FAQ Physical

How condensed can I make my Physical section activities?
Sectional activities need to average an hour a week, with the first and last activities being the full section duration apart. In the Physical section it is usual for activities to be weekly at all DofE levels. However, condensed schedules (in terms of hours per session) can allow participants to undertake more expensive or difficult to get to activities like horse riding, surfing, skiing, and so on.
These kind of decisions must be made in reference to the individual, their overall programme and with the prior agreement of their DofE Leader/Licensed Organisation.

Can young people change sport when the season ends in the summer and then return to it when the season starts again in the autumn?
It is common for participants playing sports like hockey, rugby or football to change to playing rounders, tennis, softball or cricket during the summer. Some may change to doing gym/jogging to keep up fitness levels while other participants may just put a break in their programme. Participants should agree this in advance with their DofE Leader and Assessor(s) as part of their programme.

Is Freestyle Football a skill, or physical?

Freestyle football is classified as a sport and has many similarities to rhythmic gymnastics with the practitioner performing tricks with a ball using their bodies and feet but not their arms or hands. Whilst an athlete tries to demonstrate their level of skill when completing a performance, the overall routine relies on a heavy emphasis on the physical. In this respect it becomes more akin to a gymnastic routine and consequently this is a Physical activity.

Can general fitness or weight loss be used as a Physical section aim, rather than a specific sporting pursuit?
Yes. Some participants may want to use this section to help motivate them to lose weight or simply to get fitter. This would still usually be though a specific activity, but could also be through a mix, for example jogging, gym, tennis and zumba.

Is Wii-fit acceptable for the Physical section?

Yes, if it is a sufficient challenge for the young person and an appropriate Assessor is identified. For some participants undertaking physical activity in public maybe beyond what they feel they can do. Undertaking a fitness activity at home can be a good way to build confidence and still meet all of the sectional requirements. Participants will need to record and measure their progress and participation.

Can beating for a shoot be used for the Physical section?

Yes, but it must still meet all of the sectional conditions. This means that the activity must be unpaid and the participant will need to demonstrate that they are improving their physical fitness.

Can synchronised swimming be used for a Skills section activity?
No. Like dance, synchronised swimming is a Physical section activity. The Handbook for DofE Leaders gives some helpful guidance on this: ‘While all sports require a skill to play, this does not mean that they can be used for the Skills section.’ (Page 58).

Is Dinghy racing classed as a Skills section activity?
No. Like sailing, this is a Physical section activity. The Handbook for DofE Leaders gives some helpful guidance on this: ‘While all sports require a skill to play, this does not mean that they can be used for the Skills section.’ (Page 58).

If go-karting is a skill, why isn’t sailing?
Sailing requires physical exertion and is thus placed in the Physical section. Many participants will complete RYA (Royal Yachting Association) courses as part of their programme and so some have asked if this can be a skill. Unlike other crossover areas, for example scuba-diving, many of the RYA courses require participants to be 16 and unfortunately such courses are simply not long enough to count as a full section activity. Like many Skills section activities there may be a physical activity/element, for example brick laying or a car mechanic course, however these, like learning to drive, powerboating and go-karting are Skills section activities.

Is Geocaching a Physical section activity or can it count for the Skills section?
It is a Physical section activity. It can be a great way to enrich a hill walking programme while developing navigation skills (just don’t use a GPS for all of it) and fitness for the Expedition section.

Is a course of physiotherapy a Physical section activity?
This really depends on the individual and their needs/abilities but there is no philosophical barrier to it counting as a Physical section activity. Someone playing football who is injured may then count their course of recovery while also spending time using other muscles, for example while in the gym. While sectional activities should have a plan of progression included, for some young people who require constant regular physiotherapy (for example those with cystic fibrosis) this may also be their Physical section activity.

Can Kobudo be used for DofE, if so, is it a Physical section activity or can it be used for Skill?
Kobudo is a Japanese martial art. If activities like this are to count as a DofE sectional activity we require them to be recognised by an appropriate Sports Council or the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The participant must also have permission from their LO and parent/guardian in advance of starting the programme. This activity would be a Physical section activity.

Can Bronze Medallion Lifesaving count as a physical or skills activity?
This is a one day (eight hour) course with a theory element and a physical (time trial style) element. In most cases this would form part of a Physical section programme which might include several other swimming proficiency awards/certificates.
However, the participant could use it as part of a wider set of first aid courses to construct a Skills section programme. It may also form the training element of a life guarding Volunteering section, although more senior life saving qualifications would probably be needed.

Can Tai Kwando be used for a Skills section activity, i.e. if the young person progresses through the belts?
No, martial arts are definitely a Physical section activity. There is some guidance on this on page 58 of The Handbook for DofE Leaders – ‘While all sports require skill to play, this does not mean they can be used for the Skills section.’

What category would skirmishing (or Airsoft) fall in to?
It is a Physical section activity like paintballing. Marksmanship is a skill, but Airsoft and paintballing do not require or allow the accuracy to make them a Skills section activity.

Is tug of war acceptable as a physical activity?
Yes, as long as the activity is regularly undertaken, has an aim and set objectives etc. like any other sectional activity, then there is no problem.

I play hockey and it takes lots of ball skills, can I use it for my Skills section?
Each section has specific aims, principles and benefits set out in The Handbook for DofE Leaders that each participant’s programme needs to be based around. Page 58 highlights that ‘While all sports require skill to play, this does not mean they can be used for the Skills section.’ Equally some skills are quite physical, for example brick laying, power boating and go-karting, but they are Skills section activities.

Can Stoolball be used for a Physical section activity?
Yes as long as it meets all the usual Physical section activity requirements and is approved by the participant’s DofE Leader. Find out more about Stoolball here: www.stoolball.org

My doctor says I should not be doing physically strenuous activity. What could I do for my Physical section?
There are several activities that could be considered which while physical, may not be strenuous. For example yoga, Alexander technique, T’ai Chi, archery, bowling, walking and Pétanque.

Can trail motor biking be a Physical section activity?
The DofE is consistent in saying that motorised activities always fall into the Skills section and not the Physical section. It is common for participants undertaking such activities to complete a Physical section activity which helps build the strength and dexterity needed, for example focusing on core strength by going to the gym, cycling, running or circuit training.

In order to view our website, you need to upgrade your browser. Please consider the following options.

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer