5 Popular Sports Most Americans Don’t Know About


Kabaddi is believed to be born in India around the 1920s. It is now the national game of Nepal and Bangladesh. Kabaddi can be described  as a mix wrestling, red rover and tag. Two teams are composed of 7 players that take turns sending a player known as a raider across the court. The raider scores one point for each member of the other team he tags, but only if he is able to do so without being tackled by the defense. If the defense is able to tackle the raider, their team receives a point. 

What really makes Kabaddi stand out is how it handles time management. Each round the raider must chant Kabaddi for 30 straight seconds as he attempts to complete the raid. If the raider is caught trying to catch a breath between chants, he is disqualified. 


Cricket originated from the UK but is popular in India, Australia, Pakistan and the UK. Around 120 million people play cricket worldwide, but it has never caught on in America. Cricket strikes a lot of similarities with American baseball while also being completely unique from what we know. Both are a bat and ball game with 2 teams, each taking turns between batting and running to score and pitching the ball and manning the field to keep the opposing team from scoring. Not only is the field different in Cricket, but the use of wickets and paddles add an interesting dynamic to the game. 

Love for Cricket is vast outside of the US. Die hard fans enjoy betting on their favorite games as much as Americans do when it comes to football. There are Cricket betting apps that fans can use to place bets online. 


Hurling is an ancient sport with its origin in Ireland. It is believed to even predate Christianity, brought over to Ireland by the Celts. It is reminiscent of field hockey as it uses wooden sticks to hit a ball into the opposing teams net. Teams consist of 15 players, taking turns driving the ball down the court to score by getting the ball across the field. Similar to American Football, the defense is allowed to tackle in Hurling. 

Sepak takraw

Sepak takraw is a cross of soccer and volleyball, and is sometimes called kick volleyball. Native to Southeast Asia, the object of the game is for the teams to get a softball-sized rattan ball to land on the opponent’s side of the net using their head, feet or knees- anything but their hands, unlike volleyball. The sport’s origins are not competitive in nature, but began as more of an exercise in dexterity and movement to loosen stiff limbs from long periods of standing or sitting. 


Pato is the national sport of Argentina and is said to be similar to basketball, but for any Harry Potter lovers out there, this seemed more like Quidditch to me! The game is played between two teams and its object is to score goals by getting a ball through a vertical hoop- like the magical game, but instead of on a broomstick, players do so all while on horseback. Each team has 4 members on the field at a time, playing high risk tug of war on running horses. It’s thrilling to watch and no wonder it is so beloved outside the U.S.

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