Rugby League Participation data shows positive trends around the nation

Heres a summary of the recent data being posted to the NRL, QRL, NSWRL and Melbourne Sites, plus supplemental information taken from the 2022 NRL Annual Report, the 2022 Touch Football Australia Annual Report, and the 2021 European Rugby League Annual Report.

Nationally in 2022 there was a year-on-year growth of 0.91 per cent in club rugby league with 181,587 participants (not including Touch). There was also a resurgence in school rugby league with over 95,000 competition and event participants and
240,000 engagements through introductory programmes like League Stars

New South Wales (2023)

The NSWRL has received a tremendous vote of confidence from participants for the 2023 season, with the number of players having already moved past 100,000 which represents an increase of more than 14 per cent on a year-to-date basis. The figures are just as encouraging for both men’s and women’s participation rates, with men up by 12 per cent while women are on track for another record-breaking season with a 22 per cent increase from the corresponding time last year.

The NSWRL enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2021 (107,528) as community sport returned after the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while last year saw female participation break the 23,000 mark (23,203) for the first time in history.

Queensland (2023)

Footy fever is gripping Queensland as more and more junior and senior players sign on to play community rugby league across the state. At the start of this month, Queensland Rugby League player registrations were up 14 per cent, equating to about 8000 more registered participants compared to the corresponding period in 2022. Future Maroons are currently enjoying their footy on rugby league fields all around the state, with 60,000 club participants having already signed on to play Queensland’s favourite sport.

Victoria (2023)

Rugby league in Victoria is heading for a record season with more players and more teams than ever before in 2023.

  • more than 200 junior teams will kick off the Storm Junior League season on Saturday, April 29
  • more than 250 teams in metropolitan competitions, playing in the Storm Premiership and Storm Junior League
  • growing state-wide with 30 clubs across Victoria, including a new club in the Geelong Sharks
  • on track for record participation numbers, beating the previous best season in 2019 which had more than 4400 registered rugby league players.

Western Australia (2022)

  • Community rugby league in WA currently numbers 4100 registered players.

South Australia (2022)

  • Overall participation grew by 4.6 per cent
  • Six clubs took part in the competition, including senior men’s, women’s and junior competitions.

Data for Tasmania and Northern Territory Unavailable.

NRL Touch

  • Accredited Volunteer Participants grew by 8.6% across the nation
  • TFA events increased by 803 participants which is an increase of 23.9%
  • Total Participants in Victoria increased by a total of 25.9% across all categories
  • Event numbers in the ACT grew by 39% on the back of a strong junior event program
  • Full Active Member – Juniors members continue to grow in WA with another increase of 13.4%
  • Accredited Volunteer Participants increased in the reporting period in Tasmania, up by a total of 46
  • Events in the Northern Territory continue to show strong numbers with an increase of 14.4%
  • School Managed Competitions in SA return close to pre-Covid-19 numbers with almost 5,000 participating
  • Juniors and Schools increased collectively across all Alliance States by 5.3%
  • Queensland Full Active Juniors increased by 11.0% to their highest number recorded of 36,802

Overseas – 2021


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