A solution for sharing sports data

SportsML 3.0, an open and highly flexible standard for the interchange of sports data, was released in July 2016. It is a comprehensive update to SportsML 2.2.

Sports Markup Language is the tech industry standard XML format/vocabulary for Sports scores, lineups, schedules, standings and statistics. It is used by many news companies and sports organizations for the Olympics, World Cup and European championships, as well as domestic and local competitions.

SportsML 3.0 allows for a single format for data of many different sports and types of events, which makes processing easier and cheaper — the wheel doesn’t have to be re-invented. Data can be easily converted into human readable information. Using this open standard allows data providers to deliver data to many consumers in a common format, while also remaining independent from proprietary providers.

Key features

  • Semantic tech capabilities: SportsML 3.0 features 114 sports controlled vocabulary for everything from event-status (pre-event, mid-event, suspended, halted, etc.) to statistical concepts for 11 major sports, with more to come. The vocabularies come in the form of NewsML-G2 Knowledge Items.
  • Generic statistical structure: Some users prefer sports-specific stats in specific element like stats-soccer-offensive. But others, particularly those dealing with multiple sports, prefer the flexibility of a general property that would have the same xpath address from sport to sport. The updated SportsML 3.0 makes this possible.
  • Generic tournament formation: SportsML-G2 has elements specifying the following tournament sections: division, stage and round. However, there is little agreement on where to use each or even what constitutes a stage versus a round. SportsML 3 deprecates these specific elements and replaces them with a more generic tournament-part element with a typing vocabulary.
  • Schema redesign: Custom schemas will be easier to create.
  • Full compatibility with IPTC NewsML-G2 structures: Benefits are internationalization of names, more flexible markup for locations, more-easily processed date formats, and better and standardized management of vocabularies and taxonomies.

Development of SportsML is open, your feedback on the SportsML Users Forum is welcome!

Who is using SportsML

AP mobile (USA), APA (Austria), BBC (UK), ESPN (USA), NTB (Norway), PA (UK), Univision (USA/Mexico), XML Team Solutions (USA), Yahoo! Sports (USA)

Business Cases

  • Provide all data of events conducted by a sports federation.
  • Aggregate data from different sources for specialized products.
  • Can be used for fantasy sports or wagering systems.
  • Create a specific variant of SportsML for regional or local types of sports.


SportsML 3.0 Download ZIP Package with:

  • XML Schemas
  • Documentation

SportsML 3.0 makes use of more than 100 controlled vocabularies, download the ZIP package.

Find more specification documents in the SportsML section of the IPTC Developer Site.


Users of SportsML 2.0 and higher can select to create and share standalone SportsML files, or they can include their SportsML as part of IPTC NewsML-G2 structures. Find more documentation in the SportsML section of the IPTC Developer Site.



The IPTC Developer Site provides technical information about SportsML-G2.

The SportsML Users Forum is used to share experiences, raise questions and recommend and discuss changes to the SportsML-G2 standard. It also connects companies and organizations who use SportsML-G2 and vendors who create tools that process NewsML-G2 documents.