billsportsmaps.com

May 5, 2017

Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2017 location-map, with map showing all venues (17 venues) for 2017 AFL season; plus 2016 attendance figures & titles list./+ Illustration for the 2016 Grand Final champions – Western Bulldogs.

Filed under: Australia,Australian Rules Football — admin @ 12:20 pm

australian-rules-football_2017-afl_location-map_stadiums_2016-attendance_titles_post_c_.gif
Australian rules football: Australian Football League (AFL), 2017 location-map, with with map showing all venues for 2017 AFL season; plus 2016 attendance figures & titles list



By Bill Turianski on 5 May 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-AFL official site
-2017 AFL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-theroar.com.au/aussie-rules.
-Aussie rules scores/fixtures/ladder, etc..scorespro.com/aussie-rules.
-If you are new to Aussie rules football and would like to see an explanation of the rules, and/or a brief thumbnail-history of the AFL, you can see all that on my first map-and-post on the subject, here:
[from April 2015] Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

    2016 Grand Final champions – Western Bulldogs: their second Premiership (title) and first title in 62 years…

australia_afl_2016-grand-final_western-bulldogs_89-67_sydney-swans_jason_johannisen_tom-boyd_liam-picken_tory-dickson_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Jason Johannisen, photo by Tim Carrafa at heraldsun.com.au/sport. Tom Boyd, photo by Getty Images via pinterest.com. Liam Picken, photo by Graham Denholm/Fairfax Media via standard.net.au. Tory Dickson, photo by Alex Coppel at theaustralian.com.au/sport. Shot of clinching goal celebration, photo by Phil Hillyard at heraldsun.com.au/sport.

    Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2017 location-map, with map showing all venues for 2017 AFL season; plus 2016 attendance figures & titles list.

2017 AFL, location-map with titles chart & attendances…
The main map shows all the venues for the 2017 season (17 venues), plus of course the 18 AFL teams’ crests and their primary-locations. At the far-upper left of the map-page is a small map showing the venue-location in Shanghai, China (see 3 paragraphs below). [Note: if you are confused why the Wikipedia page for the AFL currently shows there being 16 venues (and not 17 venues) for the 2017 AFL season, that is because the (recently-renovated) venue in Ballarat, Victoria is not included there...and the Western Bulldogs will be in fact playing one of their home games there (at the 11-K-capacity Eureka Statium), this season (on 19 August, 2017).]

On the upper-right-hand-side is a chart of all the AFL teams, arranged by titles. The chart lists the 6 following items for each team…

A). Club colours, crest & jersey-pattern.
B). Premiers (titles), with year of last premiership. The most-titled clubs in the AFL are the Essendon Bombers and the Carlton Blues, both of whom have won 16 Premiers (but neither has been AFL champion since 2000).
C). Australian state that the team is located in (10 teams from Victoria; and 2 teams each from: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia).
D). Year-of-establishment as an AFL team (with Melbourne-to-Sydney franchise-move [of 1981-82] noted).
E). Seasons in the VFL/AFL [2017 will be the 121st season of the VFL/AFL).
F). Premiers-per-season percentage [Premiers (Titles) divided by seasons]. The best percentage is owned by the Brisbane Lions (who have won a Premier every 6.67 seasons) followed by the Hawthorn Hawks (a Premier won every 7.14 seasons), then the Essendon Bombers (a Premier won every 7.37 seasons), then the Carlton Blues (a Premier won every 7.5 seasons), then the Collingwood Magpies (a Premier won every 8 seasons).

Since its founding in 1897, the VFL/AFL has played regular-season matches at 42 different venues…
From the Australian Football League page at Wikipedia…“Throughout the history of the VFL/AFL, there have been a total of 42 different grounds used…/…The largest capacity ground in use is the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which has a capacity of over 100,000 people, and hosts the Grand Final each year. The MCG is shared by five [of the 10 Melbourne] teams as a home ground, whilst the other grounds used as home venues by multiple teams are Docklands Stadium in Melbourne [four of the 10 Melbourne teams primarily], Adelaide Oval in Adelaide [both Adelaide-based teams], and Subiaco Oval in Perth [both Perth-based teams]. The AFL has had exclusive ownership of Docklands Stadium (commercially known as Etihad Stadium) since late 2016.” (excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/Australian Football League/Venues).

Alternate venues for the 2017 AFL regular season…
I have expanded the original location-map I made 2 years ago by including all venues – 17 venues – that will host regular-season games in the 2017 AFL season. (You can also see 16 of the 17 venues at the following link at Wikipedia: venues used during the 2017 AFL season.) Included in that list of venues is a stadium in Shanghai, China: the 25,000-capacity Jiangwan Stadium, which will be re-configured to host Aussie rules football with a temporary-15-K-capacity, and will host a regular-season AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns, on 14 May 2017.
-See this, Port, Suns to face off in Shanghai in round eight clash (by Dinny Navaratnam on 16 Oct. 2016, from afl.com.au).
-Also see this, Beating NFL and NBA to the punch: Port Adelaide bring real AFL deal to Shanghai (by Sam Agars on 3 Feb. 2017, from the South China Morning Post at scmp.com).

Aside from AFL regular-season games played previously in New Zealand, this will be the AFL’s first overseas regular-season match [ie, outside of Austalasia]. And, as pointed out in the article from the South China Morning Post linked-to above, the AFL match in Shanghai in May 2017 will be the first regular-season game played in China by any foreign professional league. In other words, the Australian Football League has beaten the NFL and the NBA (and the Premier League, for that matter), in being the first foreign major league to play a regular season game in the potentially-vastly-lucrative market that is China.

Many AFL teams regularly play matches outside of their home venues…

The Hawthorn Hawks and the North Melbourne Kangaroos both play a considerable percentage of their home regular-season games in the State of Tasmania (which is the southern-most of the 6 Australian States, and is an island located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland). For 17 years now (since 2001), the Hawthorne Hawks have played some of their regular-season home matches in Launceston, Tasmania (which has a population of only around 86,000). There, Hawthorn play at York Park [aka the University of Tasmania Stadium], which has a capacity of 21,000. These days Hawthorn play four of their eleven home regular-season matches there. If Hawthorne played all their home matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (and not just 7 of their 11 home matches at the MCG), they would probably draw at-or-near-to the highest in the AFL. Because when you do the math, the 13.8 K per game they drew in Launceston, Tasmania last season depressed Hawthorne’s average attendance to the point that they were actually drawing highest in the league – on average – for their Melbourne home matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (they averaged 49.6 K at the MCG, a figure which is about 2.6 K higher than the 47.0 K that the top-drawing Adelaide Crows drew in 2016). Tasmania Tourism is also a major sponsor of the Hawthorne Hawks (as you can see in the jersey-photo below, with “Tasmania” emblazoned prominently on the Hawks’ gear).
hawthorn_hawks_play-4-home-matches-per-year_at_york-park_launceston_tasmania_e_.gif
Photo credits above – Photo of Launceston, Tasmania unattributed at realestate.com.au/neighbourhoods/launceston-tas. Photo inside York Park, Launceston, Tasmania for Hawthorne Hawks match, photo by city of Launceston at launceston.tas.gov.au/Events/AFL-2017-Hawthorn-v-Brisbane. Hawthorne 2017 jersey, photo from jerseys.com.au/products/hawthorn-hawks-2017-home-guernsey.

Another AFL team that plays in Tasmania is the North Melbourne Kangaroos…
Since 2012, the North Melbourne Kangaroos have played three of their eleven home regular-season matches in the Tasmanian capital-city of Hobart (the population of Greater Hobart is around 221,000). There, North Melbourne play at the Bellerive Oval, which has a capacity of 20,000.

To round out all the rest of the alternate home-match-venues for 2017…
-The Melbourne Demons play two of their eleven home regular-season matches in the sparsely-populated Northern Territory, with one match in Darwin, NT and one match in Alice Springs, NT.
-Since 2014, the Western Bulldogs have been playing one of their eleven home regular-season matches in Cairns, York Peninsula, Queensland. Starting in 2017, the Western Bulldogs also will begin playing one other regular-season home match in a venue about 65 miles west of Melbourne, in Ballarat, VIC.
-The newest AFL team, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, play three of their eleven home regular-season games in the Australian capital, in Canberra, ACT.

In all but the latter of these alternate-home-venues mentioned above, the shift in venue means a considerable decrease in the teams’ average attendances. But the teams see the benefits of lucrative sponsorship deals and expanded team-support, and these things outweigh the ticket-revenue-shortfalls of the alternate-venues. And likewise, with respect to the game being played in China…if the match in Shanghai works out well for the Port Adelaide Power – and for the AFL in general – then it is very probable that a regular-season game in China will become an annual feature of the Australian Football League.

___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2016 season): 2016 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by club (en.wikipedia.org).
-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.
-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).
-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Blank maps on map page…
-Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).’-Thanks to TUBS for blank map of China showing Shanghai, File:Shanghai in China (+all claims hatched).svg.

-Jersey Icons…Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org). Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

-Thanks to Port Adelaide FC’s twitter-feed, twitter.com/PAFC, for the article from the South China Morning Post.
-For general historical info, thanks to australianfootball.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to AFL Tables site for attendances and for all-time list of AFL venues, afltables.com/afl/venues/overall.html.

April 16, 2017

Australia, National Rugby League: NRL attendance chart for 2016 regular season (with 2016 finishes listed)/+ the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (1st title) – the 2016 NRL Premiers (champions).

Filed under: Australia,Rugby,Rugby>Australia — admin @ 7:51 pm

Links…
-Official site… nrl.com.
-2017 season (teams, etc)… 2017 NRL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Australia’s leading sports opinion site’s rugby league page… theroar.com.au/rugby-league.
-The bums on seats truth about the NRL draw (by Jason Hoskins on Oct. 27 2016 at theroar.com).

-My map-&-post of NRL (May 2015), featuring location-maps of NRL teams, plus an article: History of First Division Rugby League in Australia (1908 to 2014) [including the Super League war of the late 1990s],
Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) – 2015 location-map(s) with attendance-&-titles-chart.

By Bill Turianski on 16 April 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

australia_nrl_rugby-league_2016-attendances-and-finishes_chart_c_.gif
Chart by billsportsmaps.com/attendance figures from afltables.com/[2016 NRL attendance].




    Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks: 2016 NRL Premiers (champions)…

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks were established as an NRL expansion-team in 1967. In the Sharks’ 50th season, in 2016, they won their first NRL premiership (title). Cronulla-Sutherland’s 50-season title-drought was the longest ever, in Australian rugby league history (since 1908/ List of Premierships, here). Below is Cronulla, in Sutherland Shire, which is a local government area in the southern part of Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Further below is action from the 2016 NRL Grand Final (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14, Melbourne Storm 12)…
cronulla-sutherland-sharks_endeavour-field_shark-park_southern-cross-group-stadium_woolooware_greater-sydney_australia_2016-nrl-champions_i_.gif

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Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial shot of Cronulla by 1908cronulla.com.au. Endeavour Field, photo unattributed at forum.insidesport.com.au. Endeavor Field at night, photo unattributed at austadiums.com. Sydney neighborhoods, map from mapaplan.com via mapsontheweb.zoom-maps.com/areas-of-sydney.

Cronulla & Melbourne kit illustrations, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_NRL_Grand_Final. Screenshot of Cronulla fans at Grand Final, image from video uploaded by Rugby League/Union at youtube.com. Ben Barba, photo from smh.com.au/photogallery/sport/action-from-2016-grand-final-melbourne-storm-versus-cronullasutherland-sharks. Screenshot of Jesse Bromwich scoring a try, image from video uploaded by Rugby League/Union at youtube.com. Will Chambers scoring try to give Melbourne the lead, photo unattributed at skysports.com. Andrew Fifita, breaking tackles, photo by Photosport via radionz.co.nz/news/sport/cronulla-sharks-win-nrl-grand-final. Andrew Fifita about to score the match-winning try, photo unattributed at dailytelegraph.au/sport. Andrew Fifita scoring the match-winning try, photo by John Veage via theleader.com.au. Cronulla’s trophy-celebration at Endeavour Field the following day, with captain Paul Gallen and Man-of-the-Match-winner Luke Lewis holding the trophy aloft, while Sharks fans cheer behind them, photo by Greg Porteus at couriermail.com.au/sport.

___
Thanks to the contributors at National Rugby League (en.wikipedia.org).
A Big Thanks to afltables.com/[2016 NRL attendance], for the pretty-hard-to-find NRL attendance figures.

March 25, 2016

Australia, National Rugby League: NRL attendance chart for 2015 regular season (with 2015 finishes listed)/+ the North Queensland Cowboys – 2015 NRL champs (their first title) & 2016 World Club Championship winners.

Filed under: Australia,Rugby,Rugby>Australia — admin @ 11:27 am

Links…
-Official site… nrl.com.
-2016 season (teams, etc)… 2016 NRL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Australia’s leading sports opinion site’s rugby league page… theroar.com.au/rugby-league.

-My map-&-post of NRL from May 2015,
Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) – 2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers) won by club./ Plus an article on the history of pro Rugby League in Australia./ Plus illustrations for 2 clubs; the highest-drawing rugby club in the world (the Brisbane Broncos) & the reigning RL champions of Australia and the World (the South Sydney Rabbitohs).

By Bill Turianski on 25 March 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

    Australia, National Rugby League: NRL attendance chart for 2015 regular season (with 2015 finishes listed)

australia_nrl_2015_chart_attendances_2015-ladder_finals_e_.gif
Source for 2015 NRL attendance figures: afltables.com/rl/crowds/2015 (AFL Tables site/NRL).



    4 October 2015:
    2015 NRL Grand Final, at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, New South Wales. Attendance: 82,758.
    The first all-Queensland rugby league Grand Final. North Queensland Cowboys 17, Brisbane Broncos 16 (Golden Point).

Here is a 4:38 video of highlights of the matchNRL Grand Final 2015 Cowboys vs. Broncos Match Highlights (uploaded by Premier Sports at youtube.com).
Below: Townsville, Queensland, Australia, metro-area population: 178,000 {2014 estimate}. Townsville is home of the NRL’s North Queensland Cowboys, and is the smallest city in Australia with a major-league team. So I guess that makes the North Queensland Cowboys like the Green Bay Packers of Australia :-)
townsville-queensland-australia_north-queensland-cowboys_13000smiles-stadium_b_.gif

2015-nrl-grand-final_north-queensland-cowboys-17_16-brisbane-broncos_-jonathan-thurston_d_.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial view of Townsville, QLD, photo by Tourism and Events Queensland at queensland.com/destination Townsville. Shot of waterfront from hotel balcony in Townsville, photo by Nicole at bittenbythetravelbug.com/what-to-do-in-townsville-australia. View of Townsville at night, photo by Geoff Beck at redbubble.com/townsville-queensland-australia-at-night-capital-of-far-north-queensland-poster. Aerial view of North Queensland cowboys home venue – Willow Sports Centre (aka 13000Smiles Stadium), photo by liney_2000 at panoramio.com.

Cowboys & Broncos fans mugging for the camera outside ANZ Stadium prior to the 2015 Grand Final – showing that Queensland pride trumps their teams’ rivalry, photo by AAP Images via dailymail.co.uk. North Queensland fans at Grand Final with Jonathan Thurston banner, photo by AAP Images via dailymail.co.uk. Screenshot of 2015 NRL Grand Final opening kick-off, images from video uploaded by Premier Sports at youtube.com, NRL Grand Final 2015 Cowboys vs. Broncos Match Highlights. Two seconds before the final whistle, North Queensland FE Michael Morgan flicks a short outside pass to RW Kyle Feldt, who scores as time expires to even the score at 16-16, screenshot of image uploaded by Premier Sports at youtube.com, NRL Grand Final 2015 Cowboys vs. Broncos Match Highlights. Morgans crucial offload, photo unattributed at the [Brisbane] Courier Mail, couriermail.com.au/michael-morgans-calmness-key-to-setting-up-kyle-feldt-try-in-nrl-grand-final. North Queensland RW Kyle Feldt scores a try as time expires (80′), but the extra point is missed, sending in the game into extra time, photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Jonathan Thurston (top scorer for 2015 Cowboys/2015 Grand Final MVP), about to kick the winning field goal in extra time, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. The following day (Monday, 5 October 2015), at the Cowboys’ stadium in Townsville, 15-thousand-strongNorth Queensland fans celebrate their team’s triumph; Co-captains Matthew Scott and Man of the Match-winner Jonathan Thurston (in shades with medal) hold the trophy, photo by Ian Hithcock/Getty Images via stuff.co.nz/Triumphant-NRL-champions-North-Queensland-Cowboys-return-to-Townsville. Illustration of North Queensland Cowboys 2015 season, illustration by leagueunlimited.com at 2015 in review – North Queensland Cowboys.
___
Thanks to the contributors at National Rugby League (en.wikipedia.org).
A Big Thanks to afltables.com, for the pretty-hard-to-find 2015 NRL attendance figures.

March 21, 2016

Australia, Australian Football League: AFL attendance chart for 2015 regular season (with 2015 finishes listed)/+ the Hawthorn Hawks – 2015 AFL Premiers [champions] (their 3rd-straight title, and 13th overall).

Filed under: Australia,Australian Rules Football — admin @ 9:27 pm

By Bill Turianski on 21 March 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Official site… afl.com.au.
-2016 AFL teams previews… by Russell Jackson at Guardian/sporttheguardian.com/profile/russell-jackson.
-2016 season (teams, etc)… 2016 AFL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-2015 attendance figures… afltables.com/afl/crowds/2015 (AFL Tables site).

-My map-&-post of Aussie Rules Football/AFL, from April 2015,
Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

    AFL attendance chart for 2015 regular season (with 2015 finishes listed)

australia_afl_2015-attendances_b_.gif
Credits for above –
2015 AFL attendance figures from AFL Tables.com, at afltables.com/afl/crowds/2015.html.
AFL teams’ jersey-pattern icons from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Football_League#Current_clubs.




From Guardian/sport, from 3 Oct. 2015, by Russell Jackson, AFL grand final: Hawthorn defeat West Coast Eagles by 46 points – as it happened (theguardian.com/sport/blog).

    Hawthorn Hawks – 2015 AFL Premiers [champions] (their third-straight title).
    3 October 2015: 2015 AFL Grand Final at Melbourne Cricket Ground (attendance: 98,633),
    Hawthorn Hawks 16.11 (107), West Coast Eagles 8.13 (61).

australia_afl_2015_grand-final_mcg_hawthorn-hawks-107_61-west-coast-eagles_cyrile-rioli_norm-smith-medalist_c_.gif
Photo credits above – Aerial shot of Melbourne Cricket ground [photo circa 2014], home of the AFL Grand Final, photo unattributed at piecesofvictoria.com. Photo of Hawthorn’s giant banner which was displayed prior to the match; photo from File:2015 AFL Grand Final Hawthorn banner.JPG, photo by Jenks24 at commons.wikimedia.org. Cyril Rioli leaps for a mark, photo by Julian Smith/AAP via theguardian.com/sport. Cyril Rioli scores his second first-quarter goal, photo by Julian Smith/AAP via abc.net.au/cyril-rioli-keeps-up-family-tradition-with-norm-smith-medal-win. Jack Gunston, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Isaac Smith being tackled (but not without a fight), photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Shaun Burgoyne and Cyril Rioli of the Hawks celebrate with fans as trophy gets passed towards them, photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Cyrile Rioli with winners medal and Neal Smith medal (man of the match), photo unattributed at tlaworldwide.com/jpg.
___
Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to Russell Jackson for the live-blog article at The Guardian/sport/blog.
A Big Thanks to afltables.com, for attendance figures.

May 11, 2015

Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) – 2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers) won by club./ Plus an article on the history of pro Rugby League in Australia./ Plus illustrations for 2 clubs; the highest-drawing rugby club in the world (the Brisbane Broncos) & the reigning RL champions of Australia and the World (the South Sydney Rabbitohs).

Filed under: Australia,Rugby,Rugby>Australia — admin @ 6:32 pm

australia_nrl_rugby-league_2015-location-map_w-titles_2014-attendances_post_h.gif
Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League, 2015 location-map with 2014 attendances and titles listed



Links…
-Teams…National Rugby League/ Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores, schedule, table…livescores.ninemsn.com.au/nrl.
-NRL at LoveRugbyLeague.com…loverugbyleague.com/nrl.
-Official site of NRL…nrl.com.

    Australia (and New Zealand): National Rugby League (NRL) -
    2015 location-map with a chart which shows…2014 attendances by club, club colours & crests, and titles (Premiers)

By Bill Turianski on 11 May 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Updates…
-Crowds-&-finishes chart for 2016 season of the NRL, with 2016 Premiers (champions), the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.
-Crowds-&-finishes chart for 2015 season of the NRL, with 2015 Premiers (champions), the North Queensland Cowboys.

Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how massive the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. (Note: that graphic can also be seen at the far-lower-left-hand corner of the map page.) As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, 3 of which have NRL teams (Sydney [9 teams], Melbourne [1 team], Brisbane [1 team]). On the map page, in the globe-map at the far left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city [but it nevertheless does have an NRL team], and is the eighth-largest Australian city, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 2 paragraphs above above).

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

On the map page…
The map page is a bit complicated, owing to the Sydney-centric nature of first-division rugby league in Australia – 9 of the 16 NRL teams are from Greater Sydney (all are listed in the next paragraph), plus there are 2 more teams nearby…one team in northeast New South Wales (Newcastle Knights) and one team in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra Raiders). So there are three maps that comprise the location-map aspect of the map page. First off, is the map at the upper center of the map page, which includes all of Australia and New Zealand, and shows the other 5 clubs in the NRL…3 teams based in Queensland (North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans)), one team based in Victoria (Melbourne), and one team based in New Zealand (New Zealand Warriors).

The next map, at the lower center of the map page, shows all of New South Wales state and it features the locations of all the 9 Greater Sydney teams, plus the Newcastle team and the Canberra team. The 9 Greater Sydney-based teams are then shown in the third map at the lower right-hand part of the map page – that is an enlarged inset-map of Greater Sydney…there you can see the more precise locations of the 8 NRL teams that play all their games in greater Sydney (Manly-Warringah Eagles, Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Wests Tigers). Also shown in the Greater Sydney inset map is the team that has two locations (St George Illawarra Dragons), who play half their home games in the St George neighborhood of south Sydney and the other half of their home games in Woolongong, NSW, which is about 80 km or 50 mi south of Sydney.

The other two features of the map page are…a globe-map of Australia at the far left-hand side (featuring the 5 biggest cities in the country plus the capital); and
a chart at the upper-right-hand side which lists 4 things:
1). 2014 home regular season average attendance;
2). the year the club gained admission to the NRL or its predecessors;
3). club crests and colours;
4). Australian RL titles (aka Premiers) won by each club, with last title-year listed.

    History of First Division Rugby League in Australia (1908 to 2014)…

The path to the NRL – the first 88 years of Rugby League in Australia…
From the Wikipedia page National Rugby League/Origins and beginnings…{2 excerpts}…
…”The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) ran the major rugby league competition of New South Wales from its inception in 1908 until 1994, by which time its powers had expanded to run the code nationally. Following the introduction of a new format for interstate rugby league, the State of Origin series in 1980, the decade of the 1980s brought about expansion of the NSWRL premiership, with the…addition of non-Sydney-based teams, Canberra and Illawarra in 1982.” /…”Further expansion of the league followed in 1988, with another three teams based outside Sydney introduced to the competition; the Newcastle Knights and the first two Queensland teams, the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast-Tweed Giants.”…{end of excerpts}.

1995…
With a major threat looming on the horizon (see below), the NWSRL became known as the Australian Rugby League (ARL) in 1995; that same year, there were four more expansion teams…Auckland Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys, South Queensland Crushers and Western Reds [of Perth, Western Australia]. The former two of those four – the Warriors of NZ and the Cowboys of North Queensland – still exist. But the latter of those four – the South Queensland team and the Perth team – became a couple of the many casualties of the Super League War.

In 1996, Rupert Murdoch tries to gain the television rights to Australian rugby league, and the Super League War is initiated…
Then in 1996 and 1997, Rupert Murdoch wanted the television rights in order to establish a (very lucrative) pay-television scheme, so he formed a short-lived rival major league by luring prominent ARL club executives, coaches, and players with bags of cash. But it must be pointed out that many of the 8 clubs which jumped ship to Murdoch’s phony league were threatened by Murdoch had they stayed put. Sick of the salary cap in the ARL thwarting their ambitions, Brisbane, Canterbury, and Auckland went over to Murdoch’s league willingly. But as to the others, Murdoch coerced some of those 1st division rugby league clubs into joining his new league, or face the threat of having to compete for the fan-dollar against theoretical new rival-teams that Murdoch would have put in those clubs’ neighborhoods. By April 1996, Murdoch’s News Limited began to sign up target clubs, some of whom had already lost key personnel to Super League. “Club representatives were told that if they did not join Super League, they would face rival clubs established in their area.” {quote from Super League war/The war at its peak (en.wikipedia.org)}. That threat by Murdoch & Company was in fact carried out in one place – the Hunter region of northeast New South Wales (where the city of Newcastle, NSW is located, and where the then-ARL team/now NRL-team the Newcastle Knights are located). So, because the Newcastle Knights stayed put in the AFL, they were suddenly forced to compete in their region in 1997 with the hastily-formed and poorly-supported Hunter Mariners (who were established in 1997, played the ’97 season in Murdoch’s league, then were wound up in late 1997). Poetic justice can be found in the fact that the Newcastle Knights held steadfast, refused to buckle to Murdoch & Company, stayed put in the ARL, and then went on to win the ARL premiership in that twisted year of 1997.

Here are the 8 RL clubs [7 which still exist today, as NRL teams], that jumped ship for that cash-fueled league that Murdoch foisted upon RL fans in 1997…
Auckland Warriors [now named New Zealand Warriors]
Brisbane Broncos
Canberra Raiders
Canterbury Bulldogs [now named Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs]
Cronulla Sharks [now named Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks]
North Queensland Cowboys
Penrith Panthers
Western Reds [defunct]

-See this [if you want a headache], Super League war (en.wikipedia.org)/
-See this [if you want it explained short and sweet], from the National Museum of Australia site, Super League (nma.gov.au).}

-Here is a “TL;DR” version of the events around the Super League War, from Reddit.com/RL commenter Socc13er37 [link to the original thread is further below]…
…{excerpt}…
…”[1] Two media moguls, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch, fight over TV rights for the ARL. Packer purchased them in 1993 and Murdoch tried to take the currently dead Pay TV rights, which he did. Packer gets pissed and says he has all the ARL TV rights, and the brawl brews over from there.

[2] Meanwhile, Brisbane CEO John Ribot is unhappy with the current state of the league for his Queensland side, and wants to make his own league, with a global audience and Murdoch-owned teams, called the Super League. ARL and the clubs say “Fuck that” and unanimously decline.

[3] Ribot and Murdoch “go into their evil lair” to plan out how they make the Super League dream a reality. They offer massive salaries and signing bonuses to clubs like Canterbury, Auckland and Brisbane, who all sign on. The ARL find out and plan to expel said clubs from the competition. Murdoch states he won’t let that happen and will compensate the clubs if legal action occurs.

[4] The ARL can’t stop the News Ltd SL train. 8 clubs sign on to join the Murdoch-run league and they look to be riding high, but the court brings them down. The ARL runs the show here, and the Federal Court says there will be no SL until 2000, which was then reduced until this year. Then, the court overturns the decision, and says that the Super League will run in 1997. The ARL appeals, but loses in less than 40 minutes of court proceedings, and results in the CEO’s resignation.

[5] During the two leagues running simultaneously, a lot of clubs lost money and sponsorship was spread thinly. Eventually, the Super League with its extravagant amount of spending couldn’t hold it together, and there was a merger back together, to make the NRL.”…{excerpt from comment made by Socc1er37 at the Reddit.com/r/NRL thread entitled Can someone outline what happened during the ‘super league war’ period of time? (reddit.com/r/nrl/comments).

Murdoch’s cash-fueled league (1997/merged with ARL to form NRL in 1998)
The 1997 season saw 22 clubs in two rival RL leagues. One of which – Murdoch’s league – was filled with 8 former AEL clubs and a few now-defunct expansion clubs [Adelaide and Hunter]). Fans stayed away in droves. Then in late 1997, the courts stepped in and resolved the unsustainable twin-major-leagues mess in Australian rugby league. Murdoch got some of what he wanted (some broadcast rights and co-ownership of the new league structure, as well as ownership of some clubs [he currently owns two-thirds of Brisbane Broncos, and he used to own Melbourne Storm/see 2 paragraphs below]). But more importantly, Murdoch stopped meddling with rugby league in Australia. The fallout remained for years, though/ (see below).

With the resolution of the Super League war in late 1997, the National Rugby League (NRL) is established in 1998…
In late 1997, with the resolution of the Super League war, the National Rugby League (NRL) was established, to begin its first season in 1998. The first order of business was to consolidate. Some clubs (such as St George and Illawarra) merged, in the form of joint-partnerships. Then, after the 1999 season, pushed by Murdoch’s News Limited, the NRL top brass went too far, and tried to destroy South Sydney Rabbitohs. But after a two-year exile, South Sydney and their supporters were able to fight their way back into the league.

In 2000, South Sydney Rabbitohs are excluded by NRL, but then the courts re-instate the Souths into the league (for 2002)
-…{excerpt from wsws.org}…”[2001]…An acrimonious court case late last year in Australia’s Federal Court over the exclusion of a team from the National Rugby League (NRL) spotlights how Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation uses sport to expand its pay TV subscriber base and secure multi-million dollar profits. The Federal Court upheld a decision by NRL administrators to exclude South Sydney, one of the clubs that founded rugby league in Sydney in 1908, from the premier national competition. The decision was followed by an angry demonstration of 80,000 rugby league football fans, which denounced the court ruling and what they saw as the takeover of their sport by the Murdoch-dominated Foxtel pay TV network, without any concern for those who participate in or support the game”… excerpt from, Australian court endorses Murdoch takeover of rugby league, by Robert Hoffman and John Roberts at wsws.org on 10 January 2001 .}
-… {excerpt from en.wikipedia.org}…”The outbreak of the Super League war involved a vision to cut Sydney sides with Souths in the firing line. Souths remained in the ARL during the 1997 season, and were then played in the National Rugby League, the merger of the Super League and ARL, from its first season in 1998. The NRL set determined to cut its competition to 14 teams and duly cut South Sydney from the premiership for the 2000 season.”…/…”Souths fought their way back through the court rooms and public rallies generating a swell of support throughout Sydney and Australia as they took on the NRL and News Limited. Souths won re-admission on appeal during the 2001 season and were brought back into the NRL competition for the 2002 season.”…{end of excerpts at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History of the South Sydney Rabbitohs/ Fightback and Re-admission (en.wikipedia.org).

PS, Murdoch’s News Limited company’s then-ownership of Melbourne Storm saw not one but TWO titles revoked [2007 & 2009 NRL titles surrendered by Melbourne Storm] for exceeding the salary cap.

PPS, In 2012, NRL was finally free of Murdoch when …”[the] joint partnership between the sport’s already-existing national governing body, the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and media giant News Corporation…was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently formed Australian Rugby League Commission.”…{excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rugby_League}.

    Into the 2000s, the NRL gets more established and begins to draw more fans…

Televised matches of the NRL began to draw much larger audiences, to the point where the NRL Grand Final of 2007, between Manly and Melbourne, was the most-watched television show in Australia that year. In 2010, the NRL set a record for league average attendance at 17,367 per game [total season aggregate attendance: 3,490,778].

2014 and 2015, and on
The league still shows robust signs of health. The Brisbane Broncos, the highest-drawing rugby club in the world, draw 33 K per game. All-time & reigning-NRL-champs, the South Sydney Rabbitohs pull in 19.8 K per game. The Parramatta Eels draw 18.7 K per game. The Newcastle Knights draw 17.6 K per game. The New Zealand Warriors draw 17.1 K per game. And the NRL as a whole pulls in 15.7 K per game (which is 7.5 K more-per-game than the English first-division rugby league draws) {see this post on England’s Super League [RL]}.

And Australia’s reigning NRL champions – the club that Murdoch could not kill, the resilient South Sydney Rabbitohs – just OWNED England’s best rugby league team, by the score of 39-to-zero, in the 2015 World Club Series. {See this, South Sydney Rabbitohs steamroller St Helens to win World Club Challenge (from Guardian.com/sport/rugby by Aaron Bower on 23 Feb.2015);

    Illustrations for: the best-drawing Rugby team in the world, the Brisbane Broncos;
    and: the second-best draw in Australian RL + 2014 World RL and 2014 NRL champions, the South Sydney Rabbitohs…

Brisbane Broncos (established 1987), are not only the highest-drawing NRL team, but they also are in fact the highest-drawing rugby team in the world (at 33,354 per game in 2014). The Broncos have won 6 NRL titles, their last title having been won in 2006. This gives the Brisbane Broncos the best titles-per-seasons-played ratio in the NRL, at 21.4% (second best is South Sydney Rabbitohs at 18.3%)…
brisbane-broncos_lang-park_aka-suncorp-stadium_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
2015 Brisbane Broncos home jersey, photo from nrlshop.com/brisbane-broncos.
Night-time aerial shot of Lang Park (aka Suncorp Stadium), photo from pinterest.com/source/skypac.com.au. Interior shot, photo by Getty Images via smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/a-journey-into-the-belly-of-maroon-beast. Shot of fans at Suncorp Stadium, photo News Limited via foxsports.com.au.

South Sydney Rabbitohs, second-best-drawing rugby league club in Australia, and the 2014 NRL champions…
-The following link has a nice article on the history of South Sydney Rabbitohs, and how the club’s demise and re-birth is inextricably intertwined with the aftermath of the Super League war of the late 1990s. From the ConvictCreations site, South Sydney Rabbitohs – An Australian Story.
-Here is an article which points out that the 2014 NRL Grand Final drew a larger TV audience than the 2014 Aussie rules (AFL) Grand Final, see this, Rabbitohs’ 2014 NRL grand final win the most-watched game in rugby league history (from Daily Telegraph/sport on 6 Oct. 2014, by Cory Adno).

South Sydney Rabbitohs RLC, est. 1908
[Note: the text below is largely the same as the text within the illustration further below.]
South Sydney Rabbitohs RLC were founded in 1908, in the working-class neighborhood of Redfern, which is south of the Sydney business district, and which to this day has a sizeable Aboriginal community. The team’s nickname is believed to come from the club’s early days, when, pre-game, some players on the squad would hawk freshly caught-and-butchered rabbits, and then go on to play the match still in their bloodstained gear. The team is also known simply as the Souths. No one really knows the official reason why the team wears cardinal red and turtle green, but…if you caught and butchered a rabbit, you would probably have grass-stains and blood-stains on your gear.

South Sydney have won the most Australian RL premierships – 21 titles, but before the 2014 season, the club had not appeared in a Grand Final since 1971.
By the 1970s, South Sydney had such financial problems that they became perennial basement-dwellers. Following the resolution of the Super League war, three seasons later [in 2000], the club was excluded from the NRL, for failure to meet “financial criteria”. There then ensued mass protests of over 80,000 in support of South Sydney, and after extensive litigation, the club was re-instated into the NRL, in 2002. The club remained cash-strapped, though, and in 2006 it was voted that the club would seek private ownership. That came in the form of the heir of media conglomerate Consolidated Press Holdings, James Packer; and the film star and Sydney-native Russell Crowe. The two hold a 50-50 share of a 75% stake in the club (with the other 25% ownership of the club still retained by club members).

The Souths play at the 84,000-capacity ANZ Stadium in Sydney (aka Stadium Australia), which was the chief venue for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The Rabbitohs also play a couple of home games each season out in Perth, Western Australia {see this, List of Australian rugby league stadiums/ Occasional Stadiums}.

In 2014, South Sydney averaged 19,888 per game, making them the second-best drawing team in the NRL. In the 2014 NRL Grand Final, in front of 83,833 at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, the South Sydney Rabbitohs beat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-6, to win their first NRL Premiership in 43 years.
south-sydney-rabbitohs_2014-grand-final_2014-nrl-champions_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
2015 Rabbitohs jersey, photo from rabbitohsmegastore.shopdesq.com/rabbitohs-2015-mens-home-jersey. ANZ Stadium (aka Stadium Australia), photo .
2014 NRL Grand Final,
Sam Burgess, photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Alex Johnston diving to score a try, photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. View from the stands at ANZ Stadium during the 2014 NRL Grand Final, photo by Sam Ruttyn at dailytelegraph.com.au/the-2014-nrl-grand-final-souths-fans-pride-will-live-forever. George Burgess breaking a tackle and scoring a try, photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Rabbitohs players carrying MVP Sam Burgess off the field, photo by dailytelegraph.com.au/rabbitohs-2014-nrl-grand-final-win-the-mostwatched-game-in-rugby-league-history.

___
Sources for map page:
-Attendances (2014 season), 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.
-Attendance for the New Zealand team (NZ Warriors), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_New_Zealand_Warriors_season#Regular_season.
-Titles: List of NRL Premiers (en.wikipedia.org).

Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Mdmanser for blank map of Australia and New Zealand (for use as a template), File:Map of Australia and New Zealand coloured.png (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to Antigoni for blank map of New Zealand, File:Map of New Zealand (blank).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of New South Wales, File:Australia New South Wales location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Roke for blank map of Greater Sydney, File:Sydney Areas Map.svg
(commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Rulesfan for map of the Barassi line, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barassi_line_2.png.
Thanks to aboutaustralia.com.

Thanks to NRL/shop, for colours in recent NRL home jerseys, http://www.nrlshop.com.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, National Rugby League/Current clubs.

April 11, 2015

Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

Filed under: Australia,Australian Rules Football — admin @ 3:14 pm

australian-rules-football_2015-afl_location-map_w-2014-attendances_titles-list_post_e_.gif
AFL (Australia): Australian Rules Football’s 1st division – map, with brief league history, 2014 attendances, and club titles listed



Links…
-Teams…Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores…scoreboard.com/aussie-rules.
-Fixtures & Results (official site)…afl.com.au/fixture.
-Official website…afl.com.au.

    Australian Football League: 2015 location-map with: Rules (in general), Clubs-history-chart; Attendances, Club colours, and Titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 11 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Update -
Please note: here is an “update” I posted in 2016 (on the 2015 season of the AFL),
AFL attendance chart for 2015 regular season (with 2015 finishes listed)/+ the Hawthorn Hawks – 2015 AFL Premiers [champions] (their 3rd-straight title, and 13th overall) (billsportsmaps.com, posted on 21 March 2016).

First off, apologies to all the regulars from Down Under who have waited patiently (over 7 years) for me to finally make a map and a post of an Australian pro league. I will also soon have a post, in the near future (around mid-May 2015), for Australian rugby league football (the NRL).

On the map page…
At the top left-hand side of the map page is a Clubs-formation chart which shows a brief history of the VFL/AFL, with each current clubs’ date of inclusion into the league noted. At the lower left is a globe-map of Australia, with the 5 largest cities noted. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 18 AFL teams. At the upper right-hand side of the map page are two illustrations of the typical Australian rules field, with a brief rules description and a brief word on typical-playing-field-dimensions (there also is a section below, on rules/playing-field/traditional-positions). Below that is a chart which shows 2014 home regular season attendance for the 18 AFL clubs, with three other things listed…1). club’s dates of formation and of inclusion into VFL/AFL; 2). club colours, crest, and jersey-pattern; 3). Premiers (titles) won by each club (with date of last title noted).

Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how large the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, all of which have AFL teams. On the map page, in the globe-map on the lower left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city, and is the eighth-largest, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
[please note: a very basic VFL/AFL history is shown at the top left-hand-side of the map page.]
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 4 paragraphs above).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general), Field Size, and Traditional Positions…
australian-rules-football_rules_typical-oval_field-size_traditional-positions_b_.gif
Image credits above – Field markings on the oval, illustration by Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org). Traditional positions in Aussie rules, illustration by Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg. Typical oval, illustration by clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general)…
[Note: the text below is the same as the text in the upper-right-hand-part of the illustration above.]
Each team has 18 players. The playing field is very large (~135 to 185 meters), and is usually oval in shape. The ball is oval, and has much more bounce to it than an American gridiron football. 4 quarters of 20 minutes each are played (80:00). Each quarter starts with a ball-up, which is similar to a tip-off, but with the umpire bouncing the ball down hard onto the ground, and thus high into the air, to be contested on the way down by each team’s ruckman (usually the tallest man on the team). Aussie rules is a contact sport and opposing players can stop the ball carrier by tackling, but dangerous play will result in distance penalties or suspension.

Out of bounds balls are put back in play by umpire, who, with his back turned, tosses ball overhead back into play.

There are four goalposts, and kicking the ball through the two center-posts is the object of the game. Goals are scored by kicking the ball, untouched by anyone else, through the center-uprights (6 points). If ball goes through the flanking uprights instead, it is called a behind (1 point).
-Players can advance the ball (in any direction) by running with the ball, but must bounce the ball (or touch ball to ground) every 15 meters (~16 yards).
-Players can also advance the ball by kicking the ball to teammates.
-Players can also advance the ball via a clenched-fist hand-pass (called a handball), or by an open-hand-tap.
-No throwing of the ball is allowed.
A mark is made when a player catches a kick of more than 15 meters. Play stops, and then that player kicks the ball from the mark.
{For further details, see this, Australian rules football/Laws of the game;
and see this, Australian rules football playing field.}

AFL season:
The AFL (regular) season spans from late-March to early-September, and has 22 matches per team (11 home games for each team, played in a 23-weeks-span, with one bye week per team per season). Four points are awarded for each win and two points are awarded for a draw. That is illogical mathematics. Because what would be the difference if it was 2 points for a win, and 1 for a draw? There would be no difference. Hey Melbourne, why don’t you just give 2 million points for a win and 1 million points for a draw? Because the standings would still end up the same. Sheesh. {See this, Why does the AFL use 4 points for a win and 2 points for a draw? (answers.yahoo.com/question), which features some bloke positing the following theory…”Mate, I have no idea why they award 4 points for a win in the AFL. Almost every other Aussie Rules Football competition, outside of Victoria uses the 2-1-0 system. My hunch: 4 points looks bigger and better, exactly the way Victorians see themselves! (comment by Graham).}

The top 8 [of the 18] teams qualify for a post-season playoffs, which is a bit complicated {see this, AFL finals system}. Basically, of the 8 that make it to the post-season, the top 4 only have to win 2 more matches to advance to the Grand Final, while the lower 4 [of the 8 who qualify for the post-season] have to win 3 more matches to advance to the Grand Final. Excerpt from Australian Football League/Finals series (en.wikipedia.org)…”The grand final is traditionally played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the afternoon of the last Saturday in September. The winning team receives a silver premiership cup and a navy blue premiership flag – a new one of each is manufactured each year. The flag has been presented since the league began and is traditionally unfurled at the team’s first home game of the following season.”

    Australian Football League (AFL): est. 1897 as the VFL…

(Note: The VFL changed its name to the AFL in 1990.)

1896: the Australian Football League (AFL), was formed in 1896 as the Victorian Football League (VFL), when 6 Melbourne-based clubs broke away from the the Victorian Football Association (Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy [now Brisbane Lions], Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne [now Sydney Swans]).

1897: a few months later, in early 1897, those 6 clubs invited two other Melbourne-based clubs to join the competition for its first season of 1897 (Carlton, and St Kilda).

In 1908, two more teams joined (Richmond, and the Melbourne University team), making the VFL, temporarily, a 10-team league for a 7-year-spell (1908-14).

(By around 1911 or so, player payments were becoming common in the VFL.)

1914: but one of those 2 new teams dropped out 6 years later – that was the Melbourne University VFL team. They were constrained by only being able to field players who were students there, and so never fielded professional players [just as the league was being filled more and more with semi-pro and pro players]. Melbourne University finished last 3 straight seasons, lost their last 51 games in the league, and left the competition for good in 1914. (Melbourne University team was re-started 5 years later in 1919 as 2 teams – the University Blues and the University Blacks – both of whom are currently in the top division of the seven-tier Victorian Amateur Football Association.)

1913: the VFL existed as a 9-team league from 1913 to 1925.

In 1925, 3 more Melbourne-based clubs joined, to make it a 12-team league (Footscray [now Western Bulldogs], Hawthorn, North Melbourne).

For over 5 decades (57 years/1925 to 1982), the VFL continued to exist in the 12-teams/all-Greater-Melbourne-based-clubs form.

1982: then one club moved up north to New South Wales – that was the South Melbourne Swans. The club’s Victoria-based supporters tried to stop it, but in fact the players wanted to move to Sydney, and so the move stood. Thus, in 1982, the first Interstate team (ie, a club outside of Victoria state) was established, when the South Melbourne Swans moved to the-land-of-rugby-league (NSW), and became the Sydney Swans. And several others clubs from outside of Victoria state soon followed…

1987: the first of two AFL clubs from the far western state of Western Australia, in Perth, joined the AFL in 1987 (West Coast Eagles/ 8 years later, in 1995, Fremantle, of Greater Perth, joined the league).

Also in 1987, the first of two AFL clubs from Queensland joined the league (the Brisbane Bears, who later became the Brisbane Lions in 1997, via a merger with Fitzroy [of Melbourne]/ 14 years later, the Gold Coast Suns, of far-southern Queensland, joined in 2011).

In 1991, the first of two AFL clubs from Victoria state’s neighboring state of South Australia joined the league (Adelaide Crows, who are currently the highest-drawing AFL club at ~48 K per game/ 6 years later, in 1997, the Adelaide Power joined the league).

2012: to round out the league, in 2012, another club from Sydney joined, and that was the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

So, at present [2015], there are 18 AFL teams, 10 of which are from Greater Melbourne/Victoria state; 2 from New South Wales state (in Greater Sydney); 2 from Western Australia state (in Greater Perth); 2 from South Australia state (in Adelaide); and 2 from Queensland state (1 in Brisbane, and 1 just south of there in the Gold Coast region).

To this day, first-division Aussie rules football draws best by far of any sport in Australia…in 2014, the AFL drew 32.3 K per game, which was almost double what its closest competitor for the fan-dollar (rugby union) drew. And for good reason, because Australian rules football is an awesome thing to behold. The AFL’s title-game, the Grand Final, which is held at the 95,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, draws the highest crowd of any national championship game in the world. The AFL’s 118th Grand Final drew over 99,000 last October (see illustration below).

Hawthorn Hawks have won the last two Premiers…
Hawthorn Hawks are of course Melbourne-based, and play most of their home matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground, but, since 2007, they have been playing 4 of their 11 home games per year at the 21,000-capacity York Park in Launceston, Tasmania, which is the second-largest city in Tasmania and is located on the north part of the island of Tasmania, 202 km or 126 miles north of the state capital of Hobart, by road. Distance by air from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to Launceston, Tasmania, Australia is 442 km (or 275 mi). (Tasmania is the only Australian state located outside of the island/continent of Australia; Launceston is the only non-coastal city in Tasmania, with a population of around 103,000.)

Hawthorn Hawks – back-to-back champions of the Australian Football League (2013 & 2014 Premiers)…
-From Dailymail.co.uk, from 27 Sept. 2014, by Louise Cheer, Daniel Mills, and Sally Lee, Hawks soar to victory as Swans sink without trace: Hawthorn smash Sydney 137-74 as [more than 99,000] fans watch AFL grand final in Melbourne (dailymail.co.uk/news/article [w/ dozens of photos]).
-From Guardian/sports, from 27 Sept.2014, by Scott Heinrich, AFL grand final: Hawthorn win 12th flag with demolition of Sydney Swans (guardian.com/sport).

    Below: the reigning AFL champions, the 12-time Premiership-winning Hawthorn Hawks, of Melbourne (and of Tasmania)…

hawthorn-hawks_2014-afl-champions_2014-grand-final_photos_k_.gif
Photos and Images above -
Hawthorn FC colours, in swatch form, from File:AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg (by the realjoebloggsblog at en.wikipedia.org).
Photo of Jared Lewis, from heraldsun.au. Photo-illustration of Peter Crimmins Medal from hawthornfc.com.au. Quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Crimmins_Medal. Photo of Jarryd Roughead, by Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.

Photos from 2014 Grand Final…Hawks fans at the G with flags and banners, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Luke Breust stooping to win possession, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Cyril Rioli scoring a goal from a tight angle, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Luke Hodge claimed his second Norm Smith Medal [best player in Grand Final] and helped the Hawks to another Grand Final, photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media via theroar.com.au. Hawks players celebrate at the final siren, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Will Langford after leaping into stands to celebrate with Hawks fans, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Hawks’ Trophy celebration, photo by Joe Castro/AAP Images via guardian.com/sport.

Here is a very recent article about AFL’s efforts to lure American college basketball players into converting into pro Aussie rules football players, from the New York Times, by Scott Cacciola from 8 May 2015,
Australian Football Visits U.S. in Search of Basketball Big Men (nytimes.com/sports/ncaabasketball).
___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2014 season): 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.

-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.

-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).

-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Australian rules football ovals (3 illustrations)…
Thanks to Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg.
-Blank maps on map page…
Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Jersey Icons…
Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League.
Thanks to the bloke in the Geelong Cats cap, in the stairwell at the Fairport, NY library last November, who told me that Aussie rules football is…”the best sport in the world, mate.”

December 13, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Australia (AFC), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Australia, with two other player options).

Filed under: Australia — admin @ 9:20 pm




Australia national association football team. AFC (Asia). Nickname: the Socceroos. Home jersey: gold (ie, yellow-orange), with green trim. Jersey badge features a kangaroo & emu crest.
Australia is in Group B (with Chile, Netherlands, and Spain). ‘2014 FIFA World Cup/Group B‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Australia’s 4th qualification out of 13 tries [Australia did not participate in FIFA WC Q prior to 1966 [meaning no participation in the first 7 World Cups from 1930 to 1962]).
Australia has qualified for the World Cup in: 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC: 2010, Group Stage / 1-1-1.
Highest WC finish: 2006, Round of 16 / 1-1-2.

Population of Australia: 23.2 million {2013 estimate}. Capital: Canberra, pop. 367,000 {2012 figure}. Largest city: Sydney, pop. 4.6 million. Sydney, pop. 4.6 million. Second largest city: Melbourne, pop. 4.2 million. (metro areas) {2012 estimates}.

Coach of Australia: Ange Postecoglou. ‘Ange Postecoglou‘. Postecoglou won the 2011 A-League title as manager of Brisbane Roar. Before that, he had been the Socceroos’ U-20 team coach from 2000 to 2007. Postecoglou was hired to be the coach of Australia on 23 October 2013.
Captain of Australia squad: Lucas Neill. Lucas Neill. DF, age 35; current club, free agent [no club currently]; previous club: Omiya Ardijia (Japan). Prominent former clubs include: Millwall (1995-2001), Blackburn Rovers (2001-07), West Ham United (2007-09). From Australian Associated Press via Guardian/football, from 6 Dec. 2013, by , ‘Lucas Neill must play regularly before World Cup, warns Ange Postecoglou‘ (theguardian.com/football).

From dailytelegraph.com.au, from 7 Dec. 2013, by David Davutovic, ‘Ange Postecoglou undaunted by tough World Cup group, challenges players to ‘create history” [article, featuring 2 Fox Sports Australia videos, the first video (4:39) with reaction to Australia's tough Group Stage draw, incl. media asking Postecoglou questions/ plus another video (6:50) with commentators incl. Craig Moore analyzing Australia's group].

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Australia, with a couple of extra player-options -
australia_2014-fifa-world-cup_qualifying_squad_-xi_a-postecoglou_i.gif
Photos and Images above –
Socceroos’ jersey badge and 2012-13 jersey, photos from fanatics.com.
Australia on globe, map by Addicted04 at ‘File:AUS orthographic.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Australia map by Rycherr at ‘File:Australia states blank.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Coach,
Ange Postecoglou, photo by Matt King/Getty Images Asia-Pac via zimbio.com.
Socceroos’ jersey badge and 2012-13 jersey, photos from fanatics.com.
Goalkeeper,
Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea), photo from footballmedia.org.
Defenders,
Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Image AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Saša Ognenovski (Umm-Salal), photo from Getty Images/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Lucas Neill, photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow), photo from Getty Images via smh.com.au.
Midfielders,
Brett Holman (Al-Nasr), photo from alnasrclub.com.
Mark Bresciano (Al-Gharafa SC), photo from fifa.com.
Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), photo from Getty Images via smh.com.au/sport/roar-talent-mckay-can-start-for-socceroos-says-ange.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht), photo by VI Images via Getty Images.
Forwards,
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), photo by ISI Photos via soccerbyives.net.
Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen), photo from EPA via nst.com.my.
Other options for Australia squad…Forwards, Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus Eight), photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Australia national association football team’ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.

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