Some 3,594 athletes will compete in Singapore in 26 sports comprising 201 events. The number of sports in the programme is identical to the London 2012 programme. Each event has its own age group* competing, either 15-16 (27 events), 16-17 (111 events) or 17-18 (63 events).
The events differ significantly in order to match the age groups and interests of the young athletes. Basketball will for example be played according to the FIBA 33 formula, with teams of three playing against each other on one half-court. The most important particularity of the YOG is however the numerous mixed–gender or National Olympic Committees (NOCs) – team events in archery, athletics (medley relay), cycling (combined BMX-mountain bike-road event), equestrian, fencing, judo, modern pentathlon (relay), swimming (relay), table tennis, tennis and triathlon (relay).
The participation of all 205 NOCs is the key factor in ensuring the universality of the YOG. In each individual sport, a specific number of places for NOCs (referred to as “Universality Places”) will be reserved to ensure that at least four athletes per NOC have the possibility to participate in the YOG.
The qualification system for each sport and discipline, which was prepared in close collaboration with each International Federation (IF), strives to guarantee participation of the best athletes in their age category and to respect the principle of universality by allowing NOCs to benefit from the “Universality Places”.
For all disciplines, competitions such as Junior World Championships, Continental Championships or official junior ranking lists will allow athletes to attempt to qualify for the YOG.
The four team sport** tournaments (football, handball, hockey and volleyball) will consist of one national team per continent as well as a sixth team which will either represent the NOC of the host country or be proposed by the IFs for IOC approval. An NOC will be allowed to have no more than one boys’ and one girls’ team competing for all four team sports.
In addition, and irrespective of the number of athletes qualified, an NOC delegation may include no more than 70 athletes in individual sports.
Besides the sports competitions programme, the YOG will feature an extensive Cultural and Educational Programme (CEP), which aims to introduce, in a fun and festive spirit, the young athletes to Olympism and the Olympic values, and to raise awareness on important issues such as the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, the fight against doping and their role as sports ambassadors in their communities. As a result of close collaboration between the IOC and the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC), an innovative and attractive CEP has been developed, with SYOGOC looking to finalise it shortly and start implementation at the beginning of next year.