Learn more about Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is a multinational, multi-sport event. Held every four years, it involves the elite athletes of the Commonwealth of Nations. Attendance at the Commonwealth Games is typically around 5,000 athletes.
The first such event, then known as the British Empire Games, was held in 1930. The name changed to British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, to British Commonwealth Games in 1970 and assumed the current name of the Commonwealth Games in 1978.
There are currently 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations and 71 teams participate in the Games. The four constituent countries of the United Kingdom—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—send separate teams to the Commonwealth Games, and individual teams are also sent from the British Crown Dependencies—Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man—and many of the British overseas territories.
A sporting competition bringing together the members of the British Empire was first proposed by Reverend Astley Cooper in 1891 when he wrote an article in The Times suggesting a "Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing the goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire".
In 1911, the Festival of the Empire was held in London to celebrate the coronation of King George V. As part of the festival an Inter-Empire Championships was held in which teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom competed in events such as boxing, wrestling, swimming and athletics.
 Opening ceremony traditions
- From 1930 through 1950, the parade of nations was led by a single flagbearer carrying the Union Jack, symbolising Britain's leading role in the British Empire.
- Since 1958, there has been a relay of athletes carrying a baton from Buckingham Palace to the Opening Ceremony. This baton has within it the Queen's Message of Greeting to the athletes. The baton's final bearer is usually a famous sporting personage of the host nation.
- All other nations march in English alphabetical order, except that the first nation marching in the Parade of Athletes is the host nation of the previous games, and the host nation of the current games marches last. In 2006 countries marched in alphabetical order in geographical regions.
- Three national flags fly from the stadium on the poles that are used for medal ceremonies: Previous host nation, Current host nation, Next host nation.
- The Military is more active in the Opening Ceremony than in the Olympic Games. This is to honour the British Military traditions of the Old Empire.
The Commonwealth Games, like the Olympic Games, has also suffered from political boycotts. Nigeria boycotted the 1978 Games in protest of New Zealand's sporting contacts with apartheid-era South Africa, and 32 of 59 nations from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean boycotted the 1986 Commonwealth Games due to the Thatcher government's attitude to South African sporting contacts. Boycotts were also threatened in 1974, 1982, and 1990 because of South Africa.
 British Empire Games
- 1930 British Empire Games - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Image:Flag of Canada.svg
- 1934 British Empire Games - London, England Image:Flag of England (bordered).svg
- 1938 British Empire Games - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Image:Flag of Australia.svg
- 1950 British Empire Games - Auckland, New Zealand Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg
 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
- 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Image:Flag of Canada.svg
- 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games - Cardiff, Wales Image:Flag of Wales (bordered).svg
- 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games - Perth, Western Australia, Australia Image:Flag of Australia.svg
- 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games - Kingston, Jamaica Image:Flag of Jamaica.svg
 British Commonwealth Games
- 1970 British Commonwealth Games - Edinburgh, Scotland Image:Flag of Scotland.svg
- 1974 British Commonwealth Games - Christchurch, New Zealand Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg
 Commonwealth Games
- 1978 Commonwealth Games - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Image:Flag of Canada.svg
- 1982 Commonwealth Games - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
- 1986 Commonwealth Games - Edinburgh, Scotland Image:Flag of Scotland.svg
- 1990 Commonwealth Games - Auckland, New Zealand Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg
- 1994 Commonwealth Games - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Image:Flag of Canada.svg
- 1998 Commonwealth Games - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Image:Flag of Malaysia.svg
 Commonwealth Games Federation
- 2002 Commonwealth Games Federation - Manchester, England Image:Flag of England (bordered).svg
- 2006 Commonwealth Games Federation - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Image:Flag of Australia.svg
- 2010 Commonwealth Games Federation - Delhi, India Image:Flag of India.svg
 2014 Commonwealth Games bid cities
- Abuja, Nigeria Image:Flag of Nigeria.svg
- Glasgow, Scotland Image:Flag of Scotland.svg
- Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Image:Flag of Canada.svg
 2018 Commonwealth Games possible bidders
- Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Image:Flag of Australia.svg
- Wellington, New Zealand Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg
- Karachi, Pakistan Image:Flag of Pakistan.svg
- Lusaka, Zambia Image:Flag of Zambia.svg
- Sheffield, England Image:Flag of England (bordered).svg
- Toronto, Canada Image:Flag of Canada.svg (if Halifax does not win 2014 bid)
 List of nations/dependencies to compete
 Nations/dependencies that have competed
 Commonwealth nations/dependencies yet to send teams
The fact that very few Commonwealth dependencies and nations have yet to take part is evidence of the popularity of the Games in Commonwealth countries. Indeed, of those nations, Tokelau is likely to be taking part in 2010 Games in Delhi. Representations have also been made to the CGF for teams to take part in the Commonwealth Games from Cornwall and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 List of sports at the Commonwealth Games
The current regulations state that a minimum of ten and no more than fifteen sports must be included in a Commonwealth Games schedule. There is a list of core sports, which must be included, and a further list of approved sports from which the host nation chooses which to include. The host nation may also apply for the inclusion of other team sports to the CGF General Assembly, like the Melbourne organising committee did with Basketball for the 2006 Games.
The current core sports consist of athletics, aquatics (swimming, diving and synchronised swimming), lawn bowls, netball (for women) and rugby sevens (for men). These will all remain core sports until at least the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The approved list of sports also includes archery, badminton, billiards and snooker, boxing, canoeing, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, judo, rowing, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, tenpin bowling, triathlon, weightlifting, wrestling and sailing. Some of these are often included in the programme, while others, like billiards and sailing, have not yet been approved.
There is also a requirement to include some events for Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD). This was introduced in the 2002 Games.
15 sports are confirmed for Delhi 2010, but the program is going to change
In 2002, the GCF introduced the David Dixon Award for the outstanding athlete of the Games.
Below, the years in brackets show when the sports appeared at the games.
As of November 18th 2006, Tennis and archery have been added to the list of disciplines for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Billiards and Snooker however, were not as fortunate.
 Sports currently included
- Aquatics (1930—)
- Athletics (men: 1930—, women: 1934—)
- Badminton (1966—)
- Basketball (2006—)
- Boxing (1930—)
- Cycling (1934—)
- Gymnastics (1978, 1990—)
- Rhythmic gymnastics 1994–1998, 2006—)
- Field hockey (1998—)
- Lawn bowls (1930–1962, 1972—)
- Netball (1998—)
- Rugby sevens (1998—)
- Shooting (1966, 1974—)
- Squash (1998—)
- Table tennis (2002—)
- Triathlon (2002—)
- Weightlifting (1950—)
- Events for Athletes with a Disability (2002—)
- Table tennis
 Events on hiatus
- Archery (1982 probably 2010)
- Cricket (1998)
- Fencing (1950–1970) (See also Commonwealth Fencing Championships)
- Freestyle wrestling (1930–1986, 1994, 2002,come back in 2010)
- Judo (1990, 2002) (See also Commonwealth Judo Championships)
- Rowing (1930, 1938–1962, 1986) (maybe held in 2014 if Glasgow wins nomination)
- Ten-pin bowling (1998) (see also Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships
 Events which were never held
- Karate - see also Commonwealth Karate Championships
- Taekwondo - see also Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships
- Water Polo
- Lifesaving - see also Commonwealth Pool Lifesaving Championships
 See also
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Commonwealth Pool Lifesaving Championships
- Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championships
- Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships
- Commonwealth Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship
- Commonwealth Rowing Championships
- Commonwealth Sailing Championships
- Commonwealth Shooting Championships
- Commonwealth Water Polo Championships
- Commonwealth Youth Games
- Indian Empire Games
 External links
- Official website
- Commonwealth Games Blog
- Flags and emblems of the Commonwealth Games - evolution of the emblems of the Games
- The Empire Strikes Back - 2002 Australian radio programme (with transcript) on the history and future of the "friendly games".
 Official games sites
- Delhi 2010 Official website
- India & Commonwealth games 2010: Specific information
- Melbourne 2006 Official website
- Manchester 2002 Official website
- Kuala Lumpur 1998 Official Website
 Official games bid sites
- Australian Commonwealth Games Association
- Cornwall Commonwealth Games Association
- Commonwealth Games Association of the Isle of Man
- Commonwealth Games Council for England
|1930 | 1934 | 1938 | 1950 | 1954 | 1958 | 1962 | 1966 | 1970 | 1974 | 1978 | 1982 | 1986 | 1990 | 1994 | 1998 | 2002 | 2006 | 2010 | 2014 | 2018|
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