5 – Tennis
With a fan base estimated over 1 billion worldwide, Tennis comes into my list at 5th position. Tennis originated from France and England in the 19th century. The sport is played between two people, who appear at both sides of the net, and in order to win the point you must force your opponent to hit the ball at the net, too long or not return it at all. The game can also be played in doubles, where the rules are slightly different, but mainly the same as singles tennis. The sport is fast paced and you need skills such as technique, power, pace and determination to succeed. As well as physically strong, tennis is arguably one of the sports where mental strength is just as important. Tennis can be a frustrating sport, and placing a bad shot can cause stress, however the better players try and not let this affect them, and keep focused on their game. Tennis has four grand slam tournaments in a calendar year. In January there is the Australian Open, in May there is the French Open, starting in June is Wimbledon (held in England) and finally the US Open in September. Roger Federer has won the most grand slam tournaments and arguably the best player to have ever played, has won nearly $60,000,000 in prize money from tournaments alone. Rafael Nadal, is the current number one, who won all four grand slams in 2010.
4 – Hockey (NHL)
The National Hockey League is one of the most watched sports in the US and Canada. It is also watched around the world in many countries. The league was organized in Montreal back in 1917, where there was 4 teams participating. The sport grew, and in the current league, there are 30 teams competing, with 6 from Canada and 24 from the US. The sport is played on ice, and the game is split up in three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, with 17 minutes interval between each. Over a course of the season, each team play 82 games, with 41 at home and 41 away. At the end of a regular season, the team with the most points is the division champion. The three division champions and 5 other teams with the highest amount of points play each other in the playoffs, in best of 7 matches. The final is called the Stanley Cup, which is one of the oldest tournaments to date, in sport. The most successful team in NHL history is the Montreal Canadiens with 24 Stanley Cup championships.
3 – Basketball (NBA)
The National Basketball Association is another sport which is watched a lot in the US and Canada, and around the world. The league was founded in 1946 and the league has been continuously a success. Basketball is 5 a side, and you need to throw or dunk the ball in the basket to win either 1, 2 or 3 points, depending on the distance or situation. There are four periods in the game, each lasting 12 minutes. Currently there are 30 teams in a regular season; 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 15 teams in the Western Conference. They play 82 games a season, just like they do in NHL, and the top teams qualify for the playoffs. The most successful team in NBA history is the Boston Celtics, with 17 league titles to their name. Michael Jordan is the most recognizable figure in NBA of all time, as he brought more interest to the sport and he is regarded as the best ever player. The skills which are beneficial in this sport is height, pace, shooting and passing ability, as well as trickery and skill on the ball. At the moment, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the most talented players.
2 – Football (NFL)
American football is the most watched sport in America, and watched all around the world too. Monday Night football is watched more than any other programme on the television. The Superbowl occurs every year, and is watched by around 93.2million people. The average attendances of matches is nearly 70,000 people, which is higher than any other sport. The league formed in 1920, where 11 teams competed. The league now has 32 teams competing. The regular season goes on for 17 weeks, from September to January; where each team plays 16 games. Out of the 32 teams, the top 12 teams qualify for the playoff season, which is a tournament to determine the two teams in the Super bowl. Each team in the NFL has some history, and the league is a lot closer compared to others. The Green Bay Packers have won the most league titles, 12. Despite this sport being supremely popular in the US, it has failed to improve its profile outside of the states. The skills that need required for this sport is strength, pace, good throwing and kicking skills, and to work solidly as a team with drive and determination.
1 – Football (soccer)
As well as being the most played sport in the world, it also the most watched sport in the world, with the fan base over 3.3billion people. The interest in this sport is shared from across the world, on every continent. A football match is in between two teams, each having 11 players on the field. Each match is 90 minutes long. There are hundreds of leagues around the world and most countries have more than one league in their country. There are special tournaments like UEFA Champions League, where teams from different countries face each other. National football is also very popular, as 715 million people watched the 2010 World Cup final, between Spain and Netherlands. The biggest football clubs are supported around the world, for example, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Barcelona. Players like Pele, Zinidine Zidane and Diego Maradona are world famous players of this sport and have brought even more interest to this sport. The best players in the world at the moment are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta. To become a player you will need physical attributes like strength and pace, as well as technical attributes like shooting or passing accuracy, and control of the football.