List Of Sports Facts

list of sports facts

Sports are common for both playing and watching all around the world. The most popular sports in the world are soccer, cricket, basketball, field hockey, and tennis. There are thousands of sports and each has its own rules and history. With a large amount of sports come some interesting facts and information.

Sports History Facts

  • Although it is heavily debated and unknown, the first sports ever created are said to be wrestling and other fighting games. Running and other events involving human transportation are also said to be some of the first sports ever played.
  • The longest running international championship in sports history is the America’s Cup in sailing. It started in 1851. The trophy was won by the Americans for 132 years before Australia eventually won and broke the streak.
  • There are an estimated 8,000 sports that are played worldwide. However, only about 200 sports are internationally recognized through a governing body such as the International Olympic Committee.
  • It is an American tradition that the U.S. President throws out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. Almost every president from William Taft to as recent as Barack Obama has thrown out the first pitch. This tradition has continued through war and even persisted through the 30 year absence of baseball in Washington D.C.
  • American football is regarded as the most popular sport in the United States. Basketball, baseball, and hockey are the next three most popular sports. These sports are often classified as the “big four” in the United States.

Olympic Facts

  • The first ancient Olympic games were held in 776 BC, with just one event being played. Footracing was the lone event at the first ancient Olympics.
  • Later Olympic games involved other sports such as equestrian and various track and field events such as javelin and discus.
  • Australia, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, and France are the only five countries that have participated in every modern Olympic games.
  • United States swimmer Michael Phelps holds the record for most Olympic medals with 22 in total throughout his various Olympic competitions. He took the record from Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina who had 18 medals throughout her time participating in the Olympics.
  • Micheal Phelps personally has more gold medals than many countries have had in their history.
  • The first modern Olympic games were played in Athens, Greece, in 1896 and contained 311 male athletes. The first Olympic games did not have any female participants. Women did not compete in the Olympics until 1900 in Paris, France.
  • The original prize for winning an Olympic event was an olive branch wreath. Sometimes these were painted gold and sometimes they were left uncolored. It wasn't until later that the Olympics would adopt the gold medal we know today.
  • Although they are called gold medals, the modern day gold medals handed out for first place in an Olympic event are actually made up of small quantities of the precious medal. In fact, the medals are mostly sterling silver. The medals awarded at the Olympic games in Rio only comprised just 1% of real gold.
  • London is the only city worldwide to host the Olympics three different times. Paris, Los Angeles, and Athens have also hosted the Olympic Games twice. Los Angeles is set to tie the record with London in 2028 when they will host the Olympics for the third time.
  • Lichtenstein has competed in 16 different Olympic games and has never won a single medal. The country holds the record for the most games without a medal.

Soccer Facts

  • Soccer is easily the most popular worldwide sport with an estimated 3.5 billion fans. 
  • Although soccer is the most popular sport in the world, it is only the fifth most popular sport in the United States. Recently, Major League Soccer, the main soccer league in the U.S., has seen a steady increase in viewership and is gaining in popularity.
  • Soccer is played by over 250 million people worldwide throughout over 200 countries.
  • Although the exact origin of soccer is unknown, many credit the English with the creation of the modern game in the twelfth century. Some records do trace early versions of the game to countries such as China and Greece over 2000 years ago.
  • The oldest soccer team in the world is Sheffield FC in England, which was formed in 1857. The team is still active today and competes in the Premier League (England’s top league).
  • The first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930. The first games were played between France and Mexico along with Belgium and the United States. It was played in Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • The World Cup is normally held in the summer, but due to extreme heats in Qatar and the Middle East, was moved to the winter in 2022.
  • Soccer was first played in the Olympics in 1908. It is still an Olympic sport to this day. The Olympic gold medal for men’s soccer was won by Brazil in 2016 and for the women’s bracket was won by Germany.

American Football Facts

  • The Super Bowl is regularly the most-watched event in the United States and typically has a television viewership of over 100 million.
  • The average NFL career only lasts 3.3 years. Running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends have the shortest careers on average while kickers and punters have the longest careers on average.
  • The Cleveland Browns are the only football team that has never been to or hosted a Super Bowl in their history.
  • The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos each hold the record with five Super Bowl losses. The Buffalo Bills and the Minnesota Vikings are the only teams to make four super bowls and lose all of them.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • The Montreal Canadiens hold the National Hockey League record for most Stanley Cup championships (24). They won five straight championships from 1955-1960.
  • The New York Yankees hold the record for most World Series championships (27).
  • Yogi Berra has the record for most World Series championships as a player. Berra won ten championships in his 18 seasons as a Yankee.
  • On average, Major League Baseball uses 800,000 balls per season, with eight to ten dozen baseballs being used each game.
  • 54,000 tennis balls are used each year on average during The Wimbledon Championships in England.
  • The highest score ever recorded on a par 4 on the PGA tour is a 23 by Ray Ainsley in 1938.
  • Golf is the only sport to ever be played outside of the Earth. American Astronaut Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the moon in February of 1971.
  • Wilt Chamberlain is the only NBA player to score 100 points in a game. He completed the feat while playing with the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks on March 2nd, 1962.


What was the first sport?

The first sports played in the world were wrestling and running, which were used to train soldiers in ancient times. There are records of cave paintings depicting wrestling and running, dating back over 15,000 years ago. However, the first edition of the ancient Olympics did not take place until 776 BC in Olympia.