Sydney Australia Sports

The Sydney Sixers are the Harbour City's most important franchise, but rugby league is at junior level and rugby union is not. Football, as most fans call it, is the most played winter ball sport in Australia. 1.8 million people play it, including more than 2.5 million who played it in the summer of 2011-12. Participation is similar among young and older people, while there are rugby leagues for the junior women. The Sydney Cricket Ground, home to the Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC, shone in the summer of 2011-12 and is played by more people than any other sporting event in Sydney's history, according to a recent survey.

Olympic sports, boxing, judo and taekwondo, while more popular, tend not to have the profile of traditional Australian sports. Participation is high, but the sport is less popular with young and older people, making it more popular with younger people than in other parts of the country.

Rugby league, played mainly in New South Wales and Queensland, is one of Australia's most popular sports and the second largest in the world. Known as the A-League, the teams come from the mainland and one from New Zealand, with Victoria having two teams and New South Wales four, along with Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle. The AFL is also Australia's only professional winter league, which includes teams in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne City. Union is popular and is called rugby league in many parts of Australia, but not as much as rugby union in Queensland.

The National Basketball League has eight teams since its inception in the early 1990s, with teams in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne City. A more recent aspect of globalization is the Singapore-based A-League. The Australian mainland states are represented by four teams: Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand.

Today, the league comprises 12 teams, ten of which play in New South Wales, four in Queensland, one in South Australia and one each in Victoria and New Zealand. Four of Australia's best rugby teams have advanced to the Super League, joining the Brisbane Broncos, Melbourne Storm, Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders.

Most of the games will be played in the 83,500-seat stadium, which was built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is soon to be renovated as Sydney Football Stadium. The venue is occasionally home to the Parramatta Eels and is home to the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders as well as several other teams.

Australia's national rugby team has endured turbulent times over the past decade and a half, aside from some big games at ANZ Stadium, including the highly anticipated Bledisloe Cup clash against rival New Zealand in August. The most watched rugby league matches are the State of Origin series, in which the two states play three games in the winter (usually on Wednesday nights), and the Australian Football League is the competition of premiers, taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Melbourne. AFL is by far the most visited league in Australia, with more than a million members at an AFL club.

The incredible physical nature of the sport makes National Rugby League the most watched winter sports competition in Australia. Although it is a winter sport in most countries, Australia's first football league is played in the summer, which helps encourage rugby league and Australian rugby fans to follow their favourite sport. The professional basketball competition for Australia will be decided in the summer to try to avoid competing with the league and AFL.

Australian football created a new national competition with eight teams based in major cities and regional centres across Australia. In 1996, the Super 12 began with the creation of the Australian Super Rugby League, including the Sydney-based Waratahs. In 1997, this traditional competition remained as Australian rugby league, with only the top four teams in the league, AFL and AFL2, and the New South Wales and Queensland Cup.

The 1970s were also marked by the introduction of television coverage of rugby league in Australia. Television was a major factor in the growth of Australian Rugby League, beginning in 1980 with the founding of Australia's first national television network, Channel Seven.

As a result, inner-city clubs like Newtown were banned from rugby league competition in 1983, but rugby league benefited from a lack of sport here, too. The Australian football team, struggling, moved to Sydney and became the Sydney Swans in 1982. Today, the red and white stadium is regularly filled by the Swans in the stands at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and the gates are closed on Saturday night, while 60,922 spectators watch the annual Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm match there. One of our toughest clubs within the comps, they're regarded as one of the best and most successful rugby league clubs in Australia.

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