Sport in the Northern Territory
Many sports are played in the Northern Territory.
Australian rules football
The Tiwi Islands Football League is played in the Tiwi Islands. The Northern Territory Football League operates from Darwin. The Aboriginal All-Stars is also based in Darwin. The governing body for football in the territory is the AFL Northern Territory. Venues include the TIO Stadium in Darwin, and Traeger Park in Alice Springs.
Rugby league is administered by the Northern Territory Rugby League. The territory has the highest participation rate per capita for Rugby League than any other state governing body in Australia. The National Rugby League has conducted numerous clinics and hosted regular pre-season matches in the territory since 1998. Local domestic competitions are based in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine and Gove. A combined Northern Territory team also participates in the Affiliated States Championship.
Rugby union is administered by the Northern Territory Rugby Union. Local senior club competitions are based in Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine. Clubs in Darwin have women's teams and junior competitions, and Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula has a junior rugby competition.
The Heineken Hottest 7s in the World tournament is hosted in Darwin each January, with Rugby sevens club teams from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and Singapore competing. Darwin's Hottest 7s, with a prize pool of $65,000 in 2013, is the richest Rugby sevens tournament in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Darwin Cup culminating on the first Monday of August is a very popular horse race event for Darwin and draws large crowds every year to Fannie Bay Racecourse.
Darwin hosts a round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series every year, the Skycity Triple Crown, bringing thousands of motorsports fans to the Hidden Valley Raceway. The Hidden Valley Raceway facility also contains a drag strip as part of Hidden Valley Raceway's main straight, and a nearby Speedway, Northline Speedway, for short circuit dirt surface racing.
In the south of the Territory, Australia's biggest Off-Road Race, the Finke Desert Race is held over a long circuit which takes in the settlement of Aputula on the Finke River. The event is based out of Alice Springs.
Association football (soccer)
The Football Federation Northern Territory is the governing body for football (soccer) in the Northern Territory. The Territory is also separated into three (Northern, Central and Southern) zones which have their own zone councils which administer leagues locally running their own league and cup competitions.
The Darwin Football Stadium was officially opened on 28 July 2007 when it played host to an A-League Pre-Season Cup game between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory. On 2 July 2009, A-League teams, Adelaide United FC and North Queensland Fury played a pre-season friendly at the stadium.
Organised baseball is played in Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine. Darwin has four clubs; Nightcliff Tigers, Palmerston Reds, Pints and Tracy Village Rebels. The East Darwin Beasts disbanded in 1986 and the South Darwin Rabbitohs disbanded in 2004.
Alice Springs has five teams; Bulls, Cubs, Demons, Panther and Redbacks
Darwin also currently hosts state and international sporting events such as:
- Since 1991 Darwin has hosted the Arafura Games every two years.
- In July 2003, Darwin hosted its first international test cricket match between Australia and Bangladesh and then Australia and Sri Lanka in 2004.
- Melbourne's Western Bulldogs Australian Football League side plays one home game at Marrara Oval each year.
- The annual Camel Cup in Alice Springs.
- Northern Territory Cricket Official Site
- "Territory Rugby Competitions". NTRU. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Hottest 7s welcome". 27 Jan 2013. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Reds Head For The Top End FourFourTwo Australia, 15 May 2009