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Your Guide to Aussie Sports

Loud atmosphere. The joy on a young child’s face. Following a team passionately, whether they win or lose. Wearing the jersey or team colours with pride. Get familiar with some of the sports Australian’s love to play and follow and why not get involved yourself!

1. AFL or Australian Rules Football

Two teams of 18 players with one goal in mind to get the ball and score either between the large centre posts (6 points) or the outside posts (1 point). This game is played on an oval field. You can use any part of your body to move the ball. AFL was played as early as 1858. A match consists of four quarters of twenty minutes. There are two Queensland AFL teams, Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns. Fun fact: Daniel Rich of the Lions and Tom Nicholls of the Suns are also Griffith alumni! It’s easy to catch a game at either Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast or the Gabba in Brisbane. Both venues are accessible by public transport, and transport to and from the game is usually included with your ticket price! The sport has attracted more overall interest among Australians than any other football code and the game day pies are always a must!

2. Cricket

A bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field with a wicket at each end. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles.

3. NRL or Rugby league

A full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. Fast, dominant and rough it’s a great game and extremely entertaining for its fans and spectators. Points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team’s goal line; this is called a try. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, and is most popular in Northern England, the state’s of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, South Auckland in New Zealand, southwest France and Lebanon. Ryan James is a Griffith Business School (Bachelor of Business in Sports Management) alumnus and is the NRL captain of the Gold Coast Titans. Read more here.

4. Rugby Union

A contact team sport which sees two teams of 15 players use an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.  The one that scores more points wins the game. Points can be scored in several ways: a try, scored by grounding the ball in the in-goal area, is worth 5 points and a subsequent conversion kick scores 2 points; a successful penalty kick or a drop goal each score 3 points.  Games are divided into 40-minute halves, with a break in the middle.

5. Tennis

A racket sport where each player uses a tennis racket to strike a ball over or around a net and into the opponent’s court. The object of the game is to move the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to hit it back. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.  Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is a popular worldwide spectator sport. Griffith is also home to a world-class tennis centre at the Mount Gravatt campus.  You can also hire the tennis courts at the Gold Coast campus through the Student Guild.

6. Basketball

A team sport in with two teams playing on a rectangular court. The aim is to  shoot the ball through the defender’s hoop while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. Players can move the ball by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or by passing it to a teammate. The game is fast paced, entertaining and has evolved to become one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports.  The American based league, the National Basketball Association (NBA), is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, talent, and level of competition.  Players from all six inhabited continents currently play in this league, which only adds to its BOOMING popularity.  Games are played in four quarters of 12 minutes (NBA). Five players from each team may be on the court at one time.

Griffith students at the Annual Basketball Competition

7. Horse Racing

The sport of kings! A high performance sport, involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports. Races are run over distances ranging from 400 m up to 4 km. On the first Tuesday of November in Australia the world-famous Melbourne Cup is run and is the race that stops a nation.

8. Netball

This is the most played sport in Australia across all age groups and both male and female. A ball sport played by two teams of seven players. Played on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end. Each team attempts to score goals by passing a ball down the court and shooting it through its goal ring. Players are assigned specific positions, which define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain areas of the court. During play, a player with the ball can hold on to it for only three seconds before shooting for a goal or passing to another player. Netball games are 60 minutes long.  The sport emerged from early versions of basketball and evolved into its own sport as the number of women participating increased.

Get involved!

As you can see, our great country loves sport and we have a huge variety to satisfy all fans. A sporting nation passionate for our teams and even more so when they win. Did you know that Griffith is one of Australia’s leading sports universities? Griffith students have the chance to use its world-class sporting and fitness facilities. You can also get involved and join a social team and sports club! Find out more here:

– Rowan

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