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Sports Brisbane: Something for Everyone!
Sports Brisbane: Variety
Sports Brisbane – people in Australia are fanatical for any form of sport and Brisbane is no exception. Very few other places would you find bars packed to watch a field hockey quarter final but in Australia the fans will be out in full force, decked out in carnival type costumes. If you want to check out the local action, any grassy area on a warm day will be filled with some type of sport and most people are more than willing to let you join in a game.
There are also many local professional teams playing a variety of sports. If you want to get into the spirit of the game then dressing up in the home team’s colours will always be appreciated — usually maroon for the Queensland teams, or yellow and green for the Australian teams. Most games held at the Gabba or Suncorp Stadium allow ticket holders free public transport to and from the games, simply show your ticket to the driver when you get on.
Sports Brisbane: ‘Footy’
The main problem with the sports in Australia is that you often aren’t sure which ones people are talking about. There are four different types (or codes) of football, usually shortened to ‘footy’, and depending on who you’re talking to their type of footy will be different to yours.
In Queensland the most popular code of footy is Rugby League. The state has 3 teams in the national rugby league (NRL), the Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys from Townsville. Home games for the Broncos and Titans are easy to get to from Brisbane. The Broncos play their games at Suncorp Stadium in Milton and the Titans play at Skilled Park on the coast, approximately 45 minute drive from Brisbane, although there is also public transport if you don’t have access to a car.
Another completely different code of footy is Australian Rules Football, also known as Aussie Rules, but usually just as footy. There’s only one professional team in Queensland, the Brisbane Lions, who play their home games at The Brisbane Cricket Ground in the Wooloongabba suburb (always known as The Gabba).
The fourth type of footy is soccer, although as with other places it is more likely to be called soccer in Australia to avoid confusion.
See Suncorp Stadium for more about the Queensland Reds and Brisbane Roar.
Sports Brisbane: Cricket
Similarly to rugby, cricket is another sport which has various forms. From Test matches, One Day Internationals (ODIs), Twenty20’s and others it may be a bit confusing to figure out exactly which version of the game you’re going to see.
While cricket isn’t popular in Europe or North America, in Australia it is one of the most loved sports and a great way to partake in another great Australian past time – all day drinking.
Sports Brisbane: Field Hockey
While most North American’s and Europeans would associate ‘hockey’ with ice hockey, in Australia as with much of Asia it is more likely to be field hockey. The Australian teams generally do well at Olympic tournaments and have a domestic competition every other year where the men’s and women’s representative state and territorial teams compete.
Sports Brisbane: Netball
Netball is one of Australia’s most popular female sports. In 2008 a national competition was started between 5 teams from Australia and 5 from New Zealand. In Queensland, the Firebirds play at the Brisbane Convention Centre starting in April and runs for 17 weeks.
Sports Brisbane: North American Style
If you’re a North American pining for some home-style sports there are options available. The basketball league has had some difficulties with funding and attendance but it’s still going. Queensland has three teams in the league, although none from Brisbane. The closest team is on the Gold Coast and plays at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The league runs October to April to avoid competing for fans with the football leagues.
In order to keep confusion to a minimum Australians refer to American Football as Gridiron. While there aren’t many gridiron players in Australia there is a league in six states, including Queensland. There is also a Gridiron National Championships which is played between representative state teams.
Another North American sport that is slowly making a name for itself in Australia is ice hockey. It has taken a while (mainly due to a lack of ice) to get going but there is now a national league — the AIHL. The season runs from April to September and the team in Queensland is the Gold Coast Blue Tongues who play at the Iceland Ice Skating Rink.
In the week leading up to Australia Day the national baseball tournament is held each year. The Claxton Shield is competed by each state and the Northern Territory. The Rams are the representatives from Queensland. The tournament location moves from year to year.
Sports Brisbane: Motor Racing
On the Gold Coast, arguably the biggest sporting event is the Indy 300 car race held every October, which is followed by the V8 Supercar Race.
The streets of Surfers Paradise are basically shut down for a week as thousands of people descend for the race and the many events that are held along with the race, including the Miss Indy Competition. If you plan on going book your accommodation early.