1. Football (soccer). 3-3.5 billion players and fans, especially popular in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. (pretty much everywhere!)
2. Cricket. 2-3 billion players worldwide. The most popular sport in countries with huge populations, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and also the UK and Australia.
3. Field Hockey. This was shocked the hell out of me, but in fact field hockey is the 3rd most popular sport in the world, played and cheered on by 2-2.2 billion fans in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
4. Tennis. This makes sense, as tennis is a world sport enjoyed by about 1 billion people across the globe.
5. Volleyball. Insanely popular in many countries (like Nicaragua and Cambodia, two places I've lived where they play it everywhere,) it needs very little equipment and can be picked up by anyone.
6. Table Tennis (ping pong.) Wow, ping pong is one of the top ten sports in the world? Wow, ping pong is a sport? I guess it is the way they play it everywhere in Asia, about 900 million strong.
7. Baseball. Ahhh finally a U.S. Big Three sport shows up on the list. Baseball is played by about 500 million people, not just in the United States but is massively popular in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Cuba, parts of South America, and Japan.
8. Golf. Getting out on the links and teeing off is enjoyed by 400 million people, mostly in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and the upper crust of any society.
9. American Football. 410 million fans. American football, also called Gridiron abroad, is massively popular in the U.S., and has pockets of fans in Canada and England.
10. Basketball. 400 million fans. Hoops rounds out our top 10 list of most popular sports, but I demand a recount. With the rise of playing and watching basketball virtually everywhere on the globe, I predict we'll see this sport in the top 10 within a decade.