The sports that are popular in Australia can be very different to elsewhere around the world, and in addition there are regional differences in the popularity of sports, for example the most popular football code in Sydney is Rugby League, while in Melbourne it is Australian Football. Here is a discussion and lists of the most popular sports in Australia. See more lists of top sports by country.
Aussie Rules is the most popular sport to watch
We have three lists of popular sports in Australia that can be compared, the list of the most popular sports search terms, the list of attendance figures for sports in Australia, and the number of participants in sports and activities. Australian Rules Football is clearly the most popular spectator sport in Australia with huge crowds attending matches each Winter throughout Australia. However, in terms of participation more men play golf, cricket and tennis. Rugby league is another popular sport, but not as a sport to play.
It is also interesting to see that what people are interested in and search for online can be quite different to what they actually go to watch. It also highlights the difficulty in defining 'popular' sport - is it what people are most interested in, what they play the most or what they watch? The lists are summarized below.
|Tennis (indoor and outdoor)
- Lists of top sports by country.
- Other top 10 lists of the world's most popular sports
- All about sport in Australia
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- The Ashes is the biggest celebrate rivalry in sports history.Adam B (2013)
- i would have to say that QLD vs NSW would have to be just saying. Will T Adam B (2014)
- its kinda true tho. altough the ashes is a big rivalry. Wil W Kohan H (2018)
- Sorry, but Liverpool vs Manchester United is the greatest rivalry in sport. Riley Navarrete Adam B (2017)
- Its FOOTBALL and AFL is the boring one. Udbhav Saha Guest (2017)
- Yeah well in Australia it's SOCCER and it's super boring. AFL is the toughest sport on earth. Old mate Udbhav Saha (2017)
- Mate have you seen rugby? Bout twice the size of the lanky men on AFL. Brooooo old mate (2018)
- Just because people are bigger doesn't mean it's better both sports are great so try to be positive please ;). Little Nymmy Brooooo (2018)
- Ummm... I dont get how you think SOCCER THE MOST PLAYED AND WATCHED SPORT IN THE WORLD IS BORING!!! ULTIMATECOW Gaming and more Guest (2018)
- india vs pakistan, no match in the world. Rahul Sharma Adam B (2017)
- Literally only 2 countries watch. They get a billion views every time they play. Udbhav Saha Rahul Sharma (2017)
- Jack, Cricket is the 2nd most popular sport in world and Australia produced some of the world's greatest cricketers in history. India's Sachin Tendulkar is one of the most famous sportsmen in the world. Pakistan and England also produced great cricketers. And because of t20's it is also being played in Nepal,Papa new Guinea and others.Next time everybody watch kfc bigbash. Tom (2013)
- Elizabeth, i play girls cricket and i play rep we have over 100 girls in sydney who play definitely cricket should be 1st. Lizzy_cricket Tom (2018)
- u people are mad! how can horse racing, motor sport and soccer be more attended than cricket? there have been record crowds during the ashes and the big bash league is attracting more crowd than A-League. Certainly soccer is less popular than cricket in australia from all aspects... Arko (2013)
- Mark Moulin Mr Paul Balls (2019)
Cricket is an elite sport played by posh people. It is also extremely boring, large periods were literally nothing happens!! I bet it feels great to be the best at a sport that most of the world couldn't give a toss about? Take out Indian subcontinent and Australia, please tell me where Cricket is a big sport?
- Beastie84 Mark Moulin (2019)
England, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, NZ.
- Harry Arko (2014)
the melbourne cup get 150,000 a day
- Arko harry (2014)
I think that AFL is most attended because it is played in the weekends, just like Premier League in England. I can assure you that the attendances would grow up to 30,000 average (of course it won't beat AFL though) if the Big Bash League is played throughout the summer only in the weekends. I think the less attendances in many of the Big Bash matches are due to the weekdays' schedule...
- MLGASFUDGE Arko (2016)
seriously have you been to the gabba it sometimes gets 15k for AFL and about 23k for Big Bash!!!
- Dan MLGASFUDGE (2016)
Have any of you noticed that QLD is the outlier of the majority of these statistics? That is because we, as a state, prefer rugby league over AFL, and cricket is the perhaps the top summer sport afl is the fastest growing sport in QLD, but isn't on the scale of rugby league yet. I have played both sports and cricket and while I see cricket as the better sport afl is a clear winner of the other two.
- Jack (2013)
All these people saying cricket is the most popular sport, have you been to a domestic competition match before? There are all of about 25 people in the crowd. Even though League doesn't score as many viewers as AFL, 10,000 is still a long way from 25.
- Andrew Jack (2014)
AFL is played mostly in victoria, cricket is played nationally giving it a higher number of particpants overall.
- Brendan Andrew (2014)
AFL is played in all of australia, Vic, SA, Wa, are especially fanatical. NSW and dont't really turn up to sports and when they do they just show up to rugby in small numbers or to watch the snoozefest which is soccer. Also have you not seen the BBL?
- Sto cazzo Brendan (2015)
Snoozefest because the level of football(soccer) in Australia is terrible!
- Ian senior Jack (2015)
Cricket audiences developed as a transistor radio audience. Test matches of 5 or 6 days made it so. Today with TV audiences, it is changing but the reality of a live audience is seen at a limited overs Final, at a World championship.: also at a Test final on a Saturday if two teams are world class. The main point is however cricket, the world's no 2 sport cannot be rated in terms of a live audience. It is in all likelihood, Australia's most popular sport as well.
- Mastro (2013)
"Most Participants" - Aerobics, Golf, Tennis, Lawn Bowls... Haha! Shows how credible this site is...
- Vicky Mastro (2014)
Cricket is probably really popular to watch and is played professionally but normal everyday people would probably partake in Aerobics and Golf more often than cricket.
- Aps chauhan (2013)
Whats u saying when u look the size of mcg the talk me cricket is the most popular sport in australia and i hope they r preparing for ashes boxing day test
- Rod Davies (2013)
anyone who doesn't think AFL is the most popular is a dumbass...anyone who doesn't like is it even dumber, and I am NOT a Victorian.
- TheFrog Rod Davies (2014)
Like watching seagulls fight over a chip.
- Frank (2014)
Soccer is the No 1 sport in the world - FACT
Soccer is played by the most people in the world - FACT
Soccer is viewed by the most people in the world - FACT
- Sto cazzo josh (2015)
It will veeeeery soon, before you know it!
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2015)
It really won't mate. Australia's football landscape is VASTLY more complex than the rest of the world by a fair margin, and the notion that soccer's popularity elsewhere will ensure success in Australia is based on the same flimsy logic that StarBucks employed when it opened hundreds of stores across Australia. Soccer people think Australia is sports mad, and therefore will become equally as mad about their game as other countries. Similarly, Starbucks saw a coffee loving nation and assumed their chains, which had been embraced by people all over Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East would be an instant success in Australia due to its size, power and branding. What both fail to appreciate is the depth and breadth of the vast array of local offerings and identities surrounding them. It was easy for soccer in many countries - they had no local concept of football before the British brought it to them, and so had fertile ground for the game to grow 100 years ago. Most of these countries have never attempted to create something genuinely their own, and so have just been happy to be part of the British code. But Australia has its own codes, one genuinely ours, and two others that Australia and New Zealand have heavily shaped and guided to the point where almost all the rule changes over the last half century have been driven by administrations in Sydney and Auckland (or Johannesburg).
- Dotpols Frank (2015)
Pakistan v India in the cricket world cup smashed the viewing records for any single sporting contest that wasn't a final. FACT.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2017)
Yes, just because India and Pakistan together have a population of 1.5 billion people. 99% of the rest of the world dont care about that game. FACT
- Old mate Sto cazzo (2017)
It's the biggest sport in the world after soccer mate
- TheFrog (2014)
They've got in "most searched" NRL at 4 and Rugby League at 10. Of course
they are both the same sport. Maybe they would be higher than 4 if combined.
- Stu TheFrog (2014)
no, they searched the competition and then the game rugby league, and by the way NRL just had its worst year ever with record low crowds and viewer numbers! goodbye league
- Dingus stu (2015)
TV numbers were also at an all-time high, been beating AFL tv numbers for a while but crushed them last year. A lot of people have lost faith in watching league, because it has become a slower game being stopped a lot, a much softer game than it used to be (let's face it, most people watch league because it is tough, and there are big hits compared to it's other football counterparts)
League has also become more expensive to get into not just for tickets, but prices of food and drink inside, you can't bring your own food/drinks. And let's also be honest here, league is much more popular among middle to lower socioeconomic classes, who need to budget.
This all translates to watching it on tv instead, which explains the numbers. League makes quite a pretty penny for tv viewing rights, sponsors and merchandise. Avg crowds are bad, but State of Origin always sells out (unless you're a QLD'er and it's game III after you were blown out 2-0, even NSW showed up in full capacity for game III's after losing the series)
- John stu (2014)
I loved the NRL 9's this year! That will probably take over in a few years!
- Jay stu (2014)
Yeh, and they are the same thing! How can you mean anything other than the NRL if you are searching for "Rugby League" in Australia? There is no other Rugby League.
People probably also type in Football for both AFL and League so Soccer is way over-inflated as well.
- VictoriansAreStupid (2013)
Must of been written by a Victorian.
- Tim Grin (2014)
Cricket is not even a sport, it's time waster, like golf and taking a swim at the beach. and is just much less interesting then watching the paint dry!lol
- Jaz (2013)
what about netball ? everyone leaves it out !!!
- William Taylor jaz (2017)
Obviously it's not in the top 10
- Sto cazzo jaz (2017)
Netball is not a sport
- Christian Milazzo (2017)
Chelsea vs Arsenal is biggest sports rivalry ever and Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers is the biggest rivalry in Australia
- Jai Prithvi raj Chauhan (2016)
sachintendulkar and gary sobers are greater than pele and marodona.
- VERNON (2014)
Do u know, all the Countries which belongs to the Europe Union are engaging in Cycling, 28 Countries, big countries such as Italy, Belgium, England ,France Germany, Holland , Switzerland, Spain and other Countries such as Colombia, Russia, USA, Canada Etc. Very few Countries are engaging in Cricket. Cycling is number two famous sport except Football.
- Ima_robot_beepbeepbeep (2014)
the REAL football (not that aussie rules imitation) is rising fast. only a matter of time until it passes aussie rules footegg in australia. once that happens aussie rules footegg will slowly decline until only 100 or so spectators show up for every game. REAL football #1 cause its a better sport than aussie rules footegg. aussies are just now starting to wake up and recognize what the rest of the world already knows -- REAL football #1.
- Dotpols ima_robot_beepbeepbeep (2014)
Nah, it's a nice theory but Australia isn't like Europe or South America - here we have contact football codes that require more masculine traits. It's a foreign concept in most of Europe, so they're happy to play soccer and watch their nil all draws, but in Australia we have Australian Football and Rugby League to show people something truly gladiatorial. For all the hoping that soccer will take over here and talk of it's rising numbers, people forget how much tougher the Aussie market is than Europe where it's just soccer and also what a low base soccer started from here. The A-League is played in summer to protect it from the NRL and AFL and even Super Rugby, so it only competes with Cricket. But since the introduction of the Big Bash League, cricket has grown FASTER than the A-League, with the BBL scoring bigger crowds, higher ratings and a higher year on year growth rate for both than Aussie soccer's A-League. Soccer will continue to make some gains, but its pace has slowed and mostly people care about big socceroos matches now. Soccer fans are a lot like Union fans around 2003 - the RWC had just seen the highest ratings of any sporting event in the country and the final was watched by record numbers. But ultimately the fundamentals of the game were never as strong as the AFL or NRL and so it faded again. This will happen with soccer. Like Rugby, when people really sit down to watch it they find it frustrating as hell because it's such an intrinsically negative sport and so get bored quickly, so they return to their NRL or AFL team.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2017)
Masculine traits in Australia??? What a clown you are! With your big mouth you wouldn't last one day in South America. Go and play football there, and call them pussies before the game starts: you will be stretched out after one minute with a broken leg. Stick to your cricket, a sport that would already be history if it wasn't for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh together have 22.5% of the world's population. Deal with it.
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2017)
Soccer isn't remotely important here and it never will be. You can bang on about south america blah blah blah, but no one cares.
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2017)
Wow... you soccer imperialists really just can't take it at all when you come across peoples who aren't like you aye? Deal with it.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2016)
This kind of thinking, like "In Australia we got more masculine traits than the rest of the world", it's the typical way of thinking of people who have never ever been around the world, or if they have they just went to the US and some Western european countries, and they think they can judge the whole world and they selfproclaim themselves "The toughest people in the world", just because they play Rugby League more than anyone else: a sport full of steroid munchers and islander people, which are genetically bigger than white people, and so more suitable to play a high contact sport like rugby. In Europe people play Rugby too, in the US NFL, a much harder code than your AFL, which is hated by the half of Australian population anyway. It's easy when you live in a massive and remote island at the bottom of the world, to be convinced that you are the toughest people in the world, simply because you've got no contact with other countries. What, you're trying to tell me that Europeans, from whom Australians descend, and South Americans are softer that Australian? Do you actually realize what kind of stuff you're saying? I guess no, being you a typical bogan Aussie. The best olympic weighlifters come from Eastern Europe, at least back in the days: Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, just to name you some of them: do they sound familiar to you? So just the people who play Rugby League are tough? Go to South Americas and tell me that they are soft: you would get a bullet in your empty head before you know. An Aussie, so spoilt in his rich and quite country, wouldn't survive six month with the rough South American life. But of course, you guys are the toughest in the world because you play Rugby League and AFL...
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2016)
I've clearly touched a nerve for you with that toughness comment lol.
- I love how guys like you seem to revel in the thought of people who don't like your sport being murdered in some slum simply because we have the audacity to point out that your favourite sport is rather prosaic and suited to softer, weaker types.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2015)
Masculine traits are a foreign concept to most of Europe?@? Hshahahaha gimme a break!!! Association football will conquer Australia, whether you want it or not!
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2015)
Sure it will champ. People have been predicting it will for my whole life, but the NRL and the AFL are the ones continually doubling their deals and raking in all the cash. I'm personally more a Rugby football code supporter, but longer term the AFL will be more and more successful I imagine. Their junior development work is brilliant, they're not as dangerous as the rugby codes and they have something going for them that soccer can never compete with: a genuine local identity. Sport is very much about identity, not just what you play. Most people I know who played soccer as a kid are still more passionate supporters of NRL clubs than they are of the A-League (which most don't watch at all). And when it comes to identity, having your own game is a valuable trump card. Soccer will always be much more a foreign import than any other football code in Australia, as even the Rugby codes have evolved (particularly League) heavily under Australian direction, and that has an impact on its popular uptake and is a reason why Roy Morgon polls show its "underlying support" is less than 10% in Australia despite having had wonderful junior numbers forever. That's why Australian Football has a trump card - it represents an authentically Australian identity, rather than an imported product whose fans actively try to ape foreign league's fans. The other problem soccer has in Australia is ironically how big the international soccer franchise - Australian soccer will only ever be a developmental league at best, losing any half decent talent to richer foreign leagues. Rugby has a similar problem, but on a much smaller scale, and still benefits from the fact that Super Rugby is considered the better than the Euro competitions.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2016)
Your own game?!? You mean AFL, hated by half of the Australian population? Nice own game hahahaha
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2016)
Personally it's not a game I enjoy watching it, but I'll take it over the endlessly dreary draw and dive-fest that is soccer. A game which in Australia is supported almost exclusively by a peculiar mix of the middle-class latte brigade and immigrants who're the equivalent of American tourists who demand everyone speak their language (but in this case with sport).
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2017)
You clearly don't know much about the sport. "Middle class latte brigade and immigrations": well everybody is an immigrant in your country, deal with it: the white Australians like you will be history before you know it. Stick to watching your beloved NRL, full of steroid munchers, where every week everybody is caught for steroid using. Association football is the most popular sport in the world, FACT. 99.5% of people who watched the semifinal in between India and Pakistan belonged to those countries, FACT. Outside there, nobody gave a rat's ass about it, FACT. Association football is followed all around the world, FACT. Half of the Australian population do not care about AFL, and the other half do not care about NRL, so you do not even agree between yourselves about the sports, in a vane research for the ultimate masculine sport lol FACT. Finally, association football will become the most popular sport in Australia, as soon as white Australians like you will slowly disappear in the mixed race multiculturalism that your country is heading to. Youbare the one who defined the sport in Africa as NEGLECTABLE: a continent that will have more tha 2 billion people in 2050! Australia will always be more neglectable than the whole African continent in every single way, deal with it. Kenya won 5 gold medals in the last Olympics, whereas your beloved India, Pakistan and Bangladesh not even one, with a total population of 1.6 billion people: so which part of the world is neglectable, when it comes to sports? And you're an hypoctite on top, you defend thise countries just because you try to.prove your meaningless point about football not being the most popular and important sport in the world: all white Australians loke you are so racists that hate eveybody who doesn't have a white skins but then, as a miracle, you stick up for them when it comes tobprove the ridiculous point that cricket would be more popular than the king of all sports football.
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2017)
You really have a very hard time accepting there are people who don't care for your boring girl's game don't you? It's not surprising really - soccer is a game built on intolerance, racism and hyped up sissies looking to compensate for their many insecurities.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2017)
What an ignorant you are! Middle class latte brigade and immigrants....it's already the most popular sport in your country, deal with it Australian. Sleep tight.
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2017)
lol the most popular sport in Australia? That's cute when women's Cricket outrates men's soccer by a factor of 3 to 1.
- Josh Dotpols (2015)
Absolutely spot on there mate
- Harry Smith Dotpols (2015)
Afl is the nearly weaker than soccer. Rugby league/ union / nrl are the real heavyweights of strength
- Dotpols Harry Smith (2015)
Not a huge fan of the AFL, but they're a well run outfit and are certainly not "nearly weaker than soccer"... soccer earns about $40m on its current TV contract, whilst both the NRL and AFL earn in excess of $1bn. As for rugby, whilst it happens to be my favourite sport, it's sadly the worst run of all the four major football codes - a fact reflected by Super Rugby's non-existent FTA presence and a TV deal worth a piddling $25m.
- Daily (2014)
why doesn't anyone like hockey jeeze
- Krystal (2013)
anyone els think dancing shoud become a sport?
- Kk (2013)
this site roks don't ever delete it thanks for your time reading this
- Euro_Hero (2014)
Brits, aussies etc have to stop this ridiculous myth that cricket is supposedly the 2nd most widely played sport in the world. Let's look at the figures. The websites that claim this mention a "2-3" billion supporters. Cricket is played in the UK (where e.g Scots, NI and Welsh citizens mostly could't care less about it), india, pakistan, bangladesh, australia, new zealand, jamaica, south africa (by a white minority, the anglo minority which is as numerous as the afrikaans minority which plays it less) and THAT'S IT, save a handful of low population countries. There are another 170-180 other countries on this planet WHO COULD NOT CARE LESS ABOUT CRICKET. Even if we add the total pops of cricket-playing countries (which BY FAR does not represents the numbers of supporters, one arrives at MAYBE 1.5 billion. Pretty far from the loose 2-3 billions quoted by Brits. Basketball on the other hand is played by MANY more people and is rightly an OLYMPIC SPORT because its numbers of players/supporters/playing nations - which is NOT the case of cricket for good reasons since it is rightly viewed by competent authorities as a detail of global sport. Besides its rules are complicated and daft and it is a long ang boring game. BASKETBALL is the second most widely played sport in the world, end of story
- Kell Euro_Hero (2015)
Just adding the populations of India and Pakistan gives us 1.5 Billion fans of cricket, sir. I'm not saying its definitely the 2nd most popular sport or something but its definitely a sport that should not simply be disregarded. And with the advent of T20, cricket will only grow further.
- Sto cazzo Kell (2015)
Grow further? If it wasn't for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh it would be just a memory! Three countries mske up over 90% of the people who play it! Wow! What a global sport!
- Dotpols Kell (2015)
Shhhh don't point out that there happen to be 1.5 billion people living in the sub continent... these soccer types don't like to count the parts of the world that aren't Europe or South America even though the combined populations of Europe and South America still only add up to about 1 billion. Considering those are the only two continental regions that are truly mad about soccer, the claims of the soccer lot are a little silly in a lot of ways.
- Morgan Dotpols (2016)
That is ridiculous! You will find if you travelled more or researched before making stupid comments, that football is the most popular sport in Africa (all of it), it is the most popular sport in Europe, Asia (it is growing at such a rate in Asia that they cannot find the facilities), America and even Australia (YES AUSTRALIA). The entire world is obsessed with the round ball game not pineapple footy. IF you don't believe me then do some proper research. Football or Soccer is played by far more people in Australia than any other team sport. And i am not talking just about children. IT is also the most popular sport among adults in Australia. Australian Bureau of Stats, Roy Morgan Polls and Clubs of Australia can all confirm that Football/Soccer is the most popular and biggest sport in Australia.
- Dotpols Morgan (2017)
Speaking of research, I notice you haven't mentioned how the NRL and AFL continue to dominate the most watched lists of sporting events in the country year in year out - and in fact have been increasing their lead in that regard.
- Dotpols Morgan (2016)
The only thing that's ridiculous is the notion that simple participation correlates with with tribal club support. It doesn't. People play soccer because it's a soft and safe game, but that hasn't helped it make any real ground on the NRL or AFL - the two football competitions that split the country and completely and comprehensively dominate all the TV ratings. I get that soccer people find it abhorrent that not everyone kowtow to their strange culturally imperialist desire to create a dull homogenous world in which no one is allowed to play any different forms of football that don't cohere to the original British imperialist ideal, but whether you like it or not people will always continue to enjoy other forms of football in many countries they enjoy them much more than soccer.
If you did some real research you'd understand that.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2015)
And the whole African continent?!? And a lot if countries in Asia?!? Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, EAU, Japan, South and North Korea, just to name some?
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2015)
In Japan the main game is Baseball, with soccer (and by the way the call it soccer, or rather the transliterated"sakka-") a distant second. The Midde East? They're a group of almost entirely back backward oligarchies where it's too hot to really play any kind of football (even the Dubai 7s is a struggle) and the only people who do play are largely foreign expats. Meanwhile in Africa the development level is so low in most places that the importance of sport in general is pretty negligible. The reality is that the only places truly mad about soccer are Europe and South America. I can guarantee you the slave workers dying in their thousands in places like Qatar and the UAE don't give a toss about it. The point is, this notion put forward by the soccer zealots that it's somehow a global sporting language is overblown nonsense.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2016)
I don't know why you keep denying the reality, masking with a pseudocultured language. Association football is the world game, nonsense is what you're talking about now. Where's your information about football being the second sport in Japan, way behind baseball? Numbers to back up your opinion please. Have you ever been to Africa? Who are you to say that the importance of sport in a massive continent like Africa is negligible? The only thing here that is negligible is the opinion of the Australians, a population of a little bit over 20 million people, mainly composed by immigrants who don't care about your superior manly sports. And careful about talking about the EAU, because apparently if immigrants are dying in thousands there, like you say, they wouldn't give a rat's arse about other sports too, included cricket. But apparently that's what cricket fans point at now, the great development of cricket in the EAU, because of the Indian population there. Basically your very poor arguments are resumed in this: "Even if the world population cares about soccer, they don't count because, by my Aussie bogan ignorant standards, they are not good enough to be considered worthy of any consideration": go and reread your answer and be ashamed of your ignorance. If I follow your way of thinking, Pakistan is a dictatorship with a lot problems including terrorism and poverty, so the importance of sports there is negligible. India and Bangladesh are developing countries where a lot of people are starving, so they don't count when it comes to sports. It's a shame that English is not my first language, otherwise I would keep going on forever, putting you to shame, a bogan Australian who tries to express himself in an educated way, who basically is saying that a whole continent like Africa is not worth of consideration when it comes to sport. Negligible person!
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2016)
It's quite telling that people like yourself from Europe are so ignorant about Asia that you're completely unaware of the scale of Baseball in Japan. I suppose that reflects the level of interest in Asia and non-European countries shown by Europe in general though. As for figures to support my argument, how's this: The Nippon Professional Baseball League has a crowd average of 28,000, whilst the Soccer J-League has an average of 17,000, despite baseball having literally 3 times as many games being played across the country each year.
Moving on though:
The only thing here that is negligible is the opinion of the Australians, a population of a little bit over 20 million people, mainly composed by immigrants who don't care about your superior manly sports." In a global context of course we're negligible, but the topic we're discussing here is sport in Australia, and so in this context we're not, and frankly given you live in Sydney and seem to feel the need to discuss Australian sporting appetites so much it's rather odd for you to be prosecuting that line of reason.
Your cute ad hominem arguments and petty name calling aside, ultimately you're the one who came here and felt the need to respond to this very specifically Australian question and you're the one who takes such offence at countries like Australia not cohering to the globalisation driven cultural imperialism that demands all embrace the dumbed down mediocrity that is soccer purely it so loved by the lowest common denominator of other countries where they had neither the imagination nor attention span to either create or embrace other forms of football.
I get it that you're an Italian and so soccer is your thing, but you've not mounted a single argument as to why anyone in more competitive, complex and frankly imaginative sports markets like Australia should really care. For all its pretentions of diversity, soccer is ultimately the McDonalds of the sporting world; simple, limited and consistent. Sure, you know what you're gonna get and there's a comfort in that, but there's no true expression of cultural identity in that game like there is in sports with stronger developmental heritages in specific countries.
Ultimately, Italian soccer can never be anything more than an Italian accent (perhaps even a "bogan" Italian accent) on an intensely and intrinsically British system, whereas more locally rooted games are truer expressions of culture.
Taking my linguistic analogy further, a game like Rugby League Football in Sydney is also British, but it's a game driven by Australia and whose rules have been altered and adapted out of Sydney for the better part of 60 years to meet Australian needs.
The sport is in effect a different dialect of the original game, whilst a game like American Football and Australian Football are effectively their own language. All these sports are true representations of cultural diversity such that Europeans don't really understand thanks to their monocultural inability to accept any form of non-British football. That is of course apart from the Irish, who also rather heretically decided they'd play a game that was not purely the British form.
Ultimately, you're entire argument seems to be that because lots of people like soccer, it must be the best game and fundamentally that's what I agree with. It's like saying that belief in god is great and logical because 90% of the world believe in some form of god. That's quite clearly wrong, and so is the nonsense about soccer.
- Sto cazzo Dotpols (2016)
The development of sport in general is pretty negligible? So why would they play a football WC in South Africa in 2010? Countries like Ghana and Nigeria always show up in the WC, and in the past also Cameroon and Ivory Coast did well, especially the first one. Have you ever been to Africa and lived there to back up your opinion?
Qatar is organizing the 2022 Football WC: I know there was a big scandal about, but I think the fact that most of those countries are absolute monarchies or stuff like that, doesn't really mean that people don't have time to love the sport. How about the political situation in South America in the 70's, when almost every country had a dictatorship: Chile with Pinochet and Argentina with Videla, just to name few: did they stop loving the sport? Argentina especially won the WC during that period. And you say that football is a distant second in Japan? It's the second for sure, I don't know if it's a distant one. They call it soccer just because of the Yankee influence probably.
Whether you want admit it or not, the ONLY sport that is played around the whole world, so it makes it the World's Game, is Association Football. To different levels of course, but it still remains the only one.
- Ian senior Dotpols (2015)
The subcontinent would include India, BanglaDesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka , Pakistan and Afghanistan. North America, Europe and South America combined have a lesser population than the Indian sub continent. Between North & South America is the West Indies, a capital of the Cricket World. Cricket is certainly the worlds no 2 played sport as well as the 2nd most popular
- Sto cazzo ian senior (2016)
Wow! The West Indies!!! Which country is that? How many people living there combined? 5-6 millions?
- Sto cazzo ian senior (2015)
So what?!? Everybody in this planet plays football!!! How many people play cricket outside India, Pakistan and Bangladesh?
- Ahmed Makarim Sto cazzo (2016)
indian ppl play with tennis ball. lol
- Dotpols Sto cazzo (2015)
Well there's a few in Australia if you hadn't noticed, and it's so big here that the new women's Big Bash Cricket out-rated men's A-League matches by a ratio of 3 to 1 this season.
Not a great sign for soccer really.
- Rolly (2019)
Participation wise soccer is king more people play soccer than any other football code by a country mile .even in Victoria and SA more registered soccer players than Aussie rules players
- Elizabeth (2018)
my name is Elizabeth i play girls cricket at least 40 girls for each association rep trail turned up we had to have in club 3 comps and in older girl teams 4 comps in rep 2 comps i recon cricket has to be 1st
- Heheheitsjazzarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (2017)
will t although sate of origin is good the ashes IS the biggest celebrate rivalry because its between two countries not two states just sayin
- Ian Senior (2016)
The three tabulated categories of popularity for various sports can be interpreted in terms of an overall popularity by assigning merit points 10 through to 1, for the 1st to 10 th most popular. Australian R Football (10+10+0) is 1st and acquires 20 followed by outdoor Cricket (9+5+4) with 18 points. A combination of Rugby Union and League (5+1+8+4) gives Rugby 17 points and Golf places (9+6) 4th with 15 points.Tennis, both indoor as well as outdoor combined (3+2+8), is in the 5 th most popular position with 13. And so Australian FOOTBALL and CRICKET vie for the top position. In terms of a purely recreational nature Cricket on the beach, windball Cricket and other (such as indoor) Cricket activities, as well as the international perception of Australia's national Cricket team's success, tend to give this game a push from the 2nd most popular position towards the most popular. Consequently, based on the existing statistics, both Cricket and Australian Football share an equally MOST P(OPULAR SPORT position in Australia
- Ian (2016)
Assigning points, 10 to 1 for the 1st to 10th most popular sports rated in the 3 categories tabulated above, makes Australian Football the most popular with 20 points. Outdoor Cricket is 2nd with 18 points. Combining Rugby League and Union, gives Rugby the 3rd position with 17 points and Tennis, indoor combined with outdoor, the 4th place, with 13 points. Indoor Cricket is not rated but if it were, combined with the very popular outdoor version, in all likelihood, cricket's popularity equals Australian Football. This are reasonably accurate stats and reflections, as indicated in other surveys as well
- Kelsey (2016)
swimming pretty popular aswell!
- Morgan (2016)
WOW!! Really AFL
I found this interesting but somewhat contrary to what i see every weekend and every night of the week when i drive around Brisbane. I know Brisbane might be very different to Melbourne or elsewhere but i also found the same when i lived in Sydney and Newcastle. Football (or some call it Soccer) appears to be the most popular sport by far here in Australia. At my current workplace football players outnumber every other code by a huge degree. But i also expect that cycling and swimming would be high than this article suggests. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) puts Soccer Football as the highest participated of the football codes for both adults and children, and by a long way too. ABS reports from 2012 and 2008 indicate that football is so much bigger than the other codes already and that this is only increasing. Here is another report or study - a Roy Morgan Poll. Both studies also support my belief that swimming and cycling are even more popular than the football codes as i expected. But i hear you arguing - that these are just past-times and not active club participants. The 2012 ABS report also indicates that Football/Soccer is the most participated as an organised sport in of all sports in Australia. AFL comes second of the Football codes and Rugby League and Union are a very distant 3rd and 4th, all well behind swimming and cricket, basketball, tennis and even martial arts.
This is a direct exerpt from one ABS article.
While many Australians love their footy, across Australia the game of football comes in several different forms. The main variations are, in no particular order, outdoor soccer (also known as association football), indoor soccer, Australian Rules, rugby union, rugby league and touch football (a non-contact form of rugby league). In 2009-10, 1.2 million people aged 15 years and over (6.9%) participated in at least one form of football.
Of those who did play football, most had played outdoor soccer (33%), touch football (22%), indoor soccer (20%) or Australian Rules (20%). Around one in ten footballers had played rugby league (9.5%) and a similar amount had played rugby union (8.0%). Men were more likely than women to have played football (11% compared with 2.6%). Male footballers were likely to have played outdoor soccer (33%) or Australian Rules (23%). Of footballing women, the majority played touch football (44%), outdoor soccer (36%) or indoor soccer (23%).
Across Australia, soccer (both indoor and outdoor) had higher participation rates among people living in Major Cities than those in other areas, while rugby league, touch football and Australian Rules showed the opposite pattern, being more popular outside Major Cities.
I was also interested in the comments suggesting that football/soccer was a soft, non-contact sport. Interesting but totally ridiculous. I would love to see these people that make such comments play a serious high level game of soccer and say that it is non-contact. Facial fractures resulting from head clashes and elbows to the face are very common among soccer players.
I love all sports and have played every football code. I can say that they are all extremely physical in different ways. But one thing that i cannot accept is the use of arguments with zero research, stats and evidence to back up claims. Anyone could just say anything they like.
And remember - it's usually the most ignorant and passionately stupid people of a minority that shout the loudest.
- AFL sucks (2016)
Honestly, who needs AFL? It is all people care about and people get hurt. You get nothing out of AFL and it won't teach you skills you can use. Golf is a lot better. It is a game of skill, and requires no running skill and less strength. It also improves coordination and (slowly) walking ability. It is a quiet and peaceful sport that everyone can play.
- Football players (2016)
Hey football teams are trying hard to win (Collingwood) So just thanks for the spouse.
- Grahame (2016)
What a season in 2016 for the AFL by round 16. 3 teams are sitting on 11/4, one on 12/3, 4 on 10/5, 4 on 7/8, 2 on 6/9, 1 on 5/10, 1 on 3/12, 2 on 1/14. A lot of the teams are only winning on the ladder by percentage. Remarkable.
- Jai Prithvi raj Chauhan (2015)
ban golf it's pathetic.
- Cam Forsyth (2015)
yes that is cause it is between many conturies but we are talking just in Australia here
- Lana mills (2015)
I like dog racing
- VERNON (2014)
What about Cycling In Australia? Cadel Evans brought many victories to his country Australia including one of most famous event Tour de France . I think , many people talk about Cycling these days. Cycling is a great sport, its hard , nice and impressive.
- Micha (2014)
It's not AFL it's Australian tules football. AFL is not a sport. It's a competition
- Rob Admin Micha (2014)
Hi. Thanks for pointing that out. The official name is actually Australian Football. In some regions 'AFL' is used to refer to the sport, but I agree Australian Rules Football, Aussie Rules or Australian Football are better terms to use, and I have made some changes to the text. Rob
- Sharniqua (2014)
you guy's are way off. Badminton is the best sport ever! you guy's honestly have no idea.
- Xfg (2014)
Arko I am pretty sure they meant rugby instead of soccer
- Walter (2013)
Yeah and surfing??? Prob is the second most practice in Australia. This is rubbish!
- Arron (2013)
Well I do like parkour but its not in this so cricket or soccer
- Vernon (2013)
what about Cycling, I think Cycling is the most famous in the World, i am really disopointed because no Body has not mentioned here about this great Sport Cycling.
- Dar.c vernon (2014)
Cycling definitely isn't the most famous sport throughout the world. There are so many more sports that would top cycling.
- Timmy (2015)
Australian Rules Football is a religion in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Tasmania. In Melbourne, "which team do you barrack for" is one of the first questions asked when getting to know a person. Unlike many other sports in Australia, the AFL is popular amongst men and women.
- Frank (2014)
The ASHES in cricket, played by the same two teams over & over & over & over & over...boring...!!!!
- Sri charan Frank (2015)
The Ashes is a rivalry between two nations,it is a series not a tournament.
- How the hell is football (soccer) not number one in participants, any other reliable news research would highlight that it by far has the most participants in aus, also is much higher in terms of attendances than cricket (i think i saw about 25 people at the last sheffield shield match) and would only be lower than afl and nrl possibly, this list is a joke (from brandon, Mar 2013)
- I personally respect the Aussies for this one thing- they don't play all sports but the ones they do, they're absolutely brilliant at. World champions in Hockey, Best team in cricket and rugby league, one of the best in rugby union, they have the opening race and Grand Slam of the F1 and Tennis season respectively...just fantastic (from Chinmay, Mar 2013)
- Netball is an ever increasing participation sport amongst Aussie girls and woman! (from Cara, Mar 2013)
- Interesting. As an American sports fan, I associate Australia with tennis: the "dinkum Aussies" such as Emerson, Laver, Rosewall, and Newcombe. But of course, the most popular sport here is also one that no one else in the world plays: a game that a professor of mine in Ireland unforgettably described as "a cross between rugby union and Buck Rogers." I speak of the dimwitted spectacle that Americans simply call "football." (from Harry, Feb 2013)
- I'm from India but I personally love aussie cricket team even more than indian cricket team, they are undisputed cricketing champions just look at the world class aussie cricketers Sir don bradman, steve waugh, ponting, lilly, warne ,mcgrath, watson, warner etc etc.
i never miss australia's cricket match telecasted on indian tv channel. (from The_superstud, Feb 2013)
- Dun no abt australia but in India. cricket = life we breath, live, love & die on cricket. there's no day without playing or wathching cricket, the biggest n best sport in the world (by d diehard fan of cricket frm 'The great India', the_superstud, Feb 2013)
- I think all the sports are popular but personaly i love cricket (from niki, Jan 2013)
- Of course it is cricket ...
- Surfing? (from Bob blythe, Jan 2013)
- AFL would have to be the most attended (i asume watched) followed by cricket and my be moter racing or rugby. Rugby may be even futher down than that a big crowed for them is 14,000. In the AFL i know their are clubs that average 60,000 per game for the season.
The most participants would have to be cricket, in every town, city and school oval has cricket played on it friday eevning, satureday and sunday afternoons. i know in Melbourne there are heaps of compititions and you can't drive more that a km and see a game being played on and oval. (from shane, Dec 2012)
- What is the most unpopular sport in australia? (from billy, Nov 2012)
- Australians.. love each game individually ... They love Warnie,PUP.. when they rip English ...
And they love Rugby/AFL in winters ... They talk about a game when it gets lot of media hype (from CCD, Nov 2012)
- How the hell is cricket at number 6 and 7 in lists 2 and 3? Easily has most participants and spectators than the others with exception of possibly GAYFL. Although I'd say AFL and Cricket are about even - ave AFL game sees 36000 and cricket pulls that in every day of a test match (from Larry, Nov 2012)
- 1. AFL, 2. Cricket, 3. Rugby League, Than swimming and athletics I guess.
- AFL -> NRL -> Cricket. Those are the top 3 most popular sports in Aus (in order). Personal opinion but when you look at the facts this seems right. (from daj, Sept 2012)
- The country where 75,000 at first day of test come to watch match how can any one named the other game as aus fav (from naqeeb lawoon frm pak, Sept 2012)
- More participants in aus in golf than cricket ... you gotta be kidding me ... and more attendance in soccer and motor sports than in cricket ... who makes this lists? have you seen the size of MCG ... (from pranay, Sept 2012)
- Aussie Rules is the most popular by an absolute mile, then cricket. Rugby league is a small niche sport only popular in the lower socio economic areas of Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. Nation wide soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, motor sports, horse racing are all far more popular than either rugby code. (from Adam, Sept 2012)
- No offence I don't think its australia rules football it's NRL (from Ash, Sept 2012)
- I think australia is best in cricket,hockey (from Mayank jain, Aug 2012)
- In austrilia there is no dout cricket is the number 1 sports according through tv viewer and media (from haroon, July 2012)
- Nrl (national rugby league) is the best sport its physical you need speed and agility and all you need is a ball that is for winter for summer if its to hot for footy play cricket as it is easy and fun and all you need is a bat a bal people and a bin so cricket and NRL for the win!!!!!!!! (from ustralia, July 2012)
- I think cricket is most popular sport in Australia ... (from Ehsaan shah, June 2012)
- Australia have been proved them as one of great sporting nation in the world. but they are best in cricket (from Himadri@india, April 2012)
- Cricket is the best in Australia i think already they have got 4 world cup. it is amazing (from martyn, March 2012)
- How about dancing? (from Taffie, Dec 2011)
- Is that a "SPORT"? The art is always on top of sport (from Philip, Jan 2013)