Commonwealth Games 2018

XXI Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

The 2018 Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between 4 and 15 April 2018.


Nomination Policy and Consideration Standards

This policy provides detail on the process by which Athletics NI will arrive at athlete nominations for the Gold Coast. These will be submitted to the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) for consideration and for final selection to Team Northern Ireland 2018. Achievement by an athlete of individual Consideration Standards, detailed in this document, is only the first step by which nomination can be considered. The final selection decision to the 2018 Commonwealth Games team lies with NICGC. The policy was updated with minor amendments to V2.0 on the 29 October 2016.




Nomination Process

 The nomination meeting will take place on 1st October 2017. At this meeting, a list of athletes will be drawn up, in priority order, to be nominated to the Commonwealth Games Council to compete in athletics events for Northern Ireland. 

At the time of the meeting, Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council is unlikely to have informed us of the number of places to be allocated to athletics.

If we do not know the final number of places, we will list all athletes who have achieved the Consideration Standard in priority order based on the criteria in section 13 of the policy document.

If we do know the number of places, we will nominate the required number in priority order with the remainder as a list of reserves in priority order.

There will be up to four rounds of consideration that take place to decide list of nominations. The details of each round can be found in the Nomination Policy 15.1 – 15.7.

Round 1

In Round 1, we will consider athletes who have achieved the standard twice (once for Combined Events, 10,000m and Marathon). Athletes included in this round will not be automatically listed for nomination. They may be nominated or deferred at this stage depending on how they rate against the criteria. The criteria is listed in the nomination policy (13.1 – 13.6) and items are ranked in order of significance from most important to least important and will be considered accordingly. All factors will be taken into account. Although 13.1 is more significant than the others, it does not override them.

Athletes will be scored objectively against the first three criteria: 13.1, 13.2 and 13.3. The committee will discuss 13.4, 13.5 and 13.6 to further inform the decision-making process. Those who are considered to be realistic top eight contenders will be listed for nomination at this stage.

Athletes who are deferred from Round 1 will be considered in Round 2.

Round 2

If places remain after Round 1, athletes deferred in round 1 will be reconsidered and compared against those who have achieved the standard just once. We will follow the same procedure as for Round 1 to determine other top eight contenders. The committee will prioritise athletes who only have the standard once in front of athletes from round 1, if they are considered more likely to achieve a top eight position.

Round 3

If places remain after Round 2, we will consider teams for the 4 X 100m and 4 X 400m (men’s and women’s). Please refer to Appendix 2 of the Nomination Policy for full details of criteria for relays.

Round 4

In the unlikely event that places remain after Round 3, we will consider athletes close to the consideration standard.

Percentages of standard achieved and Commonwealth rankings (3 athletes per nation) in alphabetical order



Current Ranking


Round 1


Adam Kirk-Smith



Adam McMullen



Amy Foster



Ben Reynolds



Ciara Mageean



Dempsey McGuigan



Emma Mitchell



Kate O'Connor



Leon Reid



Paul Pollock



Sommer Lecky




Round 2


Kerry O'Flaherty



Mollie Courtney



Qualification Period

The qualification window opens 1 January 2017 and expires at midnight (BST) on 30th September 2017 for all events except the Decathlon, Heptathlon and Marathons, that have an additional four months starting 1 September 2016 in which to produce eligible performances.

Policy Performance Goal and Consideration Standards

The overarching performance goal for the Gold Coast is for Northern Ireland to achieve as many top eight finishes as possible. The consideration standards have been set with this goal in mind and entitle anyone who achieves them to be considered for nomination in the first round of selections. However, it is important to note that the achievement of these standards is no guarantee of nomination, because the possibility of more athletes achieving the standards than there are places on the team. Similarly, athletes who do not achieve the standards may be nominated if spaces are still available after the first round of selections. Because of the limits on team size, ranking in the Commonwealth will be a key factor in decisions. Other factors that may play a part are also detailed in the policy.

Athletics NI Conditions

In addition to performances, there are several other conditions to nomination. First and foremost, all athletes must compete in the 2017 NI & Ulster Senior Championships. In addition, they must also sign the Athletics NI Commonwealth Games Athlete Agreement, which sets out specific requirements with respect to the use of social media, holding camp attendance and anti-doping education. The decision to include Athlete Agreements in the policy is based on feedback from athletes and coaches who have attended previous games.This feedback suggested that it is important that Athletics NI set clear standards with respect to professionalism and behaviour.No Northern Irish athlete has finished in the top eight since 2002 and we want to change that in 2018. Excellent preparation is key to achieving this goal and the Athlete Agreement is central to fostering a professional atmosphere and strong team spirit. 

Nomination Policy Consultation

The first step in the process of establishing a nomination policy for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games began on the 16 April 2016 with a consultation evening open to all interested parties. Details of the evening along with the minutes were published on the 9 May 2016. CLICK HERE for more details.

The selection process for the Commonwealth Games has several unique features dictated to us by the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council. Of particular relevance is the maximum team size, which makes it necessary to compare athletes across events when selecting the team. The rationale for the open consultation process was to agree on a fair way of achieving this goal. If you compare the final policy and the notes from the consultation process, you will see that the vast majority of the recommendations from coaches, athletes and other parties were implemented.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Further details regarding the Commonwealth Games will be published on this page as they become available. 

Why are the standards for the Commonwealth Games harder/easier than the standards for the Olympics/World Championships?

The consideration standards for the Commonwealth Games have been set at the performance level that would achieve an 8th place finish at previous events. This was a decision taken based on feedback from the open consultation process in May. Because of the group of countries that participate in the Commonwealth Games differs from those at the Olympics or World Championships some events are extremely competitive while others are relatively weak. For example, in the distance events the presence of the Kenyans and other African countries make the standards very tough, while in some of the heavy throws the lack of eastern European competitors make standards easier than they would be at an Olympics or World Championships.