This page advises schools on constructing and managing competition-grade sports facilities they share with the community.


  • The Department is committed to constructing sports facilities that schools can share with their communities.
  • Schools may cover the ongoing costs of the facility through shared-use arrangements with a third party.
  • Details of competition-grade sizes and requirements can be found under the Competition-Grade Sporting Facilities section of the Building Quality Standards Handbook (PDF)External Link . The VSBA can assist schools with understanding these requirements.
  • This advice falls within the 'Build' stage of the School Asset Lifecycle.


Competition-grade facilities are built and maintained to competition standards specified by the respective sport’s governing body. The Building Quality Standards Handbook (BQSH)External Link details the requirements for competition-grade facilities, including gymnasiums.

Since 2016, the VSBA has built gyms to competition-grade standard and size at new schools. New gyms at existing schools are built to competition-grade standard where possible. This might not be possible where the site is too small, or where a project upgrades (rather than rebuilds) an existing gym.

Competition-grade facilities (see definitions) are designed to be shared with the broader community. Schools are encouraged to enter into appropriate shared-use arrangements, including through community joint use agreements. Refer to the Community Use of Schools – Hiring, Licensing and Community Joint Use Agreements Policy for more information.


Details of competition-grade requirements can be found in the BQSH's ‘Hard courts’ and 'Flooring for Indoor Physical Activity Spaces’ sections.

Competition may mean level 2, community competition level, or level 3, national competition. Level 3 is adequate for schools in most cases. BQSH specifications were developed in consultation with Netball Victoria and Basketball Victoria.

Only new indoor facilities are required to be competition grade.

School sporting facilities must be multi-functional – that is they must allow for both basketball and netball, at minimum, to be played on each court, as per the BQSH specifications.


Having competition-grade sports facilities increases operational and maintenance costs.

The Department recommends that schools cover these higher costs through shared-use arrangements with a third party. Schools should set fees for community partners that are high enough to cover the costs of community use (for example, for additional cleaning and maintenance) but not higher.

For more information about cost recovery for shared facilities, refer to the Community Use of Schools – Hiring, Licensing and Community Joint Use Agreements Policy.


Competition Grade Sporting Facilities
A ‘competition-grade space’ is a space that will be used for any of the following competition activities: (Level 3) school and or community League, Victorian League, regional Victorian, Association Championships/Competition and Training, State Titles, and or School Championship sports activities, or (Level 2) National League, National Titles. In the school setting, Level 3 facilities are usually adequate.

Department advice on constructing and managing competition-grade sports facilities that schools share with the community

Reviewed 06 March 2024

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools
  • School councils


Victorian School Building Authority

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