Most popular sports in Australia?

Dec 29th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Most popular sports in Australia?

Lot of sports on the One HD and Fox Sports channels, including EPL matches and NFL and NBA games.

Cricket seems to be on all the time.

How do they rank in popularity among cricket, soccer, Australian football, etc.?

Is cricket the most popular because of the history and Australia's prominence? I saw fathers teaching young boys how to swing that bat so it seems to be something of a lifelong pursuit.

I saw the Ian Thorpe aquatic center but are Olympic sports followed when the Games aren't held, which is the case in the US?
scrb11 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Cricket is undoubtedly the biggest spectator sport in summer, nationwide.

Outside the summer months, I have hard time figuring out which is most popular among Australian (Aussie) Rules, Rugby Union and Rugby League football. Part of the problem is that sports following is not uniform across the country. Correct me if I'm wrong, Aussie Fodors contributors, but I believe Australian Rules dominates in the southern states, Victoria and South Australia, less so in New South Wales and Queensland where rugby is king (which type, I cant remember - never quite figured out the difference between League and Union anyway).

And of course swimming is a huge participation sport Down Under, as is basketball. Living in Australia, I was surprised how relatively little attention was paid to soccer. Baseball and gridiron (US football) wouldn't be that far behind soccer.
RalphR is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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That's right RalphR it's Aussie Rules in Victoria and Rugby League in NSW and Queensland.

I think soccer has become more popular in the last five years or so, despite our failed bid to get the World Cup. It is way ahead of gridiron in popularity and lots more children (girls and boys) seem to play it now in Sydney at least.
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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This is Gospel according to my Aussie relatives in Law, Australians played "baseball" when younger but it was regarded as a girl's game as was basketball.
Cricket is the main game in summer as Ralph rightly said and in any other summer but this one it would be even more popular - this year the Australian cricket team has played really badly and particularly badly against their greatest foe, England, so the Aussie Cricket team is not Australia's favourite bunch at present.
Aussie Rules is mainly played in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania while Rugby League is played in Queensland and NSW as the top football game. Rugby Union is played also in NSW and Queensland and the main foe is New Zealand who are probably the best in the World.
Soccer has a good following with people from Europe and other countries. Gridiron is regarded as a "sissy" game played by men who have padded themselves up to be twice their size so they won't get hurt. I think that is the situation, at least according to the in-laws.
MaryD2 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 09:38 PM
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The only Aussie player who've made the NFL was a punter. Big for a punter but still a punter.

The padding and helmets in the NFL actually encourage much more violent collisions, leading to a repeated concussions.

NFL has a following in more regions of the world. Not always a big following but a following nevertheless.
scrb11 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 10:04 PM
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As I have never followed NFL with the exception of following the Superbowl won by the Saints earlier this year, I have no idea what a punter is. However if you were to watch an AFL game where no padding is used you may understand why the NFL are called "sissies" here.
MaryD2 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Basketball was popular in the 90's but the clubs and league seem to be going bust quite regularly. I don't know anyone who follows it or watches it, although you do see basketball rings in backyards

NFL has even less following, in the UK it has limited interest but it really has no audience outside of N. America.

There are baseball leagues in Australia but there is no coverage on TV etc

Swimmers are big stars, regardless if it is Olympic year, they are used by a lot companies for promotion and they are often in the gossip columns

As in other parts the world, cricket is huge in the summer.

Aussie rules has far more spectators than Rugby League,

In Australia, apart from Super 14's and Internatiomal matches including the World Cup, Rugby Union
has even fewer spectators than League
Geordie is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:23 AM
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics survey 2009/2010 says that Australian rules football is by far the most highly attended sport in Australia with 2.8 million attendees. Ignoring horse racing, which I'm not convinced is a sport, the next most popular was rugby Leage with 1.6m attendees, then motor sports, about the same, followed by soccer, cricket,rugby union, tennis, basketball, and netball, all well below 1.0m.

If you looked at participation I think it would be much more even but I suspect that AFL would still be the highest as it is the principal winter sport in more states.
GregY2 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Interesting use of the word "punter".

I take it a punter plays some sort of kicking role in NFL?

Here a punter is a gambler, previously on race horses, but now on varied forms of gambling. It's use has sort of widened to include the general crowd, e.g., at a football match.

And of course, there's Punter; Punter Ponting, real first name Ricky, current captain of the abovementioned abysmal and/or awful, Australian cricket team. He's out, with a broken little finger, so the Pup (Michael Clarke) is the fill-in captain for the final, Sydney Test, starting Monday. I think there'll be some sort of national suicide if we lose this one!

Happy New Year, all!
margo_oz is online now  
Dec 31st, 2010, 01:18 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, it seems some Aussie golfers have made a splash in international competition in recent years, more so than tennis players.

Cricket seems to be something pursued only in former colonies of the British Empire? Rugby seems to be similar. Though cricket, with the population of India alone, may have a big global following.

Aussie Rules, is it played outside of the country?
scrb11 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Cricket is also played in Holland.

Soccer and netball are the biggest participation sports in Australia but more people fish, just less often.

I also would not call horse racing a sport. Nor would I give it primary production status and all the tax breaks which go with that.
AlanJG is offline  
Jan 1st, 2011, 02:05 AM
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Netball has the biggest following across Australia though usually played by women. Tennis, hockey, swimming, rowing are all extremely popular as well
Karen246 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 08:47 PM
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They play cricket in Sweden, too. (amazing!)

A Kiwi friend living in Sweden played for the Swedish team at tournaments in Greece!
margo_oz is online now  

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