Pop-Quiz: What’s the Toughest Sport to Play?
By The Editors

You think you know tough? If so, try our “Toughest Sports” quiz and find out which is tougher: Boxing, Football or Ice Hockey? Or which rodeo sport is toughest: Bronc Riding, Calf Roping or Steer Wrestling?

Pop-Quiz: What’s the Toughest Sport to Play?


What’s the easiest sport to play?

How would you rank Boxing, Football and Ice Hockey?

How does Gymnastics stack up to Water Polo?

Let’s start at the bottom of ESPN’s list of toughest sports in the world:

1. According to the ESPN list, which is the easiest sport to play?

A. Billiards

B. Fishing

Scroll down for answers, which are based on the evaluation of ESPN’s panel of experts using this set of criteria:

  1. Endurance
  2. Strength
  3. Power
  4. Speed
  5. Agility
  6. Flexibility
  7. Nerve
  8. Durability
  9. Hand-Eye Coordination
  10. Analytic Aptitude

2. As for the toughest sport to play?

A. Boxing

B. Football

C. Ice Hockey.

How would you rank those three?

3. What about Gymnastics vs. Water Polo?

4. How would you rank these three sports:

A. Lacrosse

B. Rugby

C. Soccer

5. Rodeo sports: 

A. Bull/Bareback/Bronc Riding

B. Calf Roping

C. Steer Wrestling?

6. Badminton vs. Golf?

7. Martial Arts vs. Wrestling?

8. Click here to take our pop-quiz on which sports are the most mentally challenging. (Spoiler alert: Russian roulette did not make the list this year.)

9. And click here to take our pop-quiz on the 10 most dangerous sports in the world. (Spoiler alert: About 20,000 people a year are injured while cheerleading.)


1. Fishing (#60) is the easiest sport to play; Billiards (#59) is second to last on the list.

2. Boxing (#1) is the toughest sport; Ice Hockey is #2, and Football is #3.

3. Gymnastics (#8) is tougher than Water Polo (#11). Interesting side note: Water Polo tied for #11 with Alpine Skiing.

4. According to ESPN’s panel, of these three sports — Soccer, Rugby and Lacrosse—Soccer (#10), unlikely as it seems, is the toughest, followed by Rugby (#13) then Lacrosse (#14). A quick sidenote: This is a rugby scrum —

Scrum. (Image: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)

So, just remember, the next time you’re in the middle of a scrum, according to ESPN, it could be worse: you could be playing soccer.

5. The toughest rodeo sport on the list is Steer Wrestling (#15), followed by Calf Roping (#40) and Bull/Bareback/Bronc Riding (#42). Bronc-riding is tough, but according to ESPN, it’s no soccer.

6. Badminton (#30) is a lot tougher than Golf (#51).

7. Wrestling (#5) is tougher than Martial Arts (#6).