Major achievements in Olympic team ball sports by nation
This article contains lists of achievements in major senior-level international Olympic team ball sports tournaments according to first-place, second-place and third-place results obtained by teams representing different nations. The objective is not to create combined medal tables; the focus is listing the best positions achieved by teams in major international tournaments, ranking every nation according to most number of podiums accomplished by each nations team.
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Olympic team ball sports
|Sport||First edition||Team members||Contact|
|(Association) football||1900||1996||11 per side||Limited|
|Water polo||1900||2000||7 per side||Full|
|Field hockey||1908||1980||11 per side||Limited|
|Ice hockey*||1920||1998||6 per side||Full|
|Basketball||1936||1976||5 per side||Limited|
|(Indoor) volleyball||1964||1964||6 per side||None|
|(Indoor) handball†||1972||1976||7 per side||Limited|
|Baseball‡||1992||--||9 per side||Limited|
|Softball‡||--||1996||9 per side||Limited|
|Rugby sevens||2016||2016||7 per side||Full|
*Technically, ice hockey is a puck sport, not a ball sport. It is played with a hockey puck.
†Field handball was introduced for men at the 1936 Summer Olympics, but dropped after that.
‡Baseball and softball were removed from the program for the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, but were added for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Popularity of Olympic team ball sports
Summer Olympic sports are divided into five categories based on popularity. Category A represents the most popular sports; category E lists either the sports that are the least popular or that are new to the Olympics (golf and rugby). The current categories are:
|Category||Summer Olympic Sport|
|A||Athletics, aquatics, gymnastics|
|B||Basketball, cycling, football, tennis, volleyball|
|C||Archery, badminton, boxing, judo, rowing, shooting, table tennis, weightlifting|
|D||Canoe/kayaking, equestrian, fencing, handball, field hockey, sailing, taekwondo, triathlon, wrestling|
|E||Modern pentathlon, golf, rugby|
- Basketball, football, and volleyball, in the Category B, are the most popular Summer Olympic team ball sports.
- Aquatic sports in the Olympics include diving, marathon swimming, swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo.
- Baseball and softball were removed from the program for the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, so they are not listed above.
- Ice hockey is a Winter Olympic sport, and it is not listed above.
For the making of these lists, results from following major international tournaments were consulted:
- IOC: International Olympic Committee
- FIBA: International Basketball Federation
- FIFA: Fédération Internationale de Football Association
- FIH: International Hockey Federation
- FINA: Fédération internationale de natation
- FIVB: Fédération Internationale de Volleyball
- IHF: International Handball Federation
- IIHF: International Ice Hockey Federation
- WBSC: World Baseball Softball Confederation
- WR: World Rugby
Medals for the demonstration events are NOT counted. Medals earned by athletes from defunct National Olympic Committees (NOCs) or historical teams are NOT merged with the results achieved by their immediate successor states. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does NOT combine medals of these nations or teams.
The conventions used on these lists are: OG for Olympic Games, WCH for World Championship, WCup for World Cup, M for Men's tournament, W for Women's tournament, and T for Total.
The tables are pre-sorted by total number of first-place results, second-place results and third-place results, then most first-place results, second-place results, respectively. When equal ranks are given, nations are listed in alphabetical order.