ASC Recognition

What is defined as a Sport?

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has a long-established definition and criteria for recognising which activities are defined as sports and which sporting bodies are recognised by the ASC as National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) and National Sporting Organisations for people with a Disability (NSOD).

The ASC defines ‘Sport’ as: 'A human activity capable of achieving a result requiring physical exertion and/or physical skill which, by its nature and organisation, is competitive and is generally accepted as being a sport'.

ASC Recognition of NSOs and NSODs

The ASC recently undertook an assessment of all recognised NSOs and NSODs, as well as new organisations that were not currently recognised in order to determine the recognition status of NSOs/NSODs for the 2009-13 cycle. As a result of this process, the ASC confirmed recognition to 92 sporting organisations as ASC recognised NSOs/NSODs. These organisations have satisfied the ASC that they have a national perspective and that each is the pre-eminent organisation taking responsibility for the development of the sport in Australia.

Of these recognised sporting organisations, more than 60 have been allocated to receive financial assistance from the ASC within the 2011-12 financial year. It must be noted that recognition by the ASC of an NSO/NSOD does not automatically confer the sporting organisation being allocated ASC funding.

The ASC assesses submissions from organisations for ASC recognition twice annually, in February and August. The deadline for lodging submissions to the ASC is 31 January and 31 July.


The Eligibility criteria for the recognition of National Sporting Organisations 2009-13 by the Australian Sports Commission is a document that outlines the criteria that organisations must address in order to be considered for ASC recognition. See related downloads below for this document.

Support to Recognised Organisations

If an application for ASC recognition is successful, a recognised NSO/NSOD will be eligible to receive the following support from the ASC for the period in which the ASC has confirmed recognition:

  • the opportunity to use the ASC logo and/or the following words on stationery (letterhead, complimentary slips), in sponsorship and funding applications, annual reports, newsletters and magazines, and sponsors page or similar on organisation’s website as outlined in the ASC Branding Guide for NSOs.  The words to be used in these circumstances are: “The Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission recognises «NSO» to develop «Sport_name» in Australia”
  • the opportunity to apply to use the Commonwealth Coat of Arms on playing and dress uniforms of Australian representative sports persons and by accompanying officials on their dress uniforms.
  • entry in the ASC’s online Australian Sports Directory as the NSO for the particular sport
  • invitations to attend workshops, seminars and other ASC forums conducted for recognised NSOs
  • access to NSO services from the ASC’s National Sport Information Centre
  • the opportunity to access the ASC’s National Coaching Accreditation Scheme, National Officiating Accreditation Scheme and associated programs and services
  • the opportunity for policy development assistance and financial support through various grant programs administered by the ASC

What are the current ASC recognised NSOs?

A list of the ASC currently recognised NSOs/NSODs is available from the related downloads below. The Australian Sports Directory online provides contact details and web links to the recognised organisations. See related links below.

Use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms by sporting bodies

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms is the pre-eminent mark of Commonwealth authority. Its use, with a few limited exceptions, is limited to the Commonwealth Parliament, the Government and the Federal Courts. However, since 1922, Australian representative national sporting teams participating in international competitions have been able to seek Commonwealth Government permission to display the Arms on their uniforms. Requests must be made in writing to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

ASC Contact

Organisations wishing to lodge a submission to the ASC in order to be assessed for recognition must complete the Eligibility criteria for the recognition of National Sporting Organisations 2009-13 and submit it to the below postal or email address by the due dates listed above:

Sport Planning and Performance Section
Sports Development Division
Australian Sports Commission
PO Box 176
Tel: (02) 6214 1111
Email: funding&

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