SEA Games, officially known as the South East Asian Games and abbreviated as SEAG, is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia. The games are under the regulation of the Southeast Asian Games Federation with supervision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
|First event||1959 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games in Bangkok, Thailand|
|Occur every||2 years (every odd year)|
|Next event||2025 Southeast Asian Games in Bangkok, Chonburi, and Songkhla, Thailand|
|Purpose||Multi sport event for nations on the Southeast Asian subcontinent|
The SEA Games is one of the five subregional Games of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
The SEA Games owes its origins to the South East Asian Peninsular Games or SEAP Games (abbreviated as SEAPG). On 22 May 1958, delegates from the countries in Southeast Asian Peninsula attending the Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan had a meeting and agreed to establish a sports organization. The SEAP Games was conceptualized by Luang Sukhum Nayapradit, then vice-president of the Thailand Olympic Committee. The proposed rationale was that a regional sports event will help promote co-operation, understanding, and relations among countries in the Southeast Asian region.
Six countries, Burma (now Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Malaya (now Malaysia), Thailand and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) were the founding members. These countries agreed to hold the Games biennially in June 1959 and the SEAP Games Federation Committee was formed thereafter.
The first SEAP Games were held in Bangkok from 12 to 17 December 1959, with more than 527 athletes and officials from 6 countries; Burma (now Myanmar), Laos, Malaya, Singapore, South Vietnam and Thailand participated in 12 sports.
At the 8th SEAP Games in 1975, the SEAP Federation considered the inclusion of Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These countries were formally admitted in 1977, the same year when SEAP Federation changed their name to the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF), and the games were known as the Southeast Asian Games. Despite its location closer to the Pacific archipelago than the Asian continent and not being a member of ASEAN, East Timor was admitted at the 22nd SEA Games in 2003 Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City.
The 2009 SEA Games was the first time Laos has ever hosted a SEA Games (Laos had previously declined to host the 1965 SEAP Games citing financial difficulties). Running from 9–18 December, it has also commemorated the 50 years of the SEA Games, held in Vientiane, Laos. The 2023 SEA Games, held from 5–17 May, was the first time Cambodia has ever hosted a SEA Games (Cambodia was awarded the 1963 SEAP Games, which was cancelled due to domestic political situation).
The Southeast Asian Games symbol was introduced during the 1959 SEAP Games in Bangkok, depicting six rings that represent the six founding members and was used until the 1997 edition in Jakarta. The number of rings increased to 10 during the 1999 edition in Brunei to reflect the inclusion of Singapore, which was admitted into the Southeast Asian Games Federation in 1961, and Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which joined the organization in 1977. The number of rings was again increased to 11 during the 2011 Games in Indonesia to reflect the federation's newest member, East Timor, which was admitted in 2003.
|NOC Names||Debuted||IOC code||Other codes used|
|Cambodia||1961||CAM||KHM (1972–1976, ISO)|
|Indonesia||1977||INA||IHO (1952), IDN (FIFA, ISO)|
|Malaysia||1959||MAS||MAL (1952−1988), MYS (ISO)|
|Myanmar||1959||MYA||BIR (1948–1988), MMR (ISO)|
|East Timor||2003||TLS||IOA (2000)|
|Vietnam||1959[a]||VIE||VET (1964), VNM (1968–1976, ISO)|
- ^ While South Vietnam competed from 1959–1973, North Vietnam never competed. Unified Vietnam has competed since 1989.
List of Southeast Asian GamesEdit
Since the SEA Games began in 1959, it has been held in 15 cities across all Southeast Asian countries except East Timor.
|Games||Year||Host cities||Opened by||Date||Sports||Events||Nations||Competitors||Top-ranked team||Ref|
|Southeast Asian Peninsular Games|
|1||1959||Bangkok, Thailand||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||12–17 December 1959||12||67||6||518||Thailand (THA)|||
|2||1961||Yangon, Burma||President Win Maung||11–16 December 1961||13||86||7||623||Burma (BIR)|||
|1963||Awarded to Cambodia, cancelled due to domestic political situation|
|3||1965||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Yang di-Pertuan Agong Ismail Nasiruddin||14–21 December 1965||14||134||7||963||Thailand (THA)|||
|4||1967||Bangkok, Thailand||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||9–16 December 1967||16||144||6||984||Thailand (THA)|||
|5||1969||Yangon, Burma||Prime Minister Ne Win||6–13 December 1969||15||145||6||920||Burma (BIR)|||
|6||1971||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdul Halim||6–13 December 1971||15||156||7||957||Thailand (THA)|||
|7||1973||Singapore||President Benjamin Sheares||1–8 September 1973||16||161||7||1632||Thailand (THA)|||
|8||1975||Bangkok, Thailand||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||9–16 December 1975||18||172||4||1142||Thailand (THA)|||
|Southeast Asian Games|
|9||1977||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Yang di-Pertuan Agong Yahya Petra||19–26 November 1977||18||188||7||N/A||Indonesia (INA)|||
|10||1979||Jakarta, Indonesia||President Suharto||21–30 September 1979||18||226||7||N/A||Indonesia (INA)|||
|11||1981||Manila, Philippines||President Ferdinand Marcos||6–15 December 1981||18||245||7||≈1800||Indonesia (INA)|||
|12||1983||Singapore||President Devan Nair||28 May – 6 June 1983||18||233||8||N/A||Indonesia (INA)|||
|13||1985||Bangkok, Thailand||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||8–17 December 1985||18||251||8||N/A||Thailand (THA)|||
|14||1987||Jakarta, Indonesia||President Suharto||9–20 September 1987||26||372||8||N/A||Indonesia (INA)|||
|15||1989||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Yang di-Pertuan Agong Azlan Shah||20–31 August 1989||24||302||9||≈2800||Indonesia (INA)|||
|16||1991||Manila, Philippines||President Corazon Aquino||24 November – 3 December 1991||28||327||9||N/A||Indonesia (INA)|||
|17||1993||Singapore||President Wee Kim Wee||12–20 June 1993||29||318||9||≈3000||Indonesia (INA)|||
|18||1995||Chiang Mai, Thailand||Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn||9–17 December 1995||28||335||10||3262||Thailand (THA)|||
|19||1997||Jakarta, Indonesia||President Suharto||11–19 October 1997||36||490||10||5179||Indonesia (INA)|||
|20||1999||Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei||Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah||7–15 August 1999||21||233||10||2365||Thailand (THA)|||
|21||2001||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Yang di-Pertuan Agong Salahuddin||8–17 September 2001||32||391||10||4165||Malaysia (MAS)|||
|22||2003||Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải||5–13 December 2003||32||442||11||≈5000||Vietnam (VIE)|||
|23||2005||Manila, Philippines||President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo||27 November – 5 December 2005||40||443||11||5336||Philippines (PHI)|||
|24||2007||Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand||Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn||6–15 December 2007||43||475||11||5282||Thailand (THA)|||
|25||2009||Vientiane, Laos||President Choummaly Sayasone||9–18 December 2009||29||372||11||3100||Thailand (THA)|||
|26||2011||Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia||President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono||11–22 November 2011||44||545||11||5965||Indonesia (INA)|||
|27||2013||Naypyidaw, Myanmar||Vice President Nyan Tun||11–22 December 2013||37||460||11||4730||Thailand (THA)|||
|28||2015||Singapore||President Tony Tan||5–16 June 2015||36||402||11||4370||Thailand (THA)|||
|29||2017||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Yang di-Pertuan Agong Muhammad V||19–30 August 2017||38||404||11||4709||Malaysia (MAS)|||
|30||2019||Philippines[a]||President Rodrigo Duterte||30 November – 11 December 2019||56||530||11||5630||Philippines (PHI)|||
|31||2021||Hanoi, Vietnam[b]||President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc||12–23 May 2022||40||526||11||5467||Vietnam (VIE)|
|32||2023||Phnom Penh, Cambodia||Prime Minister Hun Sen||5–17 May 2023||37||584||11||6210||Vietnam (VIE)|
|33||2025||Bangkok, Chonburi, and Songkhla, Thailand||King Vajiralongkorn (expected)||9–20 December 2025||Future event|
|34||2027||Vientiane, Laos||TBD 2027||Future event|
- ^ The 2019 Southeast Asian Games was officially decentralized. Events were held in various cities around the Philippines, mostly in the Clark City, the Metro Manila region, and the Subic Bay areas, however there was no single designated host city. The games were known as "Philippines 2019".
- ^ Many events were held in various cities over the country to give support to the Hanoi, who was the main host of the event. Due the COVID-19 pandemic, the games were delayed to May 2022.
The 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games were canceled. As the designated host, Cambodia was not able to host the event due to instability in the country, along with a disagreement with the International Amateur Athletic Federation. The 3rd SEAP Games then passed to Laos as hosts, but they begged off the 1965 event citing financial difficulties.
According to the SEAGF Charter and Rules, a host nation must stage a minimum of 22 sports: the two compulsory sports from Category 1 (athletics and aquatics), in addition to a minimum of 14 sports from Category 2 (Olympics and Asian Games mandatory sports), and a maximum of 8 sports from Category 3. Each sport shall not offer more than 5% of the total medal tally, except for athletics, aquatics and shooting (the shot was elevated for this category in 2013). For each sport and event to be included, a minimum of four countries must participate in it. Sports competed in the Olympic Games and Asian Games must be given priority.
In 2023, the charter was modified, bringing the number of minimum sports a host must stage up to 36. The compulsory Category 1 now comprises two subcategories: 1A, which consists of aquatics and athletics, and 1B, a minimum of 10 Olympic sports from the Summer Olympic Games. Under Category 2, the host must include a minimum of 10 other sports from the Olympic Games (summer/winter), Asian Games, and Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games. Category 3 is now capped at a maximum of four sports. The first games with the new charter in effect will be held in 2025.
|Category 1||Category 2||Category 3|
|1A||1B||Olympic sports||Asian Games / AIMAG sports||Traditional[a]||Other[b]|
|Billiards and snooker
1991, 2005, 2019, 2023
1987–1993, 1997, 2003–2007, 2013, 2021
|Beach handball |
2001, 2011, 2015–2017
2005–2007, 2011, 2019
1977–1979, 1983–2001, 2005–2007, 2011, 2015–2021
|Contract bridge |
1979–2003, 2007, since 2011
2003–2005, 2011–2013, since 2019
2005–2009, 2013, 2019–2021
|Traditional boat race
1993, 1997–1999, 2003–2007, 2011–2015, 2023
|Lawn bowls |
1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2017–2019
1985, 1995, 2001, 2005–2007, 2011–2015, 2019–2021
2005–2009, since 2019
1959–1979, since 1983
1983, 1995, 2001, 2005–2007, 2011–2017
2003, 2009–2011, since 2021
1987, 1997, 2011, 2015–2019
2003–2007, 2011, since 2015
2015, 2019, 2023
1971–1979, 1983, 1987–1989, 1993–2001, 2007, 2013–2017, 2023
2007, 2011–2013, 2017, 2021
1985–1997, 2001, since 2005
1979–1981, 1985–1997, 2001–2007, 2011, since 2015
1967–1997, since 2001
1985–1991, 1995–1997, 2001–2013, since 2017
1987–1989, 1993–1997, since 2001
1989–1991, 1997, 2001–2007, 2011–2015, since 2019
1961, 1967–1971, 1975–1977, 1983–1997, 2001, 2005–2007, 2011–2019, 2023
1969, 1977–1979, 1995, 2007
1967–1969, since 1973
1981–1983, 1989, 2003–2005,
2011, 2015, 2019
2011, 2019, 2023
1991–2001, 2005–2007, 2015–2019
2011–2013, since 2021
1991–1993, 1997, since 2001
1959–2011, since 2015
2005–2007, since 2015
1959–1997, since 2001
1959–1997, 2001–2013, since 2017
1987, 1997, 2003–2013, since 2019
|Short track speed skating|
All-time medal tableEdit
Corrected after balancing the data of the Olympic Council of Asia and other archived sites which had kept the previous Southeast Asian Games medal tables. Some information from the aforementioned sites are missing, incorrect and or not updated.
|11||East Timor (TLS)||3||9||39||51|
|Totals (11 entries)||10153||10073||12610||32836|
- ^ – Competed as Malaya in the inaugural games until 1961.
- ^ – The Republic of Vietnam was dissolved in July 1976 when it merged with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, also known as Vietnam. In the 1989 edition, a unified Vietnam rejoined the games with a new name and flag. Medals won by South Vietnam until 1975 and by Vietnam after 1989 are combined here.
- ^ – Competed as Burma until 1987.
- ^ – Competed as Kampuchea, and Khmer Republic.
List of multiple Southeast Asian Games medalistsEdit
Various individuals have won multiple medals at the Games, including the preceding Southeast Asian Peninsular Games.
As of 2019, Singaporean swimmer Joscelin Yeo has won the most Southeast Asian Games medals with 55 (40 gold, 12 silver, 3 bronze). She reached this milestone during the 2005 Games, overtaking the previous record of 39 gold medals set by another Singaporean swimmer Patricia Chan.
One unique characteristic of the event is that there are no official limits to the number of sports and events to be contested, and the range can be decided by the organizing host pending approval by the Southeast Asian Games Federation. Aside from mandatory sports, the host is free to drop or introduce other sports or events (See Southeast Asian Games sports). This leeway has resulted in hosts maximizing their medal hauls by dropping sports disadvantageous to themselves relative to their peers and the introduction of obscure sports, often at short notice, thus preventing most other nations from building credible opponents. Several nations have called for amending the charter of the games to address the issue. In 2023, the SEA Games charter was modified in an effort to make the number of sports in each edition more standardized, reducing the host's leeway to remove several sports, maximize medal hauls by introducing obscure local sports, and tamper with the competition's rules.
- ^ Games page of the website of the Olympic Council of Asia; Archived 2010-12-11 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2010-07-09.
- ^ a b "South East Asian Games Federation: Charter and Rules" (PDF). SEAGF. 30 May 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- ^ "Malaysia to host 2027 SEA Games". The Star. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
- ^ "Singapore to host 2029 SEA Games". Retrieved 12 May 2022.
- ^ a b Cua, Aric John Sy (13 July 2022). "PH to host SEA Games in 2033". The Manila Times. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
- ^ "History of the SEA Games". www.olympic.org.my. Archived from the original on 17 December 2004. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- ^ Ian De Cotta (5 June 2015). "A cool addition to the SEA Games". Today Online. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- ^ a b Lee, David (17 May 2023). "SEA Games sports programme to be standardised from 2025 to 2029". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ "ยกเครื่องซีเกมส์! เลิกเน้นกีฬาพื้นบ้าน-เริ่มที่ไทยหนหน้า" [Overhaul the SEA Games! Stop focusing on local sports – start in Thailand next]. Naewna (in Thai). 5 May 2023. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ Navarro, June (17 May 2023). "Bambol assurance: Drastic reduction of indigenous games in next SEA Games calendar". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ "South East Asian Games Medal Count". Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
- ^ SEAP Games Federation Archived 13 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Medal Tally 1959-1995
- ^ Medal Tally
- ^ History of the SEA Games
- ^ SEA Games previous medal table
- ^ SEA Games members
- ^ Pattharapong Rattanasevee (21 July 2017). "Southeast Asian Games yet to win gold for sporting spirit". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017.
- ^ Mariadass, Tony (24 November 2019). "Sea Games morphing into a monster-cum-circus". New Straits Times. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ Mariadass, Tony. "Sea Games reduced to a carnival". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ "The SEA Games Contain the Seeds of Their Own Irrelevance". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ "Indonesian NOC calls for amendment to Southeast Asian Games Federation Charter on sports programme". Inside the Games. 20 September 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
- ^ ""พลตรีจารึก" เตรียมเสนอปรับธรรมนูญสหพันธ์กีฬาซีเกมส์". Thai PBS (in Thai). 13 March 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- ^ Henson, Joaquin. "Bambol reveals new SEA Games order". Philstar.com. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
- Olympic Council of Asia Regional Hosting List
- SEA Games Federation
- Medal Tally 1959–1995 (archived 11 January 1998)
- Medal Tally (archived 11 October 2008)
- History of the SEA Games (archived 17 December 2004)
- SEA Games previous medal table (archived 4 December 2009)
- SEA Games members (archived 7 December 2001)