Regulations on School Games and Sports Programs

24th October 2019
The different school games and sports programs are usually governed by their own regulations, which vary in Spain, depending on the community in question. How does this regulation work?

The presence of sports and physical activity in school is essential to promote the development of physical, cognitive, and social skills in children and adolescents. However, in Spain, there’s no legal framework on a national level for school games and sports programs.

Each of the autonomous communities that make up the national territory has the power to dictate its own regulations in this area. Consequently, the Spanish autonomous communities must assume the competences that imply the organization and promotion of sports activity in schools.

This means that it’s crucial for the educational agents of each municipality to be properly trained to plan and execute school games and sports programs within the framework of the sports pedagogy. Therefore, it’s important for us all to know a little more about the characteristics and regulations of school sports.

What do school sports entail in Spain?

According to the Higher Sports Council (CSD), school sports (or school-age sports) means all those activities that:

“In an organized way, are held outside the physical education’s program in schools, clubs, associations, etc., for school-age students that participate in them.”

Therefore, the term refers to sports activities carried out within the school context, mostly under the subject of physical education.

The activities that make up the games and sports programs can take place in the facilities of the educational centers in different municipalities. They can also use the infrastructure of clubs or sports associations.

School sports promote the development of physical, cognitive, and social skills in children.

Likewise, the main objective of school sports is not to obtain titles or sports results. The focus of the physical education assignment is, above all, to convey the practical, technical, and tactical concepts that can help children and adolescents develop in the future; in regard to their personal and professional lives, whether or not they decide to dedicate themselves to sports.

International school sports competitions and events

Each year, the CSD is responsible for convening the School Age Championships of Spain by regional selections. These events also involve sports federations and, of course, the autonomous communities themselves.

Additionally, Spain is a full member of the International School Sport Federation (ISF). Hence, Spain annually participates in international competitions and events that said entity summons. On the official website of the CSD, it’s possible to follow news and information about the school-age sports championships.

On the other hand, the Higher Sports Council itself foresees that school games and sports programs are constituted and regulated under “different forms of regulation and organization; thus, they shouldn’t always consist of excessively regulated competitions“.

Again, the goal is not obtaining results or awards; it’s about the ludic, educational, and recreational potential of sports. Hence, these local and international events promote sportsmanship and encourage the incorporation of physical activity for a healthier lifestyle.

School games and sports programs: how are they structured in different communities?

The autonomous communities exercise their role as agents promoting school sports through the creation of plans and programs for school games and sports. At present, we’re quite far from uniformity in this matter; both in relation to terminologies and the pedagogical structuring of school sports plans.

Even in the same corporation, it’s common for there to be more than one program with a different time span that combines theoretical classes, training, leisure activities, and participation in regional, national, and eventually international competitions.

It's important to promote sportsmanship and encourage the incorporation of physical activity.

In Andalusia, for example, the school sports plan is quite dynamic. It usually consists of four programs that run from October to June:

  • Sports in school and sports schools.
  • School Sports Competitions; Andalusia IAD Base Sports Championships.
  • Other programs (such as the Andalusian Identification Program for Athletes in the School).
  • The cross-border collaboration sports program: Andalusia-Algarve.

It’s also worth remembering that each community has its own sports legislation, although the 1990 Sports Law is in place throughout the national territory.

Due to all this, if we want to find more specific details about the legal guidelines for the constitution of school games and sports programs, we must consult the regulations in place in each autonomous community. These are usually available on the official sites.

  • Ley del deporte. Extraído de: https://www.csd.gob.es/es/csd/organizacion/legislacion-basica/ley-del-deporte
  • Web del Consejo Superior de Deportes. Extraído de: https://www.csd.gob.es/es/promocion-del-deporte/deporte-en-edad-escolar/introduccion-y-direcciones-de-contacto