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Modified sports can take many forms but are generally designed to be an introductory, or more accessible version, of a sport. Programs may focus on children, mature-age participants, persons with disability, the time poor, or people looking for more social (less competitive) opportunities.

Modified sports also help to develop general movement skills and basic techniques. Modified equipment and rules are used to match the capabilities (age, physical size, motor skill proficiency) of participants.

Why modify a sport?

Modifying a sport allows the governing organisation to offer a single product (i.e. sport) in several different (but related) formats to suit a wide range of needs.

Modified sports provide structured, age and developmental skills-appropriate ways of introducing sports, although the element of 'competition' may be de-emphasised. In practice, modified sports offer a fun and socially relevant activity that is designed to develop movement skills and encourage participation in the targeted sport, and a wide rage of sports in general.


Modified sports programs for children are designed to provide an introduction to the sports they represent.

Persons with disability

Modifying a sport to make it more inclusive for persons with disability is a fundamental part of the Paralympic movement.


Modified sports for older individuals may offer activities that have lower physiological loads and more social elements.


Social sports are modified to provide faster, less formal, and less competitive formats.


Sports can be modified to allow more equal competition by men or women, or to be gender inclusive, such as open, mixed, or gender-neutral competitions.

Modified sports programs

Modified sports programs have created new opportunities for NSOs to recruit sponsors targeting specific markets (e.g. youth, women, or mature-aged participants), as well as partnering with school and community-based organisations to deliver their programs beyond the club-based network. Many of these programs have integrated the sponsor’s brand, offering promotional incentives, product give-aways, competitions, and prizes. Increasingly, these programs have an online presence with websites specifically developed to attract participants and promote the sport’s suite of programs.

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Last updated: 22 December 2023
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