Having a particular spectator sport to enjoy on a regular basis can be one of life’s great joys. Whether you tend to do it with friends, family or just by yourself, it can be a great way to while away the hours whenever you feel like it. Not only that, but it can also become a very consuming passion too, especially if you have a team that you are particularly keen to support.
But which spectator sports are the best to watch, and are there any out there that might need looking at again? If you are trying to fall back in love with sports or you are just keen to look out for some new ones to watch, take a look at the following list. These are some of the best sports to watch, including some very famous and well-known options as well as a few more obscure sports you might never have heard of. They are all worth looking into.
English football, known to much of the rest of the world as soccer, is one of the oldest games in the world still played across the globe, and it’s also one of the most-loved out there too. Whether or not you are a particularly keen football enthusiast, there is no doubt that it can be a wonderful spectator sport to get into, and there are few people who never watch it at all, even if that’s only for big events like the World Cup.
There are also a range of other football events throughout the year, giving you plenty of opportunity to start watching it, or start watching it again if you used to watch it. If you are based in England, then you are blessed with one of the most interesting and diversely-played leagues in the world. In truth, the English football league system is a very complex one, with national leagues of both the North and the South making up a national league, and then above that the even bigger players and contenders.
At the very top of that pyramid is the Premier League, of course, a league which, since its inception in 1992, has only been won by seven teams. This is what makes it so interesting to watch – it is incredibly closely contended, always fought with high passions, and never makes for dull or boring television.
If you really want to get a strong sense of what the atmosphere around a football game can be like, you should consider going to see a match in-person once you are able to do so. This can very often be one of the most exciting sports experiences of your life, and you might find that you get addicted and start going every weekend before too long, especially if you happen to land on a team that you are particularly passionate about supporting. There’s no doubt about it: football remains one of the best sports to watch in the world.
Cricket is, of course, another English sport, but one which might not have quite the same level of excitement in a lot of people’s minds compared to something like football or rugby. The writer George Bernard Shaw once remarked that the English invented cricket in order to ‘give themselves some idea of eternity’, and there are a lot of people today who might agree with that formulation of the sport.
But for those with an interest in it, it can be incredibly exciting, even for the longer-duration test matches which can last for four or five days. In fact, by a lot of statistical standards, cricket remains the second-most watched sport in the world, so it is hardly surprising that a lot of people still think of it very highly.
Like any sport, once you get into it, you can really see the appeal, and it can quickly become quite addictive to watch. The drama of a cricket game is peaceful and serene, slow, rather than fast-paced and violent – but it is still a form of drama that many people relish in, week after week. It is also hotly contested worldwide, and the sport is host to one of the most famous (and sometimes, incredibly bitter) sporting rivalries in history: that of Australia versus England, played out every year in the form of the Ashes.
If cricket is your cup of tea, you’ll likely be able to sit and watch it for many hours. If not, you might not be able to watch a second of it. But it is worth giving it a go, especially if you have never really stuck it out before. It’s the kind of spectator sport you can have on in the background all day long, tuning into it every now and then, and it can be quite a relaxing thing to watch in that manner.
Although the last two sports were both quite uniquely British, the truth about tennis is that it has become one of the most international sports of all. People from all over the world love to play and to watch it, and it is actually one of the bigger sporting industries to be found anywhere, with a huge number and variety of tournaments in place around the world each year.
With tennis, you have what might seem to be a very simple sport that actually becomes very intensely complex and fascinating the more that you watch it. You can easily start out watching Wimbledon with a vague sense of the rules, and finish the tournament feeling that you understand just exactly when to offer a backhand into the first quadrant past the net. It is this kind of viewer’s learning curve that can make tennis surprisingly addictive to watch.
Tennis also has the benefit of looking like a sport that anyone can play – although to play at the highest levels is of course a different matter altogether. In terms of the spectator sport nature of it, it is great for long, hot summer days, and it’s very much a cultural highlight of the year for many people.
If there is one sport that has been made considerably more watchable by the invention of television, it is golf. In the old days, you would have had to go to the course and watch from the sidelines – and either move around the course with the players’ progression, or stick in the one spot and hope it’s a good place to be. But with televised golf, you can obviously watch the whole game without having to move at all, and there is little doubt that this has led to a renaissance of sorts amongst sports lovers.
Whether or not you personally enjoy watching golf, you have to admit that it is a surprisingly seductive thing to watch. Much like cricket, it can go on for a surprisingly long time, but the sheer physical virtuosity of its top players makes it endlessly impressive to watch nonetheless, even for a long period of time in one fell swoop. It is also one of the oldest games in the world, a Scottish invention this time, and one that is very clearly well-loved by all across the world. It’s absolutely one that should go on your list if you are thinking of watching a new sport this year.
Not all of the watchable spectator sports come from the UK, of course. One of the world’s most loved sports is an American one – basketball. This is a more modern sport, and that is reflected in the much quicker nature of it, and the fact that it does not have quite the same quaint sort of historical edge to it. But what it does have is a fast-paced and interesting code of play, and a quickly evolving rule-set which makes every competition slightly different from the last.
Like many other sports, this is one where those who achieve the most are genuinely amazing athletes – incredibly tall, of course, but also strong and supple at the same time, something that is really necessary in order to be good at this sport. Whether or not you have played much basketball yourself in the past, there is no doubt that it’s one of the most fun to watch, and it’s definitely something that you should think about if you are looking out for a new sport to watch. You can quickly pick this one up.
As you can see, there are many sports that you can look into if you are keen to get back into watching sports this year. The beauty of this is that you can simply try one out, and if it doesn’t seem to be right for you, you can simply move on and try the next. But whichever sport you end up landing on, you should be able to make it as much a part of your life as you would hope, and this could end up being one of your top new favourite pastimes of all as well.