Top 10 Most Played Indoor Games and Indoor Sports for Youth Around the World

Playing your favorite indoor games and sports is a great way of promoting physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle. Here is a list of the most played indoor sports and games in popular indoor sports centers all over the world.

Sports are great stress busters and mood lifters. Indoor sports are played in closed environments and are more convenient to play, as they are not affected by weather conditions like rain and snow.

What are Indoor Games?

These are sports or games that you can play at home on in indoor sports facilities. You can play these indoor sports all through the year in any country of the world. The list of indoor games also includes  sports that can be played indoors as well as outdoors,  like Tennis and Volleyball.

Top 10 Most Played Indoor Games List

  1. Playing your Favorite Sport: Indoor Basketball Game

Among Indoor sports, Basketball is one of the most popular indoor games for youth and a very inspiring one as well. It is also one of the most popular indoor sport in America.

Most Played Indoor Games

  • One of the benefits of playing your favorite sport, basketball, is that it instills a team spirit and sharpens your reflexes.
  • James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 in order to find a recreational game for children indoors.
  • The main objective is to get points by shooting the ball inside the opposite team’s basket, with the basket at a height of 10 feet. Dribbling and passing the ball are the major moves for advancing towards the opponent’s basket, with 5 players in each team.
  • The NBA is one of the top basketball leagues, of which the US and Canada are member nations.
  1. Swimming: Most Popular Indoor Sport

Swimming was first introduced in Olympics in 1896 and is one of the most popular indoor sport as well as a versatile sport.

top 10 indoor games list

  • Swimming offers a full workout for all the major muscles of the body, strengthens your heart and lungs, reduces stress and is ideal as a physical therapy if you want a low impact exercise.
  • There are different strokes, with the Breaststroke being the slowest one. It is a great sport to enjoy.
  • Open water swimming dates back to about 2000 years. Ancient paintings in Egypt show people swimming in 2500 BCE.

Ancient paintings in Egypt show people swimming in 2500 BCE(Source:

  • The benefits of indoor sports like this one is that an hour of swimming vigorously can help you burn about 650 calories, much more than biking or walking. It is among the best indoor sports.

Note: Residential swimming pools are very popular even in small nations. New Zealand has around 4,000,000 residential pools!

  1. Boxing: High Energy Indoor Game

Boxing was legally recognized in 1901 and is part of sports that fall under the indoor category.  The official name is pugilism, which means fighting with the fists. Boxing was introduced in Ancient Greece and became a part of Olympic Games in the year 688 BC.

most popular indoor sport and games

  • Boxing can be considered one of the toughest sport, but many people love the sport and want to become a professional boxer.
  • It is a complex physical sport involving 9 to 12 rounds, each lasting for 3 minutes. Fighters can rest for a minute between the rounds.

Note: Muhammad Ali was  one of the best known boxers. He is known for giving autographs to all his fans.

  • Boxing is a sport that is physically demanding on your lungs and heart, but if you can handle it, it increases muscle; reduces stress and improves life expectancy. You sleep better and are at reduced risk for a heart attack or a stroke.
  1. Volleyball: Most Popular Indoor Game

Volleyball was originally called Mintonette and was invented by William G. Morgan in the year 1895 and first introduced in the Olympics in 1964. It was later called Volleyball, due to the volleying of the ball in the sport. Today, this team game has more than one billion players all over the world.

most popular indoor sport

  • Volleyball is a little similar to tennis, handball and badminton and is one of the most popular team sport. It is played with 6 players in each team, separated by a net. The teams try to score by landing the ball in the opposite court.
  • A volleyball player typically jumps about 300 times during a game. It’s a great means of burning calories.

Note: You can burn around 585 calories by playing for 45 minutes.

  • It also strengthens upper body; shoulders; thighs; abdomen; lower legs; improves hand eye coordination and reflexes.
  • The game makes use of some colorful terms like pancake; kong; goofy; joust and so on. Check out this pancake!
  1. Chess: One of The Most Played Indoor Board Game

Chess is one of the most mind blowing board games or indoor sport to exercise your brain! The first chessboard, as it is seen today, was created in 1090. It has been officially recognized as a sport in the Olympics at the turn of this millennium.

sports that fall under the indoor category

Note: Interestingly, the folding chess book was created by a priest who was not allowed to play the game, so he made a folding one that just looked like two books!

  • Chess is one of the indoor recreational activities that exercises the mind rather than the body. Players use their brain in predicting the opponent’s next move and how they can counter it to win the game. It is a tactic oriented indoor sport.
  • In Chess there are 318,979,564,000 ways of playing the first 4 opening moves!
  • It has a long history, having originated in India in the Gupta empire, and known as Chaturanga, and then moving to the west in the 9th century.

what are indoor games(source:

  1. Most Popular Indoor Game: Badminton

Badminton is the fastest racquet sport needing fast reflexes and a super conditioning. It was included in the Olympics Games in 1992.

importance of indoor games

  • Badminton is a recreational game that is more intense than tennis!
  • Ti Jianzi was a Chinese game, a forerunner of the modern Badminton, played with the feet to hit the shuttlecock and is still played this way in China.

list of indoor games(Source:

  • Today, Badminton is played with a shuttlecock (a feathered projectile) and a racquet, either as singles; doubles; or mixed doubles; on either side of a net.
  • It helps in building strength, muscle power and endurance as well as quick reflexes. It is an easy and effective way to remain active. Badminton also relieves stress and is a mood booster. You can also enjoy a fun and relaxed game with the shuttlecock just drifting across to and fro.
  1. Indoor Table Games: Table Tennis

Table Tennis was basically a parlor game that started in 1880, when lawn tennis was adapted to be played indoors during the winters. It is also called Ping Pong. It was recognized as an Olympic Game in 1988 in Seoul.

indoor games for youth

  • The game saw a major upturn with the invention of sponge in the bats, as it now introduced spin, making the ball move in a magical way.
  • It improves hand eye coordination. When played intensely, you can lose a lot of calories and get fit. It improves reflexes and mental acuity and offers a great way to improve core strength.
  • According to Alzheimer’s Weekly, this high energy game improves motor skills as well as cognitive awareness and can prevent dementia.
  1. Bowling: Fastest Growing Indoor Sport

The game of Bowling traces its ancestry back to 3200 BC, with crude bowling objects collected in an Egyptian grave. Today, it is a $4 billion industry in the US with more than 3000 centers all over the country. It is one of the most inspiring sport and was featured in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

benefits of indoor sports

  • New York city was the first place where indoor bowling lanes were built in 1840, with the largest bowling center being in Japan, with 116 lanes.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, has the second biggest bowling alley of the world and the biggest in the US.
  • Earlier, the balls used to be made of wood and later in heavy rubber. Later, in 1960, there were plastic balls in bright colors.
  • It helps in muscle toning, strengthening and weight loss. You exercise your legs and work the rest of the body when you lift and swing the ball down the lane. It also improves your social life by bowling in leagues.
  1. Billiards/Pool: Most Versatile Indoor Sport

Billiards/Pool is inspired by a lawn game like croquet, with the table being green to represent the lawn. It was the first sport with a world championship in the year 1873. Today, it is a casual game played in bars and pubs, played with pool sticks/cues, using them to hit hard balls into the 6 pockets on the table.

indoor recreational activities

Note: Interestingly, Tom Cruise did all the trick shots himself in The Color of Money.

  • The first billiard table in history was found in King Louis XI inventory. It consisted of a stone bed covered with a cloth and a hole in the middle where the balls were driven.
  • The word ‘cue’ in the game is derived from the French word ‘queue’, which means ‘tail’.
  • Billiards helps mental agility and helps in building focus and concentration. It also helps in stretching and improves balance. It sharpens your mind and helps you to remain more in control without panicking.
  1. Tennis: Most Played Indoor Game

European monks used to play tennis for recreation in a religious ceremony during the 11th century. Earlier, they used the hand, then a leather glove and then the racquet. The ball was first wooden, then evolved to  a leather one with cellulose. It was popular in France and played by the royal family. It is one of the fastest growing sport of the world with billions of people all over the world playing this sport.

most popular indoor sport in America

  • Tennis is a racquet sport that can be played indoors or outdoors by two individuals (singles) or two teams (doubles).
  • In the history of American sports, the US Open was first held in 1881. Today, the prize money is around $15 million.
  • Tennis improves skill as well as accuracy and agility.

Some More Extensively Played Indoor Games and Sports

  • Squash
  • Kabaddi
  • Box Lacrosse
  • Team Handball
  • Cycling
  • Martial Arts
  • Floorball
  • Ice Hockey
  • Fencing
  • Gymnastics
  • Water Polo
  • Wrestling
  • Figure Skating
  • Ringette
  • Carrom

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Wrap Up

Physical activity of any kind is better than just being a couch potato all day long. The importance of indoor games cannot be stressed enough! Apart from the physical benefits of such sports, these games also teach teamwork and are great as social activities. Whether you play these indoor games at your home or in a community center, it offers a great way of bonding with others while also staying fit and losing weight. It helps building relationships and brings family and friends closer together.

As with any sports, there is always the risk of injury.

  • Wear the appropriate shoes and gear required for each of these sports.
  • Use good technique.
  • Warm Up, stretching and some aerobic activities are advised before playing.
  • Take part in training programs for flexibility and endurance.
  • Last but not least, remain hydrated.

So if you want to be fit and agile,  just grab a few of your friends and head over to the nearest indoor court to enjoy these excellent indoor games. Be sure to have a lot of fun when you play indoor games.

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