What Is Australia’s National Sport?

Oliver Strewe/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Australia has several national sports including football, rugby and soccer. This group of sports is colloquially known as “footy” sports.

Spectator sports are popular in all six states and the various territories that comprise the country of Australia. The most popular options fall under the broad category of “footy” sport. Australia is also known for non-“footy” sports, such as tennis, golf and cricket.

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the highest form of competition in the sport of Australian rules football and is played either on an Australian football ground or modified cricket field. While kicking and handballing are the primary ways to move the ball up and down the field, players can use any part of their body. The professional league includes 16 teams.

The National Rugby League (NRL) includes the top level of rugby league football clubs that branched out from the Rugby Union. NRL matches are played across the nation and in New Zealand as well. Out of the total of 16 teams, 15 are based in Australia and one is based in New Zealand. Rugby league football is an international sport governed by the Rugby League International Federation.

In Australia, soccer is known as football and dates back to the 1800s. The country’s first national team was formed in the early 1900s. In 1974 Australia played in their first World Cup competition.