Sport in Tasmania

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Sport in Tasmania is participation in and attendance at organised sports events in the state of Tasmania in Australia. Sport is an important part of Tasmanian culture; though,[1] while spectator sports have grown in recent decades, overall participation in sports has declined[2] and is currently lower than the national average.[3]

The most popular spectator sports are Cricket (summer) and Australian rules football (winter). Both sports have very long histories in the state and important roles in the culture and are widely covered by the media. In participation Tasmania's most popular sport for men is Association football (known locally as "soccer") and for women is swimming.[4] The fastest growing sport in terms of participation in the state is junior and women's soccer.[5]

There are significant regional differences and regional rivalries, particularly between the north and south of the state which have an effect on the sport participation and attendances.


Hobart is home to the annual Briggs Track Classic at the Domain Athletic Centre as part of the national Australian Athletics Tour. Other areas also hold annual events called 'Gifts' such as the Burnie Gift. The North-West town Penguin also held the National Running Championships in 2015.

Ball and Basket Sports[edit]


Tasmania has previously hosted teams in the highest tiers of Basketball in Australia, however currently has no teams participating in the highest leagues. The Hobart Devils existed in the National Basketball League from 1983 to 1996. Launceston also had a team in the NBL from 1980 - 1982 called Launceston City Casino.

In the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL), the Hobart Islanders won the national competition in 1991. The team was led by home-grown and three-time WNBL Most Valuable Player, Kathy Foster. The Islanders withdrew from the competition in the mid-1990s.[6]


Netball is popular in Tasmania, although Tasmania does not have a team in the ANZ Championship.


England vs Australia at Bellerive Oval in Hobart

Cricket is the most popular game in Tasmania. Cricket Tasmania administers the Tasmanian Grade Cricket competitions of cricket in Tasmania, and selects the players for the Tasmanian Tigers, who are the state's first class cricket team for men. They are also responsible for the selection of players for Tasmanian Roar, the state's women's representative side. The Tasmanian Tigers are based at Bellerive Oval and represent the state in domestic competitions such as the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, the Sheffield Shield, and formerly in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. As of 2016 the Hobart Hurricanes represent Tasmania in the KFC Big Bash League. At present the Tasmanian Roar only compete in the Women's National Cricket League Twenty20 competition. Bellerive Oval also hosts international matches (Tests and One Day matches) of the Australian cricket team and touring sides.

Football codes[edit]

Australian rules football[edit]

Capacity crowd at a Tassie Hawks "home" game against the Western Bulldogs at Aurora Stadium during the 2008 AFL Season.

Tasmania was the first place outside of Victoria to play Australian football, playing Victorian Rules since 1864. Tasmania has competed strongly in Interstate matches in Australian rules football since its first colonial match in 1884, forming a strong rival with traditional powerhouse Victoria, however played its last competitive match in the 1990 State of Origin series which resulted a victory over Victoria in Hobart.[citation needed]

In 2005, Tasmania's participation rate in Australian Rules for men between 5 – 39 years was 22%, the highest in Australia.[7]

The main leagues now are the statewide Tasmanian Football League (which has existed on and off since 1879) and its conferences, the Southern Football League and the Northern Tasmanian Football League. A representative club, the Tasmanian Devils participated in the Victorian Football League between 2001–2008 and attracted attendances of over 10,000 on two occasions.[citation needed]

There is no Tasmanian team in a national competition, the Australian Football League, however a Tasmanian AFL Bid has been ongoing. Victorian AFL teams have been playing AFL Premiership season matches in Tasmania since 1991. Fitzroy (1991-1992), Hawthorn (2001 - 2020), St Kilda (2001 - 2006) and North Melbourne (2012 - 2016) have all played at least 2 home games in Tasmania in various seasons.[citation needed]

The Tasmanian Gaelic Football and Hurling Association run weekly training sessions and games in summer in Hobart to avoid competing with major winter sports.[citation needed]

Rugby league[edit]

The Tasmanian Rugby League reestablished a summer competition in 2009.[citation needed]

Touch Football[edit]

Touch Football[8] is played in the Summer months in Tasmania. Competitions are located in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.

Rugby union[edit]

The Tasmanian Rugby Union[9] Statewide League consists of 10 Teams and was first established in 1933. The senior men's state representative side for the Tasmanian Rugby Union is the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers. Rugby union in Tasmania consists of the following divisions : Men's, Women's, Junior Under 18, Junior Under 16, Juniors Under 14.[citation needed]


Melbourne Victory vs Adelaide United at Aurora Stadium
Main article: Soccer in Tasmania

The Football Federation Tasmania (FFT) is the governing body for associational football (soccer) in Tasmania. FFT runs men's, women's and youth competitions in both the North and South of Tasmania. The main season is run in winter.

Since 2013 the highest male level of competition in Tasmania is the NPL Tasmania which forms part of the National Premier Leagues nationally. The NPL Tasmania includes teams from all major regions in Tasmania. At the conclusion of each season the premier team goes onto play the winners of other states in the national NPL finals series. The equal next levels of male competition are the Southern Championship and the Northern Championship .[citation needed]

Aurora Stadium has hosted two A-League pre-season games, attracting over 8000 spectators at the 2007–08 match.[10] FFT is actively pursuing the possibility of an A-League club based in the state.[11]


Tasmania has numerous golf courses spread throughout the island. The town of Bridport in the northeast is home to Barnbougle Dunes, a public golf course designed by architect Tom Doak which opened in 2004 and is ranked among the top 100 courses in the world.[12]


Hockey Tasmania[13] runs local competitions and have two teams competing in the Australian Hockey League. The teams being in men's Tassie Tigers and in women's the Van Demons.

Horse Racing[edit]

There are a number of thoroughbred and harness race courses in Tasmania including the Elwick Race Course and Launceston Racecourse in Mowbray which host the Hobart Cup and Launceston Cup respectively.


Tasmania hosts a round of the V8 Supercars championship each year at Symmons Plains Raceway, in the Northern Midlands of the state, although the Tasmanian Government has not promised to fund the event past 2011 which may lead to the event being withdrawn.[14]

A number of racing categories compete for the Tasmanian Super Series at Symmons Plains and Baskerville Raceway near Hobart, each year.

The Australian Grand Prix was twice held in Tasmania, at the Longford Circuit, in 1959, and 1965.

Launceston, Tasmania is also the birthplace of Marcos Ambrose who was V8 Supercar champion in 2003 and 2004 before relocating to the USA to race NASCAR.

Targa Tasmania is a six-day tarmac-based rally has been held annually since 1992. A smaller version the Targa Wrest Point is also held annually. The Tasmanian Rally Series is held over four rallies annually.


Tasmania is one of the three Australian states which play Vigoro.

Water sports[edit]


Swimming Tasmania is the governing body for swimming in Tasmania. The Hobart Aquatic Centre has hosted significant championships including the Australian Swimming Championships. Other significant aquatic facilities include: Clarence Aquatic Centre and Launceston Aquatic.

Water Skiing[edit]

There are a number of active water ski clubs in Tasmania. These include Meadowbank Water Ski Club, Northern Aquatic Club, Roseberry Ski Club, Kentish Aquatic Club and the Horsehead Water Ski Club.

Water Polo[edit]

Water Polo Tasmania is the governing body of water polo in Tasmania. The Hobart Aquatic Centre is the main venue for these events and is host to local and national water polo matches. The main local event is the Water Polo Championships held in southern Tasmania, as well as the Best of the Bay pre-season trophy, played between University and Sandy Bay. Active clubs include Clarence Crocs, Sandy Bay Sea Eagles, University Honey Badgers and Wet Magic.

Winter Sports[edit]

Snow skiing[edit]

Main article: Skiing in Tasmania
The Summit Run, Ben Lomond, Tasmania

The most southerly ski fields in Australia are located in Tasmania. Much of the State is subject to at least occasional winter snows. Mount Ossa is the highest point on the island at 1614 m, but Tasmania has eight mountains exceeding 1500 m and 28 above 1,220 m. Also notable is the Central Plateau, at an elevation of around 900 m. The capital city of Hobart is built at the base of Mount Wellington, which at 1270 m is snow-capped in winter.[15]

Tasmania's premier Alpine skiing operations are located at Ben Lomond 60 km from Launceston.[16] The village is at 1460m and the top elevation is 1570m.[17] Limited downhill ski operations also exist in the Mount Field National Park at Mount Mawson, which is approximately 89 kilometres north west of Hobart and rises from 1200 m to 1320 m altitude.[18]

One of Australia's most scenic alpine locations is located in Tasmania at Cradle Mountain, where cross country skiing is possible. Cradle Mountain is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, inscribed by UNESCO in 1982.[19]

Ice Hockey[edit]

The Ice Hockey Tasmania[20] conducts, encourages, promotes, advances, controls and administers all forms of Ice Hockey in Tasmania. The main ice hockey venue is the Glenorchy Ice Rink.

Racquet sports[edit]


Tasmania hosts the Moorilla International tennis tournament as part of the lead-up to the Australian Open. The tournament is a professional tournament involving women's singles and doubles competitions played at the Hobart International Tennis Centre on the Domain in Hobart.

Real Tennis[edit]

The Hobart Real Tennis Club is one of the oldest sporting clubs in the Southern hemisphere, having been founded in 1875. The court is located at 45 Davey Street, Hobart, Tasmania. It is the oldest real tennis club in Australia and one of the oldest existing clubs in the real tennis world.


The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has taken place between Boxing Day and New Year every year since 1945. The race finishes at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Hobart. Another popular annual race is the Australian Three Peaks Race.

See also[edit]