We all love a little sports trivia, and the weirder the better. So let’s see if you know any of the following facts…
1. A soccer ball consists of 32 synthetic leather patches – 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. True leather isn’t used as it soaks up water.
2. Round 18 of the AFL in 1993 was a match between St Kilda (then Tony Lockett’s club) and Sydney (his future club) at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Someone in the crowd released a piglet onto the ground in reference to Lockett’s build. Spray-painted on its sides was the misspelled word ‘Pluga’ (instead of Plugger) and Lockett’s player number ‘4’. ‘There’s a pig at full-forward!’ exclaimed Channel Seven commentator Sandy Roberts. Lockett was actually injured and absent from the match.
3. Since 1896, the beginning of the modern Olympics, Greece is the only nation to have participated under its own flag in every Games.
4. Ellyse Perry is the youngest person, male or female, to represent Australia in cricket – she was just 16 in the one-day international against New Zealand in 2007. She is also the first Australian woman to play in both a cricket and football (soccer) World Cup, thanks to her Matilda’s appearance as an 89th-minute substitute against Norway in 2011.
5. Until 1936, the jump ball in basketball occurred at centre court after every single basket was made.
6. Aussie Samuel Groth is ranked No. 76 in the world, but he’s clocked the fastest serve ever recorded at a supersonic 263.4 kilometres per hour (163.7mph). Groth smacked this ball at the Busan Open Challenger Tennis tournament in 2012, surprising the entire tennis world.
7. A regular golf ball has 336 dimples.
8. Half an hour after the Melbourne Cup has been run, you can bet on next year’s race. You used to have to wait until the next August.
9. What’s going on with our sports coverage? The Towards a Level Playing Field: Sport and Gender in Australian Media report compiled for the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) in 2015 found there was an obvious difference in the coverage of male and female sport on television. It seems coverage of male sport makes up 81 per cent of television sports news coverage, compared to women at just 8.7 per cent (it was 11 per cent 10 years ago!).
10. ‘FEDERER’ as in the Swiss professional tennis player Roger Federer is typed on the keyboard using just the left hand.
11. Russell Ingall began his motor racing career at the age of 12 – he raced go-karts in Australia. After winning an Australian Junior, and Senior karting championships four times, he moved to racing go-karts in Europe before making the transition to Formula Ford. He retired from full-time V8 Racing in 2015.
12. Fans with flares may be an issue today, but after the 1981 rugby league Grand Final win over Newtown, Parramatta supporters went about destroying Cumberland Oval. They burnt down the grandstand and scoreboard and destroyed other parts of the ground. Incidentally, this was the first ever Grand Final played on a Sunday.
So, how many of the above facts did you know before now? And do you have any other fascinating tidbits in that sports trivia brain of yours? Share all in the comments section.