The Most Popular Sport in Ethiopia: Revealing the Nation's Favorite Sporting Pastime

Choose the Game you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 4, 2023 09:22
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your voice matters! We're excited to present you with our latest ranking: "What is the most popular sport in Ethiopia?" As a nation rich in culture and history, Ethiopia boasts a plethora of sports that capture the hearts of millions. Now, we need your help to crown the ultimate fan-favorite! Dive into our dynamic poll featuring everything from the high-intensity athletics of long-distance running to the strategic finesse of football, and many more exhilarating options. Don't see your preferred sport listed? No problem! Simply suggest a missing option, and let your passion be heard. So, gear up and join the race to determine Ethiopia's reigning champion of sports. Cast your vote now and be part of this thrilling showdown only at StrawPoll!

What Is the Most Popular Sport in Ethiopia? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    Ethiopia is known for producing world-class long-distance runners, including Olympic gold medalists Haile Gebrselassie and Tirunesh Dibaba.
    Athletics, also known as Track and Field, is a popular sport in Ethiopia that involves various running, jumping, and throwing events. It is a discipline that combines strength, speed, agility, and endurance. Competitions take place on tracks, fields, and in stadiums.
    • Events: Various events include sprints, middle-distance and long-distance races, hurdles, relays, marathon, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, shot put, javelin throw, and discus throw.
    • Participation: Both men and women participate in Athletics (Track and Field) events.
    • Training: Athletes train extensively to improve their speed, strength, flexibility, and technique for their specific events.
    • Ethiopian Success in Athletics: Ethiopia has a long history of success in Athletics (Track and Field) at the international level, particularly in long-distance running events.
    • Olympic Success: Ethiopian athletes have won numerous Olympic medals in Athletics (Track and Field) events.
  2. 2
    Football is widely played and followed in Ethiopia, with the national team's most notable achievement being winning the African Cup of Nations in 1962.
    Football, also known as soccer, is a popular sport played between two teams of eleven players each. The objective is to score goals by getting the ball into the opposing team's net, using any part of the body except for the arms and hands. It is a highly competitive and strategic game that requires skill, teamwork, and endurance.
    • Number of Players: 11 players per team
    • Field Size: Length: 100-110 meters, Width: 64-75 meters
    • Duration of Match: Two halves of 45 minutes each
    • Ball: Spherical with a circumference of 68-70 cm
    • Goal: 8 feet (2.44 meters) in height and 8 yards (7.32 meters) in width
    Football (Soccer) in other rankings
  3. 3
    Massimo Finizio · CC BY-SA 2.0 it


    James Naismith
    Basketball has gained popularity in Ethiopia in recent years, with the establishment of the Ethiopian Basketball Federation and the participation of the national team in international tournaments.
    Basketball is a fast-paced and exhilarating sport that showcases dynamic athleticism, skillful teamwork, and strategic gameplay. Played by two teams of five players each, the objective is to score points by shooting the ball through the opposing team's hoop. With its high-flying dunks, precision shooting, and rapid ball movement, basketball offers an exciting spectacle that captivates fans worldwide.
    • Number of Players: 5 players per team
    • Playing Surface: Indoor court with a hardwood floor
    • Hoops: Two standard-sized hoops, positioned at opposite ends of the court
    • Ball: Standard basketball with a circumference of 29.5-30 inches
    • Game Duration: Four quarters of 12 minutes each (NBA)
    Basketball in other rankings
  4. 4
    Alfredo Borba · CC BY-SA 4.0


    Karl Drais
    Ethiopia has a strong cycling culture, with cycling clubs and races organized throughout the country.
    Cycling is a popular aerobic exercise that involves riding a bicycle to improve cardiovascular health, build endurance, and strengthen lower body muscles. It can be done both outdoors and indoors on stationary bikes. Cycling is enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
    • Cardiovascular Benefits: It helps improve heart health and increase lung capacity.
    • Muscle Strengthening: It targets the muscles in the legs, thighs, hips, and buttocks.
    • Low-Impact Exercise: Cycling is gentle on the joints and reduces the risk of injury.
    • Calorie Burn: It is an effective way to burn calories and lose weight.
    • Improved Coordination: Cycling requires balance and coordination, enhancing motor skills.
    Cycling in other rankings
  5. 5
    Wikon1995 · CC BY-SA 3.0


    William G. Morgan
    Volleyball is a popular recreational sport in Ethiopia, and the national team has participated in international competitions.
    Volleyball is a team sport played on a rectangular court divided by a net. The objective is for each team to send the ball over the net and to ground it on the opponent's side of the court, while preventing the ball from touching the ground on their own side. It is a fast-paced and dynamic game that requires teamwork, agility, and precise ball control.
    • Number of players: 6 players per team
    • Court dimensions: 18 meters long and 9 meters wide
    • Net height: 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women
    • Scoring system: Rally scoring system
    • Ball weight: 260-280 grams
    Volleyball in other rankings
  6. 6
    Wayne Short · Public domain
    Boxing has a long history in Ethiopia, with notable boxers including Olympic medalist Mengistu Worku.
    Boxing is a popular combat sport that involves two opponents engaging in a match using their fists. It is often regarded as one of the most advanced martial arts due to its focus on strategy, technique, and physical conditioning.
    • Gloves: Boxers wear padded gloves to protect their hands and reduce the risk of injury.
    • Weight Classes: Competitors are divided into different weight classes to ensure fair matches based on similar physical attributes.
    • Rounds: Matches are typically divided into rounds, with each round lasting a specified duration (usually three minutes in professional boxing) and a short break in between.
    • Scoring: Boxing matches are scored based on effective punches, defense, ring generalship, and overall dominance.
    • Techniques: Boxing utilizes a variety of punches including jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and crosses, along with defensive moves like slips, ducks, and blocks.
    Boxing in other rankings
  7. 7
    Traditional Ethiopian wrestling, called "Dhodha," is still practiced in rural areas, while modern wrestling has gained popularity in urban areas.
    Wrestling is a physically demanding sport that involves two competitors engaging in close combat with the goal of overpowering and pinning their opponent to the ground. It is characterized by a combination of technique, strength, agility, and mental toughness.
    • Weight Classes: Wrestlers are divided into weight classes, allowing for fair competition based on size and strength.
    • Rules and Scoring: Wrestling matches are governed by specific rules that determine legality of moves, and points are awarded for various actions like takedowns, escapes, and pinning the opponent.
    • Technical Skills: Successful wrestlers possess a repertoire of techniques including throws, takedowns, holds, and moves that require immense technique, timing, and skill.
    • Physical Conditioning: Wrestlers require exceptional physical conditioning to endure intense matches that often last for several minutes, involving constant movement, explosive bursts of energy, and maintaining stamina.
    • Individual Sport: Wrestling is primarily an individual sport, with a focus on individual performance, strategy, and mental preparation.
    Wrestling in other rankings
  8. 8
    Diliff · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Tennis has gained popularity in Ethiopia, with the establishment of the Ethiopian Tennis Federation and the participation of Ethiopian players in international tournaments.
    Tennis is an elegant and fast-paced sport played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on a rectangular court. It is played with rackets and a felt-covered ball, with the objective of hitting the ball over a net into the opponent's side of the court, in a way that the opponent cannot return it. The sport requires agility, accuracy, and strategic thinking.
    • Court Dimensions: The court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles matches, and 36 feet wide for doubles matches.
    • Net Height: The height of the net is 3 feet (0.91 meters) at the center.
    • Scoring System: Tennis uses a point-based scoring system with Love (0), 15, 30, and 40 points. An additional point after 40 is required to win a game.
    • Sets and Matches: A match consists of the best of three or five sets. A player must win six or seven games (depending on the format) with a two-game advantage to win a set.
    • Serve: The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball into the service box diagonally across the net.
    Tennis in other rankings
  9. 9
    Martial Arts
    pfctdayelise · CC BY-SA 2.5

    Martial Arts

    Grandmaster Nguyen Loc
    Various martial arts, including karate, judo, and taekwondo, are practiced in Ethiopia, with the national teams participating in international competitions.
    Martial Arts, also known as Vovinam, is a popular art form in Vietnam that encompasses a wide range of combat techniques. It combines self-defense, physical training, and spiritual development, making it both a martial art and a lifestyle. The practice of Martial Arts teaches discipline, concentration, and respect for oneself and others.
    • Origin: Vietnam
    • Year of Creation: 1936
    • Philosophy: Combines Eastern martial traditions with modern principles
    • Training Techniques: Hand strikes, kicks, grappling, throws, weapon techniques
    • Uniform: White V-neck jacket, black pants, belt
    Martial Arts in other rankings
  10. 10
    Horse racing is a popular sport in Ethiopia, with regular races held at the Addis Ababa Hippodrome.
    Horse Racing is a popular sport in Ethiopia that involves the participation of jockeys riding horses in a race. The race track, often dirt or grass, provides a competitive environment for the riders and horses to showcase their speed and agility.
    • Horse breed: Ethiopian horses
    • Race distance: Typically around 1600 meters
    • Venue: Various racetracks across Ethiopia
    • Jockey attire: Traditional Ethiopian attire
    • Spectator attendance: Highly anticipated and well-attended by locals

Missing your favorite Game?


Ranking factors for popular sport

  1. Participation
    The number of people actively involved in playing the sport.
  2. Spectatorship
    The number of people who watch the sport, either in person or on TV.
  3. Success at international level
    How well the country performs in international competitions.
  4. Historical and cultural significance
    The sport's importance in Ethiopia's history and culture.
  5. Infrastructure
    The availability and quality of facilities for playing the sport.
  6. Media coverage
    The frequency and quality of media coverage the sport receives in Ethiopia.
  7. Sponsorship and investment
    The amount of financial support and investment the sport receives from government and private institutions.
  8. Accessibility
    The ease with which people can access the sport, including availability of equipment and coaching.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular sport in Ethiopia. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Game is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 160 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Game once every 24 hours. The rank of each Game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular sport in ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to a diverse range of sports, but there is one that stands out above the rest in terms of popularity: football. Known locally as "soccer", the sport has captured the hearts and minds of Ethiopians of all ages and backgrounds. Football was introduced to Ethiopia by British soldiers in the 19th century, and since then it has grown to become the country's national pastime. Ethiopian football fans are known for their passion and enthusiasm, and the country has produced a number of talented players who have gone on to achieve success both domestically and internationally. In recent years, the Ethiopian national team has struggled to make an impact on the global stage, but the sport remains hugely popular at the grassroots level, with thousands of amateur and semi-professional players taking to the field every week.