Contributed by: Brett NortheyWhile worldfootynews.com focuses on Aussie Rules outside of Australia, in compiling the statistics on player numbers around the world, it would be remiss of us not to examine the numbers in the game's traditional homeland. Fortunately, such a mammoth task is performed independently, with consultants Street Ryan and Associates hired by the AFL to examine the game each year. Here we present a snapshot of those numbers, in the same format as our survey of other countries.
Firstly we should say that the statistics are not meant to depress those working hard around the world to grow our game. But certainly seeing the raw numbers reveals the amazing popularity of both Australian Rules Football and sport in general in Australia. It is also a strong statement to those, like us, who wish for the day when Australia can play a serious international against another country - the sheer depth of numbers in Australia will make it difficult for anyone else to be competitive for a long, long time. But we can still dream.
Besides the numbers listed below, which are based on school and club teams, a further 133,363 children participated in Auskick, which was not counted in our criteria (and there may also have been some overlap between kids that also play in schools anyway). Note that the juniors total consists of club players (78,355 junior category, 96,318 youth category) and school players (37,084 primary school, 19,155 secondary school). Adults consisted of those playing for regular clubs (82,550), in the AFL's new Recreational Footy (592), veterans sides (4472) and women's teams (7066). In all there were 3,888 adult teams counted (from a total of 16,479 teams across all ages).
|Senior Players||Junior Players||Total Players|
A state by state breakdown of total player numbers, but including Auskick juniors, reveals Victoria still produces the most players by far. Traditionally footy is most popular, in terms of participation rates, in the Northern Territory and South Australia, with high popularity also in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. However, rapid growth in New South Wales and Queensland, combined with their large populations, sees those states fast catching SA and WA in raw numbers, and well past Tasmania and the Territory.
All the data discussed above can be obtained from the AFL Annual Report 2004 - Game Development section.
World Footy News