Before applying for membership, potential applicants are encouraged to check that they their activity falls under SportAccord’s definition of sport.
The SportAccord Council has developed a definition of “sport” to help them determine whether an applicant federation qualifies as an international sports federation.
The aim is not to have a general, scientifically sound or static definition, but rather to have a clear and pragmatic description of activities that could be considered as sports.
Elements of a Definition
Many dictionaries and encyclopaedias refer to sport as a physical or athletic activity, which often includes an element of competition.
Other sources make specific mention of mind sports and motorised sports where physical activity is less dominant. In addition, the relationship between sport and art is particularly interesting for sports that rely on judges.
The current SportAccord Membership shows the full breadth of the above.
The sports within SportAccord can be categorised as follows:
- Primarily physical
- Primarily mind
- Primarily motorised
- Primarily coordination
- Primarily animal-supported
Some sports have been classified in multiple categories, mostly due to the different activities that make up their sports.
The SportAccord Definition of Sport
For all new membership applications, SportAccord uses the following definition of a sport:
- The sport proposed should include an element of competition.
- The sport should not rely on any element of “luck” specifically integrated into the sport.
- The sport should not be judged to pose an undue risk to the health and safety of its athletes or participants.
- The sport proposed should in no way be harmful to any living creature.
- The sport should not rely on equipment that is provided by a single supplier.
- Applications from martial arts and combat sports will be considered with the greatest care due to the complex nature and relatively minor differences between their activities.
- Applications from mind games will only be considered after consultation with the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA).
- Applications from sports with limited physical or athletic activity will be carefully considered.