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Let’s Get Physical Adelaide’s Most Popular Sports

Let’s Get Physical: Adelaide’s Most Popular Sports

Sporting events are massive in Adelaide. They’re already a huge part of the city’s culture and identity, and almost every Adelaidean plays at least one sport. 

In fact, according to Clearinghouse for Sport, the Australian government’s sports website, 41% of South Australians aged 15 and above are engaged in sports!

If you want to know more about Adelaide’s most popular sports, you’re in the right place. Before you head out to the nearest sports bar, we’re here to provide you with all the Adelaide sports info you need.

Adelaide’s most popular sports are the following (in no particular order):

Australian Rules Football

Australian Rules Football

In Adelaide, Australian rules football is a huge sport. With 31% of South Australia’s population attending a minimum of one event per year, this sport is an exciting spectacle and a crowd magnet.

Australian rules football, often known as footy or Australian football, is a thrilling contact sport in which two teams, each with 18 players, duke it out on an action-packed oval field.

A player scores in this sport by kicking the oval ball toward the center of a goal post (6 points), over a goal post (3 points), or behind one (1 point). The high-octane plays and intense physicality of the sport make Australian football a must-watch sport.


We can attest to the electricity of the footy, most especially after we watched the last Australian Football League (AFL) game of the Adelaide Football Club against Hawthorn’s team. 

The arena was never silent, and every time a play happened, the crowd went wild!

If you’re planning to play this game with your friends, we suggest finding a lengthy grassland with a soft surface (and you better get to the gym!). You can then use lines instead of goalposts!

You may also head to the following leisure centers.

  • AFL Max – 32 Butler Bvd, Adelaide Airport SA 5950
  • Adelaide Indoor Sports Center – 316 Findon Rd, Kidman Park SA 5025

APEX Parks Football Centre – 2/46 Cowan St, Angle Park SA 5010



In the 2020 to 2021 season of Cricket Australia, over 100,000 fans went to the Adelaide Oval. In the cricket game between South Africa and Australia in January 2023, over 8.1 million Australian viewers tuned in.

So, why are we stating these numbers? Well, to show you how massive cricket is in Adelaide, of course!

We are huge fans of this sport because of how intense it can get. If you watch a game of Adelaide Strikers, you can feel the enthusiasm and passion of the crowd even if you’re watching at home.

Cricket is a ball-and-bat sport played by two teams, each with 11 players. 

In contrast to many other sports, cricket has a dual scoring system that takes into account the runs scored by a team and the wickets (the stumps at the pitch’s end) they’ve broken. 

To score a run, a batsman must strike the ball with his bat and run to the other end. 

The batter’s partner will also rush from the other end for the run to be successful. As for the breaking of wickets, it’s mainly done through legal deliveries, the act of bowling (pitching) the ball toward a batsman.

If you want to play this game, a wide field with few people would do as long as you have the proper equipment. You may also go to these highly-rated cricket grounds:

  • Adelaide Cricket Pitch – North Adelaide SA 5006
  • Oval Cricket Ground – North Adelaide SA 5006
  • Adelaide Cricket Club – 1A Naldera St, Glandore SA 5037



Yup, it’s called soccer in Australia. In an article written by Adelaide Now, over 55,000 people in South Australia are registered soccer players. 

With 750 players, the City of Adelaide also has the highest number of club players in the country. This boom in the popularity of soccer can be mainly attributed to the success of Adelaide FC, SA’s only representative in the premier A-League.

Adelaide follows the international guidelines for soccer. 

The goal of the two teams, when they’re on the offensive, is to push the ball up the soccer field and to make it past the opposition’s goal line. 

The defending team has to stop the attack by getting the ball from the attackers through legal steals, catches, and tackles.

Players can only use their chest, legs, and head in pushing the ball. Only the goalkeepers and the players doing throw-ins can use their hands in soccer.

For us, soccer’s back-and-forth, fast-paced action is a sight to behold. Australia vs. England in November of 2022 was the last game we watched in the arena, and the experience was super fun! 

If you’re planning to play this sport, all you need is a wide field that’s either concrete or grassy. The following facilities also offer soccer fields for recreational games:

  • Plympton Sports and Recreation Club – 4 Park Terrace, Plympton Park SA 5038
  • Park 18 – Soccer Pitch 1 – South Tce, Adelaide SA 5000

SAWSA Park – Greenhill Rd &, Peacock Rd, Adelaide SA 5000



According to Netball Australia, there are over a million netball players in SA. Netball Australia believes that netball is the most popular game in the region.

Nine also states that in the 2017 season of Australia’s premier netball league, Suncorp Super Netball, about 6.7 million viewers tuned in. 

The basic objective of this game is to score points by shooting a ball into a ring affixed to a 3.5-meter-long post. Netball is somewhat similar to basketball but without dribbling, and there are designated areas where a player’s allowed to shoot. 

We recommend playing this game, as it’s a complete workout. Whenever our team plays netball, our speed, strength, and decision-making skills are greatly challenged, and hopefully, they’ll improve in the long run.

You can play this game if you have a goalpost specifically used for netball. It also doesn’t matter if the surface is grassy because as stated earlier, dribbling isn’t needed in netball.

But if you want to play in the facilities designed for netball, you should head to these places.

  • SA United Church Netball Association Inc – Goodwood Rd, Adelaide SA 5000
  • Adelaide Indoor Sports Center – 316 Findon Rd, Kidman Park SA 5025

Netball Courts – Adelaide SA 5000



Lacrosse is very famous in Adelaide because it’s a sport dominated by South Australians, especially in the women’s division. 

Since the conception of the national championships in 1961, the South Australian women’s lacrosse team has won 32 out of 51 championships. 

Players of this sport must score a goal by controlling the ball with their stick (hands can only be used by the goalie) and hitting it to go beyond the opponent’s goalpost. The team with the most points after 48 minutes wins the game.

Our team enjoys playing and watching lacrosse because it’s a simple and fun game. When we were beginners, we didn’t have to study the game’s rules for hours to have fun. 

Also, if you want to watch professional lacrosse players battle it out, Lacrosse Australia is the league you should tune in to. The games of this league never fail to rile up home and arena watchers!

It’s also quite easy to find a playing field for lacrosse since Adelaide has a lot of vast open spaces. We strongly recommend playing in the city’s parklands!

However, if you want to play in a facility specifically constructed for this sport, here are the places you should go to:

  • North Adelaide Lacrosse Club – 6 Terama St, Gepps Cross SA 5094
  • Adelaide University Lacrosse Club – War Memorial Dr, North Adelaide SA 5005

Burnside Lacrosse Club – Devereux Rd, Linden Park SA 5065



Baseball is another ball-and-bat game that’s a hit in Adelaide. With the ever-growing popularity of the Adelaide Giants, the city’s representative in the premier Australian Baseball League, this sport has become one of Adelaide’s most played.

Just like cricket, the main objective of baseball is to score more runs than the opposing team. 

The main difference is in baseball, there are no wickets, and the run is recorded as a score if a player reaches the field’s home plate after stepping on 3 consecutive bases. 

For us, the most enjoyable part of baseball is hitting a home run. The last time we played this game, our teammate Jones scored a homerun, and we went nuts!

Just like most of the sports on this list, baseball can be played in broad parklands or grassy fields. If you want to play in a baseball facility, though, here are the spots our team recommends:

  • Diamond Sports Stadium – West Beach SA 5024
  • Goodwood Baseball Club – Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia

Barratt Reserve – West Beach SA 5024



Tennis is so popular in Adelaide that the city hosts an annual international tournament called the Adelaide International. The country’s best and foreign talents play against each other in this tourney! 

The sport’s scoring system is also easy to understand. Here’s a brief explanation of how tennis players are given points:

  • If the ball bounces twice on the opponent’s side, the server/attacker is given a point (unreturnable ball).
  • If the server commits two consecutive serving errors, the receiving end gets a point (double fault).
  • If the receiver fails to return a serve, the server is given a point (ace).
  • If a player’s serve, reception, or attack makes the ball hit the area outside the court’s boundaries, the opposing player gets a point (out).
  • If the ball hits the net and doesn’t land on the opponent’s side, the receiving end is rewarded a point.

Despite its easy-to-grasp gameplay, tennis can be a hard sport to learn. Controlling the ball and hitting it with the tennis racket almost drove us crazy the first time we tried it!

Although, once you learn the basics, it becomes tremendously entertaining. Plus, your body coordination and cardio will improve too if you play tennis.

If you want to feel the rush of trading blows and smashes using tennis rackets, here are some places you should check

  • Tennis World Adelaide – Chelmsford Ave, Millswood SA 5034
  • Adelaide University Lawn Tennis Club – Bundeys Rd, North Adelaide SA 5006

Scammell Reserve Tennis Courts – Culross Av, Myrtle Bank SA 5064



Basketball is taking Adelaide by storm. The success of Australian superstars like Ben Simmons and Josh Giddey in the NBA, the world’s greatest basketball league, paved the way for this sport’s rise in popularity among Adelaideans.

The objective of basketball is simple: your team must score points by putting the ball inside the basketball ring. The team with the higher score when the final buzzer sounds, wins the match.

We enjoy basketball’s flashy plays and back-and-forth action. The game’s physicality and need for teamwork are some of its other amazing features too! 

To play basketball, you need a hoop and a playing field where you can dribble. Examples of facilities in Adelaide where you can play this game include the following:

  • Public Basketball Ring – 33 Hack St, North Adelaide SA 5006
  • Bowden Park & Courts – North Adelaide SA 5006
  • Basketball Courts – King Rodney Park / Ityamai-Itpina (Park 15)

Bowden Park & Courts – North Adelaide SA 5006

Horse Racing

Horse Racing

The most famous horse racing event in SA is the Adelaide Cup. According to ABC, the Adelaide Cup is expecting over 7,000 attendees in the 2023 event. 

If the prediction comes true, this will be the largest number of live viewers ever since the pandemic hit.

The goal of horse racing is very simple, the first horse to reach the finish line is declared the victor. These competing horses are ridden and controlled by jockeys. 

We think that horse racing attracts a lot of viewers because of how exhilarating it is. Horse racing competitions also involve a lot of betting, so there’s an additional thrill to it.

If you want to try this sport, here are the race courses you may book:

  • Morphettville Racecourse – 79 Morphett Rd, Morphettville SA 5043
  • Racing South Australia – Ground Floor/240 Morphett Rd, North Plympton SA 5037

Greyhound Racing SA – 55 Cardigan St, Angle Park SA 5010



Whether you swim competitively or for recreational purposes, you can’t deny the popularity of this aquatic sport in Adelaide. Its fame is understandable, though, as the country is a powerhouse in this sport with 58 Olympic gold medals for swimming.

Competitive swimming is about who gets to finish the set distance first. Also, aside from the set distances, there are swim meets where you can only use a specific swimming technique. 

Our team loves this sport not just because Australians are famous for it but also because of its benefits. If we’re not playing basketball in our free time, you’d find our team improving our bodies’ cardio and muscles in swimming pools or beaches! 

If you’re interested in swimming too, here are the swimming facilities we suggest:

  • Adelaide Aquatic Centre – Jeffcott Rd, North Adelaide SA 5006
  • SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre – 443 Morphett Rd, Oaklands Park SA 5046
  • Unley Swimming Centre – Forestville Reserve, Ethel St, Forestville SA 5035



You might’ve heard it several times already, but Adelaide’s surfing spots are top-notch. The competitive surfing events of the city, mainly the Southern Surf Festival, attracts myriads of locals and tourists too.

In a surfing tournament, surfers are scored by judges based on how well they’ve ridden waves. Typically, the surfers are given 10 to 15 chances to display their wave-riding abilities.

Since surfing is one of our go-to recreational activities, our team always tunes in to Adelaide’s surfing competitions. We consistently get amazed (and humbled) whenever we see the performances of pro surfers.

If you’re planning to try this sport, it’s time to hit these top surfing spots!

  • The Fleurieu Peninsula – 84 km south of the CBD
  • Eyre Peninsula – 39 km north of the CBD

Christies Beach – 32 km southwest of Adelaide



With astonishing bodies of water, the City of Adelaide is a go-to area when it comes to competitive canoeing. In fact, the city hosted the prestigious National Canoe Spring Championship both in 2021 and 2022.

Competitive canoeing is a team-based watersport wherein competitors row canoes on rivers or lakes. The objective is simple: your team must reach the finish line first before everyone else does.

It’s easier said than done, though. We’ve tried canoeing before, and it’s really exhausting. 

The sport also requires spectacular teamwork. Our group’s rowing rhythm back then was far from perfect, so we really struggled.

Despite the sport’s difficulty, it’s still fun to try and watch. If you want to experience canoeing, here are some places you should go to:

  • Adventure Kayaking SA | Port River Dolphins – LOT 204 Garden Island Rd, Port Adelaide SA 5015
  • Kayaks2Fish Adelaide SA Kayaks – 48A Lipson St, Port Adelaide SA 5015

Adelaide Canoe Works – u7/7-9 Streiff Rd, Wingfield SA 5013

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