Popular men's ball sports include soccer, basketball, tennis and baseball. While many consider cricket the second-most popular worldwide, boasting two to three million fans globally, the majority of participants and followers are found across India, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Asia and Australia.
Soccer, also known as association football, is played by an estimated 250 million players in more than 200 countries, making it the world?s most popular sport. As of 2015, there are as many as 3.5 million soccer fans across the globe.
Invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891, basketball is the third-most watched and played sport in the world. There are an estimated two to three billion hardwood fans globally. In the United States, basketball remains the most popular youth sport.
An Olympic sport since 1896, tennis is governed by the International Tennis Federation, and includes roughly one billion fans across the Americas, Asia and Europe.
As of 2015, baseball trails only soccer and basketball in youth participation in the United States. An estimated 500 million baseball fans span the globe, making it the eighth-most popular sport in the world.
According to ESPN, in a 2014 Harris Poll surveying Americans on their most beloved sports league, 35 percent indicated the National Football League was their favorite, followed by Major League Baseball at 14 percent and college football at 11 percent.