THE Southeast Asian Games Federation has approved 56 sports to be played in the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines next year, according to a press statement by the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc).
The number of sports, the most ever in the history of the biennial meet surpassing the 44 held in Indonesia in 2011, was finalized during the final SEA Games Federation meeting over the weekend at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.
Athletics and aquatics, the so-called Category 1 sports, are part of the list along with the Category 2 sports of archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, billiards, bowling, boxing, canoe/traditional boat race, chess, cycling, dancesport, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, ice hockey, ice skating, judo, karatedo, and modern pentathlon.
Also part of the Category 2 sports are muay, pencak silat, polo, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing/windsurfing, sepak takraw, skateboarding, shooting, soft tennis, squash, surfing, table tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and wushu.
Rounding out the sports are those in Category 3, namely arnis, e-sports, floorball, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, kurash, lawnbowls/petanque, netball, obstacle course, sambo/vovinam, underwater hockey, and wakeboarding.
As host nation, the Philippines is mandated by the SEA Games Federation charter to hold at least 22 sports. That includes the two compulsory sports of athletics and aquatics, at least 16 in Category 2, and up to 12 in Category 3.
Phisgoc executive director Ramon Suzara said the one-year countdown celebration will be held on November 30 at the Bayanihan Park in Clark, Pampanga, while the chef de missions of all 11 participating countries will meet from November 29 to December 1.