As we all know, sports are an important part of every culture in the world. These sports give people fun, try to make people healthy, and stimulate their health both physically and mentally. There are also a lot of professional athletes that have become an inspiration for the young generation to take up a sport. There are so many different types of sports, which differ from each other by the degree of contact and rules, as well as by the equipment required to participate in them. Today we embark on a journey of discovering some of the most popular female sports, famous women athletes, and more
Career choices for sportswomen differ a lot from men as well - apart from tennis, handball, or basketball - women do not have many opportunities to earn millions of money playing professionally. However, it does not lessen their desire for winning.
A lot of things changed in history regarding women and sports. More and more leagues are popping up in different countries with support from non-profit organizations to help propel the image of female athletes in the sports industry.
This article lists down the most popular female sports today and also discusses some exclusive female sports that women can only play. Are you ready to learn more about the world of female sports?
Most Popular Female Sports
Thanks to the Women's Sports Foundation girls' participation in sports has increased significantly over the past decade. Sports are a great way to stay fit and healthy, but many girls these days also get involved because they want to have fun with friends and make new ones. There are plenty of different female-oriented sports out there, from ones that are more traditionally "girly" to ones that are more physically demanding. Some of the most popular female sports are:
Women's soccer has captured the attention of the sporting world. More girls and women have been playing the sport in recent years than ever before, and viewership numbers for women's soccer have reached an all-time high.
In the USA, The National Women’s Soccer League broke viewership records by almost 300 percent in the 2021 season. In the UK, 6.2 million people watched a Women’s Super League match in 2021 without watching the Premier League game on TV. (That is 10% of the entire population.)
The NWSL has been adding partnerships with viewing platforms such as CBS Sports and Twitch. As a result, the league has seen its viewership rise. The increased interest has helped attract more sponsorships, which in turn will help the league continue to flourish.
Some iconic female football players are Marta Vieira da Silva - a legendary player from Brazil who has won the FIFA World Player of the Year/Best FIFA Women’s Player six times, Alexia Putellas - winner of the Ballon d’Or for 2021 and the FIFA Women’s Soccer Player Of The Year Award.
Some other notable US women’s soccer players include Abby Wambach, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Tiffeny Milbrett, Carla Overbeck, Julie Ertz, and Heather O’Reilly, and April Heinrichs.
The popularity of women's basketball has grown rapidly in recent years, not just among young girls but also among global viewers. The WNBA celebrated its 25th season in 2021 with the most-watched season since 2008: viewership increased by 51%. In February, the WNBA announced that it had raised $75 million from investors to further develop the league and provide players with higher salaries and improved benefits.
Tennis tournaments have gone beyond offering equal pay to women: the sport is structured in a way that ensures an equal playing field. Men and women play at the same time in big tournaments, and networks now broadcast as many women’s games as men’s. This equality imbues the game with inherent value: fans will argue that though women’s tennis is different from men’s, its merits make it equally fascinating.
Moreover, Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-paid athletes includes only three women, all of whom are tennis players.
Inclusive Female Sports
Most sports athletes dream of winning an Olympic gold medal, no matter what their gender. But have you noticed that some sports events are only for female athletes? If not, here is the big news!
There are three of them—softball, rhythmic gymnastics, and artistic swimming—that are exclusive to women. In the history of the Olympics, only female athletes have taken part in these events. These three sports were introduced as women-only sporting events at the Olympics in 1996.
Women in eSports
It's no secret that eSports is growing in popularity, and the women who play it are getting more recognition than ever before. According to Statista’s 2021 estimations, 45 % of gamers in the US were female. But what are these women playing?
When it comes to female gamers, League of Legends is the most popular game for women with 58 female LOL champions. It's followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 20% female players, Overwatch at 26%, and then World of Warcraft at 12%.
Other popular games amongst women include Hearthstone, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Rocket League, H1Z1, Minecraft, Paladins, and Heroes of the Storm.
Greatest Female Athletes of All Time
As the female athletes of today are becoming more and more popular, it's important to take a look back at some of the greatest female athletes of all time.
Previously, we have talked about the most popular female athletes but let's name some of the greatest female athletes that inspired many generations:
- Babe Didrickson Zaharias
In 1932, Babe Didrikson won gold medals in both the 80-meter hurdles and javelin throw at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, taking silver in the high jump. She also won the British Ladies Amateur golf tournament. She made the cut in a regular PGA Tour event; she was the first woman to do so. Babe Didrikson achieved All-American status in basketball while attending college.
- Lottie Dod
She became the youngest woman ever to win the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship in 1905 when she was only 15 years old, then went on to win it four more times. She took up field hockey for England national two years after first playing. She won the British Ladies' Amateur golf tournament in 1904. In 1908 she won a silver medal in archery at the Olympics in London.
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee
She's a four-time Olympian with six Olympic medals, including two golds in the Heptathlon. Sports Illustrated named her the greatest female athlete of the 20th century.
- Fanny Blankers-Koen (The Netherlands)
Post-war, she set 12 world records in events as diverse as the long jump, the high jump, sprint and hurdling events, and the pentathlon.
- Clara Hughes (Canada)
She is the only person in history to win multiple medals in both the summer and winter Olympics. And she has won 6 Olympic medals.
- Mia Hamm (USA)
She has been named Women's FIFA World Player of the Year twice and represented the U.S. in four World Cups (winning two of them). She also won gold in the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympics and has 158 career goals in international competitions.
Final Thought on Most Popular Female Sports
This article gives you the basic information about different sports played by women today. These sports are fun, challenging, and can be very intense, especially for people who are not used to them. The intensity of these sports can help to make you a much stronger person, physically and mentally.
This list above just scratches the surface about what women can participate in, but hopefully, it inspires many of you to start finding out more about your possibilities.
Written by Sofi Grigoryan
Sofi Grigoryan is a content writer at Feedconstruct - the top company specialized in delivering sports data. Having a deep understanding of the sports data landscape, Sofi uses her skills to create both compelling and informative content.