Australian rules football is based on rugby


Soccer in Australia refers to soccer codes played in the country including Australian soccer, rugby league, rugby union, club soccer (soccer), American soccer, and Gaelic soccer. In Australia, professional football is played for four of these codes. The leagues involved include the Australian Rules Football, National Rugby League, Super Rugby (rugby union) and A-League (soccer). Professional football has been televised for many years, with Australian football and rugby league being the most popular codes on television. Australia has a number of national soccer teams that include a variety of soccer rules including Australian rules, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, Gaelic and rust. Australian football is the most popular sport in Australia, followed by cricket, club football and rugby.[1]

A form of football was first played in Australia in 1829. Australian rules and rugby union clubs were established in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1860s. Football, or "British Association Football" as it was called, would arrive in the colony in 1870, with the first official game being played in 1880. Intercolonial football games were played in 1879. Women's soccer games were organized in the 1920s. National football associations were established during the same period. The regional soccer code divide in Australia still existed in the 1980s, with the rugby league in Queensland and New South Wales being the dominant code while Australian soccer dominated the rest of the country while continuing across Australia and Soccer was played to be played in ethnic enclaves. Attempts to move outside of these traditional boundaries have been largely unsuccessful.

The different codes attract different levels of participation that reflect historical trends. In 2011, football had more juniors nationally than any other football code, with the Australian rules being the second most popular. Historically, football was mostly ethnic minority, and rugby league and rugby union were native to the populations of Queensland and New South Wales. The Australian football regulation attracted participants mainly from the rest of the states and territories, but also from all over Australia. The Australian rules also had one of the highest participation rates among Australian indigenous communities.

Terminology [edit]

Football as a term can refer to several popular codes played in Australia. These include Australian Rules Football, Rugby League and Rugby Union, and Association Football.[2][3]

As in the US and Canada, club soccer in Australia is most commonly referred to as Soccer.[4][5][6] In the past, the sport has been referred to as British Association Rules and British Football.[7][8] It is sometimes referred to in the media as the "Round Ball Game", "World Game" and "International Football".[citation needed]

Australian Rules Football can be referred to as Australian Football, Footy, Aussie Rules, AFL, or Football.[9][10][11] In the past, the sport was known as Victorian Rules, Victorian Game, and Club Football.[12][13]

Rugby league can be referred to as league, soccer, football, league soccer, or rugby.[19]

Rugby Union can be referred to as union, football or rugby.

Participation [edit]

According to the December 2012 data release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, football had approximately 489,000 participants, or 2.7% of all Australians, in 2011–2012, while Australian Rules Football had 241,500 participants, or 1.3%.[24]

Historically, there have been regional differences in the prevalence of the Australian rules of football and rugby: the Barassi Line is a rough dividing line between areas where Australian rules are most popular and where rugby union and rugby league are most popular. Rugby league participation has been historically high in New South Wales and Queensland.[25] Both rugby league and rugby union remain popular in the states of New South Wales and Queensland.[26] Part of the relative popularity of one soccer code over another in terms of participation was due to the media's influence on coverage of the two main professional games, rugby league and Australian rules. This influence and their media market desires resulted in some regional patterns for these codes.[27]

Historically, for many years, participation in football has been limited to the newly arriving European ethnic groups in Australia.[25] The rugby league was also a relative newcomer to the Australian soccer codes, but there were 375,000 registered rugby league players in 1975, making it the third most popular national soccer code for the first time based on attendance.[25] In 1998/1999, soccer had an Australian participation rate of 7.7%.[28] During the same period, the Australian rules had an attendance rate of 6.2%.[28] The rugby union had a national participation rate of 5.4% in 1998/1999.[28]

According to other data collected over the past 10 years:

  • Australian football had an overall participation rate of 615,549 players in 2007.
  • In 2008, 269,377 children played rugby in schools. This is an increase of 390% over 2002 when the first accurate count of the number of participants in school competitions was made. By 2008, more than 1,000,000 children were directly involved in rugby activities in the ARLD school programs. As a sign of the game's growing influence, over 50,000 Victorian school children attended rugby school programs in 2010.[30]
  • Football was the most popular football code based on the male participation rate in Australia in 2010.[31]
  • According to the 2011 data release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1.2 million Australians over fifteen participated in one football code or another in 2009 and 2010.[32] Australian Rules Football and Outdoor Soccer were the most popular soccer codes Australian children played in 2009, with overall turnouts of 8.6% and 13%, respectively.[32]
  • In 2011, the umbrella organization of the rugby league counted 1,500,000 people who had played the game in the previous year, with an overall participation rate of 14.6%.[33]

Indigenous Australians [edit]

Australian soccer has traditionally been one of the most popular soccer codes played by the Australian indigenous community.[34] 11% of the Australian Football League players identified themselves as indigenous Australians in 2011.[35]

The rugby league has the highest indigenous participation. 12 percent of NRL contract players are native, compared to just 2.8 percent of Australians who have an Aboriginal heritage according to the last 2016 census. In addition, 17 percent of the popular gamers are native.

The Rugby League Koori Knockout is the largest single gathering of indigenous peoples in Australia. In 1944, the first Aboriginal rugby league club, the Redfern All Blacks, was founded in Redfern, New South Wales. The first All Indigenous Australian Rugby League national team was named in 2009.[34]Arthur Beetson was the first Indigenous Australian to command the national team of a football code when he was selected to head the Australian Rugby League in 1973.

The popularity of football began to grow in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the 2000s.[36] One of the first Indigenous Australians to make the national team was John Kundereri Moriarty, who was scheduled to tour with the team in 1961, but the national association was unable to hold the tour as it faced FIFA sanctions at the time. Other notable domestic soccer players included Charlie Perkins, who played and coached Pan-Hellenic, and Harry Williams, who was a member of the Australian team at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.[36][37]

Women [edit]

By 2003 over 60,000 female soccer players were registered.[38] In Australia, a total of 18,609 girls and women played Australian regular football in 2005, and in 2006 48,054 women played the sport in Australia.[39]

Security [edit]

The problem of safety in football in Australia is determined by the situation in American sport. Shocks are a problem for all four of Australia's major soccer codes. A summit was held by executives in the four major professional football leagues to address these issues in 2011.[19]

In Brisbane, Queensland, 63% of all sports-related injuries in 1980 were due to one of the four major soccer codes.[40] 10.2% of soccer players in a medical study had a head or neck injury.[40] The most common injury for an Australian regular player is a lower extremity injury, which accounts for approximately 60% of all injuries.[40] According to Australian regulations, contact injuries occurred 71% of the time compared to other causes of injury.[40]


The 1908 Wallabies, Australia's first Olympic football team.

Early forms of football were played in Sydney in 1829. Regular football competitions (an early form of rugby) were organized in New South Wales by 1850, and organized competitions were held in Queensland (rugby) and Victoria (Victorian Rules Football) soon after. Victorian football was codified in 1858.[42] The Australian football clubs that still exist in the current Australian Football League were founded in 1858.[44][42] The Australian rules were first played in Australia in 1859.[45] A rugby union team was formed at the University of Sydney in 1864. Rugby union was played in Australia in 1874 when the sport was first established in Sydney.[27]::175 Football was played in Australia in the 1870s.[25][27]::175 found in Sydney with the early base of the game in Australia.[48] The first team officially organized in Sydney in 1880, named Wanderers.[50]

In the 1890s and 1900s, Australian football did not gain much importance in New South Wales during this period when rugby union was the predominant code. The main exception was the Riverina area in New South Wales near the Victorian border and closer to Melbourne than Sydney.[51] A football league was established in Tasmania in 1900 and lasted ten years until the Boer War disrupted it.[8]

In 1914 and 1915, an amalgamation of rugby league and Australian football was considered and tested.[52][53]

In 1922 a committee in Australia investigated the benefits of physical education for girls. They came with several recommendations regarding the sports and were not suitable for girls to play due to the required fitness level. Soccer[clarification needed] was medically completely inappropriate for girls to play. It was medically appropriate that all girls could participate, as long as they were not overly competitive: swimming, rowing, biking, and horseback riding.[54]

In 1928, Australia's national rugby team first adopted the national colors of green and gold, having previously used blue and maroon. This made the Kangaroos the first national football team of a code to do this.[55] Everyone else has since adopted the colors.

In the 1930s, the rugby league, which had become professional, began to overtake the rugby union's popularity in Queensland, with the league being the dominant spectator code in 1937.[56]

The 1951 French rugby league tour through Australia and New Zealand was the first Australian tour by a French soccer team with any code.

At the Rugby League World Cup in 1954, an Australian national soccer team took part in a World Cup tournament for the first time. The Australian Rugby League then won the trophy in the following tournament in 1957, which was held in Australia. This was also the first World Cup tournament to feature a football code in the country.

The regional football code divide in Australia still existed in the 1980s, with the rugby league in Queensland and New South Wales being the dominant code while Australian football was dominant in the rest of the country. When codes went outside of their traditional geographic home, they had little success in attracting new fans and subscribers. In the 1980s and 1990s, both the major government bodies of the Australian Rules and Rugby League changed their names to reflect a more nationwide approach, adding expansion teams outside of their traditional territories.

In the 1990s, due to the ethnic nature of the sport, at the highest level of national competition, football faced the challenge of attracting young players. The sports association tried to make the game less ethnic. At the same time, rival soccer codes deliberately tried to include ethnic participants in order to expand their youth base.[58]

In 2006 both Sydney and Melbourne's finals featured teams from the Interstate, reflecting the change in professional football in Australia.[59]

In the late 2000s, Karmichael Hunt made history by becoming the first professional footballer to change codes from rugby league to rugby union to Australian rules football.

The first professional football leagues in Australia were the Australian Football League and the National Rugby League. Until the late 2000s, there were three major soccer codes every weekend, including Australian rules, rugby league, and rugby union.[62] Unlike in Europe and the United States, professional clubs for for-profit businesses are member-run rather than individual-owned.[63] The country's major soccer codes and professional leagues are all watching what their competition is doing to enhance their own strategic image in the Australian sports landscape.

Australia is unique among major sports markets as four soccer codes compete for market share. The irony is that the two international games of football and rugby union are being pressured by two parish codes, Rugby League and Australian Rules, which are both fast and furious and both rooted in deep tribal roots.

Paul Sheehan, 2010[64]

In the Australian Football League, money poured into the sport in the 1990s and 2000s. Total player payments in 1993 were A $ 24 million, but by 2003 they reached A $ 95 million. In 2007, the Australian Football League had the greatest financial stability of any Australian league with sales of A $ 280 million, with the National Rugby League coming in second with A $ 120 million. At the same time, the AFL had a high level of corporate support from major national and international sponsors such as Air Emirates, Vodafone and Toyota. The AFL also beat the NRL in terms of the geographic distribution of their teams. The AFL had teams in five states while the NRL in 2007 had teams in three states. By comparison, in 2007 the AFL spent A $ 30 million on youth player development for the NRL A $ 15 million.

The National Rugby League dates back to the 1890s when the rugby league split from rugby union when the code went professional. By 1908 the professional New South Wales Rugby League was established. Collective bargaining came to the fore in 1982, with 95% of all players joining the players' union in 1991. Media access to sport was one of the main reasons for a split in the sport in the 1990s that led to the new South Wales Rugby League, faced with competition from the Rupert Murdoch-sponsored Super League, and the “Super League War ”1997, which ended with the formation of the National Rugby League, which had become a national, non-state professional competition.

Audience [edit]

Australian sports fans have historically attended numerous events that date back to the country's early history. An early football game played in Melbourne in 1858 drew 2,000 spectators. Australian sports fans have been reluctant at times, and police were needed at football games dating from the 1860s. An early Australian football game was watched by tens of thousands of spectators by 1897, at a time when football games of the highest caliber in England were drawing six thousand fans. A final between Carlton Football Club and Collingwood in 1938 drew 96,834 fans. In 1909, at a time when rugby union was not yet professionalized, 52,000 people attended a game between New South Wales and New Zealand in Sydney. Viewers made up 10% of Sydney's total population at the time.[56] The 1914 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand included a match in Melbourne, the first rugby league game to be played in Victoria. The game between England and New South Wales drew 12,000 spectators.[71]

The average participation in games for the Australian Football League and National Rugby League increased between 1970 and 2000, with the AFL increasing from an average of 24,344 people per game in 1970 to 27,325 in 1980 to 25,238 in 1990 and 34,094 in 2000. The National Rugby League averaged 11,990 spectators per game in 1970, declining to 10,860 in 1980, but rising to 12,073 by 1990 and improving to 14,043 by 2000.

In 1999, 73,811 people attended a National Football League game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.[73] In March 1999, 104,000 fans took part in a National Rugby League double-headed game at Stadium Australia, four days after the venue officially opened.[74]

A National Soccer League game took place in 2002 in Launceston, Tasmania, between Perth Glory and Melbourne Knights at Aurora Stadium. The game was a 1-1 draw and drew a crowd of 5324 fans.[75] The Aurora Stadium in Tasmania hosted two A-League preparation games that drew over 8,000 spectators for the 2007-08 game.[76] FFT is actively pursuing the option of a state-based A-League club.[77]

Australian Rules Football was the most popular football code to attend in Western Australia in 2004, with over 1,030,000 spectators participating in WAFL and AFL games in 2004.[78] In the 2006/2007 season, the A-League Melbourne Victory reached an average of 27,728 viewers throughout the season. The 2009-10 regular season was considerably lower.[79] In 2011, the Australian Football League had a cumulative attendance of 7,139,272, a record for the competition, and an average attendance of 36,425. In 2010, the National Rugby League's Premier League set a record for regular participation in NRL games.[81]

Australian Bureau of Statistics survey Attendance of spectators at sporting events, 2009-10 reported the following results regarding women's participation in soccer sporting events. The survey found that an estimated 3.3 million women attended one or more sporting events as spectators. This was equivalent to 37% of women ages 15 and older in Australia and 54% of women ages 15-17. The main soccer sports present were: Australian Rules Football (1,171,100), Rugby League (594,700), Soccer (354,800) and Rugby Union (209,300).[82]

Media coverage [edit]

There is a long history of television coverage of football in Australia. From 1957 to 2001 the Seven Network was the network of the Australian Football League. The only year Seven wasn't the league's network was in 1987 when the AFL was on ABC. Seven signed an exclusive five-year contract worth A $ 3 million in 1976. Not all football television deals were good. Ten Network's deal with the New South Wales Rugby League was significantly higher in value, A $ 48 million for a five-year contract that included broadcast rights for the country of origin and the Australian national rugby team. This deal ended prematurely because the network couldn't afford the payout. The 1967 NSWRFL season grand finale was the first major football final of any code broadcast live in Australia. The Nine Network paid $ 5,000 for the broadcast rights.[88] The rugby league, which includes NRL, home state and national team games, had the highest overall television ratings of any sport in 2009[89] and 2010.[90] In a world first, the Nine Network broadcast the first game of the 2010 State of Origin series live in 3D in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.[91][92]

There are only a few Australian films that contain the Australian soccer codes.[93] When football is represented, the most important codes are the Australian rules of football and rugby. The sports often appear in the background to make a movie more authentically Australian.[93][94] they include The club. The film is based on a piece that was produced in Melbourne in 1977. It has been on the English curriculum for four Australian states for many years.[94] The film was written by David Williamson and directed by Bruce Beresford starring John Howard, Jack Thompson, Graham Kennedy and Frank Wilson.[95]The last winter, Released in 2007, is another Australian film that includes soccer. It was directed by Brian Andrews and Jane Forrest and produced by Anthony Coffee and Michelle Russell while it is independently produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was written by Matthew Nable, who also starred "Grub" Henderson. The film that was critically acclaimed[96] Emphasis is placed on Grub, who captained the Newtown Jets rugby league team in the early 1980s, and his determination to stand for what the rugby league traditionally stood for as he dealt with his own identity crisis.[97] Other Australian films that include soccer are Australian rules and Footy Legends.[98]

National teams [edit]

The national soccer teams include the Australian national soccer team (“Socceroos”), which participate in qualifying and final tournaments for the FIFA World Cup / AFC Asian Cup / Olympic soccer, the Australian national rugby team (“Wallabies”), which participate in The Rugby Championship takes part in the World Cup, while the Australian Rugby League team (“Kangaroos”) competes in various Ashes, ANZAC, Four Nations and World Cup rugby league test matches. The Australian football team with international rules is made up of players from the Australian Football League and competes against the best Gaelic football players from Ireland in a hybrid International Rules Series.

See also [edit]

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