Women's cricket in Australia
|Women's cricket in Australia|
Women's Test Cricket. Anne Palmer (NSW) bowled, with Spear, Snowball and Partridge (England), 2nd Women's Test match in Sydney 1935.
|Governing body||Cricket Australia|
While not being urged to avoid competition, women had few opportunities to compete in sport in Australia until the 1880s. After that date, new sporting facilities were being built around the country and many new sport clubs were created.
The founding mother of women's cricket in Australia was the young Tasmanian, Lily Poulett-Harris, who captained the Oyster Cove team in the league she created in 1894. Lily's obituary, from her death a few years later in 1897, states that her team was almost certainly the first to be formed in the colonies .
During the 1890s, cricket and rowing two of the most popular competitive sports for women in Australia. Another of the first all women's sport clubs founded in Australia was the Rockhampton Ladies' Club. They were fielding a women's cricket team in the mid-1890s. The team wore dresses with long skirts and long sleeves, sashes attached to their uniform, tight belts and straw boater hats.
One location where cricket was being played was Bundaberg, where a ladies' town team had been established that was competing until as late as 1909. Cricket players, like other female athletes of this era, dressed in ankle length skirts, wore long sleeved blouses, and wore a hat and tie. The uniforms made it difficult to play as they did not allow a full range of movement. Another place where women played cricket on an all women's team was in Memerambi, a Queensland town that is to the southwest of Maryborough. In 1911, this team had several notable players including A. B. Postle who was the sister of the current world champion sprinter. By 1911, the skirts had changed to include fewer layers and allowed for greater movement of the legs. This improvement was offset by the need to wear wide brimmed hats.
During the early part of the twentieth century, small towns in rural areas often lacked enough male players to have a full team. This problem was solved by allowing for mixed gendered teams. One town with a mixed gendered team was found in Croydon at the Croydon Villa Cricket Club. The lack of players was also a problem in the bush. Mixed gendered teams were created as part of informal games at locations such as the Cooroy Showgrounds. By the 1920s, women were playing cricket in outfits similar to men: Long white trousers, white sweaters and blouses. Batters had pads for their shins. The hats had smaller brims and were more fitted to their heads. This change in outfits allowed women a greater range of movement when they played the game. A female cricket team active during the 1920s was found in Toowoomba.
In 1922, a committee in Australia investigated the benefits of physical education for girls. They came up with several recommendations regarding what sports were and were not appropriate for girls to play based on the level of fitness required. It was determined that for some individual girls that for medical reasons, the girls should probably not be allowed to participate in tennis, netball, lacrosse, golf, hockey, and cricket. Soccer was completely medically inappropriate for girls to play. It was medically appropriate for all girls to be able to participate in, so long as they were not done in an overly competitive manner, swimming, rowing, cycling and horseback riding.
In 1933, the New South Wales Amateur Women's Sport Council was created by Gwendolen Game. The organisation brought together all the women's sporting bodies on the state level. Sports represented included New South Wales's women's field hockey, cricket, women's basketball, baseball, rowing and vigoro. A similar organisation covering similar sports had been created in Victoria in 1931.
In 1934, the Victorian Women's Centennial Sports Carnival was held. The event was organised by the Victorian Women's Amateur Sports Council and held at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds. The purpose was to increase women's interest in sport by providing them opportunities to play. Sports that were included on the programme included cricket, field hockey, women's basketball, bowls, rowing, swimming, athletics, rifle shooting, baseball, golf, tennis and badminton. There were over 1,000 bowlers involved over the course a week. Cricket featured a match versus a visiting English side. Women's basketball featured a Victorian side playing against a representative all Australian side. There was a day for watersports such as swimming and rowing. A tennis tournament was held. A field hockey tournament featuring Australian, Kiwi and Fijian teams was played.
In 1940, a study of 314 women in New Zealand and Australia was done. Most of the women in the study were middle class, conservative, Protestant and white. The study found that 183 participated in sport. The nineteenth most popular sport that these women participated in was cricket, with 2 having played the sport. The sport was tied with cricket, mountaineering, rowing, and surfing.
Australian women's sports had an advantage over many other women's sport organisations around the world in the period after World War II. Women's sport organisations had largely remained intact and were holding competitions during the war period. This structure survived in the post war period. Women's sport were not hurt because of food rationing, petrol rationing, population disbursement, and other issues facing post-war Europe.
- Cricket in Australia
- Australia national women's cricket team
- Lily Poulett-Harris - founder of women's cricket in Australia
- Howell, Howell & Brown 1989, p. 84
- Howell, Howell & Brown 1989, p. 86
- Howell, Howell & Brown 1989, p. 44
- Howell, Howell & Brown 1989, p. 46
- Howell, Howell & Brown 1989, p. 100
- Howell, Howell & Brown 1989, p. 88
- Evening Post 1922, p. 19
- Stell 1991, p. 59
- Australia's wide world of sports. Pymble, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson. 1993. p. 155. ISBN 0-207-17485-7. OCLC 38340671.
- Stell 1991, p. 75
- Stell 1991, p. 100
- Evening Post (19 December 1922). "Women in Print". Evening Post CC (147) (New Zealand: National Library of New Zealand). p. 7. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Howell, Max; Howell, Reet; Brown, David W. (1989). The Sporting Image, A pictorial history of Queenslanders at play. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-2206-2.
- Stell, Marion K. (1991). Half the Race, A history of Australian women in sport. North Ryde, Australia: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-207-16971-3.