Top-10 Most Popular Sports In Australia 2020

Australian Rules Football is most popular sports in Australia
Australian Rules Football is the most popular sports in Australia. (Photo credit: The West Australian)

As with every country in the world, sports is an activity received with great acclaim and excitement in Australia. The country rich in cultural values celebrates the successes its contingents have recorded in various sports. The versatility of sports in Australia also makes the country 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 purpose. But among the large array of sports available to many Australians, few have seen an increase in participants in recent years. Here are the top-10 most popular sports in Australia in 2020.

10. Rugby League

One of the fastest-growing sports in Australia, 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 which started in Australia in the earlier 20 the century, precisely 1908 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

Being a fairly popular sport in Australia, basketball is rated as the second most popular team participation sports in Australia. The sport also attracts about 1 million players in Australia. The rise in participation in basketball is largely influenced by the NBA in far-away America as well as the domestic basketball league and the National Basketball League in Australia. The national basketball team also enjoy 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 such as Victoria.

8. Tennis

Photo of tennis sport
Professional tennis players in action. (Image credit: AAP/Tony McDonough)

Tennis is the eighth most searched sports in the Australian digital space, but aside that the dominance of tennis as been on the rise in recent years, this is as a result of 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 780,000 Australians which was a significant increase from the previous year. The Australian Open men finals were viewed by 1.58 million viewers while the women’s final was viewed by more than one million individuals. This increase has made tennis one of the most popular sport in Australia.

7. Football (Soccer)

More a century ago, soccer was introduced in Australia, ever since then, the sports has seen an increase in viewers and participants. Soccer is the most viewed outdoor sport in Australia. The true passion Australians possess for the sports is often seen when the big names in football 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

Not to be confused for the rugby league, rugby union is much different from the rugby league in Australia. The Rugby Union is played by 15 players and differs from the rugby league in the model of tackle. The Rugby Union allow 7 seven substitutions in a game which differs from the rugby league. The game which originates from the 19th century is played by 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

Photo of Golf sport
Professional golf player in action. (Photo credit:

Steadily seeing an increase in recent years, golf has been one of the most popular sports in Australia in recent years. Golf which was first played in 1839 has since progressed to one of the most successful sports in Australia. The PGA Tour of Australasia, which happens to be one of the major golf events in Australia brings some of the best golf players to Australia. The PGA Tour of Australasia also features a good number of Australians who have been successful at the tournament.

4. National Rugby League

The NRL as the National Rugby league is called 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. This numbers which are evidently on the rise proves the National Rugby League is one of the most popular sports watched in Australia.

3. American Football

Photo of American football sport
Professional American football players in action. (Photo credit:

American football also named gridiron is another sport which has been on the rise since it’s 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 in faraway America, the Superbowl is one event which especially attracts thousands of Australians.

2. Cricket

Photo of cricket sport
Professional cricket players in action. (Image credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport)

Australia has made the headlines worldwide in the game of cricket. The popular sport which dates back to 1803 has seen immense success in recent years. The sport which is 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 enjoys incredible domestic participation which further boosts the popularity of cricket in Australia.

1. Australian Rules Football

Photo of Australian rules football sport
Professional Australian rules football players in action. (Photo credit: The West Australian)

Aussie Rules which is officially known as Australian rules football or Australian football is the most popular sport in Australia right now. It is a contact sport played by eighteen players per team which dates back to the 19th century. The sport which is deeply rooted in the Australian traditions is played by 1,404,176 players in 25,770 clubs as at 2016. In 2017, the Grand finale of the Australian Football was watched by over 8.4 million Australians making the sport the most popular in Australia. The popularity of the sport has been extended beyond the boundaries of Australia into other countries such as China.

SEE ALSO: Top-10 most popular sports in the world right now

There you have it—our list of the top-10 most popular sports in Australia in the year 2020. Which favourite sports in Australia did you expect on this list? Please share in the comments section below.


  1. Tisha October 9, 2019
  2. Xavier Austin November 28, 2019
    • INDIAN February 10, 2020
    • Andrew Mac May 11, 2020
      • Ian May 12, 2020
  3. Ian Senior May 4, 2020

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