Most Hardest Sports in the World (Top 13 )


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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The world of sports is full of beauty, passion, and competition. But some sports can be downright demanding to engage in. If you think a game of table tennis is challenging, just wait until you see what it takes to play rugby, American football, or even boxing.

In this article, I’m going to share with you my list of the hardest sports in the world in no particular order. 

Top 13 Hardest Sports in the World.

1. Boxing

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people engage in a contest of strength, speed, reflexes, and endurance. It is one of the oldest sports known to man. The rules are simple: punch your opponent until he stops moving.

Boxing is an Olympic sport, and it’s very common among professional leagues such as the WBC, where you can see boxers fighting each other almost weekly! Boxing involves hand-to-hand fighting using only one’s fists, so there won’t be any fancy moves like throws or takedowns here; instead, you’ll just have to rely on your skills when trying out this dangerous game!

Boxing is not an easy sport to play. It takes a lot of training and discipline to become a good boxer. You can’t just start boxing one day and expect to win all your fights. A boxer’s career usually comes with many ups and downs; they go through many challenges that they have to overcome to achieve success.

There is also a risk of life-threatening health conditions emanating from years of hard blows on the head and body.

See also: The Oldest American College Football Teams [Top 14]

2. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey, hardest sports in the world

Hockey is a contact sport played on ice. It is among the hardest sports in the world. Two teams of six players usually play it, so there’s plenty of action in every game. Hockey aims to score more goals than your opponent, but players use sticks to hit a ball into the opponent’s goal. They’re allowed to use their hands but not their arms or elbows; this means that if you get hit by someone else’s stick, it could cause serious injury!

Hockey is also dangerous: its participants wear helmets, gloves, and skates (or skates with blades) as protection from getting injured when they fall after taking hits from other players’ sticks or pucks, hitting them directly in front of their bodies during gameplay.

3. Water polo

Water polo is a team water sport played in the water. Players must swim and use a ball to score goals. The rules are similar to those of ice hockey, but with some differences in time duration and venue for the game.

To win, you must have more points than your opponent at the end of 32 minutes of play. Polo is well known for its physicality, with plenty of under-the-surface kicking and grabbing going on and all kinds of cunning blows in the water.

Players’ need for speed and power as they go through the water and the fact that they can’t touch the bottom is occasionally overlooked. You’ll understand why water polo scored such high grades for endurance if you try treading water for more than 30 minutes at your local pool and then visualize playing a high-intensity contact sport in that period.

4. Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martal arts

Mixed martial arts is an all-inclusive name that encompasses several sports that employ a range of fighting techniques to get your opponent down. It differs from Boxing in that you can use your hands and other parts of your body to strike your opponent, which is not the same as Boxing.

Mixed martial arts, like boxing, is one of the toughest sports in the world for the same reasons as many other sports on the list. It also requires being flexible and having a strong body, both of which are important for a good mixed martial artist. Aside from the ability to throw and receive blows, MMA competitors must also be skilled in a variety of fighting techniques that they must learn to adapt to and use against an opponent in order to win.

Companies like the UFC have a lucrative business venture in this sports field. 

5. Swimming

Swimming is regarded as one of the hardest sports in the world. It is a sport that requires great endurance, strength, and speed. The swimmer has to go through many laps to finish the race. Swimming is also very tiring because you have to hold your breath for long periods when swimming underwater, making it difficult for both males and females who participate in this sport.

There are many types of swimming, including butterfly and freestyle, which are considered the most popular among all the other kinds. The main goal in this sport is to swim across the pool faster than your opponent so that you can win the race.

6. Figure skating

Figure skating

Figure skating is a sport where individuals, mixed couples, or groups perform spins, steps, and jumps on ice. It has been a major competitive form of amateur competition since the early 19th century. The International Skating Union regulates international figure skating competitions and other skating disciplines.

Figure skaters compete for medals in the disciplines of men’s singles, ladies singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. In addition to competition events such as short programs and free skates, they may also participate in pairs events, including compulsory figures if they choose to, after qualifying through various other methods.

Trying impossible jumps and spins with very little room between you and your partner will cause injury unless you are skilled at doing these things safely without causing any harm whatsoever!

7. Rugby 

Rugby is a contact sport played between two teams of 15 players on an oval pitch. The game’s objective is to move the ball from one team’s end to another while trying not to be tackled by your opponent.

The game begins with an outbreak in which each side must attempt to gain possession of the ball and run towards their opponents’ goal line (the opposite side from where they started). If a player gains control over the ball, he may pass it or kick it forward until someone else touches it down. It is a very physical sport so expect to see collisions from time to time.

8. Soccer 

Soccer is one of the most difficult sports in the world

Football players must invest a lot of time and energy into their preparation before soccer matches and give it their all on the field. 

Football players put in a lot of practice and need to be quick and powerful to be effective on the field. Like many other sports, football players must be in excellent physical condition.

Football, one of the most popular sports in the world and also one of the hardest sports in the world, has proven that it can bring about societal transformation.

Depending on who you ask, playing soccer is either the easiest or the hardest sport to master. In our opinion, the football game that will be played after this one will demand the most physical effort. Football is undoubtedly a popular sport, but its technical complexity and player power make it the most challenging one in the world. 

To play football, a player must run more than 115 kilometers, stop very strong shots from an opponent, and get past various barriers. I bet you enjoy the game more than the players on the field given they can be exhausted after a game of football.

9. Motocross


The sport of motocross was developed from motorcycle trials. It’s a strenuous physical activity. Riders are required to compete in races on off-road circuits that are difficult to ride on, with several route obstacles in the form of sharp turns and a lot of sand. They make it nearly impossible for riders to accelerate across numerous riding leaps and landings.

Motocross is an activity that demands a lot of talent. Riders navigate difficult, meandering roads across unforgiving terrain while performing stunts, including leaps, ditch jumps, and trespassing. The handlebars attached to the two wheels are used by the riders to control speed and direction while seated on the front and back seats of the motorcycle.

High jumps and frequently dangerous landings make it one of the world’s hardest and most physically taxing sports, and they frequently lead to serious accidents and injuries.

You’ll need a lot of mental focus and strength to get to the final round on your own. It should be no surprise that some riders violate the rules by using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to increase their performance in competition.

10. American football

American football is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The game’s objective is to score points by advancing the ball into the opposing team’s end zone. Points can be scored in three ways:

  • By advancing the ball into your opponent’s end zone and kicking an extra point (a kick that goes through both posts)
  • By advancing past midfield and kicking another extra point (a kick that goes through only one post)
  • By catching a pass thrown by an opposing player

CTE was found in 99 percent of the brains obtained from National Football League players, 91 percent of college football players, and 21 percent of high school football players.

11. Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport that requires strength, flexibility, and balance. Gymnasts perform on a floor exercise, on a pommel horse, on still rings, on a vaulting table, and on a horizontal bar. Gymnastics is an Olympic sport and has been part of the Summer Olympics since 1896 (except in 1900).

The gymnast starts with one foot raised high above his or her head or shoulders depending upon what type of routine they are doing at any given moment during competition time (e.g., floor routines require both feet off the ground while pommel horse routines only require one foot off the ground). 

The gymnast then bends forward at their hips until their chest touches the floor before straightening again into a standing position with arms extended outward from shoulders parallel to thighs with palms facing up toward ceiling overhead so that the back remains parallel to the front end during most movements performed by this athlete.

12. Marathon running

Marathon running is a sport that requires skill, endurance, and mental strength. It’s also one of the hardest sports in the world. 

Here are some reasons why; Like most other races, marathons run on paved roads rather than dirt trails or forests. This makes them easier to follow than other types of running events but harder to complete because it takes longer for runners to cover those miles (sometimes up to 26 miles per hour). 

The average person doesn’t have enough time between work or school commitments to train for an event like this!

13. Bull riding

Bull riding

Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider on a bull. The rider must stay on the animal for at least eight seconds to earn points. The bull’s horns can bring injuries to riders and spectators during this dangerous sport— and it has been called the most dangerous 8 seconds in the history of sports. Some riders ride with cowboy hats with little or no protective gear, while others engage in sports with protective gear.


You can be great at what you set your mind to do. You, too, can make a breakthrough in these sports but ensure you train and protect yourself as well as you can when you engage in these sports, whether professionally or locally.

See you at the top!


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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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