Commonwealth Games Hosts to Benefit from More Freedom in Choosing Events as Mandatory Sports Are Reduced | Athletics News
Track and field and swimming will be the only mandatory sports at the 2026 and 2030 Commonwealth Games, as hosts have more flexibility to choose a program that suits their audience and budget.
The number of mandatory sports has been reduced from 16 to two in the new strategic roadmap approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Monday, which provides the bidding framework for future hosts.
The optimal number of sports will be 15, with countries having the option of offering less or more than that, with 10 as the minimum. Co-organization within regions or between cities, as well as mass participation events using facilities or linked to the Games, will also be among the “innovative concepts” encouraged among the applicants.
It could even make it possible to organize events across continents.
The last Games with 15 sports, and only two main sports, were in Manchester in 2002, since when the program has grown.
Bidders may also propose the inclusion of sports of cultural significance in that particular country – such as kabaddi in India or lacrosse in Canada for example.
Sports that were optional in the past – like T20 cricket and three-on-three basketball – have now moved to a list of 22 base sports.
Providing a bespoke athlete village will no longer be a requirement for a host city, but an integrated parasport program must remain a key and central element of all Games.
The changes were made to provide greater flexibility for potential hosts, recognizing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the ability to host multisport Games.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “We are delighted to unveil our travel direction with this new strategic roadmap, which I believe marks the start of an exciting new era for the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth sport.
“Our Games must adapt, evolve and modernize to ensure that we continue to maintain our relevance and prestige across the Commonwealth.
“After a long period of hard work and consultation, incorporating the views and opinions of our members and experts around the world, we are delighted to move forward with this roadmap.
“I would like to thank all of our 72 Commonwealth Games associations for their support.
“Our next step is to work closely with our partners from international federations to ensure that they can contribute to the vision and direction of the roadmap to support the future of the Games. «