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ASC Recognition

Recognition of National Sporting Organisations

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) currently recognises over 90 National Sporting Organsiations (NSOs) and National Sporting Organisations for people with disability (NSODs). For recognition, these organisations have satisfied the ASC that they have met the eligibility criteria and that each is the pre-eminent body taking responsibility for the development of their sport in Australia.

What is Defined as a Sport?

The ASC has a long-established definition which activities are defined as sports. 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'. The ASC maintain the final authority for determining if an activity meets the definition of a sport.

To be Eligible for ASC Recognition

To be eligible for recognition by the ASC, NSO/NSODs must meet the 2014 – 2018 eligibility criteria and continue to work towards the ASC’s governance principles and appropriately implement their anti-doping and member protection policies. Please access the full eligibility criteria by using the apply now button (below).

Assessment Process

The ASC recognition review panel will conduct assessments of applications applying for recognition twice annually. These assessments will take place in the months of July and January of that year with notification to sporting organisations on the outcome of their applications following this.

All applications received prior to these dates, will be reviewed only in July and January. Please note that special consideration will not be offered to organisations wishing to have their application reviewed prior to this.

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:

  1. 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 name» to develop «sport name» in Australia”.
  2. 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. Please refer to the “Use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms by Sporting Bodies” (below).
  3. entry in the ASC’s online Australian Sports Directory as the NSO for the particular sport.
  4. invitations to attend workshops, seminars and other ASC forums conducted for recognised NSOs.
  5. access to NSO services from the Clearinghouse for Sport.
  6. the opportunity for financial support through various grant programs administered by the ASC and State Departments of Sport and Recreation.

Which Sporting Organisations are Currently Recognised by the ASC?

A list of the ASC currently recognised NSOs/NSODs is available below (link). The Australian Sports Directory online provides contact details and web links to the recognised organisations.

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.


Organisations wanting to lodge an application to the ASC in order to be assessed for recognition must complete the application criteria and provided supporting documentation for the recognition of NSO 2014 - 2018. Applications can be submitted online using the "Apply now" button or by postal to:

Participation and Sustainable Sports Division
Australian Sports Commission
PO Box 176

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Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.
650 thousand Australians either coach, teach or instruct sport.