We are often mesmerised at the skill and display of elite sports men and women, and even more so at the pace that they do it. Here are the top ten fastest ball games in the world, ranked.
The skill of sports men and women is often something to be widely admired, and even more so when you take into consideration the speed and pace with which the world’s most popular games need to be played it.
From golf to cricket, from baseball to tennis, and even homegrown Irish sports, we are often left in awe at the speed and velocity that these athletes play their chosen trade.
Here are the top ten fastest ball games in the world, ranked.
10. Lacrosse (120 kilometres/75 miles p/h) – a Native American sport
Lacrosse is a team game that originates from Native American communities. It’s played at such a pace as to rank in the top ten fastest ball games in the world.
The object of the game is to score in the opponents’ goal using a lacrosse stick (or ‘crosse’). Question is, who will get there quicker?
9. Cricket (161.3 kilometres/100 miles p/h) – first in England, now global
Next up is the game of cricket, first played in England back in the 16th-century. Now, it is one of the most famous games played across the globe.
At speeds of over 160 kilometres p/h (100 miles p/h), the game played with a bat and ball is a shoe-in on our list of the fastest ball games in the world.
8. Baseball (168.9 kilometres/105 miles p/h) – it’s an American thing
One of America’s most popular sports, the game of baseball has reached incredible speeds. This only adds to the thrill of the game.
In 2010, Aroldis Chapman was recorded as throwing the ball at a speed of 168.9 kilometres p/h (105.1 miles p/h). And he was a rookie!
7. Hurling (181 kilometres/112 miles p/h) – Ireland’s pride
The native sport of Hurling holds a cherished place across the Emerald Isle. It is thousands of years old, and also one of the fastest ball games in the world.
Back in 2014, during the All-Ireland senior hurling Championship semi-final, Kilkenny marksman TJ Reid struck the sliotar at an incredible 181.1 kilometres p/h (112.5 miles p/h).
6. Football (210.8 kilometres/131 miles p/h) – the beautiful (and fast) game
The beautiful game is perhaps the world’s most popular and is also played at a ferocious pace and intensity.
According to several sources, Ronny Heberson took a strike during a football match that clocked 211 kilometres p/h (131 miles p/h).
Arjen Robben is a close second at 190km p/h (119 miles p/h), and yet still pinches hurling in this list of the fastest ball games in the world.
5. Tennis (263.4 kilometres/164 miles p/h) – one of the fastest ball games in the world
A racket sport, tennis involves either one against one or teams of two facing against each other. This sport was first played back in 1859.
Reaching a vast speed of 263.4 kilometres p/h (163 miles p/h), tennis is an exhilarating sport that leaves you glued to the action.
4. Squash (281.6 kilometres/175 miles p/h) – outfoxing your opponent
Next up on our list of the fastest ball games in the world is squash. Despite how simple the four-walled game may look, speeds can reach an impressive 281.6 kilometres p/h (175 miles p/h).
Players, often one on one or in a team game, hit a small ball off the wall repeatedly in a manner that the opponent cannot return the favour.
3. Jai Alai (302 kilometres/188 miles p/h) – for a merry set of games
Jai Alai is quite similar to squash, however it involves bouncing a ball off the wall using a hand-held wicker cesta.
The game was established in the Basque country. ‘Jai Alai’ translates to ‘merry festival’. The game is played more prominently in Spain, the south-west of France, and Latin American countries.
2. Pelota (305 kilometres/190 miles p/h) – dating back to 13th century Spain
This Spanish sport dates its historical origins back into the 13th century, and is still played widely today. It couldn’t be amiss in our list of the fastest ball games in the world.
The game is played in a court where a player uses his or her hand, racket, bat, or basket to hit the ball. Balls have been known to reach a frightening 305 km p/h (189.5 miles p/h).
1. Golf (339.6 kilometres/211 miles p/h) – for astonishing speeds and entertainment
In the wake of the Ryder Cup, we see easily why the worldwide sport of golf ranks first on our list of the fastest ball games in the world.
Despite its relaxing nature or supposed lack of physical movement, it actually takes a great deal of speed and strength to play the game. Golf balls have reached astonishing speeds of just under 340 km p/h (201 miles p/h).