Sport in Australia


Sport in Australia

Sport in Australia is popular and widespread. Levels of both participation and watching are much higher than in many other countries.Fact|date=February 2007 Testament to this is the level of achievement in the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games as well as other international sporting events in comparison to the population of the country, particularly in the areas of water sports and team sports. The climate and economy provide ideal conditions for Australians to participate and watch sports.

Sport in Australia is heavily supported by all levels of government. In 2000-01, total government funding for sport and recreation activities was $2,124.2m. Of this, the Commonwealth Government contributed $198.9m (9%), state and territory governments contributed $875.2m (41%) and local governments provided $1,050.1m (49%). [Australian Bureau of Statistics, "4147.0 - Sport and Recreation Funding by Government, Australia, 2000-01"] The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is the federal government body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in Australia and operates the Australian Institute of Sport. Each state and territory in Australia also have agencies responsible for sport and recreation policy. Each state and territory also operation their own institutes and academies of sport.

Throughout the country a wide variety of sports are played. According to official government statistics, in 2005–06, the most popular sports in terms of crowd attendance were Australian rules football, horse racing, motorsport, rugby league, cricket, rugby union and soccer (Association football), in that order. [ [http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4174.02005-06?OpenDocument Australian Bureau of Statistics, "4174.0 - Sports Attendance, Australia, 2005-06"] . ] Research by a marketing company found that those attracting the "most interest" among adults in capital cities during 2006-07 were cricket, swimming, tennis, Australian rules football, soccer, rugby league, rugby union and motor sport. [ [http://www.sweeneyresearch.com.au/newsPDF/news_pdf_16.pdf Sweeney Sports, "1. Cricket captures ‘most interest’ cap 2. Swimming slips to second place 3. Tennis rebounds 4. AFL continues to fend soccer"] ] According to official statistics, the most popular forms of "physical recreation activity" among Australians aged 15 years and over, in 2005-06 were walking, aerobics/fitness, swimming, golf, tennis, soccer and Australian rules football. [ [http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/ABS@.NSF/Latestproducts/4177.0Main%20Features22005-06?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4177.0&issue=2005-06&num=&view= Australian Bureau of Statistics, "4177.0 - Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005-06"] ] According to some sources, the cultural significance and long history of cricket in Australia means that it is a de facto "national sport". [ [http://www.anzstadium.com.au/Events/HomeTeams.aspx Home Teams ] ] [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/arrogant-ponting-must-be-fired/2008/01/07/1199554571883.html Arrogant Ponting must be fired - Cricket - Sport - smh.com.au ] ] Armchair sports fans drive high television ratings for sports programs. In fact, nine of the top 10 highest rated shows in 2005 were sports programs.

Such is the Australian population's devotion towards sport that it is sometimes humorously described as "Australia's national religion". [ [http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/sporting_excellence.html About Australia: Sporting Excellence. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website] ] Popular comedic identities such as The Twelfth Man and Roy and HG send up Australia's love of sport through the use of parody.

Professional sport leagues in Australia use a model based on franchises and closed league membership, as is standard in North America. The "European" system of professional sports league organisation, characterised by promotion and relegation, is foreign to Australia, at least at the professional level.

In October 2007, the Australian Government has announced a new drug policy for sport that it hopes will be adopted by all sporting bodies and will involve tests of 6000 illicit drugs a year. [cite news
url = http://in.news.yahoo.com/071102/48/6mqd2.html
title = Cricket Australia introduces tough drug
]

Athletics (Track and field)

Athletics is a minor sport in Australia, with around 34,000 athletes, officials and coaches currently registered with the national association [http://www.athletics.com.au/inside/athletics_australia/annual_reports/2006_2007 Athletics Australia - Annual Report 2006/07] ] .

The governing body, Athletics Australia (AA) was instituted in 1897, with men's and women's associations amalgamating in 1978 [http://www.athletics.com.au/inside/history Athletics Australia - History] ] . Each year, AA conducts the Australian Championships and the Athletics Grand Prix Series, which are the main avenues for Australian athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships [ [http://www.athletics.com.au/community/392/general_selection Athletics Australia selection criteria] ] .

Australia has hosted many important athletics competitions, including the 1956 and 2000 Olympic Games, the 1938, 1962, 1982 and 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 1985 World Cup in Athletics, and the 1996 World Junior Championships.

The Stawell Gift, run over the Easter weekend since 1878, is the highlight of the professional athletics calendar [ [http://www.stawellgift.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 Australia Post Stawell Gift] ] .

Australian rules football

Australian rules football is played in all Australian states and territories. The game is commonly known as "football", "footy", "Aussie rules" or (erroneously) as "AFL", after the sport's dominant governing body and competition, the Australian Football League. It is the most popular football code in Australia, and in 2008 AFL games had a cumulative attendance of 7,083,015, a record for the competition and an average attendance of 38,295. [ [http://www.afl.com.au/News/NEWSARTICLE/tabid/208/Default.aspx?newsId=68430 AFL, "All-time attendance record for 2008" (September 29, 2008)] Access date: September 30, 2008.] AFL games have the third highest average attendances in the world, for the peak national competitions in all football codes. (In this respect they are surpassed only by the NFL and German "Bundesliga".)

A 2007 estimate claimed that Australian football had 615,549 participants, [ [http://realfooty.com.au/news/news/we-love-aussie-rules/2007/06/19/1182019117471.html More chase Sherrin than before - realfooty.com.au ] ] an addition of nearly 34,000 participants since 2006, and 6.7 per cent of all participants are from non-English speaking origin. The Australian Sports Commission statistics show a 42 per cent increase in the total number of participants over the 4 year period between 2001 and 2005. [http://www.ausport.gov.au/scorsresearch/ERASS2005/ERASS2005_findings.pdf Participation in Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey 2005 Annual Report]

Football is the predominant winter sport in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. It is also very popular, along with other codes of football, in the Australian Capital Territory, the Riverina and Broken Hill regions of New South Wales and in the Cape York region of Queensland.

In other parts of the country, such as southern Queensland and, northern and coastal New South Wales, Australia rules has generally had a low profile. However, the establishment of professional teams in Sydney and Brisbane in the 1980’s increased its presence and its popularity is growing. Footy tipping is a mainstay of many workplaces' social interaction.

Each state has its own local league, and there are amateur recreational, children's, junior, masters and women's competitions. Most towns and cities in football’s areas of popularity have at least one team competing in a local league.

Baseball

Baseball, like many mainstream American sports in Australia experienced a surge of popularity in the early 1990s with the formation of the Australian Baseball League.

The sport has suffered popularity in Australia since the collapse of the Australian Baseball League in 1999, but the sport is still played all over the country within the various state bodies. Since Australia's silver medal performance at the 2004 Summer Olympics the participation rate in most of the eastern states has remained stable, however there has been a large increase in the sport's popularity and participation in Western Australia.

In 2003, there were roughly 57,000 Australians playing baseball in around 5000 teams. [ [http://www.baseball.ch/2003/f/mc/mcAUS.html IBAF ] ] Several Australians have attracted the attention of American scouts and have gone on to play in the major leagues in the United States and Japan.

Basketball

The National Basketball League was formed in 1978 and is Australia's top professional basketball competition. It now has ten teams in the country, plus one team in New Zealand. Some players have gone on to play in the NBA such as Andrew Gaze, Andrew Bogut, Chris Anstey, Shane Heal and Luc Longley. The premier women's basketball league is the Women's National Basketball League, with player Lauren Jackson going on to win the WNBA's Most Valuable Player award in 2003 and 2007. In recent years, many young Australians have chosen to play college basketball in the United States, the most notable of whom is 2005 NBA Draft top pick Andrew Bogut.

In the early to mid 1990s, basketball was one of the most watched sports on TV & gained massive popularity, especially amongst younger people. Since this time, its popularity has declined, but still retains a notable presence.

Cricket

Cricket has a long history in Australia and is the most popular [ [http://www.sweeneyresearch.com.au/newsPDF/news_pdf_16.pdf Australia Sport] ] , and is played on local, national and international levels. It is Australia's national summer sport and unlike the various football codes, enjoys consistent support from people in all parts of Australia. The Australia national cricket team was the winner of the first Test match, and is today regarded as the leading international team in world cricket, having been the unquestionably dominant team for most of the 2000s. The first Australian cricket team which played overseas was the 1868 Aboriginal cricket tour of England. The Australian team which toured England in 1948 was nicknamed The Invincibles and was captained by Donald Bradman. In recent years the Australia team has been captained by Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, and currently Ricky Ponting. Through 2007, Australia has won the Cricket World Cup four out of the nine times it has been held, including the last three. Australia has dominated world cricket since the mid-90's, it has appeared in every world cup final since 1996, and has been undefeated in a world cup match since 1999 where they have gone on to win every single match in the world cup.

Domestic competitions between the states include the Sheffield Shield first-class competition, the Ford Ranger One Day Cup List-A cricket competition and the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash Twenty20 competition. The Sheffield Shield and Ford Ranger One Day Cup tournaments involve each team playing against each other team both at home and away with the two highest-placed teams playing in a final match, while the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash is similar but with only one match against each other team before the final.

Golf

Australia is a long-standing power in golf and has one of the highest numbers of golf courses per capita in the world. At 31 December 2007 Australia had twelve men in the top one hundred of the Official World Golf Rankings, placing it behind only the United States and slightly ahead of the United Kingdom. The Australian Open was first played in 1904 and is one of the main annual golf tournaments in the PGA Tour of Australasia. One of the best known Australian golfers is Greg Norman, the world's number one ranked golfer for much of the 1980s and 1990s. Also well known are Stuart Appleby, Adam Scott, Steve Elkington, Ian Baker-Finch, Nick O'Hern and Karrie Webb. There is a women's professional tour based in Australia called the ALPG Tour. Golf Australia is the National Sporting Organisation for golf in Australia.

Horse racing

Horse racing in Australia is administered by The Australian Racing Board, with each State’s Principal Racing Authority agreeing to abide by, and to enforce the Australian Rules of Racing.

Thoroughbred horse racing is the third most attended spectator sport in Australia, behind Australian Rules football and rugby league, with almost 2 million admissions to the 379 racecourses throughout Australia in 2002–2003. Besides being a spectator sport, horse racing is also an industry, which provides full or part time employment for almost 250,000 people, the equivalent of 77,000 jobs. About 300,000 people have a direct interest as owners, or members of syndicates in the 31,000 horses in training in Australia.

Public interest in thoroughbred racing, especially during the main Spring and Autumn racing carnivals, has been growing in recent years with over 100,000 attracted to the running of both the Melbourne Cup and VRC Oaks. The Caulfield Cup and W S Cox Plate are also major attractions.

Throughout its history, horse racing has become part of the Australian culture and has developed a rich and colourful language as well as providing some of Australia’s great sporting icons such as Phar Lap, Tulloch, Bernborough, Carbine, Kingston Town and Makybe Diva.

Motorsport

Motorsport is a popular spectator sport in Australia, although there are relatively few competitors compared to other sports due to the high costs of competing. The most widely watched motorsport is V8 Supercars, especially at the Bathurst 1000. Other classes in Australia include Formula 3 (open wheel racing), Superbikes, and touring cars. Since 1985, Australia have hosted a round of the Formula One championship. For the first 10 years, the Grand Prix was the last round of the championship at Adelaide. Since 1996, Melbourne replaced them from 1996 onwards.
Indy Racing League is another international series that visits Australia, Surfers Paradise Street Circuit has hosted the Gold Coast Indy 300 (First round out side North America) since it began in 1991. In 1988, Australia hosted a round of the World Rally Championship and have hosted one since then, and between 2004 and 2005, played host to the final round of the championship. Since its introduction in 2005, Australia has been racing in the A1 Grand Prix championship. Australia also hosts a round of the championship, Eastern Creek Raceway elected to be the course.

Netball

:"See also Commonwealth Bank Trophy, Netball Australia"

Netball has the highest level of participation of any sport amongst women in Australia. It rivals cricket, soccer and Australian football for the highest number of participants of any team sport in the country. The game is governed by Netball Australia at the national level, which is responsible for the national team and national competition.

The Australian national netball team has, along with traditional rivals New Zealand's Silver Ferns, dominated the game at international level. The main competitions at international level are the Netball World Championships and Commonwealth Games, where Australia recently won the World Crown off New Zealand in 2007.

At the domestic level, elite players previously competed for the now defunct Commonwealth Bank Trophy. As of the 2008 season, players will compete in the Tasman Trophy Netball League, a competition made up of five teams from around Australia, and five from New Zealand. Indoor Netball is a fast growing variation of the game, with modified rules. It is popular amongst both men and women with mixed competitions also conducted. A world championship in indoor netball was held in 2001.

Rugby league football

The beginning of Rugby league football in Australia can be traced back to a meeting between Test cricketer Victor Trumper, entreprenuer James J. Giltinan and star rugby union player Dally Messenger in Sydney's Bateman's Hotel on the 8 August 1907. [ [http://rl1908.com/History/rebellion.htm Rugby League History - RL1908.com ] ] The first game was played in Sydney in 1908 and it has been the most popular sport in the states of New South Wales and Queensland ever since.

The Australian Rugby League (ARL) is the governing body for the sport of Rugby League in Australia. It is made up of state bodies, including the New South Wales Rugby League and the Queensland Rugby League.

The National Rugby League is the premier professional competition in Australia and is made up of sixteen teams based in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand. The NRL also runs a National Youth Competition for 17-19 year olds. Second tier leagues also exist and run according to state lines.

State of Origin, a three game series between New South Wales and Queensland is one of the biggest annual sports events in Australia. First played in 1980, the annual series is renowned for the evenness of the competition and the passion of the players and fans. Neither state has ever achieved a long term dominance which is noteworthy when considering the population differences.

The Affiliated States Championship is an annual competition run by the ARL involving the four affiliated states (Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia) plus the Australian Police Rugby League and Australian Defence Force. It has been running since 1994 and Western Australia has shown a clear dominance, winning 5 times.

The Australian Kangaroos represent Australia internationally in the sport of rugby league. See also List of results of the Australian national rugby league team.

Australia is involved in a number of competitions between national rugby league sides. The Tri-Nations is a rugby league tournament involving the top three nations in the sport: Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, which started in 1999. The Rugby League World Cup has been held since 1954, which Australia has won on 8 occasions out of the 11 tournaments so far, in '57, '68, '70, '77, '88, '92, '95 and 2000. Australia has only missed the final once, in 1954.

Rugby union football

The first recorded game of Rugby football in Australia was on 25 July 1839. The Sydney University club, the first recognised club, was formed in 1864. By 1874 there were enough clubs for the formation of the Sydney Metropolitan competition playing by the rules of the Rugby Football Union.

English teams toured Australia in 1888 and 1899. Throughout the 20th century Australian Rugby Union teams were reliably competitive. In Australia, rugby union became a professional sport in 1996. The Australia national rugby union team are the Wallabies. Major international competitions played by the Wallabies include the Bledisloe Cup, between Australia and New Zealand, which since 1996 has been part of the Tri Nations Series.

The Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987 and is now held every four years. Australia won the Rugby World Cup twice, in 1991 and 1999. The Mandela Challenge Plate began in 2000, which started as a minor tournament involving Australia and South Africa. From 2006 on, it will be contested in the Tri Nations alongside the Bledisloe Cup.

The premier provincial rugby competition is the Super 14 (previously the Super 12) consisting of 4 teams (Queensland Reds, New South Wales Waratahs, the Brumbies and Western Force) from Australia, along with 5 teams from New Zealand and 5 teams from South Africa. Of all the Australian teams, only the Brumbies have won a Super Rugby Title, in 2001 and 2004. The Australian Rugby Shield was first played in 2000, to try and promote rugby union in states outside New South Wales and Queensland. To celebrate 10 years of professional Rugby Union, Australian Rugby celebrated the occasion with the announcement of the Wallaby Team of the Decade.

Soccer (Association football)

Soccer (Association football) is a popular participation sport in Australia and is becoming increasingly popular at national and international levels.

Australia's national team, nicknamed the Socceroos, are active in international games including World Cup Qualification games. The governing body, Football Federation Australia, is a member of the Asian Football Confederation, having moved from the Oceania Football Confederation on January 1 2006. The popularity of the sport as a spectator sport has increased notably in recent yearsFact|date=March 2008, due to reforms made to the sport's national governing body and the participation of the national team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup reaching the round of 16. [http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/bracket.html] The Australia National Football Team has also achieved a vast array of success on an international level, holding the world record for largest win (31-0 Vs American Samoa) and have consistently been ranked inside the top fifty in The FIFA Word Ranking

The year 2004 marked the last season for the National Soccer League, Australia's first club based national league of any sport and in 2005 the A-League was launched. The A-League plays during summer, the traditional off-season, to avoid conflict with the more established football codes in publicity and facilities as well as being in line with European competition. Unlike Australian rules football, Rugby league and Rugby union there are no 'traditional' regional biases for the sport allowing for a common 'football' identityFact|date=March 2008.

The A-League has proved successful, with the 2006-07 regular season recording an average attendance of 12,927 people. Most notably, Melbourne Victory averaged 27,728 people to their home matches throughout the season with a season record home-and-away crowd of 50,333 against Sydney FC at Telstra Dome on Dec 8th, and a crowd of 55,436 watched the Victory beat Adelaide United 6-0 in the Grand Final, a record for a domestic club football (soccer) game in Australia. [cite news |url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/soccer/v-for-archie/2007/02/18/1171733613365.html |publisher=The Age |title=Joy of six |date=2007-01-19 |accessdate=2007-08-09 |author=Chris Johnston]

Historically, the sport has been known by many as "soccer", but numerous official organisations, clubs and media companies are now using the name "football"Fact|date=March 2008 in line with common international usage of the word. However, popular use of the word "football" to mean either Australian rules football or Rugby league is well-established in Australia. ("See also: The word "football" in Australia.")

Softball

Australia's softball history began in 1939 when Gordon Young, Director of Physical Education in NSW, began to promote the game in schools and colleges. In 1942, during World War II, a US Army Sergeant, William Duvernet, organised softball as a recreation for US nurses stationed in Victoria. Another American, Max Gilley, introduced the game to Queensland in 1946. Australia's first inter-state championship was played in Brisbane in 1947 and was won by Victoria. The second national championship was held in Melbourne two years later. It was at this championship that the Australian Softball Federation was formed with Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales being the founding members. The other States of Australia have since joined. Eight Australian Championships are now conducted each year - Open Women's, Open Men's, Under 23 Women and Men, Under 19 Women and Men, and Under 16 Girls and Boys. Softball has been a major sport in the schools program for some time now and it is estimated that more than 250,000 children play the game each year.

Swimming

Swimming is a very common and popular sport in Australia as a recreational activity as well as in competitive racing events. Many Australians learn to swim from a young age out of necessity due to Australia's love of the beach and the abundance of backyard pools. Many swimmers go on to continue to swim competitively by training through squads and attending weekend competitions. Successful Australian swimmers such as Samantha Riley began their swimming careers through a learn to swim program. Learn to swim programs are also often offered through primary schools at local swimming pools during school times.The success of Australian Swimming is measurable through Australian international dominance in the sport. Athletes such as Grant Hackett, Ian Thorpe, Leisel Jones and Libby Trickett are all a credit to the extensive development programs in the sport and with the AIS. This is a further achievement because of Australia's small population in comparison to other swimming dominant nations such as the USA.

Tennis

One of the four tennis Grand Slams is played in Australia, the Australian Open held in Melbourne. The tournament has been held for 100 years since 1905 when the Australasian Tennis Championship was first held at a Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Like the other three Grand Slam events, it was contested by top-ranked amateur players. It was known as the Australian championships until the advent of open tennis in 1968. There are men's and women's singles competitions, men's, women's, and mixed doubles, as well as junior and master's competitions.

Some of Australia's best known tennis players include Rod Laver, Mark Philippoussis Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Lleyton Hewitt, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter, Ken Rosewall and The Woodies. The Woodies consisting of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde was the most successful men's tennis doubles team in history, and won eleven Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal.

The current real tennis world champion is Robert Fahey from Hobart, Australia. Fahey is the longest serving champion of real tennis.

Winter Sports

Australia receives snow in the Australian Alps and parts of Tasmania, and has indoor ice rinks in many cities. As a result, Australians are able to participate in a wide variety of winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, biathlon, freestyle skiing (including aerial skiing and moguls), ice hockey, curling, short track speed skating and figure skating. Australia has Olympic programs for some of these sports. Australia has little or no facilities for ski jumping, and the ski runs are mostly too short for the faster competitive alpine skiing events like Super-G and Downhill. There are no bobsleigh tracks (used for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton) within Australia (the nearest one is in Japan), although Australia competes in slide events overseas, and there is a bobsleigh push track in the Docklands in Melbourne. [http://www.ausport.gov.au/fulltext/2002/sportsf/s488161.asp]

Australians participated in skiing as a sport from the 19th century, probably starting in Kiandra in 1861. The first indoor ice rink was probably opened in 1889, and another opened in Adelaide in 1903. Ice hockey was played as early as 1904.

The Mount Buller World Aerials is an aerial skiing event held in Mount Buller, Victoria. It is the first event in the World Cup calendar.

The Kangaroo Hoppet is a 42 km cross-country skiing race held in Falls Creek, Victoria. Held at the same time are the 21 km Australian Birkebeiner and the 7 km Joey Hoppet races. The Kangaroo Hoppet and the Australian Birkebeiner are part of the Worldloppet series of cross-country ski races. main|Skeleton sport in Australia

A team of women competing in skeleton was created from athletes who had never competed in the sport before, planning to win a medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Australians created the equine sport of Polocrosse.

Other sports

Olympic Sports

* Archery - is conducted by Archery Australia: Australia's most successful international archer has been former World and Olympic champion, Simon Fairweather [ [http://www.archery.org.au/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=ASP0009/ccms.r?Roxy=0x0008e6c7&PageId=10522 Archery Australia Hall of Fame] ] .
* Badminton - the first competition in Australia was played in 1900 and the sport is governed by Badminton Australia [ [http://www.badminton.org.au/index.php?id=37 Badminton Australia - History of Badminton in Australia] ]
* Boxing - Boxing Australia is the peak body for Olympic or amateur boxing [ [http://www.boxing.org.au/index.html Boxing Australia website] ] .
* Canoeing and Kayaking - Canoeing and Kayaking Australia is the peak body for these sports, first founded in 1949 [ [http://www.canoe.org.au/default.asp? MenuID=AC_Information/93/0/,Australian_Canoeing_History/69/0/ Canoeing and Kayaking Australia - History] ] , with Australians winning 15 Olympic medals [ [http://www.canoe.org.au/ Canoeing and Kayaking Australia - Olympic history] ] .
* Diving - Dick Eve won Australia's first Olympic diving gold medal in 1924 [ [http://www.diving.asn.au/default.asp?MenuID=About_Us/20002/1785/,Hall_of_Fame/20011/1827/ Australian Diving Hall of Fame] ] . Diving Australia is responsible for administration and development of the sport [ [http://www.diving.asn.au/ Diving Australia website] ] .
* Equestrianism - a most successful sport for Australia at recent Olympic Games, equestrian events are conducted by the Equestrian Federation of Australia [ [http://www.efanational.com/ Equestrian Federation of Australia website] ] .
* Fencing - governed by the Australian Fencing Federation [ [http://www.ausfencing.org/ Australian Fencing Federation website] ] .
* Handball - a minor sport in Australia, administered by Handball Australia [ [http://www.handballaustralia.org.au/ Handball Australia website] ]
* Judo - first demonstrated in Australia in 1906 and now governed by the Australian Judo Federation [ [http://www.ausjudo.com.au/jfa/jsp/read_more/read_more.jsp?title=History&read_more_id=col_2_readmorehttp://www.ausjudo.com.au/./jfa/global Australian Judo Federation - History] ] .
* Modern Pentathlon - a multi-sport featuring athletics, swimming, fencing, shooting and equestrian events [ [http://www.pentathlon.org.au/info/history.php Modern Pentathlon Australia - History] ] .
* Rowing is a traditionally popular sport in Australia, with the peak body Rowing Australia [ [http://www.rowingaustralia.com.au/homepage.shtm Rowing Australia website] ]
* Shooting is popular in Australia, with over 765,000 licenced shooters at August 2007. Internationally, Australia has performed well, with Michael Diamond winning numerous medals in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. The largest shooting sports organisation in the country is the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia, with over 120,000 members [ [http://www.ssaa.org.au/ Sporting Shooters Association of Australia website] ]
*Table tennis - a popular pastime as well as an Olympic sport, administered by Table Tennis Australia [ [http://www.tabletennis.org.au/ Table Tennis Australia] ]
*Taekwondo - Taekwondo Australia [ [http://www.taekwondoaustralia.org.au/abouttkd/history.html Taekwondo Australia website] ] conducts Australian events.
*Triathlon, a multi-sport comprising swimming, cycling and running events of varying distances, Triathlon Australia is the governing body [ [http://www.triathlon.org.au/Startup.aspx Triathlon Australia website] ] .
*Volleyball - Australia has had international success in Beach volleyball. The Australian Volleyball Federation is the peak Australian body [ [http://www.avf.org.au/ Australian Volleyball Federation website] ] .
*Water Polo - Australian teams have had success at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Australian Water Polo is the governing body [ [http://www.australianwaterpolo.com.au/ Australian Water Polo website] ] .
*Weightlifting - conducted by the Australian Weightlifting Federation [ [http://www.awf.com.au/iinc.php Australian Weightlifting Federation] ] /
*Wrestling - Despite being a minor sport, Australian wrestlers have won three Olympic medals [ [http://corporate.olympics.com.au/sports.cfm?SportID=28 Australian Olympic Committee - Wrestling] ] .
*Yachting - Yachting Australia is responsible for sailing in Australia [ [http://www.yachting.org.au/ Yachting Australia website] ] with Australia winning the America's Cup in 1987

Beach Sports

Beach sports are very popular in Australia, due to climate and culture:

*Ironman
*Surf lifesaving
*Surfing

Games and Pastimes

* Darts - Townsville's Tony David was the 2002 BDO World Champion and the first ever Australian to win a darts title.Fact|date=May 2008
* English Billiards - Walter Lindrum from is often referred to as the greatest player so far seen in this sport with some 57 world records to his credit, many still standing. He won the World Billiards Championship in 1933 and held it until his retirement in 1951. Lindrum is also often referred to as one of the Australian all-time great sporting heroes along with Donald Bradman and Hubert Opperman. At his death in 1960, newspapers called him "the Bradman of Billiards".Fact|date=May 2008
* Fishing
* Skateboarding - Skateboarding is the act of riding on and performing tricks with a skateboard. A person who skateboards is referred to as a skateboarder or skater.
* Snooker is not particularly popular in Australia but Melbourne's Neil Robertson in the 2006-07 season became the first Australian to win two major ranking titles: The Grand Prix in October and the Welsh Open in February. Other past players have included Horace Lindrum who was World Champion in 1952 and lost to Joe Davis, three times during the 1930s, Eddie Charlton who was twice a World Championship finalist and of recent players, Quinten Hann. The World Snooker Championship has also been held in Australia twice in 1971 and 1975.

Minor Sports

* Amateur Radio Direction Finding is a sport that combines the skills of orienteering with the skills of radio direction finding. Although an obscure sport to most, Australia has had great success at Asia/Pacific regional competitions. ARDF events in Australia are organised by local clubs and the national team is organised by the [http://www.wia.org.au/ Wireless Institute of Australia] .
* Bocci is played at many lawn bowls clubs
* Broomball
* Gaelic football is a growing sport among men and women for both Irish expatriates and Australians and is governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Australasia and several state bodies.
* Gliding
* Gridiron, otherwise known as American football or Canadian Football.
* Hurling which, like Gaelic football is governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Australasia
* Ice Hockey including the Australian Ice Hockey League
* International Rules Football is a compromise rules game played in tests at club level between Australian rules football and Gaelic football teams and at international level between Australia and Ireland.
*Korfball, a Dutch sport similar to netball and basketball, has league competitions in some states, and a national team who finished 8th out of 16 qualifiers at the 2007 World Championships and have consistently finished second (behind Chinese Taipei) in senior and junior Asia-Oceania championships.
*Lacrosse is a sport played by relatively few people in Australia, but is one of the oldest established sports in the country, having been introduced in 1875. The national teams have been successful too, with the women's national team winning the World Cup in 1986 and again in 2005, while the men's team have been runners-up on a number of occasions.
* Lawn Bowls is a minority sport, traditionally associated with older people and there is a lawn bowls club in most towns. In recent years it has grown in popularity among younger people and has appeared in popular culture in television shows and movies like Crackerjack (movie) and The Secret Life of Us
* Tenpin Bowling was a popular minority sport, but is now a very small social pastime.
* Orienteering is a sport that combines cross-country running with land navigation skills in the woods. Orienteering in Australia is organised by Orienteering Australia [http://www.orienteering.asn.au/] .
* Rodeos
* Trugo is a sport unique to Australia, played by a small number of Australians.
* Vigoro is a game resembling both cricket and baseball mainly played by women
* Ultimate, with Australian teams placing third in the 2004 world championships, [ [http://www.wugc2004.org/schedules/placings/en_GB/open/index.html WFDF 2004 World Ultimate & Guts Championships ] ] and second in 2005 [ [http://www.wfdf.org/wg2005/news.htm WFDF at The World Games 2005: News ] ] . Australian ultimate is governed by the [http://www.afda.com/ Australian Flying Disc Association] .

=Multi-Sport Games=

Commonwealth Games

main|Australia at the Commonwealth Games

Australia is one of the nations to have attended every British Empire/Commonwealth Games event. It has been hosted four times in Australia:
*1938 British Empire Games - Sydney
*1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games - Perth
*1982 Commonwealth Games - Brisbane
*2006 Commonwealth Games - Melbourne

Australia has had huge success at the Commonwealth Games. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia walked away with 84 gold, 69 silver, and 68 bronze medals. The next closest nation, England, secured 34 gold medals.

Olympic Games

Two Olympic Games have been held in Australia; the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Australia is one of only three countries to have sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games. Australia is also currently the only southern hemisphere country to have won a gold Olympic medal in the Winter Olympics. The most successful Australian athlete at an Olympics in terms of medals won is Ian Thorpe with nine medals, with five of them gold. Athletes who have achieved four gold medals were: Betty Cuthbert, Murray Rose, Dawn Fraser and Shane Gould. [ [http://goaustralia.about.com/od/knowthepeople/a/ianthorpe.htm Ian Thorpe - Australia's Most Successful Olympian Has Retired from Swimming ] ]

The most medals Australia has won at an Olympics was at Sydney 2000, with 58 medals, with 16 of them gold. It was also the largest team Australia has had at an Olympics with 630 athletes, helped by the home country's automatic qualification into every sport. The most gold medals Australia has won at an olympics were at Athens 2004, with 17.

World Student Games (Universiade)

Universities have a role in promoting sport in Australia, with many competitions for university teams (though university sport does not attract the intensive attention that it does in the United States). Uni games is an annual competition in which University teams compete in traditional sports such as track and field, touch football, rugby union as well as other less conventional sports such as Ultimate. Teams qualify for the Australian University Games, held in September, by competing in their respective regional games which are held in July. Every two years an Australian team is chosen to compete in the World Student Games.

See also

*Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi
*Australian Sports Commission
*Australian Institute of Sport
*Australian University Games
*Australian national sports team nicknames
*Sledging (cricket)

References

External links

* [http://www.ausport.gov.au Australian Sports Commission]
* [http://www.ais.org.au Australian Institute of Sport]
* [http://www.austadiums.com Austadiums.com: Stadiums & Sport]
* [http://www.sportsaustralia.com SportsAustralia.com]
* [http://www.unisport.com.au/unisport/web/ Unisport]
* [http://www.unigames.com.au/ausevents/web/aug/2005index.htm Unigames]
* [http://www.indoornetball.org.au Indoor Netball Australia]


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