- Commonwealth Games
a sports contest for competitors from Commonwealth countries. It has taken place every four years since the first Games in Hamilton, Canada, in 1930. The event was called the British Empire Games until 1970.
* * *Quadrennial sports competition for countries of the British Commonwealth.The inaugural meeting was called the British Empire Games and was held in Hamilton, Ont., Can., in 1930. The Games include athletics (track and field), gymnastics, bowls, and swimming events for both men and women, and boxing, cycling, shooting, weight lifting, and wrestling for men only. Rowing, badminton, and fencing have also occasionally been included.
* * *▪ sportsalso called (1930–54) British Empire Games , or (1954–66) British Empire and Commonwealth Games , or (1966–74) British Commonwealth Gamesquadrennial sports competition embracing athletics (track and field), gymnastics, bowls, and swimming events for both men and women, and boxing, cycling, shooting, weight lifting, and wrestling for men only. Rowing, shooting, badminton, and fencing have also been included occasionally. Participants must be amateurs and must be qualified by birth or residence in some member country (or a dependency of a member country) of the Commonwealth.The Reverend Astley Cooper of Yorkshire, Eng., broached the idea of such games in 1891, and the inaugural British Empire Games were held at Hamilton, Ont., in 1930. Eleven countries sent teams for a program of athletics, lawn bowls, boxing, rowing, swimming, and wrestling, and the English team emerged with the largest share of medals. It was agreed that the games would be held in varying Commonwealth cities at four-year intervals, preferably midway between the Olympic Games. The games have been held except in the years 1942 and 1946. Women were included from the outset, and women's athletics events began to be included in 1934.
* * *