The first Rugby League competition in Darwin took place in 1941. This competition was among servicemen stationed in Darwin during World War 2. The competition was suspended following the Japanese air raids on 19 February 1942 and did not recommence until 1943.
The game was not played on an organised basis after servicemen left the city at the end of the war until the formation of the Northern Territory Rugby Football League Association in 1950. The newly formed association's first game was held on 14 January 1951. Rugby League in the Northern Territory is being played at Richardson Park.
The Darwin Rugby League was known as the Northern Territory Rugby League until 1989 when the constitution was changed accordingly. This was brought about by Alice Springs beginning its own competition in 1963, graduating to inter-town games by 1965.
The Darwin Rugby League is a former rugby league competition based in Darwin, Northern Territory. The competition is administered by the Northern Territory Rugby League which is the body that takes care of the League's Affairs. It administered the competition, officially, since 1950 in Darwin until 2010.
On 6 May 2010, the Australian Rugby League disbanded the Darwin Rugby League due to ongoing issues, including the scheduling of matches and the playing clubs arguing these changes.The competition in Darwin is now controlled by the NTRL.