Athletics and swimming are set to be the only sports made compulsory fixtures of the Commonwealth Games under plans for a major revamp of the event.
Games organisers have announced new proposals to give prospective hosts more flexibility over the sports they deliver in a bid to engage new audiences and reduce costs.
Next year's Games will be held in Birmingham, but no host has yet been confirmed for the 2026 edition, despite an announcement initially being planned for 2019, and it is hoped that the new '2026-2030 Strategic Roadmap' will make hosting a more attractive and more viable proposition.
Athletics and swimming will be afforded protected status given their tradition, popularity and established para and gender-equal programmes, but host cities will otherwise be able to select from a wider pool of 'core sports', as well as proposing entirely new ones, to fill a programme of around 15 sports, reduced slightly from the 18 on show in Birmingham.
A similar rule has allowed Olympic host cities to propose sports particularly relevant to their respective audiences. This summer's Games in Tokyo, for example, placed emphasis on urban sports with the introductions of skateboarding and 3X3 basketball, as well as handing karate its Olympic debut and bringing back baseball and softball due to their popularity in Japan.
Other measures include host cities being encouraged to explore mass participation events and alternatives to traditional, purpose-built Athlete Villages in a bid to cut costs. Birmingham 2022 scrapped its plans for a village in response to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and will instead use existing accommodation at two local universities and the NEC campus.