Are you a soccer fan? Baseball? Whatever your spectator sport of choice, it’s easy to forget how hard those athletes are working when we have beer in hand or are chilling on the couch. Here’s a quick breakdown of the average distance athletes from all different types of sports run in a single game or event.
Players in soccer’s World Cup, will run an estimated 7 miles per game. (And the refs will run even more!) Here’s how that compares to athletes in other sports.
Baseball: .046 miles
This is a rather generous estimate that translates into approximately 242 feet per game, taken from the statistics of the current Major League Baseball batting leader Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies. The distance between each base is 90 feet. Adding all of the singles, doubles, triples, stolen bases, and home runs that Tulowitzki has logged during the 49 regular season games played since press time, the total distance run comes to just more than 2 miles. Those not as successful at the plate log even less mileage—or more accurately, feet.
Football: 1.25 miles for receivers and cornerbacks
Football players don’t have a lot of time to travel very far. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average NFL game includes only 11 minutes of actual playing time. Receivers and cornerbacks run the most at just over one mile a game. That’s still an impressive feat considering 11 massive and highly trained athletes would prefer they run as little as possible.
Basketball: 2.9 miles
Cutting-edge tracking technology called SportVU has allowed coaches and statisticians to track NBA player performance in real time, including the distance traveled per game. This is another generous estimate, averaging SportVU’s distance traveled from the top ten hardwood pounders. Running the most during the 2014 season was Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls at 3.1 miles per game.
Tennis: 3 miles
Distance traveled depends heavily on playing style and the duration of a match, but competitive players can expect to shuffle and sprint nearly a 5K while chasing down balls. During the longest recorded tennis match, at Wimbledon in 2010, it’s estimated that John Isner and Nicholas Mahut each ran about 6 miles during 11 hours and five minutes of play.
Field Hockey: 5.6 miles
According to Tribesports, field hockey players travel more than athletes in almost any other sport, chasing and defending the ball for nearly a 10K during 70 minutes of play.
Soccer: 7 miles
A large field, a fast moving ball, and rare substitutions mean soccer players can expect to log some heavy mileage over 90-plus minutes. Midfielders tend to run the most, sometimes reaching nearly 9.5 miles,according to SportVU.