Sports Merit Badge Pamphlet Sports Merit Badge


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

New text is in bold GREEN underlined Serif text like this sentence.
Deleted portions are struck through RED italic text like this sentence.

To see the requirements, without the changes highlighted, Click here.

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. The revised requirements were posted on, and printed in the Sports merit badge pamphlet ( 2021). BSA did not publish a 2021 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements, and announced that the official text for all merit badge requirements would be the text as it appears on

When publication of annual editions of Scouts BSA Requirements resumed in 2022, instead of the revised text, the previous version of the requirements for Sports merit badge was included in the printed material., while the revised version was posted on

In 2023, additional revisions were made, using the pre-2021 text instead of the text as revised in 2021.That version now appears in the 2024 edition of thee Scouts BSA Requirements book, and online on, in the "merit badge HUB" and in the Scoutbook "Resources" listing, and in the excerpt from the 2023 printing of the Safety merit badge pamphlet (#35954).

We had  posted two versions of the requirements for Sports merit badge in 2023; one with the pre-2021 text as revised in 2023, and one with the 2021 text as revised in 2023, until we could obtain a clarification as to which version should be used. We now have that clarification, that the current requirements use the pre-2021 text as revised in 2023. The alternative version, shown below, should not be used.

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.

  1. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. The importance of maintaining a healthy diet.
  2. Explain the following:
    1. Before completing requirements 4 and 5, show that you have received a physical examination from your health care practitioner within the last 12 months.
    2. Explain the importance of the physical exam
    3. 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
    4. Explain 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. Take part for one season (or four months) as a competitive individual or as a member of an organized team in TWO of the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, field hockey, football, diving, field hockey, flag football, flagteam, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, spirit/cheerleading, swimming, tackle football, table tennis, tennis, track and & field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling, and/or badminton. Your counselor may approve in advance other recognized sports.* , but not any sport that is restricted and not authorized by the Boy Scouts of America. 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 area for your two sports.
  5. 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:
    1. Organize a chart and track your training, practice, and development in the 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.

* 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: 2021 and 2023
Pamphlet Publication Number: 35954
Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number:  
E-Book Stock (SKU) Number: 656074
Pamphlet Copyright Date: 2021

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

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

Page updated on: February 06, 2024

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