Southeast Asian Games

Southeast Asian Games
The Southeast Asian Games Federation logo
Abbreviation SEA Games
First event 1959 SEAP Games in Bangkok, Thailand
Occur every 2 years (Every odd year)
Last event 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia
Purpose Multi sport event for nations on the Southeast Asian subcontinent
Headquarters Bangkok, Thailand
President Charouck Arirachakaran

The Southeast Asian Games (also known as the SEA Games), is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia. The games is under regulation of the Southeast Asian Games Federation with supervision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia.


The Southeast Asian Games owes its origins to the South East Asian Peninsula Games or SEAP Games. On 22 May 1958, delegates from the countries in Southeast Asian Peninsula attending the Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan had a meeting and agreed to establish a sport organisation. The SEAP Games was conceptualised by Luang Sukhum Nayaoradit, then Vice-President of the Thailand Olympic Committee. The proposed rationale was that a regional sports event will help promote co-operation, understanding and relations among countries in the Southeast Asian region.

Six countries, Burma (now Myanmar), Kampuchea (now Cambodia), Laos, Malaya (now Malaysia), Thailand and Vietnam were the founding members. These countries agreed to hold the Games biennially in June 1959 and SEAP Games Federation Committee was formed thereafter.[1]

The first SEAP Games were held in Bangkok from 12–17 December 1959 comprising more than 527 athletes and officials from Thailand, Burma, Malaya (now Malaysia), Singapore, South Vietnam and Laos participating in 12 sports.

At the 8th SEAP Games in 1975, the SEAP Federation considered the inclusion of Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines. These countries were formally admitted in 1977, the same year when SEAP Federation changed their name to Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF), and the games were known as the Southeast Asian Games. East Timor was admitted at the 22nd Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.

The 2009 Southeast Asian Games was the first time Laos has ever hosted a Southeast Asian Games (Laos had previously declined hosting the 1965 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games citing financial difficulties). Running from 9–18 December, it has also commemorated the 50 years of the Southeast Asian Games, held in Vientiane, Laos.

The Southeast Asian Games logo was introduced during the 1959 edition in Bangkok, depicting six rings that represent the six founding members and was used until the 1997 edition in Jakarta. The number of rings increased to 10 during the 1999 edition in Brunei to reflect the inclusion of Singapore which was admitted into the Southeast Asian Games Federation in 1961 and Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines which joined the organisation in 1977. The number of rings was added again to 11 during the 2011 games in Indonesia to reflect the federation's newest member, East Timor which was admitted in 2003.

Participating NOCs

NOC NamesFormal NamesDebutedIOC codeOther codes used
 BruneiNation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace
 CambodiaKingdom of Cambodia
KHM (1972–1976, ISO)
 IndonesiaRepublic of Indonesia
IHO (1952), IDN (FIFA, ISO)
 LaosLao People's Democratic Republic
 MalaysiaFederation of Malaysia
MAL (1952 − 1988), MYS (ISO)
 MyanmarRepublic of the Union of Myanmar
BIR (1948 – 1988), MMR (ISO)
 PhilippinesRepublic of the Philippines
 SingaporeRepublic of Singapore
SIN (1959 – 2016)
 ThailandKingdom of Thailand
 Timor-LesteDemocratic Republic of Timor-Leste
IOA (2000)
 VietnamSocialist Republic of Vietnam
VET (1964), VNM (1968–1976, ISO)

Host nations and cities

Since the Southeast Asian Games began in 1959, it has been held in 15 different cities across all Southeast Asian countries except Cambodia and East Timor.

Games Year Host Nation Host City Opened by Date Sports Events Nations Competitors Top Nation Ref
Southeast Asian Peninsular Games
I 1959  Thailand Bangkok King Bhumibol Adulyadej 12–17 December 12N/A6518  Thailand (THA)
II 1961  Burma Yangon President Win Maung 11–16 December 13N/A7623  Burma (BIR)
1963 Awarded to Cambodia, cancelled due to domestic political situation
III 1965  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur King Ismail Nasiruddin 14–21 December 14N/A6963  Thailand (THA)
IV 1967  Thailand Bangkok King Bhumibol Adulyadej 9–16 December 16N/A6984  Thailand (THA)
V 1969  Burma Yangon President Ne Win 6–13 December 15N/A6920  Burma (BIR)
VI 1971  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur King Abdul Halim 6–13 December 15N/A7957  Thailand (THA)
VII 1973  Singapore Singapore President Benjamin Sheares 1–8 September 16N/A71632  Thailand (THA)
VIII 1975  Thailand Bangkok King Bhumibol Adulyadej 9–16 December 18N/A41142  Thailand (THA)
Southeast Asian Games
IX 1977  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur King Yahya Petra 19–26 November 18N/A7N/A  Indonesia (INA)
X 1979  Indonesia Jakarta President Suharto 21–30 September 18N/A7N/A  Indonesia (INA)
XI 1981  Philippines Manila President Ferdinand Marcos 6–15 December 18N/A7≈1800  Indonesia (INA)
XII 1983  Singapore Singapore President Devan Nair 28 May – 6 June 18N/A8N/A  Indonesia (INA)
XIII 1985  Thailand Bangkok King Bhumibol Adulyadej 8–17 December 18N/A8N/A  Thailand (THA)
XIV 1987  Indonesia Jakarta President Suharto 9–20 September 26N/A8N/A  Indonesia (INA)
XV 1989  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur King Azlan Shah 20–31 August 24N/A9≈2800  Indonesia (INA)
XVI 1991  Philippines Manila President Corazon Aquino 24 November – 3 December 28N/A9N/A  Indonesia (INA)
XVII 1993  Singapore Singapore President Wee Kim Wee 12–20 June 29N/A9≈3000  Indonesia (INA)
XVIII 1995  Thailand Chiang Mai Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn 9–17 December 28N/A103262  Thailand (THA)
XIX 1997  Indonesia Jakarta President Suharto 11–19 October 36490105179  Indonesia (INA)
XX 1999  Brunei Darussalam Bandar Seri Begawan Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah 7–15 August 21233102365  Thailand (THA)
XXI 2001  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur King Salahuddin 8–17 September 32391104165  Malaysia (MAS)
XXII 2003  Vietnam Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải 5–13 December 3244211≈5000  Vietnam (VIE)
XXIII 2005  Philippines Manila President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo 27 November – 5 December 40443115336  Philippines (PHI)
XXIV 2007  Thailand Nakhon Ratchasima Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn 6–15 December 43475115282  Thailand (THA)
XXV 2009  Laos Vientiane President Choummaly Sayasone 9–18 December 29372113100  Thailand (THA)
XXVI 2011  Indonesia Jakarta and Palembang President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono 11–22 November 44545114965  Indonesia (INA)
XXVII 2013  Myanmar Naypyidaw Vice President Nyan Tun 11–22 December 37460114730  Thailand (THA)
XXVIII 2015  Singapore Singapore President Tony Tan 5–16 June 36402114370  Thailand (THA)
XXIX 2017  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur King Muhammad V 19–30 August 38404114709  Malaysia (MAS)
XXX 2019  Philippines Capas Future event
XXXI 2021  Vietnam Hanoi Future event
XXXII 2023  Cambodia Phnom Penh Future event
XXXIII 2025  Thailand TBA Future event


According to the SEAGF Charter and Rules, a host nation must stage a minimum of 22 sports: the two compulsory sports from Category 1 (athletics and aquatics), in addition to a minimum of 14 sports from Category 2, and a maximum of 8 sports from Category 3 (shaded grey in the table below). Each sport shall not offer more than 5% of the total medal tally, except for athletics, aquatics, and shooting. For each sport and event to be included, a minimum of four countries must participate in it. Sports competed in the Olympic Games and Asian Games must be given priority.[1][2]

Archery1977–1997, since 2001
Arnis1991, 2005
Baseball2005–2007, 2011
Basketball1979–2003, 2007, since 2011
Billiards and snookerSince 1991
Bodybuilding1987–1993, 1997, 2003–2007,
Bowling1977–1979, 1983–2001,
2005–2007, 2011, since 2015
Canoeing1985, 1995, 2001, 2005–2007,
Chess2003–2005, 2011–2013
ChinloneSince 2013
Contract bridge2011 only
Cricket2017 only
Cycling1959-1979, since 1983
DivingSince 1965
Equestrian1983, 1995, 2001, 2005–2007,
since 2011
Fencing1974–1978, since 1986
Field hockey1971–1979, 1983, 1987–1989,
1993–2001, 2007, since 2013
Figure skating2017 only
Fin swimming2003, 2009–2011
Floorball2015 only
Futsal2007, 2011–2013, 2017
Golf1985–1997, 2001, since 2005
Gymnastics1979–1981, 1985–1997,
2001–2007, 2011, since 2015
Ice hockey2017 only
Indoor hockey2017 only
Judo1967–1997, since 2001
Karate1985–1991, 1995–1997,
2001–2013, 2017
Lawn bowls1997, 2001, 2005–2007, 2017
Modern pentathlonNever
Muay thai2005–2009, 2013, 2017
Netball2001, since 2015
Paragliding2011 only
Pencak silat1987–1989, 1993–1997,
since 2001
PétanqueSince 2001
Polo2007, 2017
Roller sports2011 only
Rowing1989–1991, 1997, 2001–2007,
Rugby union1969, 1977–1979, 1995, 2007
Rugby sevensSince 2015
Sailing1961, 1969–1971, 1975–1977,
1983–1997, 2001, 2005–2007,
since 2011
Sepak takraw1967–1969, since 1973
Short track speed skating2017 only
Shuttle cock2007–2009
Sport climbing2011 only
Softball1981–1983, 1989, 2003–2005,
2011, 2015
Soft tennis2011 only
Squash1991–2001, 2005–2007,
since 2015
Synchronized swimming2001, 2011, since 2015
Table tennisAll
TaekwondoSince 1985
Tennis1959–2011, since 2015
Traditional boat race1993, 1997–1999,
2003–2007, 2011–2015
Triathlon2005–2007, since 2015
Volleyball1959–1997, since 2001
Water poloSince 1965
Water skiing1987, 1997, 2011, since 2015
Weightlifting1959–1997, 2001–2013, 2017–
Wrestling1987, 1997, 2003–2013
Wushu1991–1993, 1997, since 2001

All-time medal table

Corrected after balancing the data of the Olympic Council of Asia and other archived sites which had kept the previous Southeast Asian Games medal tables. Some information from the aforementioned sites are missing, incorrect and or not updated.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

As of the end of 2017 Southeast Asian Games (not yet included changes in medal standings due to doping cases during the 2017 games)

All-time Southeast Asian Games medal table
Rank NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Thailand (THA)2162182718215810
2  Indonesia (INA)1752162016695041
3  Malaysia (MAS)11248121516144077
4  Philippines (PHI)918107613573351
5  Singapore (SGP)89495612943144
6  Vietnam (VIE)48307828862498
7  Myanmar (MYA)55607239412224
8  Laos (LAO)6888291447
9  Cambodia (CAM)365109222396
10  Brunei (BRU)1250157219
11  East Timor (TLS)352129
Total (11 NOCs)851284511027327236
  • 1 – Competed as Malaya in the inaugural games until 1961.
  • 2 – The Republic of Vietnam was dissolved in July 1976 when it merged with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam also known as Vietnam. Therefore, the medal counts for this country are considered to be as until 1975. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not using codes for South Vietnam any more after unifying with North Vietnam.
  • 3 – Competed as Cambodia, Kampuchea, and Khmer Republic.
  • 4 – In the 1989 edition, a unified Vietnam rejoined the games with new name and new flag. Medals made by South Vietnam are already combined here.
  • 5 – Competed as Burma until 1987.


The games is unique in that there are no official limits to the number of sports which may be contested, and the range may be decided by the organising host pending approval by the Southeast Asian Games Federation. Albeit for some core sports which must be featured, the host is also free to drop or introduce other sports.

This leeway has resulted in hosts maximising their medal hauls by dropping sports which are disadvantages to themselves relative to their peers, and the introduction of obscure sports, often at short notice, thus preventing most other nations from building up credible opponents. Some examples of these include:

See also


  1. 1 2 "South East Asian Games Federation: Charter and Rules" (PDF). SEAGF. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  2. Ian De Cotta (5 June 2015). "A cool addition to the SEA Games". Today Online. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  3. "South East Asian Games Medal Count". Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  4. SEAP Games Federation
  5. Medal Tally 1959-1995
  6. Medal Tally
  7. History of the SEA Games
  8. SEA Games previous medal table
  9. SEA Games members
  10. Sports. "VietNamNet - SEA Games or a village festival | SEA Games or a village festival". Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  11. HS Manjunath (10 December 2013). "Cambodia eye record medal haul". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  12. "4 new sports we can now watch in 2017 SEA Games". Red Bull. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
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