Commonwealth Games sports

The Commonwealth Games sports comprise all the sports officially recognised and approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). There are a total of 31 approved sports, two multi-disciplinary sports, and a further 7 para-sports. Not all sports are competed at each edition of the Games as programmes must be limited to a maximum of 17 sports and a maximum 15 para-sports events.

At the 1930 British Empire Games, the precursor to the modern Games, there were six sports: athletics, aquatics (swimming and diving), boxing, lawn bowls, rowing and wrestling.

Sports, disciplines, events

If a number of activities are controlled by the same international federation then the Commonwealth Games Federation recognises each activity as a discipline, which belongs to the respective sport. For example, aquatics, which is organised by the International Swimming Federation, is a sport at the Commonwealth Games that comprises four disciplines: swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo. Furthermore, the sport cycling also contains three separate disciplines: track, road, and mountain biking.

Sports and disciplines often feature separate events for which athletes can receive medals. For example, boxing has a number of weight divisions, gymnastics and diving have a number of styles, while athletics(beach soccer) has numerous events based upon a wide range of activities.


The Commonwealth Games sports are divided into three main types: core sports, optional sports, and recognised sports. All ten core sports must be included in the Games programme, while the host nation may choose to include up to seven optional sports. Recognised sports are sports which have been approved by the CGF but are deemed to need further growth before their inclusion.[1]

The host nation may also apply for the inclusion of a maximum of four team sports to the CGF General Assembly, as the Melbourne organising committee did with basketball for the 2006 Games. There is also a requirement to include some events for Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD): there are four core para-sports and three optional para-sports.[1]

Some optional sports, like billiards and sailing, have not yet been included in a Games programme. There have also been a number of exhibition sports. In 1958 there were exhibitions of polo and show jumping, and in 1978 lacrosse appeared as an exhibition sport. Cricket was included at the 1998 Commonwealth Games although it is not currently a recognised sport.

The CGF recognises Commonwealth Games records for a number of sports.

In 2002, the CGF introduced the David Dixon Award for the outstanding athlete of the Games.

On 18 November 2006, tennis and archery were added to the list of disciplines for the 2010 Games in New Delhi, bringing the total number of sports to 17. Billiards and snooker were considered but not accepted.

In 2010, rowing was upgraded back from "recognised" to "optional", and is thus eligible to be included again from the 2018 Games.[2]

Current Commonwealth Games program

The following sports (or disciplines of a sport) made up the most recent (2018) Commonwealth Games official program and are listed alphabetically according to the name used by the CGF. The figures in each cell indicate the number of events for each sport contested at the respective Games.

Sport (Discipline) Body 11 30 34 38 50 54 58 62 66 70 74 78 82 86 90 94 98 02 06 10 14 18
Diving FINA and IPC 4444444444444666610101010
Swimming 2111313131315232429292929303234324142444450
Mountain biking UCI 2222
Road cycling 1111111112234444444
Track cycling 3345444566558991112141720
Artistic FIG 41514141514141414
Rhythmic 6666666
Athletics IAAF and IPC 5213028282929313436373840414244464853525058
Badminton BWF 55566665756666
Basketball FIBA 22
Beach volleyball FIVB 2
Boxing AIBA 188881010101011111111121212121211101316
Field hockey FIH 222222
Judo IJF 161414
Lawn bowls PBA 3333333333466868661010
Netball INF 111111
Powerlifting IPC 11244
Rugby sevens WR 111112
Shooting ISSF 56620202132304040441919
Squash WSF 555555
Table tennis ITTF 77779
Ten-pin bowling WBO 5
Triathlon ITU 2235
Weightlifting IWF 67777991010103030244515151516
Wrestling UWW 1777888881010101010107211412
Total events 954686875798191102113121128141146197213214278245268261275

See also


  1. 1 2 Sports Programme. Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  2. "Rowing upgraded to optional sport for Commonwealth Games". FISA (International Rowing Federation). 15 June 2010. Archived from the original on 18 June 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
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