Passport Needed: 6 Huge Sports Outside the US

people watching football game during daytime

Sports have the remarkable ability to unite people across different cultures and countries. While the United States has its own array of beloved sports like American football, baseball, and basketball, there are several sports that enjoy immense popularity outside of the US. These sports not only captivate millions of fans worldwide but also showcase the diversity and richness of global athletic pursuits. Here are six sports that have gained significant popularity outside of the United States.


Cricket is a bat-and-ball game that originated in England and is now widely played in countries such as India, Australia, England, Pakistan, and South Africa, among others. With its roots dating back to the 16th century, cricket has evolved into a global sport with various formats, including Test matches, One Day Internationals, and the fast-paced Twenty20 format. Known for its strategic depth and intense rivalries, cricket attracts passionate fans who fill stadiums and follow matches with unwavering enthusiasm.


Rugby, often referred to as the “gentleman’s game,” is a contact sport that has a strong following worldwide. Particularly popular in countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Wales, and France, rugby combines physicality, skill, and teamwork. The sport is divided into two main variants: Rugby Union and Rugby League. While Rugby Union is more globally recognized, both forms of the sport feature high-energy matches and have fervent fan bases.

Formula 1

Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, draws legions of fans from around the world. With its high-speed races, cutting-edge technology, and glamorous lifestyle, Formula 1 captures the imagination of motorsport enthusiasts. Iconic circuits like Monza in Italy, Silverstone in the United Kingdom, and Monte Carlo in Monaco host races that attract spectators in droves. Drivers from various countries, including Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and Mexico, compete against each other to claim the prestigious World Drivers’ Championship.

Cricket Sixes

Cricket Sixes is a shortened and faster-paced version of the traditional game. Played with six players on each side, this format features explosive hitting, quick bowling, and swift fielding. Popular in countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand, Cricket Sixes offers an action-packed spectacle that appeals to both players and spectators. The format’s popularity has given rise to international tournaments and competitions, creating a vibrant community of cricket enthusiasts.


Originating in ancient India, Kabaddi has gained significant popularity in recent years, particularly in South Asia. It is a team sport that combines elements of wrestling, tag, and endurance. The game involves two teams, and the objective is for a “raider” to enter the opponent’s half, tag as many defenders as possible, and return safely to their side. Kabaddi has witnessed a surge in interest, with professional leagues and international competitions attracting large crowds and garnering television viewership.

Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football is a traditional Irish sport that blends elements of soccer, rugby, and basketball. It is primarily played in Ireland, where it holds immense cultural significance. The fast-paced game features high-scoring matches and demands both physical prowess and technical skill. Gaelic Football showcases the unique cultural heritage of Ireland and has a dedicated following among Irish communities worldwide.

These six sports represent the global passion for athletics beyond the borders of the United States. From the intense battles of cricket and rugby to the high-speed thrills of Formula 1 and Cricket Sixes, these sports provide entertainment, excitement, and a sense of identity for millions of fans around the world

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