14.1% of Aussie kids played football outside of school hours in 2017, making the beautiful game the most popular team sport and second overall, only being surpassed by swimming at 31.8%. 

AFL had an 8.8% participation rate, just in front of basketball at 7.1%, while rugby league was only 3.1% and rugby union 1.7%. Cricket stood at just over 5%.

The ASC survey monitored Australian children's participation rates across all forms of physical activity as the federal government attempts to find solutions to the nation's growing obesity crisis. 

While participation rates for children peaked between ages 11 and 13, there was a steep drop off after this age, with the principle reason named by interviewed parents being that their children don't enjoy the activity anymore.

FFA Head of Communications, John Kent, said football's ease of integration made it the perfect sport for young children.

"For young families, Football is a safe, fun, inclusive and accessible sport - that's why we are the most popular choice among this demographic," he said.

"Football is a great introduction to team sport, where kids learn the value of fair play and working together."