Top-10 Most Popular Sports In Australia 2021

Top-10 Most Popular Sports In Australia

What is the most popular sport in Australia?

Read on to find out.

As with every country globally, sports is an activity received with great acclaim and excitement in Australia.

The country is rich in cultural values celebrates the successes its contingents have recorded in various sports.

The versatility of sports in Australia also makes it a teeming ecosystem of young talents who are passionate and determined to get to the pinnacle of their chosen careers.

Aside from engaging in sports professionally, many in Australia enjoy sports for recreational as well as health purposes.

But among the large array of sports available to many Australians, few have seen an increase in participants in recent years.

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The Most Popular Sports in Australia

10. Rugby League

Popular Sport in Australia - Rugby League

One of Australia’s fastest-growing sports, Rugby League is the most searched sports on the internet in Australia.

Aside from the amount of attention it enjoys in the digital world, rugby is played by about 466,182 players in Australia.

The sports started in Australia in the earlier 20th century precisely 1908.

Rugby League features weekly games in domestic leagues in Australia.

In 2018 the Australian Super Rugby League recorded an average of 71,000 viewers, which was a nine percent jump from the previous year.

9. Basketball

Most Popular Sport in Australia Basketball
Melbourne United vs Sydney Kings at the Melbourne Arena. Wikimedia.

Being a fairly popular sport in Australia, basketball is rated as the second most popular team participation sport in the region.

The sport also attracts about 1 million players in Australia.

The NBA largely influences the rise in basketball participation in far-away America, including the domestic basketball league and the National Basketball League in Australia.

The national basketball team also enjoys a good media following as well as support from Australians.

Basketball, which was first played in Australia in February 1897, is popular in parts of Australia like Victoria.

8. Tennis

Popular Sport in Australia - Tennis

Tennis is among the most favorite sports in the Australian digital space.

But aside from that, tennis’ dominance has been on the rise in recent years due to grand slam tournaments such as the Australian Open, which brings the best tennis players to Australian soil.

The 2019 Australian Open final was attended by more than 796,435 Australians, which was a significant increase from the previous year.

The Australian Open men’s finals were viewed by 1.58 million people, while more than one million individuals viewed the women’s final.

This increase has made tennis one of the most popular sports in Australia.

7. Soccer

Sports in Australia - Soccer

More than a century ago, soccer was introduced in Australia.

Ever since then, the sport has seen an increase in viewers and participants.

Soccer is the most watched outdoor sport in Australia.

Australians’ true passion for soccer is often seen when the big names in the sport go head to head on Australian soil.

The 2015 game between Real Madrid and Manchester United drew about 99,000 attendees. 

About 3 million Australians watch the FIFA World Cup while about 3.8 million watches the World Cup, English Premier League, or the Australian domestic soccer league.

6. Rugby Union

Rugby Union

Not to be confused for the rugby league, rugby union is much different from Australia’s rugby league.

The Rugby Union is played by 15 players and differs from the rugby league in the model of tackle.

Rugby Union allows 7 seven substitutions in a game which differs from the rugby league.

The game, which originates from the 19th century, boasts of about 86,952 players in Australia.

The Australian National Rugby Union team dubbed the Wallabies has been quite successful, winning the Rugby World Cup on two occasions.

5. Golf


Steadily seeing an increase in recent years, golf has been one of Australia’s most popular sports in recent years.

Golf, which was first played in 1839, has since progressed to become one of Australia’s most favorite sports.

The PGA Tour of Australasia, which happens to be one of Australia’s major golf events, attracts some of the world’s best golf players.

The PGA Tour of Australasia also features a good number of Australians who have been successful at the tournament.

4. National Rugby League

The National Rugby league (NRL) is no different from the rugby played in the rugby league.

The NRL is played by male teams from Australia and New Zealand.

About 116 million aggregate audiences viewed the National Rugby League (NRL) from both Australia and New Zealand.

In 2017, the NRL was watched by about 6.5 million Australians.

These numbers evidently on the rise prove the National Rugby League is one of the most-watched sports in Australia.

3. American Football

American Football Gridiron Victoria

American football or gridiron is another sport that has been on the rise since its inception in Australia during world war II.

American football is played by 2,500 players in 73 teams in Australia.

Australians also follow the action in the National Football League (NFL) in faraway America.

The Super Bowl is one event that especially attracts thousands of Australians.

2. Cricket

Cricket Sports in Australia

Australia has made the headlines worldwide in the game of cricket.

The favorite sport, which dates back to 1803, has seen immense success in recent years.

Cricket, played by more than a million Australians, was viewed by about 4 million people in 2015 when Australia defeated New Zealand to win the Cricket World Cup.

The sports further enjoy incredible domestic participation, which further boosts the popularity of cricket in Australia.

1. Australian Rules Football

Most Popular Sport – Australian Rules Football

Aussie Rules, officially known as Australian Rules Football (AFL) or Australian football, is the most popular sport in Australia.

It is a contact sport played by eighteen players per team.

The sport dates back to the 19th century, and it is deeply rooted in Australian traditions.

AFL is played by 1,404,176 registered players in 25,770 registered clubs as of 2016.

In 2017, the Grand finale of Australian Football was watched by over 8.4 million Australians making the AFL the most-watched sport in Australia.

The popularity of the sport has been extended beyond Australia’s boundaries into other countries such as China.

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Final Words

There you have it—the top-10 most popular sports in Australia as of 2021.

The funfair and emotions that are mostly associated with sports events are not absent in Australia.

Which fan-favorite Australian sports did you expect should have made this list?

Please share it with us in the comments section below.

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