Throughout the 1920s women were openly encouraged to participate in regular exercise, including sport. Croquet Golf, Tennis, and Swimming, for example, have been popular in Brisbane since the late 19th Century.
Here we note three team sports, women were encouraged to play instead of participating in football. Each experienced a surge in popularity and recruitment in the 1920s.
There is a range of motives for this, one theory could be the strips or uniforms were considered to be more effeminate another is the clearly the effect of the ban.
Queensland Women’s Hockey Association came into being in 1923. The game had been played in some Brisbane schools prior, and was being played in Western Australia (1901), Victoria, New South Wales in the early 1900s.
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One of the reasons that women’s basketball was so popular was because it was able to appear as a ‘feminine’ sport; one that could provide the benefits of exercise and teamwork, but at the same time be seen as suitable exercise for women and girls. (Source: netball.com.au)
Netball, a name the sport gained formally in 1970, was originally called Women’s basketball in Australia. Going by early reports of violence (see movethegoalposts.com.au) it was neither gentle or effeminate. One unfortunate player died in a collision and in another match four players were taken to hospital. The same article details uniforms too. View article here
There’s a useful potted history of the national game here
And a more detailed academic article, here
Similar to cricket, vigoro is a sport encountered by primary and high school girls in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. Invented by Englishman John George Grant, and introduced into New South Wales schools in the 1920s and grew in popularity in Brisbane and other parts of Queensland including Toowoomba during the same period. Played on a pitch slightly shorter in length, with balls much lighter than those for cricket, and a differently shaped bat.
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