Main article: Goal (sport)

Sports in which the method of scoring is through goals.

Basketball family

Basketball player Dwight Howard making a slam dunk at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Football family

Main article: Football

Tyrone try for a goal against Westmeath in a Gaelic football match

Handball family

A 7-meter throw in Handball.

Main article: Handball

Stick and ball family

Ice hockey players Roman Hamrlik and Joffrey Lupul dueling for position
Hurling and shinty
Cillian Buckley in action for Kilkenny against Galway in a hurling league game

Net and wall games

Main article: Net and wall games

An international match of volleyball.

Games involving opponents hitting a ball over a net using a racket, or other piece of equipment, or merely gloved/barehanded:

A game of squash

Games involving opponents hitting a ball against a wall/walls using a racket, or other piece of equipment, or merely gloved/barehanded:

Pilota family

Valencian pilota.

Racket (or racquet) sports

Sports that use a netted racket

Sports that use a non-netted racket, or paddle

Board sports

Skateboard vert jump at the Sprite urban games 2006 in London.
Snowboard figure at the 2008 Shakedown
Surfing in Hawaii

Main article: Board sports

Sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment.



Main article: Climbing


A track cycling Race

Main article: Cycle sport

Sports using bicycles or unicycles.


Main article: Bicycle



Main article: Unicycle

Combat sports: wrestling and martial arts

Main articles: Combat sport and Martial arts

A combat sport is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement.


Main article: Grappling

Two men compete in freestyle wrestling.


Main article: Strike (attack)

A kick in kickboxing.

Mixed or hybrid

Further information: Hybrid martial arts

Ground fighting in MMA.


Axe throwing at the Ming Culture Village, a theme park near the Yangshan Quarry, China
Two kendōka.


Main article: Blood sport

Flying disc sports

Australia vs Canada ultimate players WUGC 2012 in Japan. Ultimate Canada

Main article: Flying disc games


Trampoline gymnast Jason Burnett at 2008 Canadian National Championships

Main article: Gymnastics

Ice sports

Kite sports

Marker sports

Mixed discipline

The three components of triathlon: swimming, cycling, running

Decathlon, heptathlon, and the pentathlons consist of ten, seven, and five-component contests that are scored together using one points system.


Main article: Motorsport

Sports involving the use of motorized vehicles

Auto racing

The start of a Formula One race in 2008

Main article: Auto racing

Motorboat racing

Main article: Offshore powerboat racing

Motorcycle racing

MotoGP racing

Main article: Motorcycle racing

ATV racing

ATV racing on a motocross track




Sport Parkour and Freerunning are empirically measured competitions of skill, speed or style on an obstacle based course. Self expression, demonstration of control and power are measured.


200 meters sprint

Main article: Running



Main article: Sailing

Snow sports


Main article: Skiing

Sled sports

United States Air Force Major Brady Canfield, 2003 U.S. skeleton champion, shows his takeoff form.

Main article: Sledding

Shooting sports

Main article: Shooting sports

Sports using guns (firearms, air guns, etc.).


Athletic hybrid



Street sports

Strength sports

Tag games

Main article: Tag (game) § Variants



North Korean weightlifter Pak Hyon-Suk performing the snatch, one of the two lifts in the sport of Olympic weightlifting.

Main articles: Olympic weightlifting and Powerlifting

Overlapping sports

Sports falling into two or more categories.

Sports involving animals

Main article: Animals in sport

Dog sports

Sports in which dogs participate.

Main article: List of dog sports

Equestrian sports

Horse racing at Arlington Park, 2007

Main article: List of equestrian sports

Sports using a horse.


Main article: Fishing


Main article: Hunting

Sometimes considered blood sports.


Main article: Rodeo

Sports that have originated from rodeos in the old Western Americas.

Mind sports

Main article: Mind sports

Requiring little or no physical exertion or agility, mind sports are often not considered true sports. Some mind sports are recognised by sporting federations. The following list is intended to represent anything that is likely to be referred to as a mind sport, not to argue their validity as sports.

Card games

Main articles: Card game and List of card games


Main articles: Esports and List of esports games


Strategy board games

A game of mahjong being played in Hangzhou, China

Main articles: Board Games and List of board games


Competitive model sports

Remote control

Different classification

Potentially other sports are listed here.

Air sports

Athletics (track and field)

Pole vault

Electronic sports

Sports played using electronic devices.

Endurance sports

Skating sports


A snowboarder and a skier
A ski jumper using the V-style
Freestyle skiing

See #Skiing

Strength sports

Sports mainly based on sheer power.

Arm wrestling

Table sports

Target sports

Sports where the main objective is to hit a certain target.

Cue sports

Pool balls

Main article: Cue sports


Main article: Golf

Team sports

Sports that involve teams.

Match of lacrosse
Jack and Jill competition, Lumberjack World Championships, Hayward, Wisconsin, 2007.


Sports which use the wind (apart from sailing):

Fictional sports

Main article: List of fictional games § Sports

Fictional sports that are played in real life:

Miscellaneous sports


See also


  1. ^ Lipoński, Wojciech (2003). "Introduction". World Sports Encyclopedia. Ozgraf. ISBN 0760316821 – via Internet Archive. Former reference version, How many sports are there in the world? ("World Sports Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)). See ISBN 9780760316825.