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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Current Commonwealth Games program
The following sports (or disciplines of a sport) made up the most recent (2014) 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.
- Sports Programme. Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
- "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.