The Most Popular Sports in the World
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The Most Popular Sports in the World

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1. Football (“soccer” in the U.S.) is the world’s most popular sport. Today, about 3.5 billion’ people watch or play football. Football is popular in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, North America. Almost everywhere!

Fun fact: In a professional football game, players run about five miles (eight km).

2. The world’s number two sport is cricket. Cricket is originally from the UK, but today it is also popular in Australia, New Zealand, some African countries, and some Caribbean countries. In India and Pakistan, cricket is more popular than football. About three billion people around the world watch or play cricket each year.

Fun fact: Four hundred million people-40 percent of India’s population watch important cricket games on TV.

3. Field hockey is number three. Approximately two billion people play or watch field hockey, mostly in Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. In the United States, field hockey is mainly for high school girls.

Fun fact: Field hockey is a very old sport. In Egypt, 4,000-year-old drawings show people playing field hockey. Of course, the rules of the game are different today.

4. Next is tennis. Today there are roughly one billion players and spectators of tennis around the world. Tennis is originally from France, but today it is very popular in the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Fun fact: The longest tennis game lasted eleven hours and five minutes!

5. Table tennis (ping-pong) is popular around the world, with about 900 million players and spectators. Today, table tennis is especially popular in China, Korea, and Singapore.

Fun fact: In table tennis, the ball can go more than 100 mph (160 km/h).

There are many popular sports around the world, but these are the top five. What is similar about all of these sports? They’re fun, they’re fast, and they use a ball. Is that why the expression “have a ball” means “have a lot of fun?” Maybe!

Word Count: 333

Read each sentence and check (√) True or False.

1. Football, the first sport in the reading, is the most popular sport in the world.

2. A professional football player needs to be a good runner.

3. Field hockey is more popular than cricket. 

4. In most countries, field hockey is a sport for high school girls. 

5. Tennis isn’t popular in Asia.

6. Table tennis and field hockey are popular mainly in Europe. 

7 A tennis game can start In the morning and end in the evening.

8. Players use a ball in all of the five most popular sports.

1. True

2. True

3. False

4. False

5. False

6. False

7. True

8. True

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