The German Sports Badge (German: Deutsches Sportabzeichen (DSA)) is a decoration of the German Olympic Sports Federation DOSB, of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German Sports Badge test is carried out primarily in Germany, and in other 39 countries abroad. In 1993 the DOSB opened an international office called Ausland which allows non-Germans to organize, participate and obtain the DSA outside Germany, but only under supervision of an authorized Verein (sport organisation) and authorized Pruefer (judge); the decoration can be awarded to any person participating in the test.
Creation and early history
The German Sports Badge, also known as the "German National Sports Badge" was first created in the year 1913 and is one of the oldest awards of Germany still in active circulation. The Pour le Mérite is another older award which is still issued in Germany, although the criteria for that decoration has changed since its original issuance as a military order.
Between 1914 and 1933, the German Sports Badge was issued for the completion of various by the young male population. As a military award, during the inter-war years of the 1920s and prior to 1933, the German National Sports Badge was one of the few military awards bestowed to the peacetime Reichswehr.
Between 1933 and 1939, the German Sports Badge was overshadowed by an almost identical decoration, the SA Sports Badge which was a sports badge issued by the Nazi Party. Even so, the German Sports Badge was still regarded as an important qualification badge, and both the SA Sports Badge and German Sports Badge could both be earned and displayed simultaneously.
Sports and fitness were given great emphasis in the every day training programs of the SS. The SS considered the German Sports Badge of particular importance and the decoration was one of nine awards which were listed on the front of all SS service records with spaces for qualification dates.[N 1] Regulations of the Allgemeine-SS required a prospective SS candidate to qualify for both the German Sports Badge and the SA Sports Badge during a six month probationary period upon joining the SS. Notable SS recipients of the German Sports Badge include Reinhard Heydrich, Joseph Mengele, Hermann Fegelein and Amon Göth.
After World War II, the German Sports Badge was continued as a federal decoration in West Germany and continued in this status after the German reunification. Today, the German Sports Badge is a civilian decoration but it can be worn as an official award of the Bundeswehr, as well as law enforcement and emergency services. The German Sports Badge is also an entry requirement for certain German Police services.
Requirements until 2013
Until 2013 the following requirements had to be completed to be awarded the sports (Requirements vary according to age category and gender):
|1||Swimming||50 or 200 meters swim||none|
|2||Jumping power||High-jump or Long-jump||Pommel horse or leap frogging|
|3||Speed||50/75/100/400/1000 meter run, 300/500 bicycling or 300/500 meters inline-skating||Ice-skating|
|4||Physical strength||Stone- or shot-put, 100 meter swim||Shooting sports, Bench press or weightlifting, Canoeing or rowing|
|5||Endurance||800/1000/2000/3000/5000 meters run, 5000/10000 meters inline-skating, 10 kilometers walk, 7 kilometers Walking/Nordic Walking, 20 kilometers bicycling, 600/1.000 meters swim cross-country skiing||Canoeing, rowing, bowling or ice-skating|
The workgroup Projektgruppe Deutsches Sportabzeichen of the German Olympic Sports Association announced various changes for the German Sports Badge. The following changes and various further changes were in full power by 2013:
- Basic and advanced levels, as seen on the Austrian Sports Badge were introduced. Formerly the grades bronze, silver, and gold were awarded according to the number of yearly repetitions.
Since 2013 the grades are determined by the score which is achieved. In each discipline, a score between one and three points can be earned. The final score determine the grade of the sports badge: Bronze: 4-7 Silver: 8-10 Gold 11-12
- Rearranging the age groups
- Adapting the requirements to modern standards
Ability to swim
The ability to swim must be demonstrated by either a 12 minute swim, the completion of a swimming test of the other disciplines, or by completion of a German swimming badge.
3000m run, 10km run, 7,5km power-walking or 20km bicycling
Stone- or shot-put, apparatus gymnastics, standing long-jump
50m- or 100m sprint, 25m swim, 200m bicycling, apparatus gymnastics
High-jump or Long-jump, rope skipping, or leap frogging
Acceptance of sports badges from different sports
Certain disciplines may be substituted with sports badged from other sports. For instance: Endurance can be substituted with the German rescue swimming badge, triathlon badge, running badge, or pentathlon badge. Agility can be substituted with the Germn Ju-Jutsu badge, German track and field badge, and others.
- German Sports Badge for juveniles Deutsches Sportabzeichen für Kinder und Jugendliche 
- German Sports Badge with special requirements for handicapped persons.
Prospective judges (Prüfer) have to fulfill certain requirements in order to obtain judging qualifications and licence (Prüfausweis):
- Membership in a German sports club (Vereine).
- Have completed a German Sports Badge (Repetitive completion on a yearly basis is preferred).
- Previous experience of assisting a judge for the German Sports Badge.
- Licensed sports coach or completion of judging class.
A license for a judge is valid for a period of four years.The licence can be obtained from DOSB only via German sports club (Vereine).
German school physical education instructors and Bundeswehr instructors underlie different requirements.
German citizenship for a judge is not required, however, the judge has to be holding the tests for a German sports association (Vereine), a German school or the German military. However, exceptions can be made in special cases. In general the non German Prüfer are foreign citizens around the world with German origin or family; exceptions are known in Denmark, as a Danish National who was made judge for the Danish Emergency Management Agency, due to the fact that Denmark had no Sportsabzeichen-judges; another significant exception is in Italy where within the Italian Armed Forces the German Sport Badge become popular since 2003 and now there are 5 Italians holding the Prüfausweis (licence to be a judge).
The badge for a judge (Prüferabzeichen) is similar in shape as a regular sports badge, however, the color is green and it features a banner with the inscription Prüfer.
Judges (Prüfer) for the German Sports Badge may also judge the following badges:
- Austrian Sports Badge
- European Police Achievement Badge
- Bavarian Sports Badge
- Deutscher Leichtathletik-Verband Running Badge
Bavarian Sports Badge
The Bavarian Sports Badge (German Bayerisches Sport-Leistungs Abzeichen or BSLA) was a sports badge awarded by the Bavarian Athletes Organization (Bayrischer Landes-Sportverband). Due to the reform of the German Sports Badge, which from 2013 has also been awarded for difference performance levels, the Bavarian Sports Badge ceased to be awarded from 2013.
The Bavarian Sports Badge is comparable to the German Sports Badge, however, differences exist:
- The letters SLA instead of DOSB are shown in the award
- The bronze, silver and gold awards indicate the level of difficulty instead of the number of repetitions
- Higher requirements had be fulfilled in order to be awarded the sports badge
- The German Sports Badge may be worn on some countries military uniforms as an official German decoration, but the Bavarian may not.
- Order of Merit Cross of the German Federal Republic
- Awards and decorations of the German Armed Forces
- European Police Achievement Badge
- Austrian Sports Badge
- German rescue swimming badge
- List of German Sports Badges
- Mollo, Andrew, (1988). Uniforms of the SS (Volume 1: Allgemine-SS, 1923-1945), 3rd edition. London: Windrow & Greene Ltd. p 59
- Lumsden, Robin (2001). A Collector's Guide To: The Allgemeine – SS, Ian Allan Publishing, Inc. p 44
- Lumsden, Robin (1997). Himmler's Black Order, A History of the SS (1923-45), 2nd edition. London: Sutton Publishing Limited, pp 27, 54
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- "BLSV - Bayerisches Sport- Leistungs-Abzeichen". Blsv.de. http://www.blsv.de/blsv-aktuell/sportwelten/sportabzeichen/bayerisches-sport-leistungs-abzeichen.html. Retrieved 2011-12-03.
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