We have a huge list of hundreds of sports from around the world, listed in alphabetical order. With such an unwieldy list, it makes sense to categorise them into smaller groups. There are numerous ways to categorise these sports - they can be groups based on where, when and how they are played. Many are variations of the similar sports, have common histories, use similar equipment or similar gameplay, and these characteristics can be used to categorize them.
As an example, the now disbanded Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) used five categories for its member federations' sports. As with any such groupings, a sport may not fit nicely into any one category, with many falling into more than one.
- Primarily physical (e.g. rugby, athletics)
- Primarily mind (e.g. chess, go)
- Primarily motorized (e.g. car racing, powerboating)
- Primarily coordination (e.g. billiards)
- Primarily animal-supported (e.g. equestrian)
On Topend Sports, I have started to group sports into more manageable categories such as these.
- Football Sports — there are many sports that are called 'football' such as American football, Association football (soccer), Rugby and Aussie Rules, but equally many variations of these such as beach and indoor soccer, touch rugby and flag football.
- Adventure Sports — inherently risky sports such as high diving, skydiving, sport climbing.
- Air Sports — sports performed in the air, such as skydiving, air-racing and ballooning. See, some crossover with adventure sports.
- Bowling Sports — there are many variations of bowling or throwing a ball to knock down pins or get close to a target, such as the popular 10-pin bowling and boules.
- Beach Sports — sports played on sand such as beach volleyball, surf lifesaving, and surfing.
- Cycling Sports — sports involving bicycles
- Weight Lifting Sports — it is not just Olympic weight lifting, there are many others such as powerlifting, and lifting kettlebells and stones.
- Golf Sports — there are may variations of the traditional game of golf, as well as many inspired by that popular game.
- Disabled Sports — all of the Paralympic sports and wheelchair sports.
- Roller Sports — there are many sports performed on inline and roller skates.
- Racket Sports — such as tennis, squash, badminton and table tennis.
- Hockey Sports — such as field hockey, ice hockey and roller hockey.
- Paddling Sports — watercraft sports in which you move using a paddle.
- Romantic Sports — sports you can do with a partner
- Volleyball-Type Sports — sports like volleyball which involve hitting an object back and forth over a net.
- Horse Sports — such as polo, equestrian and horse racing.
- Dog Sports — there are many physical activities that involve dogs, only some can be considered sports, such as dog agility, disc dog.
- Multi-Sports — such as triathlon, biathlon and modern pentathlon.
- Modified Sports - Shorter, Faster and More Exciting
- Hybrid Sports — combining the attributes of two or more sports to create a new sport, such as polocrosse, korfball and MMA.
- Shooting Sports — sports for all the different weapon types. There are many other target sports such as archery that is not listed.
- Underwater Sports — sports created for underwater environments such as freediving, and others that have been moved there from above, such as underwater hockey.
- Wrestling Sports — combat sport between two competitors involving grappling-type techniques.
- Walking Sports — sports which involve walking, done at a slower pace.
- Martial Arts — such as the Olympic sports of judo, taekwondo and karate, and the multitude of wrestling sports.
- Motorcycle Sports — anything on a motorbike, such as enduro, speedway and motocross.
- Mind Sports — mostly questionable sports, mind sports include the very popular e-gaming and board games such as chess.
The above categories are just some that I have used to help organise my large sports list. Here are some more that are yet to be utilized: ice sports, winter sports, cue sports ...
- What is a sport?
- Complete List of Sports
- List of Recognized Sports
- Unusual sports
- New sports - newly invented sports submitted by reader of this website
- Extinct sports - these sports are no longer played.