Top 10 Most Popular Sports In England – 2022 Ranking

Football or Association Football or Soccer, call it by any name, is undoubtedly the most played sport in England and the United Kingdom. According to recent estimates, there are more than 40,000 football clubs and more than a million participants in England alone. Cricket and Tennis also deserve their mentions among the most popular sports in England.

Sports have a powerful influence on people across the globe, not just in England. It may be a small island with 60 million people, but still, this country is involved in all kinds of sports. We have run a deep analysis to discover what are the most popular sports in England.

England’s people have been observed to be keen on sports and to support sports professionals. Furthermore, England is known as the first place to play football and rugby, as well as the venue for tennis and cricket. Let’s look at the rankings to find out which sports are most popular in England.

Most Popular Sports In England | 2022 Ranking

We have recently ranked the most popular sports in Canada and also the most popular sports in Australia. But now, it’s time to reveal the most played and most-watched sports in England. So, check these out!

10. Swimming

Swimming In England

Swimming is the most popular sport in England. Its popularity is among 5 to 10 years of boys and girls. According to a separate government survey, children in England are becoming more interested in swimming, diving, and lifesaving activities.

In our analysis, we found that 4.7 million people swim twice or more a month, making it the most popular physical activity in the country. Furthermore, England is well known for having over 3000 swimming pools.

The result is that swimmers of all ages are enthusiastic about swimming, not only children and adolescents. And some of the greatest swimmers of all time are from England.

Moreover, 88% of the population excels at swimming, whereas the remaining 12% are considered to be old or not interested in swimming activities.

9. Badminton

Badminton In England

We have ranked badminton 9th out of the top ten most popular sports in England. According to Forbs and multiple other news sites, approximately 747 thousand people participate in badminton in England every year.

In spite of the fact that badminton is now played worldwide and all nations participate in it, it was first played in 1873 in England. Historically, badminton originated in ancient Greece, Rome, and China.

Gail Emms and Gail Emms are among the most successful badminton players from Britain. Furthermore, the United Kingdom is one of the countries that holds a number of badminton tournaments each year.

In 1966, England won the World Cup and has been a part of 15 of the 18 finals tournaments since 1950; moreover, they were knocked out of qualifying tournaments for 1974, 1978, and 1994.

8. Hockey

Hockey In England

In England, most of the time, field hockey is known as “hockey” instead of field hockey. Whereas other variations of hockey, such as ice hockey, are called by their full names. Typically, the sport is played on AstroTurf pitches, but grass pitches are becoming less common.

The popularity of hockey has increased across England, which is why we rank it 8th out of the top 10 most popular sports in England. And now, England has some of the greatest field hockey players of all time.

Additionally, hockey was invented in England in the mid-18th century, and it was then that the game spread throughout the world. Currently, there are more than 841 hockey clubs in England, preparing new students to be the best athletes and create history.

Known as the oldest player in the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens joined in 1917 and were founded in 1909, producing more than ten thousand players to date. Additionally, Ken Hodge, Peter Lee, and Jim McFadden are known as the greatest hockey players in the history of England.

7. Athletics

Athletics In England

Athletics in England is governed by England Athletics. The Amateur Athletic Association of England was incorporated in 2005 as a limited company to take over its role. UK Athletics is the national governing body of athletics in the United Kingdom, which includes England Athletics.

The government invests in sports through Sport England, which is the core funding partner. That is the main reason for the success of most sports, including horse racing in England. According to research, Team GB athletes are not getting paid for winning medals.

But when they win a race, there are other ways they can make money, such as the government paying them, and sometimes filthy rich investors paying them as a gift, and they can get sponsorships, including the clubs’ support. There are 151,000 sports clubs in England, making it one of the reasons for England’s popularity in the sport.

As well as these tournaments, England hosted the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009 and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 and 2013. Throughout the history of the country, England has achieved tremendous success, producing legends like Charlotte Dujardin and Sir Mark Todd.

6. Netball

Netball In England

Netball has been part of England’s physical education curriculum for decades as the most renowned sport. Its inclusion had been controversial at times, as schools worried about the potential adverse impact of physical activity like netball on girls’ health during the 1910s and 1920s.

There are approximately 76 thousand new people who participate in netball in England every year, which is a huge number. That indicates that English people have a great interest in netball. In addition, there are more than 3000 Netball clubs located in England that train all newbies and help them become the best athletes in the world.

The first time Netball was played in England was 1895, and since then, the England team has not looked back, but getting to success was the only viable option. However, it is truly among the most difficult sports in the world.

Furthermore, Netball is not only for boys in England, as women are gaining tremendous popularity through the Netball sport because they are doing so well as compared to boys. Serena Guthrie and Natalie Haythornthwaite are currently co-captains of England under coach Jess Thirlby.

5. Rugby

Rugby In England

Our ranking for number nine is Rugby, making it 5th out of the top 10 most popular sports in England. England’s national rugby union team competes in international rugby union matches. Several other nations, including France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales, compete in the Six Nations Championship every year.

Rugby is one of the most popular team sports in England, both professionally and recreationally. There are a lot of highly skilled and advanced athletes on the national team who are very popular on social media, like Jamie Blamire and Callum Chick.

Furthermore, there are two types of Rugby: one is known as Rugby Union, and the other is Rugby League. Historically, Rugby Union was played in England by gentlemen amateurs, which gained huge popularity at that time and still has huge recognition and Rugby League by working-class guys for pay.

Both types of rugby have many similarities, but over time both types of rugby have different types of rules which define the difference between them. And now, England houses some of the highest-paid Rugby players of this year.

4. Horse Racing

Horse Racing In England

In England, horse racing is the most popular game that has attracted many young people and others as well. Fred Archer, Sir Gordon Richards, and Lester Piggott are just a few of the greatest jockeys from England.

The reason behind ranking horse racing in the 4th spot out of the 10 most popular sports in England is the Victor Chandler Chase and Champion Hurdle, which are the most famous horse races in the UK. Many people enjoy watching these races, and new people also get attracted and get involved professionally.

In England, there are more than 60 racecourses, which is one of the main reasons for England’s fame in horse racing. Additionally, the number of regular riders has increased from 1.3 million in 2015 to 1.8 million in the past year. And not just racing, England is the home of some of the best horse polo teams right now.

In 2015, there were 446,000 horse-owning households in Britain. In 2016, there were 374,000. Moreover, it has been observed that the number of horse riders is increasing every year in England due to the popularity of horse riding and England’s support.

3. Tennis

Tennis In England

Among the top 10 most popular sports in England, tennis is ranked 3rd. In England, tennis has been widely played since Victorians played on grass courts, hence the name “lawn tennis”, which is still used in the country today. Today, tennis is played on a variety of surfaces. Despite this, it is played more often in England than anywhere else and has a huge following worldwide.

There is an international tennis tournament held every year in London called Wimbledon, which is a testament to the popularity of tennis in England. This tournament is sometimes called the All-England Championships.

Tennis is extremely popular in England, and there are a lot of people who enjoy playing it. The country may be hosting one of the most prestigious sporting events (Grand Slam) in the world, or maybe that is the reason why it is very supportive of the playing nation.

Moreover, some surveys indicate that over one million newbies athletes participate in tennis every year, and more than 2,700 tennis clubs train these players to be the best in the future. And now, England has some of the best tennis academies in the world.

2. Cricket

Cricket In England

Our ranking places cricket in the eighth spot because of its popularity in England. Marylebone Cricket Club governed it from 1903 until 1997, when England and Wales Cricket Board took over. And since that time, England has produced some of the greatest cricketers of all time.

The popularity of cricket in the country has grown enormously, and it is expected to grow even more than any other sport. England has been thriving in cricket since the 16th century, and it has gained widespread recognition. Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord’s, developed the modern rules of play and conduct.

It has been reported that 294,000 people will be playing Cricket in England in 2021, which is an increase over last year. Moreover, England cricket has produced many legends who have contributed to the history of the game, including Sir Jack Hobbs, Sanford Barnes, and Wally Hammond.

The England team has appeared in four World Cups, winning once in 2019; they have also finished as runners-up in two ICC Champions Trophies (2004 and 2013). Their winning percentage in T20 internationals is 75 percent. In 2010, they won the ICC T20 World Cup; in 2016, they finished runners-up.

1. Football

Football In England

Among the most popular sports in England is association football. The first set of modern rules was set up in 1863. And that led to the development of the modern Laws of the Game. We have ranked football in the top spot out of the top ten most popular sports in England.

The simplicity of the game makes it popular. Because you don’t need much more than a ball to play with, it is as popular with school children as it is with office workers. As a result of the obligatory post-game drink in the pub, it is a great way to get to know people!

Football is a huge interest among England’s population. That is why the country has produced world-class athletes like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Gareth Bale. And if you talk about the classical age, England has housed some of the greatest footballers of all time.

Furthermore, it has been found that there are more than 40 thousand clubs in England. And those clubs are known for producing huge numbers of the best and most talented players all the time.

Conclusion

That’s it for now, folks! We have shown you the top 10 most popular sports in England. Usually, people say England is the place of sports, where there are hundreds of sports being played and which have a great influence on young people.

However, if you have any questions about our research or rankings, please let us know in the comments below. Your response will be greatly appreciated.

FAQs Regarding Most Popular Sports In England

Q. What sport do British people like the most?

Football or Soccer is surely the most popular sport in England, the UK, and Great Britain. Besides, British people also love playing Cricket, Tennis, and Rugby. You can find several active British participants in professional golf tournaments as well.

Q. Is soccer a popular sport in England?

In England, football is not only the most popular sport to watch or spectate, but it is also the most popular team sport to play, with roughly 1.9 million people playing at least twice each month in 2020.

Q. What is the popularity of ice hockey in England?

Ice hockey was once again considered the United Kingdom’s biggest indoor sport and fastest-growing winter sport during the 2010s, when the league recovered and popularity rose again.

Q. Can teenage English girls do well in sports?

Wrestling, lacrosse, golf, and football were the sports girls chose the least. Girls participated in sports at a rate of 61 percent, compared with boys at a rate of 75 percent. 29 percent of girls and 47 percent of boys participated in two or more sports.

Last Updated On: September 2022

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