Skip to content

NSW Primary Schools Sports Association – Handbook

5.17 State Championship Organisation

Amended 2016

Section 5.17.4 – age event rationale

The following rationale is to be read in conjunction with sections;


The New South Wales Primary Schools Sports Association Handbook states in Section 5: State Championships 5.1.2(c) .

State Championships shall be conducted on a Boys/Girls basis. The concept shall apply to all events for all children 8-13 years within the concept of New South Wales Primary School Sport.

The basic and underlying aim of sport in the curriculum is to provide an integral part of an individual’s development, involving a variety of learning experiences. The NSWPSSA confirms that this aim is achieved by the provision of opportunities for competitive sport. Through organised competitive sport the learner will be afforded the opportunity to:

Increase levels of fitness
Develop a variety of skills
Develop understandings and socialise
Participate in physical activity
Develop decision making skills
Develop self-esteem and self-discipline

The programs cater for gifted and talented students between ‘…8-13 years within the K-6 concept.

Whilst we recognise that State Sport Organisations allow participation of younger competitors in their events, the New South Wales Primary Schools Sports Association believes that children under the age of 8 lack the physical, emotional and social maturity to compete at the State Championship level. Opportunity to participate will be available for these students in future years. The placing of undue pressure on the six or seven year old elite athlete is unnecessary and inappropriate.

The National Junior Sports Policy states ‘For children in the first stage (5-7 years approximately) formal or structured competition is inappropriate.’

The decision to allow the ‘young competitor’ to compete at school championships is the decision of the school. At each school level, the decision to allow participation of a student less than eight years old rests with the ‘local’ governing body.

In all individual events (ie Swimming and Athletics) competitors will participate in the events nominated for that age group. Students will compete in the events according to their age, that is, the age they turn in the year of competition.

e.g. A competitor turning 12 in the year of competition shall compete as a 12 year old.

Events nominated as Open Age will be open to all competitors within 8-13 years within the K-6 concept.

Participation at State Championships will be based on rules as stated in 5.1.2(c).

Back to table of contents