The Roar Podcast: What’s the best way to judge a sport’s success?

Riordan Lee Editor

By Riordan Lee, Riordan Lee is a Roar Editor

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    The AFL has impressive metrics for crowd attendance, memberships and TV ratings (Cianflone/Getty Images).

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    The gang is back this week with the second episode of The Roar Podcast.

    Each episode we pick apart the recurring debates and topics in the world of sports – figuring out how things work and how they could be done better.

    Listen to The Roar Podcast Episode 2 on iTunes or iHeartRadio.

    In this episode, Ryman White, Ben Conkey and Riordan Lee explore the prickly topic of judging a sport’s success. To unpack this landmine of a question, we broke it down into three parts:

    1. What metrics do we currently use for judging a code’s success, and how do we measure things like crowd attendance, TV ratings and participation? (As we found out, it’s not quite as straightforward as you might think!)

    2. We have a yarn with Cricket Australia’s former Head of Community Engagement, Sam Almaliki, about how important grassroots are to a sport’s health, and if sporting bodies are doing enough at this level. Also, we ask Sam, what’s the most important metric we should be focussing on – crowds, ratings or participation?

    3. Finally, we crunch the numbers and try to come to a consensus about which sport is Australia’s most successful.

    If you have any feedback about the podcast, flick us a line via our contact form (and if you really like it, chuck us a five-star rating on iTunes).

    Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, so get the debate rolling in the comment section below!

    EDIT: The original headline was ‘What’s Australia’s most successful sport?’

    Be sure to keep an eye out next Thursday for Episode 3 of The Roar Podcast when we’ll be diving into the world of short-form sports.

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    The Crowd Says (125)

    • December 7th 2017 @ 10:38am
      Peeeko said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      The most successful code is the one that an individual chooses for them self.

      When arguing with others just choose the metrics that suit your argument best

      • December 7th 2017 @ 10:54am
        Boris said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        Spot on. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but it feels like the Roar has stooped by trying to answer a subjective question like this. Don’t become the Daily Telegraph of podcasts

        By the way the first pod on money in sport was very good

        • Editor

          December 7th 2017 @ 11:50am
          Riordan Lee said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          Fair point Boris, the podcast actually spends the majority of time diving into what are the most important indicators of success rather than any sort of code-war discussion. I’ve changed the headline to better reflect this. And thanks for the feedback on the debut episode!

    • Roar Guru

      December 7th 2017 @ 10:55am
      Paul D said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      Who cares. I follow AFL, and so long as the competition is on TV every weekend in winter, and the masters comp is on for me to play in, I couldn’t give a rats clacker how the other codes are doing, better or worse.

      Plenty of room in this country for all sports.

      • Roar Guru

        December 7th 2017 @ 8:21pm
        Cat said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

        Hey Paul, just wanted to say thank you for mentioning the masters competition. I finished my first training session with the Werribee Masters Football Club about an hour ago. Been wanting to have a go for a while but had no idea how to get involved until you mentioned the Masters. So again, thank you.

        • Roar Guru

          December 7th 2017 @ 8:48pm
          AdelaideDocker said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

          I’m glad the two of you are getting to play AFL! How was the session, Cat? Also, wasn’t there a Masters club in the Geelong area?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 5:42am
            Cat said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:42am | ! Report

            It was rough, or maybe it’s just me who is rough lol. First time in my life I ever kicked, hand balled or marked a ball. Well tried to do all three anyway, results were … varied lol. Honestly knew I was going to struggle but the boys got around me, gave me ips and kept encouraging me to keep trying. Good thing lots of training before first game in April.

            There are teams in Geelong, despite following the team, I don’t live there though. My other half works in Melbourne and it’s too far a daily commute for them. I’d love to move down if it was solely my choice though.

            • December 18th 2017 @ 6:46am
              Perry Bridge said | December 18th 2017 @ 6:46am | ! Report

              Some of my most enjoyable footy came after turning 40 and deciding to take up Supers/Masters footy (I then partially regretted not having done so 5 years earlier).

              A meaningful premiership. A choice of post training/match beer or wine cohorts in the club rooms.

              I got to play directly on people such as Paul Salmon, Chris Johnson, Kris Barlow, Joel Smith, Mark Graham and Paul Hudson.
              And share the field with Tony Liberatore, Joe Misiti, Richie Vandenberg, Dean Rice, Cory McGrath, Stuart Anderson and others.
              These were players that never ever in my life otherwise would I share the footy field with. I’ve had a great ‘ride’ with it. That was in the Supers – and in our Masters there were often guys who’d taken the game up for the first time and were loving it – and the odd one would ‘graduate’ to the Supers – incl our premiership ruckman!! I hope you get out at least what you put into it and have fun.

              • Roar Guru

                December 18th 2017 @ 11:58am
                Cat said | December 18th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                Only 2 trainings so far but definitely getting more out of it than I expected. Lots of fun.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 11:26am
      Stuart Bywater said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

      On a global scale it is hard to go past the Matildas.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 11:31am
      Stuart Bywater said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

      Perhaps the Roar could do a podcast on why NSW needs to replace 2 stadiums including the 2000 Olympics stadium. The MCG was used for the 1956 Olympics FFS.
      The NSW government cites the benefits of the multiplier effect indicating they have scant understanding of the multiplier effect let alone other economics.

      • Editor

        December 7th 2017 @ 11:48am
        Riordan Lee said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Definitely a topic worth looking into Stuart! Thanks for the suggestion

      • Roar Guru

        December 7th 2017 @ 12:59pm
        The_Wookie said | December 7th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

        to be fair, the MCG has been entirely rebuilt since – in two halves. The Great Southern Stand (1992) and the Northern Stand (2004). Although most of the cost was met by the MCC, with little input from Fed/State Gov.

        • Roar Guru

          December 7th 2017 @ 1:03pm
          Paul D said | December 7th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          Very true. It’s why I scoff at those who demand the grand final be moved from the MCG – the MCC gained their long term contractual hold on this event precisely because they were willing to put up their own money and not go cap in hand to the government.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:50am
            Brian said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            The myth that the MCC does not get govt funding is exactly that. The govt is hardly charging the MCC commercial rent for use of the ground.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 6:06pm
            Mattyb said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

            The MCC isn’t a solid argument for VFL clubs having automatic home GFs every year nor is it an argument for Victoria putting roadblocks in front of the games growth nationally.

            • Roar Guru

              December 9th 2017 @ 7:06pm
              Paul D said | December 9th 2017 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

              The grand final remains available to any state government who wants to pay money for it before 2037. What you should be focusing on is ensuring that the AFL does not extend that contract under any circumstances without consulting with the wider football community.

              Re: rent – if the MCC is putting most of the funds back into the stadium then they’re just saving the government having to do it. I’d rather have the MCC than the SCG Trust.

      • December 9th 2017 @ 8:32am
        Bakkies said | December 9th 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        The SFS is a poorly designed ground with limited disabled access and very few toilet facilities for women.

        The roof is poorly designed. You get a huge glare in day matches which makes it hard to see the ball on tv. When it rains you get absolutely drenched. The only time I went there I got drenched and had to walk miles to find a bus to get back to where I was staying.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 11:33am
      Kangajets said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report


      The roar going for a code wars battle

      I agree with Paul d , each to their own , I’m happy to follow more then one sport .

    • Editor

      December 7th 2017 @ 11:43am
      Riordan Lee said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

      Thank for the feedback guys, just to clear-up re: code wars. Give the pod a listen, it’s more of a deep dive into how we judge sport’s success in Australia – an exploration of how the metrics work, and how much emphasis governing bodies put into considerations like grassroots rather than 30 minutes of arguing which sport is best. Have changed the headline to reflect this.

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