Sports from Around the World

Football, hockey, and baseball are all sports that are widely played here in the U.S. But did you know these common American sports are only some of the most popular sports played globally? Check out some of the sports other countries play!


Hurling is a traditional Gaelic sport and is believed to originated in Ireland over 2000 years ago, making it one of the oldest known team sports. In 2010, the Gaelic Athletic Association started to require helmets. Hurling is often compared to field hockey or lacrosse. Players use a wooden stick (called a hurley) with a flat, circle-shaped head to hit a small ball known as a sliotar into a guarded net. One point is awarded for goals that are scored through the uprights (like a field goal in football), while three points are awarded for goals scored against the goalkeeper. Although there are no professional leagues, hurling is a popular sport played in Ireland and Irish immigrants around the world.


Originated in England in the 16th century, cricket is one of the most played and watched in the UK as well as other countries. Despite its popularity elsewhere, cricket has not caught on in North America. While similar to baseball in many ways, cricket is played with two teams of 11 players on a circular field. The real action happens in the center of the field on a 22-yard long pitch with a pair of upright stakes known as wickets at each end. The objective is for the batsmen to score runs by hitting the ball out of boundaries and then running to the other side of the pitch. The batsmen can get out if the defense catches the batted ball in the air or by knocking down one of the opponents wickets.


Unlike hurling and cricket, rugby is widely played in North America, but followed by many. Mostly played on college campuses, rugby is known as padless football. In rugby, the ball cannot be passed forward, this strategy is meant to move the ball quickly to the weakest point of the opponents defense. Points can be earned by kicking the ball through field goal type posts. Another way to score points is with a “try,” which occurs when a player touches the ball at any point behind the goal line.


Netball started in England and was the inspiration for basketball. Although very similar to basketball in concept, netball is not very popular in North America and is considered to be a niche sport. The goal in netball is 10 feet high and consists of a circular hoop. Each side has seven players assigned a specific position, with rules limiting their movements around the court. Like American soccer or hockey, after a goal is scored, play restarts from the center of the playing court.

No matter what sport you’re playing, make sure you’re protected from head to toe. Check out our line of impact absorbing products. What do you think of these sports from around the world? Do you wish these were more popular in the U.S.?