" Sports Merit Badge Pamphlet Sports Merit Badge


Requirements were REVISED effective January 1, 2023.- See the note below.

To see the requirements with the changes highlighted, Click here for the pre-2021 version with the 2023 revision,
or Click here for the 2021 version with the 2023 revision

For the previous requirements, Click here for the pre 2021 version,
or Click here for the 2021 version.

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 pre-2021 text.

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.

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while playing sports, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
    2. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in sports, including sprains, strains, contusions, abrasions, fractures, blisters, muscle cramps, injured teeth, dehydration, heat and cold reactions, and concussions or other suspected injuries to the head, neck, and back.
  2. Explain the importance of the following:
    1. The importance of the physical exam
    2. 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
    3. The importance of maintaining a healthy diet
  3. Discuss the following:
    1. The importance of warming up and cooling down
    2. The importance of weight training
    3. What an amateur athlete is and the differences between an amateur and a professional athlete
    4. 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
  4. With guidance from your counselor, establish a personal training program suited to the activities you choose for requirement 5. Then do the following:
    1. Create a chart and use it to track your training, practice, and development in these sports for one season (or four months).
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for your two chosen sports.
    3. 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.
  5. 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 the following:
    1. Give the rules and etiquette for the two sports you picked.
    2. 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.
    3. Draw diagrams of the playing areas for your two sports.

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#: 13
Scoutbook ID#: 113
Requirements last updated in: 2023
Pamphlet Publication Number: 35954
Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 655673
E-Book Stock (SKU) Number: 656074
Pamphlet Copyright Date: 2023

Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Format
Word Format PDF Format13

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.

Page updated on: December 23, 2022

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