13 Hardest Sports to Play in The World [2023]

Sports are fun to keep yourself occupied, fit, and in the game. However, when you think of sports, which ones are you the most scared of? Which of all the sports in the world do you think is the hardest to learn and play?

Professional athletes are trained to mold their bodies for the sport and play them with zeal and passion. But which of the available sports in the world are considered dangerous and the most difficult?

This article will walk you through a list of all the most challenging sports in the world that you might want to think twice before playing.


List of Hardest Sports to Play In the World

There are hundreds and thousands of different types of sports in the world. Some involve solo playing, some are played in teams, and some are in groups of two or four.

Despite so many different types of sports worldwide, a handful is challenging to master and play.

We have listed out the top 13 hardest sports to play below:

1. Boxing

Boxing match

When it comes to the most demanding sport in the lot, it has to be boxing. More than the rules and regulations, it is the safety. Players get inside the ring, putting their safety at stake. Since it’s a combat sport, it involves fisting, fighting, throwing punches, etc.

Although the sport has millions of fans worldwide, it is not for the faint-hearted. From muscular physical fitness to stamina, there is a lot involved. Most players are often injured inside the ring; some of them even need to be hospitalized for receiving a solid punch.

2. Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

Hockey is a very technical game that requires a lot of patience and hard work. Shift the entire game onto a piece of ice, and the difficulty increases by 100 folds. The professionals not only have to combat the chilly cold inside the rink, but the players also have to keep their stamina moving from one end to the other.

The slippery ice and the players’ footwear are hazardous in this game. Even the slightest loss of balance will take them and other players to tumble. Lack of coordination can lead to injuries.

3. Aussie Rules

Aussie Rules

Commonly known as footy in Australia, Aussie Rules is another popular yet dangerous sport that one should be aware of. Like Rugby, Aussie Rules is a contact sport involving a lot of roughhousing, kicks, and sideburns.

The game is played on an oval-shaped field, and the players must take the ball from one end to the other without getting tackled by the opponents. Developing the required skills for this sport takes years, sometimes more. Since most of the players involved in this game are huge, coming in contact with them often results in accidental injuries.

4. Water Polo

Water Polo

Although not the most dangerous game in the world, Water Polo deserves to be on this list. The entire sport is played on the water between two teams, who compete to score the top goals for their team. It is more or less a contact sport, so many risks are involved in the game.

More than the risks of injuries, most players run out of energy by the end of the game. Since you have to swerve through the water, there are very high chances of being out of breath by the end of the game. Since it’s impossible to continue the game for hours, it is divided into quarters, after which the players take a break before resuming.

5. Football


When you think of football, you don’t necessarily think of the dangers and consequences of the sport. The most significant danger with the sport is constant sprinting. Not only does it drain all the energy from the players, but it also leads to risks of cardiopulmonary collapse in several cases.

Besides that, since football is a contact sport, it involves the players coming in contact with each other while trying to get the ball to themselves to score. Most players accidentally get injured during the game as well.

6. Basketball


We have placed Basketball in the middle of the list because of the mid-range danger and threat that come with this sport. Besides the accidental slip and break, the game is very fast-paced. The players have limited time to score the maximum points for their team to make the big win.

Running through the court is also physically taxing, draining all the energy out of the player’s body. Besides, many people accidentally hurt themselves when jumping high and straining their muscles to score a basket.

7. Rugby


Rugby is hands down the most dangerous contact sport in the world that involves a lot of stamina and physical movement. The players not only have to protect themselves from getting tackled by ten other players, but they also need to run the expanse of the oval field.

In this game, the primary objective is to prevent the other team from doing a touchdown. Hence, tackling, accidental blocking, etc., are common in the sport.

8. Wrestling


If the name of the sport wasn’t a giveaway, Wrestling is another sport that deserves a special mention in this list. Besides the risks of muscle strain, injuries, and broken bones, wrestling also requires a lot of focus and physical strength.

Watching a wrestling match from the outside might seem fun and engaging, but it comes with many risks for the players involved in the process.

9. Martial Arts

Martial Arts

Martial arts are listed as one of the most strenuous sports in the world because of the technicalities involved. Although they are mainly used for self-defense, the sport also consists of a lot of flexibility and physical strength in the player.

Becoming a martial artist takes years, especially if you are learning it from somewhere official. Building a solid physique that represents the authenticity of the game is what makes all the difference.

10. Gymnastics


When you watch gymnastics in front of you or on the television, everything is happening with a lot of flair and poise. However, it is regarded as one of the hardest sports to play globally because it requires a lot of control and balance.

Becoming a professional gymnast isn’t a walk in the park. It requires the person to be highly agile and flexible. Also, gymnasts must prioritize their physical strength since the sport involves balancing, jumping, and hanging.

11. Tennis


Although not dangerous, tennis is undoubtedly a brutal sport to master. It isn’t just about throwing a ball in the air and then hitting it from one side of the court to the other. It involves a lot of agility in the players, especially for ones who want to make it big in this career.

The players have to master multiple qualities, including focus and strength. As a tennis player, you must be quick on your feet and proactive enough to gauge and hit the ball back to your opponent. Mastering that swiftness takes time.

12. Bull Riding

Bull Riding

Although a very unconventional sport, Bull Riding is another one that deserves a special mention. Not only is it a demanding sport, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Most players risk their lives to make it big in this sport, so you have to put a lot at stake.

From polishing one’s skills to expertise, there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to bull riding. Also, even the slightest lack of focus can take the player down, putting their life at risk.

13. Golf


Many people have a misconception about golf, thinking it’s a rich man’s sport. Although most rich people indulge in this sport, it also involves a lot of skills and expertise. From working on your aiming skills to your precision and strength, there’s a lot that a player has to master to win big on a golf field.

Being able to swing the ball yards away on the golf field is something you need time to master. The best way to practice golf is to play it. The more you play this sport, the better you understand it’s in and outs.


Which of these sports have you played? Despite being some of the hardest sports in the world, most have millions and billions of fans. So, if you are interested in the sport and want to make it big in this field, we’d recommend you train yourself to become the best version of yourself. 

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