Sports Merit Badge
Requirements for the Sports merit badge:
- Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while playing sports, including sprains, strains, contusions, abrasions, fractures, blisters, muscle cramps, dehydration, heat and cold reactions, injured teeth, nausea, and suspected injuries to the head, neck, and back.
- Explain the importance of the following:
- The importance of the physical exam
- 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
- The importance of maintaining a healthy diet
- Discuss the following:
- The importance of warming up and cooling down
- The importance of weight training
- What an amateur athlete is and the differences between an amateur and a professional athlete
- 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
- 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, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo. 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:
- Give the rules and etiquette for the two sports you picked.
- 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.
- Draw diagrams of the playing areas for your two sports.
- With guidance from your counselor, establish a personal training program suited to the activities you chose for requirement 4. Then do the following:
- Organize a chart to track your training, practice, and development in these sports for one season (or four months).
- Demonstrate proper technique for your two chosen sports.
- 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.
Aug 21, 2012 - Sandra Bauwin
Can Martial arts be considered for sports merit badge?Aug 21, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Sandra - requirement #4 lists the sports. If the merit badge counselor approves some other sport, it must not be restricted by the BSA. See scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss08.aspx for BSA Sports and Activities official details. Boxing, karate, and related martial arts are not authorized activities.Aug 23, 2012 - Jen
I didn't read anything restricting archery or swimming. Are both acceptable for sports merit badge if counselor approves?Aug 23, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jen - archery is restricted as noted in the Guide to Safe Scouting. As the requirement states, the counselor can approve other sports as s/he sees fit. There's no way to list every possible sport, so the scout should discuss which sports he wants to use with the counselor BEFORE beginning the season.Aug 27, 2012 - dean
Jen- Archery & Swimming can be done as their own MB. I could see your counselor allowing swimming but archery must be done at BSA camp. Talk to your approved MB counselor.Dec 18, 2012 - Linda Berkebile
would competitive figure skating be counted as oneDec 18, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Linda - If the merit badge counselor approves it beforehand, then it would be ok.Jan 05, 2013 - Brendan
Is curling acceptableJan 05, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Brendan - Curling is not restricted by the BSA. If the merit badge counselor approves it, then it is acceptable. Read the Guide to Safe Scouting, especially the 'Unauthorized and Restricted Activities' section.May 04, 2013 - Jolinda
My son will be taking Sports as a merit badge during summer camp. Is it possible to use his middle school sports that he completed 2012-13 (soccer in fall & baseball in spring) so that it will not take another year to finish this merit badge otherwise. He can talk again with his coaches and document practices & development. Was just wondering...May 04, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Jolinda - If he did the activities while a registered Boy Scout, then it is up to the merit badge counselor to decide to accept the activities or not. Your son should contact the merit badge counselor and ask about this.May 05, 2013 - Jared Ensign
I noticed that some of the requirements for Sports and Athletics are the same. Are they two separate merit badges? Or did one replace the other?May 06, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Jared - They are two separate merit badges.Jul 25, 2013 - Jim Bollinger
First: Football is listed in #4, but is also listed as an "unauthorized sport" in the guide to safe scouting. Am I confused? Second: Is rugby authorized (see above confusion)?Jul 25, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Jim - Tackle football is not authorized as a Scouting activity. That means your troop should not play football at troop meetings or outings, nor field a team for a league. Being a member of a football team, using appropriate equipment, coaching, and officiating can be used for the Sports merit badge. The difference being that safety should be higher, and injury risk lower, in an organized team. Rugby could be used as a sport for the Sports merit badge if the merit badge counselor approved it. Again, the expectation would be that the scout is a member of an organized, properly coached, and appropriately equipped team in an officiated league. Scouting units should only participate in activities for which proper equipment, knowledge, skills, and observation are in place. I would never have our troop do ice hockey because I have no experience in that sport, but some other troop might play it at every troop meeting because they have lots of expert adult volunteers and equipment.Jan 21, 2014 - Rick
Ice Hockey is 1 approved. Would summertime Roller Rink Hockey be consideration approved ?. It is an organized league with scheduled games , coaches etcJan 21, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Rick - As long as it is not a restricted activity according to the BSA, then it's up to the merit badge counselor to approve it.Jan 21, 2014 - Dan Stark
Is Alpine skiing approved, since appropriate equipment and instruction must be given... and the scout talks to the scoutmaster prior to working on the badge?Jan 22, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Dan - As long as it is not a restricted activity according to the BSA, then it's up to the merit badge counselor to approve it. There is a Snow Sports merit badge which includes Alpine skiing.Feb 06, 2014 - Paul Marin
Is wrestling acceptable?Feb 06, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Paul - wrestling is not on the restricted list in the Guide to Safe Scouting, so it is up to the merit badge counselor to approve participation on a wrestling team or not.Mar 23, 2014 - Ben Woodhouse
Why do we have to write the etiquette for lax I mean you shake hands at the end of the game and say good game to even the goalie who gave up 16 goalsMar 23, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Ben - Does your game have nothing to do with Honesty, Hard Work, Integrity, Respect for opponents? What do you do when there is an injury on the field? How are spectators expected to act? I would bet there are quite a few behaviors that make up the etiquette of your game. Maybe asking your coach about it would be enlightening.Aug 20, 2014 - Nicole
I see cross country what about track and field is that ok as a second choice? If its ok with the leader?Sep 15, 2014 - Robin Autry
Above you note archery is on the restricted list as is football but being a member of a tackle football team is okay. How about if you are on a U.S.A. Archery team and your instructor is also an archery merit badge counselor? Thank you.Jan 06, 2015 - Kyle
So I'm about to start this merit badge and I was on the school's wrestling team can I count that or notJun 27, 2015 - Jean
My son played organized soccer grades 1-5. Upon entering middle- school he switched to basketball. His new school is small does not offer a soccer program. Football is offered, but, practices and games are held across the county at another school and the district does not provide transportation for the students at my son's school. Can he count his prior soccer seasons for the sports merit badge?Jun 27, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Jean - Any activities done prior to becoming a registered Boy Scout would certainly not count. Anything else is up to the merit badge counselor, but if you read requirements 4 and 5, using prior sports activity doesn't fit into what is asked of the scout regarding tracking his progress.Jul 20, 2015 - Crystal
I understand why you wouldn't want a troop of scouts to perform Martial Arts. But for purposes of this badge, why could a scout not participate in a martial art from a licensed & properly insured school with all of the appropriate equipment? My son competes in Olympic-Style Taekwondo in both forms (which are non-contact) and sparring and is on the competition team at a Martial Arts school that complies with all safety regulations outlined by their governing organization, USA Taekwondo. At first glance, this seems to meet the same criteria as you described previously regarding the reasons why a troop shouldn't play tackle football or rugby but an individual scout could, with appropriate coaching and equipment, use those sports to meet the criteria for this badge. Thanks in advance for the advice.Jul 20, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Crystal - "WHY" is because the BSA has specifically stated what is allowed. For the exact reasons of including or excluding specific activities from the unauthorized list, you would need to contact someone at the BSA. Typically, reasons are based on the probability of injury and types of injury, as well as how the activity fits with the aims of scouting.
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