List of Sports with Pictures & Rules

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to eBay, Amazon, and other platforms within the content, sidebar ads, and in other areas. As I am part of the eBay Partner Network and other affiliate programs, if you follow these links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Likewise, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Somehow I was lucky enough to grow up playing sports. Neither of my parents was a big-time athlete, so I’m thankful for the fact that I got into baseball at a young age, and loved it from day one.

That said, I know that’s not the case for everyone, and depending on background and upbringing, some might not have ever experienced playing organized sports! Now, years later, maybe as an adult wanting to become more interested in sports or get your children involved, you’re not really sure of your options. (Or, you’ve heard of different sports but don’t really know what to expect.)

So, we are going to list out all of the different sports, while providing a picture for a visual and a brief rundown of the sport’s premise, goals, and/or rules.

  • American football
  • Baseball
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bobsled
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Dodgeball
  • Equestrian
  • Field Hockey
  • Figure Skating
  • Football/Soccer
  • Futsal
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Ice hockey
  • Karate
  • Kickball
  • Lacrosse
  • MMA
  • Pickleball
  • Polo
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Triathlon
  • Water Polo
  • Wiffle ball
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball

American football

That’s right, American football! An 11-on-11 team sport played with an oval-shaped ball casually referred to as the “pigskin.” The objective? For the offense to advance the ball down the field by way of a pass or run, and score a touchdown by crossing the opposing team’s goal line (or kick a field goal through the uprights).

Beware, though—the defense is waiting to make a tackle, as bringing the offense to the ground is the only way to stop a play. Notable athletes you might have heard of include Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Jim Brown.

Read More: Best Sites for Football Tickets


From American football to America’s favorite pastime, baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players. The defensive team has a pitcher who attempts to pitch balls past the batter (strike out) or to get the batter to hit the ball into the field and make an out.

The objective for the offensive team is to hit the ball (or get on base by way of a walk) and eventually run around all four bases before the opposing team can retrieve the ball and make an out. Notable athletes: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki.

Read More: Best Seats at a Baseball Game


Our first racket sport on the list (there will be more!). Badminton is played between two or four players on a rectangular court divided by a net, similar to tennis but higher off the ground.

The objective is to hit the shuttlecock back and forth over the net with the racket in such a way that the opponent cannot return it. Where tennis is played with a bouncing ball, the shuttlecock is more of a floating object that can’t touch the ground. Notable athletes: Lin Dan, Chen Long, Tai Tzu-ying, Carolina Marin.


Where with baseball the goal is to run around the bases, you can guess that basketball is a game of putting a ball through a basket! More specifically, basketball is a team sport played with a ball between two teams of five players.

The offensive team is trying to shoot the ball through a hoop that is 10 feet high, and the defense attempts to stop them, take the ball and go on the offensive themselves. Notable athletes: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry.

Read More: Can Team USA Win Gold Again?


While I can talk all day about baseball, basketball, and the like, I’ve never stepped foot inside of a bobsled, and most people never will. Still, it’s a winter sport in which a team of two or four athletes push a sled down an ice-covered track before having to jump into it!

The goal is to simply go fast, with the objective of completing the course in the shortest amount of time. Easier said than done as the athletes navigate the bobsled through the icy twists and turns. Notable athletes: Steve Holcomb, Francesco Friedrich, Kaillie Humphries, and Elana Meyers.


As you’ll begin to see, most sports can be divided into contact and non-contact sports. Boxing is certainly a full-contact sport! Not to mention that the athlete must go it alone, sparring against another.

Basically, two participants will throw punches at each other while wearing gloves, with the objective of knocking out or outscoring the opponent. Notable athletes: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Chirp! While cricket might appear to be closely related to baseball given it’s also a bat-and-ball game, the similarities pretty much end there.

Played between two teams of 11 players, the objective is to score runs by hitting the ball and then running between two sets of wickets. Notable athletes: Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting.


Yes, riding a bike is a sport and one that tests endurance and strength at that! Cycling is a physically demanding sport that involves riding over long distances on various terrains. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Tour de France, right? It’s one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world.

Successful cyclists need to have endurance, strength, and agility to withstand the demands of long-distance rides and the steep inclines. Notable athletes include Lance Armstrong, Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain, Chris Froome, and Peter Sagan.


Why not? Dodgeball is a game in which two teams throw rubber balls at each other with the aim of hitting opponents and eliminating them from the game if they’re able to do so.

There are other rules, but not wanting your thrown ball to be caught is one of the biggest. The last team standing wins.


In layman’s terms, the sport involves riding and competing with horses in various disciplines such as dressage, show jumping, and eventing.

The horse and rider are judged on their performance, skill, and athleticism. (Not to be confused with horse racing!) Notable athletes: Charlotte Dujardin, Beezie Madden, Ingrid Klimke, Michael Jung.

Field Hockey

Field hockey is a popular sport played between two teams of eleven players, with each using a stick – resembling a smaller ice hockey stick – to hit a small, hard ball into the opposing team’s goal. Field hockey is played on a grass or turf field and requires successful players to have a combination of speed, strength, and agility.

Notable athletes in field hockey include Luciana Aymar, Jamie Dwyer, Teun de Nooijer, Sohail Abbas, and Alyson Annan.

Figure Skating

Our first sport requiring artistic presence and grace, figure skating is a highly technical sport that involves performing jumps, spins, and choreographed sequences on ice skates. Thus, physical strength, balance, flexibility, and expression are all on display.

Ice skating could include singles, pairs, ice dance, and synchronized skating, and is judged based on technical execution, artistry, and difficulty. Notable athletes in figure skating include Yuzuru Hanyu, Evgenia Medvedeva, Michelle Kwan, Brian Boitano, and Tessa Virtue.


Yep, back to football, but a sport that more closely resembles the name. Football or “soccer” as it is called in America is a team sport played with a round ball between two teams of 11 players. The objective for each team is to score goals by kicking the ball into the opposing team’s goal or net.

Soccer players can reach the goal by dribbling the ball themselves or passing it to and from teammates, but never handling the ball with their hands (unless they are a goalie). Notable athletes: Lionel Messi (who has recently changed the MLS forever), Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Megan Rapinoe.

Read More: Best Foldable Soccer Goals


It’s only fitting that futsal is next on the list, as it’s a variant of soccer played indoors on a smaller field with a smaller ball and five players on each team.

While soccer emphasizes spacing and long-range passing, the emphasis in futsal is on skill and ball control, with players using quick passes and fancy footwork to outmaneuver their opponents. Notable athletes: Ricardinho, Falcão, and Alexandra Gomes.


Golf is perhaps the “lowest-effort” physically on the list, but certainly not the easiest sport, as it is a precision club and ball activity, with players attempting to swing their clubs at the stationary ball on the ground…making their way down the “hole” or course to then get the ball into an actual hole in as few strokes as possible.

Notable athletes: Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Phil Mickelson.


So, in soccer, you can’t use your hands. But in handball, a sport that is played with a ball that resembles a smaller soccer ball, you absolutely must use your hands to throw the ball into the opponent’s goal. Like soccer, you can also use your torso and head to pass, dribble, or shoot. And like basketball, dribbling is a way to advance the ball as well!

Handball is a popular sport in many countries, and its fast-paced nature makes it an exciting game to watch and play.

Ice hockey

While most sports on this list will take place on fields of grass, ice hockey is played on, well, ice. In an ice rink, hockey is a team sport played between two teams of six players (which includes a goalie who tends the net for each team).

The objective of ice hockey is to shoot the puck into the opposing team’s goal, either by skating and handling the puck themselves or utilizing passes between teammates (or both). Unlike other team sports like basketball, ice hockey is physical, and actually allows Notable athletes: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, and Alexander Ovechkin.


Back to the full contact sports in which combat is required for victory, karate is a martial art that originated in Japan and involves various striking and blocking techniques—with the objective of delivering strikes with maximum power and efficiency.

Notable athletes: Antonio Diaz, Rafael Aghayev, Ryutaro Araga, and Sandra Sanchez.


To go along with dodgeball, kickball is a playground game similar to baseball in which players kick a ball and run around a diamond-shaped field with four bases. In fact, most of the rules of baseball are followed by kickball players.

The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.


Lacrosse is a team sport that originated in North America and is growing in popularity. Two teams compete to score points by shooting a rubber ball into the opposing team’s goal, using a long-handled stick with a netted pocket at the end.

Lacrosse is a high-intensity sport that requires speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination. Notable athletes: Paul Rabil, Gary Gait, Ryan Boyle, and Jessie Fleming.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

Another full-contact combat sport, MMA allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, with the objective of defeating the opponent by submission, knockout, or judges’ decision.

Notable athletes: Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Amanda Nunes.


Believe it or not, pickleball is all the rage! A paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, pickleball is played on a court with a low net, using a lightweight wiffle-style ball and paddles. The objective is to hit the ball over the net and into the opposing team’s court, with the aim of making the ball land in a designated area.

On a personal note, I first played pickleball probably close to 30 years ago at a resort in Bend, Oregon. Completely random, had a ton of fun playing, and now look at the sport today. Notable athletes: Kyle Yates, Ben Johns, Simone Jardim, Lucy Kovalova.


Another horse sport, but this one more resembles field hockey or lacrosse than it does equestrian. In polo, teams of four jump on horseback and compete to score points by hitting a ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled mallet (if you’ve ever played croquet, it’s something like that).

Polo is a fast-paced sport that requires horsemanship, skill, and strategic thinking. Notable athletes: Adolfo Cambiaso, Facundo Pieres, Ignacio Figueras, Lía Salvo.


Our first non-frozen water sport on the list, rowing is a longstanding sport in which a team of rowers uses oars to propel a boat forward on water, with the objective of completing the course in the fastest time possible and beating other teams.

It is also an Olympic sport with various disciplines such as single sculls, double sculls, and eights. Notable athletes: Steve Redgrave, Mahe Drysdale, James Cracknell, Katrin Thoma.


If you like American football but for some reason was wishing it had a bit more contact (and padless contact at that), rugby is your sport.

A team game played with an oval-shaped ball between two teams of 15 players or seven players, with the objective of carrying, passing, kicking, and grounding the ball over the opposing team’s goal line to score points. Notable athletes: Jonah Lomu, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Brian O’Driscoll.


More snow, less bobsled—skiing is a single-athlete sport that involves sliding on snow using skis, with various disciplines such as alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and freestyle skiing.

Notable athletes: Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Ingemar Stenmark.


Not the violent verb, and not the vegetable, squash is a racket sport played in a four-walled court, in which two players or pairs of players compete to hit a small, hollow rubber ball against the front wall. The objective? Make the ball bounce twice before the opposing player can hit it.

It is another fast-paced sport that requires agility, speed, and strategic thinking. Notable athletes: Jahangir Khan, Nicol David, Ramy Ashour, Gregory Gaultier.


Surf’s up! A water sport in which individuals ride on the surface of the waves using a surfboard, with the objective of performing maneuvers and riding the waves as long as possible.

Notable athletes: Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Carissa Moore, Bethany Hamilton.


Yes, swimming is for fun and can include all types of fun like Marco Polo and more, but swimming the sport involves executing various strokes across a pool or open water, with the objective of finishing the race in the shortest possible time and ahead of other swimmers.

Notable athletes: Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte.

Synchronized Swimming

Now, when swimming is less of a race and more of a dance or gymnastics routine, it’s called synchronized swimming, in which a team of swimmers performs choreographed routines in the water, with the objective of displaying synchronization, creativity, and artistic impression.

It is also an Olympic sport. Notable athletes: Natalia Ishchenko, Svetlana Romashina, Anastasia Davydova, Bill May.

Table tennis (Ping Pong)

Have you ever seen Forrest Gump? If not, I’ll tell be the one to inform you that table tennis is a small racket sport played between two or four players on a table divided by a net.

Like tennis, the objective of ping pong is to hit a lightweight ball back and forth over the net without letting the opponent return the ball after one bounce or to get them to miss the table entirely. Notable athletes: Ma Long, Wang Hao, Zhang Jike, Ding Ning.


A martial art that originated in Korea, taekwondo involves various kicking, punching, and blocking techniques, with the objective of delivering strikes with speed and accuracy while maintaining balance and control.

Notable athletes: Jade Jones, Hadi Saei, Steven Lopez, and Wu Jingyu.


While table tennis is played on a table and thus requires a smaller racket or paddle, tennis is a larger racket sport played between two players or two teams of two players each, with the goal of hitting the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court.

The objective is to make sure the opponent can’t return the ball into your playable area, either by way of hitting the ball into the net, missing the designated area of play, or missing the ball entirely. Notable athletes: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.

Track and Field

Like equestrian and even skiing, track and field is more of a collection of athletic events rather than simply one sport, and includes running, jumping, and even throwing.

Depending on the sport, athletes might be competing against other athletes at the same time, such as in hurdles, or on their own in turns, as is the case with something like the long jump. Notable athletes: Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Read More: How Long is a Track Around a Football Field


More of an event than it is a sport, triathlon is an endurance activity that combines three sports: swimming, cycling, and running, in that order, with the objective of completing the course in the shortest amount of time.

Notable athletes: Jan Frodeno, Chrissie Wellington, Alistair Brownlee, and Gwen Jorgensen

Water Polo

Just like polo is a team game in which a ball is advanced and attempted to be put into the opponent’s goal, water polo is a team sport played in a pool.

It is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, endurance, and swimming skills. Notable athletes: Manuel Estiarte, Tamas Molnar, Maggie Steffens, and Paolo Barelli.

Wiffle ball

A variation of baseball played with a plastic ball with oblong perforations (known as a wiffle ball) and a plastic bat. The game is played on a smaller field and with fewer players than baseball, but the objective remains the same—hit the ball and score runs while the opposing team tries to get the hitter out.

Wiffle ball is a popular backyard game in the United States and is often played casually in parks and playgrounds.


Much like running might be considered to be more physical punishment than it is a fun sport to play, weightlifting is a sport of strength that involves lifting a barbell with weighted plates in two separate movements, the snatch, and the clean and jerk. The objective is to lift the heaviest weight possible in each movement.

Notable athletes: Lasha Talakhadze, Naim Suleymanoglu, Pyrros Dimas, and Hossein Rezazadeh.


No, not WWE. The sport of wrestling is a contact sport involving grappling techniques such as clinch fighting, throws, takedowns, and pins. The objective is to control and pin the opponent’s shoulders to the mat.

Notable athletes: Dan Gable, Aleksandr Karelin, John Smith, and Cael Sanderson.


Baseball—run around the bases. Basketball—shoot the ball into a basket. Volleyball, yes, volley the ball back and forth, but also hit the ball over the net and into the opposing team’s court, and prevent the ball from hitting the ground on your own side of the court.

Volleyball is a team sport played with a ball between two teams of six players on each side of the net. Notable athletes: Karch Kiraly, Misty May-Treanor, and Logan Tom, Giba.

And that’s the end of our list of sports, for now! We will be continually adding descriptions and pictures, so please do return for more. If you have a question about a particular sport, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

About Ryan from Sport Stuff Genius 58 Articles
A complete sports fanatic most of his life, Ryan has taken his interest and expert knowledge to Sport Stuff Genius—a blog dedicated to uncovering answers to different questions and bringing fun to all things ball.