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 because of the developmental stage (age, physical size, motor skill proficiency) of participants.
Why modify a sport?
Modified sports programs for children are designed to provide an introduction to the sports they represent.
People with disability
Modifying a sport to make it more inclusive for persons with disability is a fundamental part of the Paralympic movement.
Modified sports programs
Many NSOs have developed ‘branded’ junior or introductory programs that feature modifications to rules, facility requirements, and equipment. In general, these programs feature elements of structured skill development with an emphasis on having fun. Competition is less important than social interaction and developing an affinity for the sport.
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.