In 1949 the first Western Australian side - the State cricket team - began competing in a regular national competition. Due to the distances involved in travelling it was not until the 1980s that annual sporting carnivals began to be replaced by semi-professional national sporting competitions.
The move to national competitions in Australian football, basketball, netball, hockey and baseball has increased the opportunity for Western Australian-based teams to participate on a national stage. However, the increased levels of sporting professionalism and the introduction of national player drafts has meant that these teams are no longer strictly State representative teams.
The parochial mythology of Western Australian sporting prowess claims a competitive edge based on identity. Local sports people overcome the adversity of travelling vast distances, finding motivation in representing a small and isolated centre. In many respects it is Western Australia versus Australia.