Crio’s Question: Unheralded sports?

How good is the sporting menu at the moment?
As Brendan McArdle highlighted on this site (, the epic Djokovic/Federer final almost slipped under the radar with a feast of footy (all codes, especially from Brazil, but also State of Origin and the AwFuL) and now Le Tour grabbing viewers’ attention. I had to use the “red button” this weekend to flick from the gripping Test in Nottingham to the superb Aberdeen layout for the Scottish Open – two events covered with due reverence on TV and utterly ignored by a beseiged press corp.
So what hope the “other” sports?
Publicists have long lamented the “louvre” (used to be a window of opportunity) left after the papers/TV/radio have had their fill on footy and, in their turn, cricket for summer and races for spring and tennis for a fortnight.
There’s seemingly nothing left, as netball, basketball, baseball, golf, trots, hockey, lacrosse, tenpin bowls, table tennis, archery, darts, surfing, badminton, croquet, sailing, billiards, blahblahblah …….lament.
But what about the bottom tier? Sports played by their “zealots” with no profile whatsoever.
I was walking down William Street, east side of Flagstaff Gardens, one night a couple of months ago and spied a bizarre activity on the “tennis court”. People on pushbikes were playing a varient of hockey/polo!
Around the same time my son hooked up with some mates who were playing organised Frisbee (Ultimate Frisbee) matches and comps.
I’m interested in these sports which are largely unknown – no push for “Games status”, just fuelled by people for the fun and fitness they provide. Almost extensions of the stuff we used to invent in backyards and schoolgrounds.
There must be more out there?


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Surely Trugo would get a run here

  2. come on you Adelaide/Broken Hill lads –
    who’s going to explain Electric Light Cricket (or will I have to do it myself)?

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    You’ve hinted at this on a previous post Crio, please enlighten us. (I played one season in the South West Parklands in the late 70s, but I’m sure you’ll describe it better than me)

  4. Electric Light Cricket.
    Played on a court, roughly the width of a tennis court but not as long
    There are or maybe that’s were ( not sure) a number of courts in Adelaide’s south parklands and it was quite popular. Allegedly even G Sobers had a game when he was playing Shield for SA.
    The object was to hit 100 runs ( then you had to retire), generally by hitting the underarm tennis ball delivery over the head of the field by bouncing it directly into the ground. The Budge was known to have one shot only, the sweep and was often a victim of the top edge which, if it hit the fence of the court higher than about halfway meant you were out. Bowlers had a range of deliveries from fast ( very fast for underarm) to spin and the opposition would field on a concrete strip around the pitch about halfway to the fence ( probably about 4 metres from the bat to the side fence. I managed to hit 100 once in probably 50 tries, not sure if it was that hard or I was no good, probably the latter.

    For another unusual sport, Korfball, once played by former bookies penciller Dr Kate Scantlebury…a weird sort of twist on netball.

    My favourite is an invented one on a slow Sunday in Adelaide many years ago Bogan Triathalon…Bayside bowl then mini golf then pub eight ball, I was a natural.

  5. That is golden Jock.
    Electric Light Cricket was almost sedentary – certainly barbeques, beers and even “durries” for fielders were not discouraged. In those repects we were well qualified. But to be any good seemed to require a quick hand/eye. Hence Shiner was a natural, even the Lump was effective (albeit depressed when he got out).
    Pretty sure I got a ton but my run rate would be so slow as to be mostly worthless.
    The main skills I recall were the technique good batters developed of “bouncing” boundaries, frustrating bowlers on the marginal legside “wide” line and, probably most usefully, the exact art of crushing the ice bought at the Highway Inn to cover the “echo” filled metal esky.
    In my memory, it was only played then on the King William Rd courts and at a venue in Broken Hill.
    Does it survive today?…or gone the way of the Bay Bowling Alley (another “smoking sport” Jock!).

  6. Andrew Fithall says

    The lacrosse men’s world championships are on in Denver at the moment. As I write this, the undefeated US are playing the Iroquois nation (3 wins and 1 loss – to Canada) in what should be a great game.

    While there are more teams than compete in the soccer world cup finals, the pools reflect the potential with 6 teams in Pool blue, which is the pool which plays for the actual world championship. The championship has only ever been won by the US and Canada. This year, the Iroquois are given a chance, Their game against Canada earlier in the tournament was raved about. Australia (Sharks) is traditionally a top 4 team and so far they are two and two – wins against Japan and England and losses to the US and a very close loss yesterday to Iroquois.

    If you have access to ESPN on pay TV or on-line I recommend it. I am following the goings on via twitter (@worldlax2014 and @iroquoisnatslax ). The playing schedule has been mucked around significantly by numerous weather interruptions – lightning storms have been frequent. The Sharks play Canada commencing at 1.00pm (Aust Eastern time) today.


    ps – score check: US are smashing Iroquois 8-0. The @iroquoisnatslax is stating scores only. I think they are in shock.

  7. Rick Kane says

    Is Woodchopping still around?

  8. Fantastic Woodchop still at the Show.
    Haven’t seen the rollercycling derby for a while!?

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says
  10. I do believe that Crio will have to appear on an up coming Podcast episode to discuss Electric Light Cricket

  11. Jock, very impressed that I received a mention in dispatches on my sporting prowess – even with the slightly negative connotations!
    I don’t recall having a favourite shot at all. The contents of the esky were always a major focus for the team.
    You’re very lucky that I wasn’t around in the time of the bogan triathlon. Sounds right up my alley!
    Another odd sport was playing squash against Elvis. A broken racquet (his) was almost guaranteed and then, happy that we had fulfilled the exercise part of the equation, we would adjourn to the BMH for Parma and jugs.

  12. Squash with Elvis, there should be some sort of bravery award for that.

  13. Andrew Fithall says

    Lacrosse world championships update. Aust finished 4th in the pool and played Israel (top of the next rung pool) to qualify for the semi finals. Israel team is made up of a significant number of US ex-pats. In a tight game just finished, Australia won 9 8. They now play the undefeated US in the semi tomorrow. Iroquoise Nationals (representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy- lacrosse origins) finished third and defeated Scotland in their equivalent game. They play Canada in the other semi.

  14. Andrew Fithall says

    Further – just found out that this is the first world championships at which a team from Israel has competed. They play England tomorrow. The winner of that game will be in the Blue pool (top division) at the next world championships in 4 years time. Scotland, who lost to Iroquoise Nationals will have a similar opportunity. I am guessing they will be playing Japan.

  15. Andrew, is this the comp that is on my “yellow button” as amateur Lacrosse- but each time I click to watch it seems they have got other programming?!

  16. another “sport” which seems to have had a lowkey suburban revival is the old Rollerskate Derby which used to be on Adelaide TV on Sundays I reckon. some badass girls and race stereotyping, but good fun to watch then and apparently active out Sunshine way these days.

Leave a Comment