I’ve decided to compile a list of the top sports to watch. These are the best four to watch other than the major four of football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. Major League Baseball and WNBA are the only major sports in operation for the summer, and many fans are looking elsewhere for their sports entertainment. 

Football, baseball, basketball and hockey tend to dominate television screens. These sports generate immense revenue from the culture that has been built around these traditionally “American” sports, and they will continue to be the most popular sports within our country. The big four sports provide exciting gameplay at their very core, and the revenue generated from this popularity increases the level of enjoyment. The persistence of popularity and profits continually feed this cycle, which often makes it harder for lesser known sports to step into the spotlight and be afforded televised coverage. 

These sports can be harder to find, but it doesn’t mean that they are less entertaining to watch. Sometimes I nerd out on watching and learning the intricacies of each sport. Every sport begins with learning the basics of how the game is played: the skills, the scoring, the technique, etc. As our knowledge of the skills improve, we begin to learn the strategic nuances. At the professional level, where skills are perfected and every player is a top performer, the games become far more intricate than pure skill.


1. Volleyball

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Annerys Victoria Vargas Valdez #1 of the Dominican Republic spikes the ball as Jordan Larson #10 and Christa Harmotto #13 of the United States defend during Women's Volleyball quarterfinals on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Earls Court on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

People sleep on volleyball as one of the top sports to watch. There’s indoor volleyball, which I discovered from watching the Americans in the Olympics, but fans can also experience college volleyball. There’s not much of a pro league to watch on television, but college volleyball comes alive for the faithful fans during the fall. 

Volleyball is about watching teams try to keep the ball from hitting the court at a level where the ball can come over the net from 50 to 70 mph. On top of ball speed, these athletes are flying around the court. The players are maneuvering themselves around five others to get into position. Players hit three to four foot vertical leaps as they face each other at the net. Blockers are guessing who the hitter will be as the ball is put into the air. They sacrifice their bodies to keep a 50 to 70 mph ball from coming over to their side. If the ball gets through, then it’s a scramble to keep it from hitting the ground, which is most often the libero’s job as the defensive specialist. 

In the last NCAA volleyball tournament, players were diving over equipment way off court to save the ball, and did it successfully. The aces, the kills, the digs, the blocks, the spikes … its all there. If you’re a person that enjoys games like keep-away and don’t let the ball touch the ground, then volleyball will make you squirm and shift or do anything to help keep it in the air from your couch. 

2. Beach Volleyball 

There is indoor volleyball and then there’s beach volleyball, which the Olympics also brought me to. It was a gift to watch Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings become back-to-back-to-back gold medalists. Anybody that has ever run or tried to do some sort of activity in the sand knows how tough and exhausting it is, and these athletes are doing it for hours. It’s two people on either side of the net trying to dive, block and cover as much ground as they can while their legs feel like rocks in the sand. 

As Americans, we have been gifted with some of the best beach volleyball players of this generation. In 2012, the women’s gold medal match was a face-off between two USA teams. On the men’s side, Phil Dalhauser, Todd Rogers and Nick Lucena have brought home Olympic gold and multiple world medals. If you get a chance during the next Olympics, look out for when beach volleyball is on to catch some of the action.

3. Softball

Softball is a growing industry that I have mentioned previously is worth investing in. In my opinion, softball is definitely one of the top sports to watch, an even better product than baseball. This is not a dig on baseball, but many people have issues with the pace of baseball. Softball solves that issue. Softball is very similar to baseball, but very different. It’s seven innings instead of nine, with more action packed in. 

If you’re already a baseball lover, then softball has all of the same qualities for you to enjoy. If you hate baseball because of how slow it is, then softball is a good alternative. Beyond the actual game, softball also has an exciting atmosphere that pulls you in. The players in the dugout are always cheering and trying to build on the momentum they have, or trying to generate some if they’re down. The players are having fun and the crowd is having fun. Softball fans are very passionate, and bring an energy to games that you can feel through the TV. 

With the start of a women’s professional fastpitch league, there is more accessibility for watching professional games. The league is operating through the summer if you’re looking for something else to watch in this offseason. 

4. Soccer

In the top sport to watch, Australia's Sam Kerr, 2nd right, and United States' Julie Ertz, left, battle for the ball during a women's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Kashima, Japan. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

I’m a little biased since I played soccer for 15 years. I will begin with an advertisement to sign your kids up for soccer. As a former U5 soccer coach, it is more enjoyable to watch kids run around in a mob chasing a ball than it is to watch kids standing around at T-ball. 

My parents put me in soccer when I was three years old, so the game like is second nature to me. I turn into one of those fans that shouts “That’s beautiful” when a set of passes connects so easily. Others who have played sports can understand this feeling of watching what you practiced to perfect play out on screen. 

The best players in the world have the ball glued to their foot and maintain immense control of an unforgiving ball. The best players in the world also know soccer is a team sport. A lot of practice goes into practicing ball movement, such as triangulating your passes, give-and-gos and through-balls. A team at their best is so in-sync with each other, and it can become visible to all who are spectating. 

Soccer is not the most action-packed sport to watch, but there are many aspects to marvel at. Soccer can be anything you want it to be. The fights, fouls, saves, goals, footwork, speed, strategy and more are all broadcasted for you in 90 minutes. It is a game of power and finesse and intuition. Just sit back and enjoy. 


Find more top sports to watch

There’s no need to limit yourself to watching the same sport(s) every season. Sports vary in so many ways, and can be entertaining for those seeking what each game has to offer. Many people are looking for team sports, individual sports, fast-paced, slow-paced, ball sports and non-ball sports. There are different aspects of sport to put together like a puzzle to find a sport that contains all these aspects. There are thousands of athletes around the world that would love to see more fans supporting them and their sport. 

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