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List of the 22 Most Common Sports

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 5/30/2011

Use this list of sports for motivational ideas.

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    Why I Created a List of Sports

    "Today's the day I recommit myself to exercise," I thought. It was 7:00 A.M. I felt energized.

    "I think I'll have a donut," I thought. It was 9:00 A.M. The days stress had begun to take its toll.

    "A bag of chips sounds good right about now," I thought. It was lunchtime and the Caesar salad I packed didn't sound so good.

    "Mmmmm. Dessert," I thought. It was 11:15. I had worked hard this morning and deserved a treat.

    "I sure could use a nap," I thought. It was 1:30. Drowsiness had slowed my afternoon production.

    "Well, I can't take a nap. I guess I'll eat this Caesar salad I didn't eat for lunch," I thought. It was 2:45. I was glad I had the self discipline not to eat it at lunch time.

    "Still tired. Time for a soda," I thought. It was 3:00. Just one more hour until quitting time.

    "I just don't feel like doing the same boring exercise again," I thought. "I'll just go home and take a nap." It was 4:00. What I really needed was a list of sports to get me motivated about exercise and focused on eating right.

    "I think I'll make the list of sports myself," I thought. Here it is:

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    Individual Sports

    Triathlon 

    Exercise and fitness begins with an individual commitment. That's why our list of sports begins with the individual.

    • Running - Other than debilitating knee, hip, and ankle injuries, there's really no excuse for not starting a running program. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, some shorts, and a t-shirt. The rules are simple: (1) lift left foot; (2) put left foot down as you raise right foot; (3) put right foot down as you raise left foot; (4) repeat for a predetermined distance or time. By the way, running has many weight loss benefits.
    • Biking - You need a bike, either a mountain bike or a road bike and a helmet. Mountain bikes are better for rough terrain. Road bikes are better for riding on...roads. If you're a beginner, you'll need a good pair of shoes. You may need padded pants. A basic bike off Craig's List should suffice for a beginner. If you enjoy biking, buy a new bike. They run anywhere from $500 to $15,000.
    • Swimming - Lap swimming requires endurance, form, breathing sporadically, and a swimming pool or lake. Swimming allows an individual to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time than most individual sports. It's also harder. Basic swim gear includes bathing suit or swim shorts (compression and (gasp) speedos are ideal), goggles, and a swim cap. Unlike other sports where the penalty for overdoing it is soreness the next day, swimming too much can result in drowning.
    • Triathlon - If one sport isn't enough, combine three sports. A triathlon combines swimming, running, and biking. Races are held throughout the world. Distances range from sprint (a deceptive name, unless you can sprint 500 meters in the water, 12 miles on a bike, and 3.1 miles running) to the Iron Man distance, which consists of ridiculous amounts of swimming, biking, and running.
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    More Individual Sports

    Ping Pong at its finest 

    • Walking - It's like running, except you don't need to go as fast. Comfortable shoes are a must.
    • Hiking - It's like walking except on hills. Mountains are even better. Sturdy, comfortable shoes are a must.
    • In-Line Skating - All you need are in-line skates, a helmet, and knee pads.
    • Ice Skating - It's like in-line skating, but with ice. You'll need a pair of ice skates and some humility.
    • Cross-Country Skiing - The most important element to cross-country skiing is snow. You'll also need skis and plenty of winter gear.
    • Golf - The object of golf is to hit a tiny ball in a tiny hole with crooked sticks. Golf clubs, balls, tees, exorbitant amounts of money, and patience are required. If you're trying to stop swearing, golf is not for you.
    • Tennis - There's a net. There's a player on each side of the net. They try to hit the ball past each other. You'll need tennis balls, a court, and a racket to play. It's good to get a cheap racket at first because tennis can be frustrating and you'll probably want to throw your racket at some point..
    • Raquetball - It's like tennis except you're in a tiny room with one other player, smashing the ball with your racket as hard as you can, hoping your opponent cannot hit it back or at the very least not hit you.
    • Ping Pong - It's like tennis, except the court's a table, the rackets are smaller and the ball will not hurt if it hits you in the face.
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    Popular Team Sports

    Team sports are often more fun than individual sports. Here are the most popular.

    • Soccer - The world calls it football. I live in the United States, so I call it soccer. Just be happy I put it on the list. All you need for soccer is a ball and a goal. Shoes are recommended. There are 11 players to a side in most leagues. Who cares? All you really need are evenly matched teams and you're good to go.
    • American Football - There's a reason only Americans play football, but I'm not going to tell you. Football involves 11 players on offense and 11 players on defense. Offense tries to get the ball in the end zone. The offense must get at least 10 yards every 4 plays or lose possession. There is absolutely no way I can possibly explain the rules of football in the space provided. Watch a game and figure it out. Although an official game requires a helmet and protective equipment, American boys have played football in their backyard with nothing more than a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt for over a hundred years. Before trying this on your own, make sure your health insurance premiums are current and your health care hasn't been hijacked by bureaucrats who force you to wait weeks to get an appointment.
    • Baseball - Only Americans play baseball. That's because it's almost as boring as soccer. If I explained the rules, they'd make no sense. All you need to play is a baseball, a mitt, and a bat.
    • Cricket - I'll fess up. I have no idea how to play cricket. I think it's like baseball except that a game lasts like a day-and-a-half.
    • Softball - It's like baseball, except the ball is bigger and the pitches are slower.
    • Rugby - It's kind of like football, not as good. Players wear no protection, not smart. Don't give me that rugby players are tougher crap. I'd like to see the best rugby team in the world play an NFL team and see what happens. There'd be dead rugby players strewn all over the field.
    • Volleyball - There's a ball and a net. The traditional version of the game involves six players to a side. The object is to not allow the ball to touch the ground on your side of the court and hitting the ball back in three tries or less. Recent innovations such as spandex shorts for female players have made volleyball much better to watch.
    • Beach Volleyball - It's volleyball on a beach, two scantily clad players per side.