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Where do you rank Baseball in terms of international popularity?

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  • Erik Bedard
    replied
    After soccer and basketball, it's essentially a tossup. You could go with baseball, hockey, cricket, volleyball, or something else at #3 within reason. I said top 5, but top 10 is perfectly fine as well.

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  • SouthwestAmAZins
    replied
    The only result that has surprised me so far is the one vote for #1. I honestly feel that baseball is somewhere ranked between 6-10, but I don't have the data to back it up. Popularity in my opinion is a combination of participation, spectatorship, geographical range and a little bit of sponsorship. The last factored in because many cultures use popular athletes to endorse products.

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  • DownUnderDodger
    replied
    Originally posted by lincecumfan View Post
    As for popularity, are we talking spectator or participation?
    Interesting point but I think the question revolves around spectator interest and popularity world wide.

    In my opinion the bottom line is that there is very little doubt that Soccer is #1 worldwide. It is played in almost every country, has a wide following in most, and has the only real "World Cup" where the majority of countries around the world are able to participate through qualifying tournaments.

    As for participation, that can be met with conjecture depending on where you live. The #1 participant sport in Australia is Netball which is predominantly a women's sport, with Cricket probably #2. Malta with a very small population used to call Water Polo it's national sport (not sure if it still does), and Water Polo is played in quite a large number of countries (probably more so than Baseball) but is not supported or promoted to any great degree beyond those involved in the game. It really only gets mention here when our National teams are playing in major tournaments such as the World Championships and Olympics. Countries in Northern Europe and Asia are very strong in Handball, being an indoor game played during their long winters, but it does not have a large world wide following (I loved the games I watched at the 2000 Olympics - it is a fast exciting sport).

    Who knows regarding baseball. At the moment I would only just place it in the top 10, but the way it is starting to be promoted, and supported, by the MLB throughout the world, it may well end up in the top 5. But what needs to happen to make it a world sport is to not be reliant on/revolve around MLB schedules. It needs to become strong in its own right in the various countries, and world competiton will only be beneficial to that. That will take many years, maybe decades.
    Last edited by DownUnderDodger; 04-16-2008, 09:18 PM.

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  • Mike_Piazza
    replied
    In the world i think :

    1) Soccer
    2) Basketball

    first 2 with huge margin then

    3) Volleyball (i hate this sport,bleah)
    4) Baseball
    5) Rugby
    6) Ice Hockey

    In Italy people is interested to these sports (my personal list):

    Soccer
    Basketball
    Motor Sports (F1 and Moto GP ,Ferrari and Valentino Rossi have great fans)
    Cycling
    Volleyball
    Rugby
    Track and Field
    Tennis
    Waterpolo
    Ice hockey (even if is a sport limited in North of Italy)
    Baseball
    Handball
    American Football

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  • lincecumfan
    replied
    Likewise, I don't see how rugby is more popular than baseball. Huge in Oceania and western Europe, sure, but it's never even been an Olympic sport, as far as I know!
    It was an Olympic sport up until 1924. It was also recently on a short list of 5 "new" sports for Olympic inclusion (in the 7s form of the game). It is a sport in the Asian Games and is now a sport in the Pan American Games.

    As for popularity, are we talking spectator or participation?

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  • DownUnderDodger
    replied
    From where I am (in the State of NSW) the local ratings would be something like this:
    Summer Sports:
    Cricket (by a huge margin)
    'A' League Soccer (which leads to international recognition of soccer as a whole)
    Tennis
    Basketball
    Golf
    Hockey (Field variety)
    Surf Life Saving (internationally more people probably know something about our surf life savers than they would about our baseballers)
    Baseball would only just rate among the few who know the game.

    Winter Sports:
    Rugby League (generally restricted to NSW & QLD but does have internation interest in UK & NZ, with limited interest in some other parts of the world)
    AFL (purely Australian)
    Rugby Union (as others have commented, has a good following in a number of other countries in the world, with a World Cup which does include up to 16 countries, some who have made it through pre-qualifying tournaments)
    Soccer (following Aussies playing overseas, or any Aussie team in an international match/tournament)
    Forget anything else, although there are some winter Baseball competitions held in the region.

    Someone from the southern or western states of Australia may have AFL on top of Rugby league in the winter list.

    As for Baseball as a world sport, my own personal opinion is that it would fall behind a number of other sports such as:
    Soccer (by far the #1)
    Tennis
    Golf
    Rugby (as in the 15 man game - Rugby Union)
    Cricket
    Basketball
    Field Hockey
    Last edited by DownUnderDodger; 04-14-2008, 03:17 AM.

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  • ShawnC
    replied
    Originally posted by Rally Monkey View Post
    I hardly forgot about South Africa. Cricket and rugby are the mad passions of white South Africans. That's surely not insignificant--I watched them win last year's Rugby World Cup--but it's pretty generous to conclude from that that cricket or rugby have significant followings in Africa.

    If the Caribbean is part of the Americas, then it's certainly try that cricket has a following there.

    If you read my post carefully, you'd have seen that I said cricket was likely the third most popular. But I wouldn't call it anything more than a Commonwealth sport. In most countries of the world, it's an alien, completely unknown enterprise. Show a wicket to a Mongol or a Russian and ask them what it is. Then show then a baseball bat...

    I forgot to mention about hockey and team handball. Who can know for sure, but I'd put those right up there with rugby.
    None of the countries I mentioned are outside the Commonwealth (except Zimbabwe which was in it long enough and will probably rejoin at some point). The thing about the Commonwealth is that between Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka you have a good 1.4 billion people easily (Pakistan and Bangladesh both have populations half the size of the US and if Bangladesh hadn't split then "Pakistan" would have as many people as the US). I still wonder how so many people fit in Bangladesh though - imagine half the US population all living in Iowa or New York state.

    I also didn't conclude that cricket had a generous following in Africa. I concluded it probably had about a good a following as (or maybe a slightly better following than) baseball simply because of its following in South Africa and to a lesser extent Zimbabwe and thereafter Kenya. With baseball, outside of South Africa the following tapers off pretty sharply to the point where no country is capable of producing a team that could even potentially challenge South Africa.

    You could show the Mongolian and Russian a baseball bat and they would know what it is....."a bat" (unfortunately baseball bats are used for activities other than baseball as thugs and movies have shown). Ask them to use it and play a proper game of baseball however..... (well the Russian might know, but I wouldn't bet too much money on the Mongolians or indeed many people from countries in Africa other than South Africa).

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  • Rally Monkey
    replied
    Originally posted by ShawnC View Post
    Well you forgot about Oceania, Bangladesh (150 million people there), Sri Lanka, England and South Africa when it comes to cricket. In the Americas cricket isn't followed much except in the West Indies. In all those countries even if cricket isn't the main sport it is certainly second, third or fourth. Other than South Africa, the only countries that I can think of in Africa that follow cricket would be Zimbabwe (where everything is in trouble from cricket to football and baseball and most importantly the economy) and Kenya (where the following is probably something like baseball's following in South Africa).

    You also forgot South Africa when it comes to rugby - it did win the last Rugby (Union) World Cup (nobody specified which kind of rugby though so I'm lumping the two rugbies here). The Rugby (Union) World Cup also has a good attendance (not far below that of the FIFA World Cup) so in terms of fan support Rugby (Union) is most likely in the top three or four.
    I hardly forgot about South Africa. Cricket and rugby are the mad passions of white South Africans. That's surely not insignificant--I watched them win last year's Rugby World Cup--but it's pretty generous to conclude from that that cricket or rugby have significant followings in Africa.

    If the Caribbean is part of the Americas, then it's certainly try that cricket has a following there.

    If you read my post carefully, you'd have seen that I said cricket was likely the third most popular. But I wouldn't call it anything more than a Commonwealth sport. In most countries of the world, it's an alien, completely unknown enterprise. Show a wicket to a Mongol or a Russian and ask them what it is. Then show then a baseball bat...

    I forgot to mention about hockey and team handball. Who can know for sure, but I'd put those right up there with rugby.

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  • Paul Wendt
    replied
    I guess "ROC~~" is closer to the mark putting the Massachusetts exports second and third, basketball and volleyball. Anyway, anyone counting noses should ask how much do people now play team sports in China, and which team sports do they play?
    add: same for the spectator interpretation. How much do people now watch team sports in China, and which team sports do they watch?

    Soccer football enjoys a great advantage because it is cheap and easy to set up anywhere there is a field. Basketball and volleyball enjoy a great advantage because they can move indoors, into rather small spaces, which permits their incorporation in recreation or physical education programs of the rich countries year 'round.
    add: This is not only a winter issue and not only for the rich. The rich are better equipped to move indoors when it rains or when it is too hot, but those moves are not limited to the rich.

    The base-ball-and-bat sports, cricket and baseball, suffer disadvantages in these two respects. That is in comparison with the most popular sports; we do have two legs up on the polos, pony and water. Or do the ponies have two legs up?
    Cricket and baseball play is also less flexible regarding the number of players. Soccer and rugby football, basketball and volleyball are far more flexible. Presumably also the hockeys, field and ice.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-13-2008, 05:09 PM. Reason: add

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  • ShawnC
    replied
    Originally posted by Rally Monkey View Post
    Depends on the standards you use. Most popular by the number of people who play? By the interest of fans, irrespective of players? By how internationally spread out it is?

    I think by any standard, soccer is number one and basketball number two. If you look just at the number of people who play the game, then cricket is surely number three because of its popularity in India and Pakistan. But it hardly has a following in the Americas or, as far as I know, Africa, so I wouldn't call it a world sport.

    Likewise, I don't see how rugby is more popular than baseball. Huge in Oceania and western Europe, sure, but it's never even been an Olympic sport, as far as I know!

    Volleyball? Maybe in Brazil and, what, Romania, but where else?
    Well you forgot about Oceania, Bangladesh (150 million people there), Sri Lanka, England and South Africa when it comes to cricket. In the Americas cricket isn't followed much except in the West Indies. In all those countries even if cricket isn't the main sport it is certainly second, third or fourth. Other than South Africa, the only countries that I can think of in Africa that follow cricket would be Zimbabwe (where everything is in trouble from cricket to football and baseball and most importantly the economy) and Kenya (where the following is probably something like baseball's following in South Africa).

    You also forgot South Africa when it comes to rugby - it did win the last Rugby (Union) World Cup (nobody specified which kind of rugby though so I'm lumping the two rugbies here). The Rugby (Union) World Cup also has a good attendance (not far below that of the FIFA World Cup) so in terms of fan support Rugby (Union) is most likely in the top three or four.

    After Football (Soccer), Rugby (Union), Cricket and Basketball (in no particular order there) the next most popular ones would probably be Rugby (League) and Baseball (again no particular order). If we weren't talking about international sports alone, then American Football would probably be in the same tier as Rugby League and Baseball (as to whether it would be more popular than either I couldn't say). Not sure if anyone counts athletics/races/track and field/sprinting or whatever you want to call it as an international sport (it certainly isn't an international team sport but it is a sport and most times individuals represent their countries - except when Yugoslavia got banned and Yugoslavs had to compete as "independents")

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  • brewcrew82
    replied
    Originally posted by Rally Monkey View Post
    Likewise, I don't see how rugby is more popular than baseball. Huge in Oceania and western Europe, sure, but it's never even been an Olympic sport, as far as I know!
    It's been an event at four Olympics. 1900, 1904, 1920 and 1924. In fact the USA is the reigning Gold Medallist in Olympic Rugby.

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  • cutchemist42
    replied
    Well baseball talent sure is spread out but of course not every region produces the same amount of caliber players. Still, the fact that MLB/MILB is represented by I'm pretty all the continents(with people on them!) is impressive.

    Now going by people playing I dunno. I don't have a good gauge for Cricket/Rugby/ etc.'s participation worldwide. Like when it comes to participation I'm willing to say this.

    USA-definately top 3 played sports
    Canada-top 3 played sport, but also depends on geography (Manitoba my home province sure doesnt have the weather to support baseball like BC can)
    Cuba-TOP
    DR-top
    Venezuela-top
    PR-top 2
    Mexico-top 3
    Japan-top
    Korea-top 2
    Taiwan-top

    factor in it may be the 7th-10th (I'm assuming) most played sports in places like Italy, The Netherlands, and Australia, thats alot of people playing baseball worldwide spread over a large part of North America/Asia and some Europe/Australia. The countries listed two are also countries that are quite big.

    I cant really say then.....but I'm atleast trying to lay out my thoughts and see what you guys think.

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  • Rally Monkey
    replied
    Depends on the standards you use. Most popular by the number of people who play? By the interest of fans, irrespective of players? By how internationally spread out it is?

    I think by any standard, soccer is number one and basketball number two. If you look just at the number of people who play the game, then cricket is surely number three because of its popularity in India and Pakistan. But it hardly has a following in the Americas or, as far as I know, Africa, so I wouldn't call it a world sport.

    Likewise, I don't see how rugby is more popular than baseball. Huge in Oceania and western Europe, sure, but it's never even been an Olympic sport, as far as I know!

    Volleyball? Maybe in Brazil and, what, Romania, but where else?

    Leave a comment:


  • ROC~~
    replied
    I think it rank 6 or 7 (in term of team sport)
    1. Football/Soccer, 2. Basketball, 3. Volleyball, 4. Ruby, 5. Cricket, 6 - 7 Baseball or Field hockey

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  • Where do you rank Baseball in terms of international popularity?

    28
    #1 in the world
    3.57%
    1
    Top five
    42.86%
    12
    Top 10
    39.29%
    11
    Doesn't crack the Top 10
    14.29%
    4
    Soccer is considered by many to be the most popular sport in the world, but where do you folks rank Baseball?

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