Crio’s Q: Sporting Sounds

The unmistakable response of the crowd to the caller’s  “They’re off in The Cup”.

The groan/giggle that echoes around the ground after a batsman gets hit in the box.

The boom of a big ace.

“Sounds of sport.”

Some are instantly recognizable.

As a kid I vividly remember the respect rising to a roar as the last bars of “God Save The Queen” preceded the siren to start the Grand Final – note to kids: the players were already in position and had shaken hands!

Even from outside the ‘G, you know when a wicket has fallen by the noise that springs up to meet you.

What other sporting sounds are immediately identifiable?


  1. John Butler says

    There’s that strange droning sound you get at Collingwood games now. Sounds a bit like a herd of disaffected cows.

  2. The unmistakable sound of ball against hozzle sending your titliest violently at right angles towards some poor unsuspecting person on the adjacent hole. Not that I’ve hit a shak mind you

  3. Dave Nadel says

    Gee and I was about to say something nice about Carlton JB.

    I like the crowd participation noises. The Richmond crowd screaming “Yellow and Black” when their song is played. The Carlton crowd’s oof after kicks by Perovic and later Christos.

    Collingwood’s chant of Tooooooves after Alan Toovey handles or kicks the ball. JB may not like this but I think that it is terrific, particularly because it took much longer than it should have for Tooves to win the approval of the Collingwood crowds. That chant of “Toooooves” is the sound of redemption.

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    The ‘Psssss’ you often hear at the TAB or races when someones horse looks like getting up.

  5. Peter Baulderstone says

    What is that collective held breath watching a long rally in a tight tennis match? I guess it is more a shared feeling than a sound, but it is certainly palbable. Then the ‘ooooohhhhhhh’ if the local player’s shot is just wide or into the net.

  6. John Butler says

    Dave, I find that unlikely (the being nice about Carlton thing).

    Just flexing a few partisan muscles in preparation for the coming season. Haven’t had a lot a cause to exercise them in the last decade or so.

  7. John Butler says

    That unmistakable click of ball on bail when it turns out that immaculately produced forward defence wasn’t quite so immaculate after all.

  8. The sprinters making that “pshhhh” sound as they run down the track. And the footy players who think tht this makes them faster/more frightening….

    The sound of a decent kick as it leaves the boot on a 50m + journey.

  9. At the risk of sounding like Simon and Garfunkel, the sound of silence just before the starter pulls the trigger in the final at Stawell. It never ceases to amaze me how complete it is.

  10. Alovesupreme says

    Prompted by Dave’s references, I recall Fitzroy supporters’ cries of Roos, Roos Roos in that gifted talent’s early years. Rocky Dabscheck (sp.) on the 3CR footy show, said it sounded like you were walking past the Lost Dogs’ Home.

    Crio’s point about the cricket crowd’s sounds heard from outside the MCG resaonates for me. I recall arriving about half an hour after the beginning of a Shield game in the early ’60s, and as I walked from Richmond station there was a hum rising to a roar. It wasn’t due to a wicket, but Victoria were batting and were on their way to 402 in the day, and there was a dull hum, rising to a roar of approval as the boundaries came. Amazingly Bill Lawry was at the crease and made 80 odd at close to a run a ball. That was in the halcyon days of the Shield when crowds of 20,000 were common place and the Vic-NSW match at Christmas would routinely have attendances over 30,000.

    Not directly experienced by me, but I recall that an academic (John Cheffers ?) took a sound monitor to a game at Waverley involving Collingwood (can’t recall their opponents) and published his findings. Graham Wright scored a goal late in the match which either brought the Magpies within a goal or enabled them to hit the front. The crowd noise registered 102 decibels.

  11. Peter Baulderstone says

    Dips – it must sound very different for a competitor. In that silent cathedral of the oval, the athlete’s heart beat must sound like a jackhammer, and the blood coursing through you like a tsunami wave.

  12. The ironical cheer

    The unexpectedly-loud THUD of body contact when you sit near the fence

    and my personal favourite – the communal one-syllable laugh/grunt as Daicos fooled another one with just a hip- or head-shake – none of these extravagant Krakour dummies for the master!

  13. I think this may have been the Graham Wright game at Waverley – think he put the Pies in front only to be beaten at the death – from reseach was the debut game for Ben Allen at Hawthorn.

    Round 7, Saturday, 12th May 1990

    Collingwood Magpies 3.3 4.6 11.12 13.14 92
    Hawthorn Hawks 4.4 8.12 9.14 13.16 94

  14. The sound of a perfect pocket strike in tenpin bowling. Often you know it’s a strike from the sound before the pins fall. (And sometimes it’s not when a solid 8- or 10-pin defiantly stands…)

  15. I went to lots of cricket at Adelaide Oval as a kid. A sound I recall clearly is the varying types of applause…especially the “rippling” variety particular to certain cricket matches.
    If I ever missed the first ball, I’d know a Test Match was on when, as I approached the Victor Richardson Gates, I’d hear clapping saluting a fine return! That only occurred on Test mornings and was quite distinctive of a crowd lapping up every moment.

  16. …and probably the best description of a sporting sound is the “death rattle”.

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