Competitive non-professional events



 Competitive non-professional events: All Competitive (grassroot) tournaments with regular activity (individual or multi-sport) for a certain period of time
which can be of Small scale (A weekend to 1 month) or Long scale (Longer than 1 month)

Specific types of initiative this Activity Box applies to

All Competitive tournaments with regular activity (individual or multi-Sport) for a certain period. It can be classified in two groups

Small scale (A weekend to 1 month)

  • Massive street runs** (e.g., Iron man, marathons).
  • Nonprofessional tournaments (e.g., ITTF World Cup Parkinson’s)
  • FISU University Summer Games.
  • World Senior Games (UESPT)**Discontinued.
  • IMGA (International Masters Games Association) World Masters Games.
  • Huntsman World senior games. Click Here
  • Special Olympics World Games 2023. Click Here

Long scale (Longer than 1 month)

  • National or local leagues.
  • School tournaments.
  • Youth leagues.
  • Other ranked forms in individual events, e.g., Chess, Table Tennis rankings

** Note:
Some running events such as Iron Man and the London Marathon could be considered as professional mega-events due to their size and the participation of elite athletes. But given that the great majority of participants are amateurs, this event should be part of this Activity Box.


  • Before the Pandemic, 40% of adults from 16 to 29 assisted to at least 1 Sport event in the previous 12 months (154)
  • In the Sport Events segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 56.2m users by 2025 with an average revenue per user (ARPU) expected to reach US$120.66 (155)

Why is it so important


  • This format is relevant as it secures long-term participation in that Sport.
  • Competition brings social interaction, which can increase regular involvement.
  • Extrinsic Motivation Theory suggests participants can have behaviours driven by external rewards which can be tangible, such as money, or intangible, such as praise or fame (151).
  • Self Determination Theory: People need to experience a sense of belonging and attachment to other people (152) to increase their commitment
  • Tournaments are excellent opportunities for integration.
  • Regular tournaments can benefit volunteers, referees, physio therapists, among others.
  • An iconic city event (e.g., massive street run) brings additional impacts to communities.
  • Income creation possibilities for event organisers (ISOs).

International endorsement


  • To target the inactive population to volunteer within Sport for All as a “soft” introduction to Sport and physical activity.
  • To motivate and assist Sport federations to develop and offer grassroots programmes within their given Sport.

Barriers to sport that should be overcome

  • Organizing costs and entry fees
  • Disbalances in competitive levels in leagues may discourage participants from maintaining their participation.

Tips and key success factors

Choosing an adequate format/modality


Adapted rules and creativity

  • A competitive approach to a Sport event does not mean it cannot be fun.
  • As a potential event organiser, you should bring ludic and appealing elements such as use of customs and thematic themes, creative rules, among others.
  •  A few good examples that will boost your imagination as organiser can be found in Available Resources.
  • Additional Guideline 8 covers different alternatives to adapting Rules.

Other tips

  • Recognize with symbolic details the work of volunteers as a key success factor.
  • Importance of Skills Award Scheme in competitive events: Additional Guideline 8.
  • Preventing injuries and accidents in events or regular training sessions: Additional Guidelines 7
  • Participants may be exposed to injuries. Always consider emergency actions.
  • Do not implement an event before a thorough planning stage (financial, human and technical resources).

Available resources

Examples of events:

Sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Considerations for public health authorities. Click Here

Sample case

Wife carrying championship,
(Independent organizer)

  • An outlandish trust exercise for some or an exciting honeymoon to others, this event entices representatives from around the world to compete in groups of three couples at a time around an epic sand track-filled obstacle course, which includes a deep-water pool.
  • The rules say that entrants must carry their wives or their neighbours.
  • The designated ‘wife’ has to be at least 17 years old and weighs in at least 49 kilograms. If the designated ‘wife’ is lighter, she must carry a weighted rucksack given to her by officials.

More information:
Event official page:  Click Here