Potted sports can be used to entertain and exercise physical and mental skills, such as strength, determination and teamwork.  It is also a good method of exercising large numbers of soldiers/clients with varying degrees of fitness which can be taken either indoors or outdoors and can be adjusted to suit limitations of space and area. As such, potted sports is ideally suited to the outdoor fitness market for either one-off special events or periodically during a training programme.

Potted Sports Activities

There are four main types of activity:

  1. Athletic: long jump, high jump, triple jump, shot putt, discus, hammer, sprints and hurdles.
  2. Military: grenade throwing, fireman’s lift relay, ammo box race, weapon assembling, magazine filling and sandbag filling.
  3. Gymkhana: wheelbarrow race, dribbling and shooting basketball and football etc, tug-o-war, bowling at a wicket, egg and spoon race and sack race.
  4. Physical Training: balancing, heaving, rope climbing, abdominal curls, skipping, vaulting exercises, log exercises and medicine ball pass.

Potted Sports Organisation

Points to consider when organising a potted sports competition are:

  • Arrange participants into equal teams.
  • As many events as teams competing.
  • Arrange programme.
  • Detail and brief officials.
  • Brief team leaders.
  • Issue team leaders programme.
  • Start each series by an audible signal.
  • After each event, hand in scores to maintain a running scoreboard.
  • Change on whistle or bell.
  • Always finish with a relay.

Scoring (Treble Standard)

Where possible, the treble standard should be used as this caters for a broader spectrum of agility, and as such the scoring system is as follows:

  • Low standard: 1 point.
  • Middle standard: 2 points.
  • High standard: 3 points.

Treble standard is determined by testing a few people of average ability on all events. The aim of treble standard is to achieve the following:

  • 20% pass high rate.
  • 30% pass middle rate.
  • 40% pass low rate.
  • 10% achieve no score.


The team with the lowest number of total points wins.

Final Relay

A final relay can be useful in gaining time for the chief scorer to calculate the results and decide the winner if a tie occurs. It is also useful as a final team building component.


Potted sports is an excellent medium for promoting personal qualities, it is particularly simple to set up and can be designed to suit resources, surroundings and personnel to take part.

Example of a Potted Sports Competition

Type of Meeting

For example you might have three athletic, one military and one gymkhana.

Number of Teams

Five teams of four soldiers per team.


There will be as many events as there are teams, plus a relay as follows:














High Jump


1 set of jump stands





Grenade Throwing


6 dummy grenades or bean bags and chalk

Highest Score


Shoot at Goal


3 footballs and goal

Highest Score


Standing Long Jump


Marked mats





Putting the Shot


2 medicine balls





Relay Dribble Basketball

5 basketballs, 6 skittles and chalk

Fastest Time

Rules for Events

The rules for each event are as follows:

  • Event number one: each competitor is allowed two attempts.  Scoring, 3 points for each high standard, 2 for middle and 1 for low successfully achieved.
  • Event number two: each competitor is allowed three throws at the target. Scoring, bull 3 points, inner 2 points and outer 1 point.
  • Event number three: each competitor is allowed three shots at the goal.  Scoring, 1 point for each goal scored.
  • Event number four: each competitor is allowed two attempts.  Scoring 3 points for each high standard, 2 points for middle and 1 point for low successfully achieved.
  • Event number five: as event number four.
  • Relay race: team line up on the start line.  On the signal the first man of each team dribbles the ball in and out of the skittles until s/he reaches the end of the course.  S/he will then pass to the next player who continues to do the same. The winning team is the team whose competitors have dribbled the ball around the course first.  The last person in the team must dribble the ball back to the start line.

 Potted Sports Scorecard

Figure 1: Specimen scorecard

Please note that in figure 1 above, the 2nd and 3rd places in the final order of merit were determined by the result of the relay race, in which team D beat team B, therefore being placed above team B in the final order of merit.


The following officials will be required:

  • Organiser.
  • Recorder.
  • Judges x 10.
  • Orderlies x 5.

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