Indonesia, a vast archipelago comprising over 17,000 islands, boasts a rich tapestry of sports that capture the hearts of its people. While there is no official national sport, Pencak Silat, a traditional martial art, holds a special place in Indonesian culture.
Surprisingly, badminton takes the top spot as Indonesia’s most popular sport. Its rise to prominence can be traced back to the influence of Chinese minorities who promoted the sport. It remains the favorite pastime, and during the 1990s, Indonesia’s dominance in badminton competitions was globally recognized. Icons like Susi Susanti and Taufik Hidayat have left an indelible mark, with some Indonesians naming their children after them.
Football, the world’s most popular sport, holds second place in Indonesia. Although immensely popular, it plays second fiddle to badminton. Indonesia has numerous football clubs, and the government supports the national team to nurture young talents.
Volleyball shares a close popularity ranking with football. Renowned clubs are spread across the nation, and the sport is as celebrated as football. While it doesn’t cater to children as readily as football does, it remains a significant sport in Indonesia.
Indonesia’s love for football extends to futsal, securing it the fourth position on the popularity list. Futsal, essentially indoor football on a smaller field, is especially popular among high school and college students as a way to expend energy and unwind.
Basketball rounds up the top five sports in Indonesia. While it may not be the most popular, events like the annual DBL competition and international tournaments garner significant attention. Basketball primarily appeals to the younger generation and serves as an alternative for those not inclined toward football.