Physical Training or Sport

Issuing Authority:Director General, Policy and Research
Effective Date:
Document ID:1954

Care has been taken to ensure these policies accurately reflect the acts and regulations. Should any inconsistencies be found, the acts and regulations will prevail.


This policy provides direction on what is considered service related physical training and sports activities.



  1. Keeping physically fit and ready to serve is part of the job for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel. The requirement to participate in physical fitness training is one of the Minimum Operational Standards Related to Universality of Service.
  2. A legal presumption exists, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that death, a permanent disability, or the permanent aggravation of a disability that results from any physical training or sports activity is related to military service when the physical training or sports activity:
    1. was authorized or organized by a military authority, or
    2. was performed in the interests of service even if it was not authorized or organized by a military authority.

Authorized or Organized by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)

  1. Both team sports and individual sports are authorized or organized by the CAF. Examples include, but are not limited to, running/jogging, triathlon, swimming, ball hockey, golf, slo-pitch and squash. 
  2. CAF personnel playing sports under the CAF banner are covered for disability pension or pain and suffering compensation purposes while playing, practicing, or travelling with a team. This includes CAF coaches, officials, athletic trainers or similar positions.
  3. CAF personnel may be authorized to play on civilian teams and CAF personnel may attend clinics, workshops or seminars conducted by recognized civilian sports agencies to stay abreast of developments and/or obtain qualifications not available within the CAF. 

Performed in the Interests of Service (not authorized or organized)

  1. Regular physical training or sports activities which are not authorized or organized by the military may still be in the interests of service when they could reasonably be expected to assist CAF personnel in meeting the CAF’s fitness requirements. Where the interests of CAF personnel and the interests of the service are considered to be relatively equal in the performance of unauthorized physical training/sports activity, a service-connection may be presumed.
  2. Both individual and team sports could be performed in the interests of service. Examples include, but are not limited to, running/jogging, swimming, hockey, basketball, golf and cross-training. 
  3. “Pick-up” or spur of the moment games with co-workers or friends/neighbours are recreational only, even if they take place on a military base.
  4. Taking part in recreational/social activities (such as billiards, darts, shuffleboard, ping pong, etc.) which may be organized for military personnel and their families in base facilities is not considered part of a fitness program.


Pension Act paragraph 21(3)(a)

Veterans Well-being Regulations, subsection 50(a)

Minimum Operational Standards Related to Universality of Service

Pain and Suffering Compensation Policy