Australia Home

Australian Sports

THE SPORTING NATION

Australia has in excess of 120 National sporting organizations. There are approximately 7 million people participating regularly in sports.  In addition there are many other activities in which Australians participate such as bushwalking, boating, horse riding and gymnasium fitness programs.  With a majority of the population within a close proximity of the ocean, there is a high interest in water-based sport from sailing, swimming, and surfing- to triathlons and ironman /woman events. It is also worthy of note that Australia is one of just three Nations to have competed in every Modern Olympics.

HISTORY of SPORTS

In 1984, The Australian Federal Government funded and established the Australian Sports Commission and this together with a corresponding increase in corporate or commercial sponsorship has seen a rapid increase in high level participation in all forms of sport both at the elite level and the general community level.  The Australian Institute of Sport is now well established in Canberra with smaller more specialized branches in all the States, from which the very best technological and scientific breakthroughs are put into practice.  In the past four years for instance the Federal Government allocated $300 M to elite and high-level sport.

AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL

Australian Rules Football was apparently played first as an organized sport in 1866, and has been played in various versions ever since.

Australian Rules Football is played on an oval shaped field with goalposts at each end (Two smaller posts called behind posts and two goal posts in between them). If the ball is kicked in between the two goal posts, a goal, or 6 points is scored. And if the ball goes through a behind post and a goal post a behind, or one point is scored. At the end of the day, the team who scores the largest total of Australian Rules Footballpoints is the winner.

Each game of Australian Rules Football is separated into 4 quarters, each lasting 20 minutes. The clock is stopped when the ball goes out of bounds or other delays caused through injury, so therefore each quarter ends up lasting around 30 minutes.

The ball used in Australian Rules (Or Aussie Rules) is an oval ball similar to that used for American Football or Rugby League. In day games the ball is red, but during night games, the ball is yellow to increase visibility.

Both of the two teams involved in playing Aussie Rules are allowed 18 players on the ground at all times and 4 interchange players who can be exchanged with the players on the field. The 18 players are separated into specific positions on the field. There are 3 Forwards, 3 Half Forwards, 3 Centers, 3 Rucks, 3 Half Backs and 3 Backs.

There are many leagues around Australia but the major, National league that the top players play, is the Australian Football League, or the AFL. The AFL is over 100 years old (http://www.csi.ukns.com/sport.shtm)

HORSE RACING

Often referred to as the “Sport of Kings” horse racing has been a part of Australian way of life since the 1860’s when the first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. The first race meeting, however, was held at Parramatta in 1810.  Most States in Australia have at least oneHorse Racing International standard race course with associated training facilities but the large cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane support numerous such facilities with the best of these located in Melbourne and Sydney.

The great handicap race, the Melbourne Cup which commenced in 1861 runs on the first Tuesday of each November.  This race, which is a 3200 meter race, has a value of $4 Million (http://www.csi.ukns.com/sport.shtm.

  MOTOR SPORTS

Motor Sports have seen Australians excel to a degree where they have achieved International recognition.Motor Sports

The most popular motorsport in Australia is the Australian Touring Car Championships that consist of 13 rounds culminating in the marathon Bathurst 1000 at the Mt Panorama circuit.  Much of the interest in this type of racing is generated by the identity of the two major participants, General Motors and Ford- cars that are available in their standard format to the general public (http://www.csi.ukns.com/sport.shtm).

RUGBY LEAGUE

The Game of Rugby League was formalized on the 29th August 1895 at Huddersfield in England when the Northern Union league was formed. Currently, many countries play the game with regular Tests. The World Cup is played by countries such as Australia, England, France, New Zealand and many others competing with Australia the reigning World Cup titleholders for 2000.

The team that has the most number of points at the conclusion of play is deemed the winner The game is played over two 40-minute halves. Extra-Time is played sometimes in Finals matches if scores are level at the end of regular time The game is played between 2 teams of 13 players and 4 interchange players with the teams’ jumpers are numbered according to their position.

A Goal is either a conversion after a try or a goal scored from the spot where the referee has awarded a penalty.

A Field Goal (1 point) can be scored at any time during general play by drop-kicking the ball over the cross-bar.

The kick off:The ball is placed in the middle of the ground and kicked down field.

TacklesA team has 6 tackles to score a try.  

Forward pass The ball cannot travel forward from the hand to a teammate.

Knock on: If the ball is propelled forward from the hand and the ball hits the ground this is deemed a knock on and the team will surrender possession.

Scrums: When the ball goes out of play over the sideline or when a forward pass or knock on occurs on the 6th tackle a scrum is formed.

Offside:The defending team must be 10 meters away from the opposition in between tackles (www.australianaustralia.com).

RUGBY UNION

Rugby UnionSchoolboys at the Rugby School in England supposedly invented Rugby Union football in 1823. At this time a schoolboy called William Webb Ellis picked up a soccer ball and ran with it and was soon copied by his fellow students. This new game possessed too many different forms until 1871 when rules were developed limiting the player to fifteen people a side and the Rugby Football Union was formed.

Today Rugby Union is played in more than 100 countries world wide, and is especially popular in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and Australia.

Teams:

A rugby team consists of fifteen players. There are eight forward players, and seven "backs". The forwards attempt to get the ball by taking part in scrummages, lineouts, rucks and mauls. The backs usually receive the ball from the forwards, and pass the ball down the line to team members who attempt to reach the far end of the field and touch the ball over it to score a try.

The playing area is officially field measuring 100m by 69m. The goal consists of two vertical posts joined by a horizontal bar set 3 meters above ground. The vertical posts are padded at the base of the pole to protect the players from injury when running for the try-line near the poles. Rugby matches are played over two 40 minutes halves.

Scoring

There are two methods of scoring in Rugby Union, the "try" and the "goal" (which are defined in the RUGBY section above). For a penalty, a kick for goal is an option or the team may play on in an attempt to score a try. A successful kick for goal here is worth 3 points, as is a successful drop penalty goal during play (www.australianaustralia.com).

WATER SPORTS

The Australian population live very close to the sea and the climate promotes a culture that incorporates the sea in many ways.  Some of the water sports Australians are involved in at elite levels down to participatory level are yachting, surfing, ocean swimming, surfing, triathlon, ironman and jet skiing to name a few (http://www.csi.ukns.com/sport.shtm).

TENNIS

Australia has a long tradition of highly competitive men and women’s tennis players, in Singles, Water SportsDoubles and various Championship level competitions such as the Davis Cup, the Federation Cup the Singles competition, the Wimbledon Championships (www.australianaustralia.com)

 
 

*Pictures on this page came from www.australianaustralia.com)


World View & Cultural Classification Traditions, Holidays, Folklore, Myths
Language, Values, Proverbs * Nonverbal Issues
Australian Educational System * Australian Healthcare
Improving Intercultural Competence * Entertainment in Australia * Australian Sports * Bibliography * Project Team 

Cultural e-Résumés Home Course Home
E-mail questions or comments to
mkfinney@depauw.edu
  January 26, 2001