Sports, disciplines and events — will you be able to tell the difference at the Sydney Summer Olympics?

The Sydney Games program features 28 sports, 40 disciplines and 301 events.

Consider "sports" as the main grouping, the topical reference for a competition. Some sports include several "disciplines," while some sports are just one or two events, while other sports feature a whole host of Olympic events.

Clear as mud? Here are a few examples.

The average American is going to recognize most sports by name — baseball, basketball, tennis and wrestling to mention a few. Some sports aren't quite what they may seem — "football" is the international name used in the Olympics for soccer, "hockey" is actually field hockey and "team handball" is considerably different from the court-version cousin to racquetball.

To muddle matters even further, several sports are broken down into disciplines, which to some may seem like separate sports themselves. For example, the Olympic sport of aquatics is comprised of four separate disciplines: diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo.

Other multidiscipline sports include canoe/kayak (sprint and slalom), cycling (mountain bike, road and track), equestrian (three-day event, jumping and dressage), gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic and trampoline), volleyball (indoor and beach) and wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman).

Now onto the events.

Some sports in Sydney will offer just two medal events — one each for men and women. These include team events such as basketball and field hockey as well as individual events such as modern pentathlon and triathlon. Baseball and softball are single-event sports geared to one gender and one tournament.

Other sports feature myriad event competitions. Some of the largest multievent sports include athletics (48 combined events for men and women), cycling (20 total events) and shooting (17 events).

An example of the relationship between sports, disciplines and events can be found in the sport of gymnastics, with one of the three disciplines being artistic gymnastics. And in that discipline are 14 different events — the men's and women's team all-around tournaments, the men's and women's individual all-around competitions, and the six men's and four women's individual apparatus events, such as floor exercise and vault.

Of the 301 events at the Sydney Games, 169 feature male athletes or teams, while the women have 120 events. The other 12 events are not gender-specific competitions, such as the badminton mixed doubles, the six equestrian events and five "open" sailing races.

No demonstration sports — or nonmedal events — are scheduled for the 2000 Summer Games.

Following are capsules of the sports and disciplines for the Sydney Olympics:

Aquatics — Diving

Aquatics — Swimming

Aquatics — synchronized swimming

Aquatics — water polo


Athletics — (track and field)





Canoe/kayak — slalom and sprint

Cycling — mountain bike, road and track

Equestrian — three-day event, jumping and dressage


Football (soccer)

Gymnastics — Artistic

Gymnastics — rhythmic gymnastics

Gymnastics — Trampoline




Modern pentathlon





Table tennis




Volleyball — Indoor and beach


Wrestling — freestyle and Greco-Roman