In 2021, revisions were made to the requirements for the Sports merit badge, and were posted on Scouting.org, and printed in the Sports merit badge pamphlet (© 2021). In 2022, instead of the revised text, the previous version was included in the Scouts-BSA Requirements book, while the revised version was posted on Scouting.org. In 2023, another revision was made, using the pre 2021 text posted on Scouting.org, and published in the Scouts-BSA Requirements book and in the Sports merit badge pamphlet (© 2023), while the "previous" version posted on Scouting.org contains the version using the 2021 revisions. Until we receive a clarification as to which version should be used, we are presenting two versions; one with the pre-2021 text as revised in 2023, and one with the 2021 text as revised in 2023.
The text below uses the 2021 revisions.Note: The activities used to fulfill the requirements for the Sports merit badge may not be used to help fulfill requirements for other merit badges.
- Do the following:
- Explain to your counselor the most likely risks you may encounter during athletics activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these risks.
- Show that you know first aid or understand the treatment for injuries that could occur while participating in athletics, including sprains, strains, muscle cramps, contusions, abrasions, blisters, dehydration, heat reactions, and concussions.
- The importance of maintaining a healthy diet.
- Explain the following:
- Before completing requirements 4 and 5, show that you have received a physical examination from your health care practitioner within the last 12 months.
- Explain the importance of the physical exam
- Explain the importance of maintaining good health habits for life (such as exercising regularly), and how the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and other harmful substances can negatively affect your health and your performance in sports activities
- Explain the importance of maintaining a healthy diet
- Discuss the following:
- The importance of warming up and cooling down
- The importance of weight training
- What an amateur athlete is and the differences between an amateur and a professional athlete
- The attributes (qualities) of a good sport, the importance of sportsmanship, and the traits of a good team leader and player who exhibits Scout spirit on and off the playing field
- Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual
or as amember of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball,basketball,
bowling, cross-country, diving, field hockey, flag football, flagteam,
golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, spirit/cheerleading,
swimming, tackle football, table tennis, tennis, track & field, volleyball,
water polo and wrestling, and/or badminton. Your counselor mayapprove
in advance other recognized sports.* Then with your chosen sports do
- Give the rules and etiquette for the two sports you picked.
- List the equipment needed for the two sports you chose. Describe the protective equipment and appropriate clothing (if any) and explain why it is needed.
- Draw diagrams of the playing area for your two sports.
- With guidance from your counselor and before beginning requirement
4, establish a personal training program suited to the activities you
chose for requirement 4. Do the following:
- Organize a chart and track your training, practice, and development in the sports for one season or four months
- Demonstrate proper technique for your two chosen sports.
- At the end of the season, share your completed chart with your counselor and discuss how your participation in the sports you chose has affected you mentally and physically.
The BSA has prohibited as official Scouting activities intramural, interscholastic, or club-sport competitions or activities. However, they can be acceptable for your individual participation in an organized school, league, or club activity if approved by your counselor.
BSA Advancement ID#:
Scoutbook ID#: 113
Requirements last updated in: 2021and 2023
Pamphlet Publication Number: 35954
Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 655673
E-Book Stock (SKU) Number: 656074
Pamphlet Copyright Date: 2021
Page updated on: December 23, 2022