Top 10 Sports in Australia

Each country has a unique culture, cuisine, geography, tradition, social norms, and lifestyle, but some have a truly unique status, just like Australia. 

Dubbed as “Land Down Under,” some explorers discovered Australia during their search for the land under Asia in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia is the biggest continent country and is globally famous for its natural wonders, beaches, deserts, wide-open spaces, “The Bush,” and “The Outback.” 

It prides itself as one of the world’s most highly urbanized countries and very famous for its stunning megacities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. Besides all these amazing facts about the country, it also boasts of a sports-loving nation. Australians are sports-loving people. Younger kids are trained and exposed to different sports, so they learn to love them early.

Today, social sport is becoming more and more popular with younger generations since children start to play even at their preschool stage.

Take a look at some of the most popular sports in Australia and know why they are so widely played and watched.

TOP 10 OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR SPORTS

1. NETBALL

women playing netball

Since 1897, Australians play Netball. Both women and children of all ages play Netball. Regularly, there are approximately 503,000 children, and 343,000 adults play the game. The country’s international team, the Diamonds, has won 10 out of the 14 Netball World Tournament since 1963.

2. National Rugby League (NRL)

Rugby players running on the field

National Rugby League or NRL is Australia’s top-level domestic men’s rugby league club competition. It comprises clubs from the original Sydney club Rugby League competition, which had been running continuously since 1908.

No wonder NRL is one of the most popular sports in Australia, as there are an estimated 170,000 registered players for NRL throughout the country. Meanwhile, there are over 770,000 people play different versions of the sport.

3. CRICKET

Cricket is one most popular summer sport in Australia and was even considered the national summer sport as it is widely played at international, domestic, and local levels. In addition, Cricket Australia is the peak administrative body for both professional and amateur cricket. In the 2017-18 National Cricket Census, there are 1,558,821 Australians engaged in cricket competitions or programs – an increase of 9% from the previous year.

The sport is most loved by women, and about 30% of the players are females-6 out of 10 players- one of the highest year-on-year participation growth figures. Approximately there are over 2.3 million people who attended cricket during the 2017–18 summer, surpassing the 2016–17 record with 1.8 million. Regularly, there are about 631,000 children, and 328,000 adults play cricket.

4. TENNIS

Tennis Australia (formerly known as the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia or LTAA) administers Tennis in Australia since 1904.

The Australian Open, managed by Tennis Australia, is one of the Grand Slam events of the year. It was first played in Melbourne in 1905 and was initially known as the Australasian Championships that then became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. When in Australia, don’t miss watching Tennis. More than 960,000 people play tennis in the country.

5. Australian Football League (AFL)

two rugby players in blue, both trying to get the ball

Australian football, also called Australian rules football, or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of 18 players. It is done on an oval field, often a modified cricket ground. Each year, more and more Australians play this sport, that it had reached over 1.5 million people who participate in this sport.

It is one of the most played sports in Australia, and one of the most-watched sports, particularly in Victoria and South Australia.

6. BASKETBALL

men playing basketball

There are over 1.08 million participants in basketball in Australia, and even children have started to love the sport. Australian basketballers have been participating and excelling in the big league over in America. According to a survey, 1 in 3 Australians love basketball, either playing or watching.

7. HORSE RACING 

One important spectator sport in the country is Thoroughbred horse racing. Gambling on horse races is also a very popular pastime. There are two forms of Thoroughbred horseracing in Australia: flat racing and races over fences or hurdles in Victoria and South Australia.

8. SOCCER

A boy kicking a soccer ball

Since the 1800s, Australians have been playing soccer. Currently, there are over 2 million people play soccer in the country. The Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the national governing body of the sport, which until 2019, organized the A-League, W-League. In addition, it organizes the FFA Cup and the men’s and women’s national teams (known as the Socceroos and the Matildas, respectively).

9. CYCLING

Cycling is one of the most loved activities by children, thus became also one of the most popular sports among adults. Today, there is more than 2.4 million Australians cycle either for travel, exercise, or competitions.

10. SWIMMING

a female swimmer on a race

There are about 3.1 million people in Australia that swim regularly. It is regarded as the most popular among all sports in the country because Australians love swimming regardless of age. It is no doubt because the country is surrounded by beautiful beaches that are too lovely not to be enjoyed.