A Pan American Youth Games was cited as the most viable multi-sports Games to pursue at the PASO meeting in Doha ©Getty Images

A Youth Games conforming with International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans for a more regional format has been highlighted as the most viable multi-sport event for the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) to introduce.

This follows a presentation by a PASO New Events Commission at which a Pan American Beach Games and a Pan American Sports Festival, acting as a qualifier for the Pan American Games, were also considered.

All three ideas were considered "valuable projects" which "should be considered if we have suitable bids and prospective organisers".

They would all strengthen and improve the PASO brand, it is hoped, while also providing new opportunities for athletes.

A Pan American Youth Games was considered the number one objective because it would be "in line with the IOC vision in the near future".

An initial proposal has been made to host a first edition in 2021.

"The main objective of these Games is to have a high competition level with the best athletes represented ensuring a level of excellence within the age group while having a strong cultural and educational component," PASO first vice-president Ivar Sisniega explained during last week's PASO Extraordinary General Assembly in Doha.

"Among the reasons for having Pan American Youth Games are that there are currently no existing multi-sport Games for the youth at a continental level, there are not enough competitions for young athletes, they allow PASO and the NOCs to receive support and resources from the Government, they allow many sports to develop in the continent and this event also projects PASO as caring about the youth."

Nanjing hosted the second and most recent edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014, but the event was criticised for its expense ©Getty Images
Nanjing hosted the second and most recent edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014, but the event was criticised for its expense ©Getty Images

It comes as discussions continue over the future path of the IOC-organised Youth Olympics, first held in Singapore in 2010.

A Working Group commissioned in March to "review the positioning" of the event put forward five recommendations to August's IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro.

These were: "increase participation and level of competition", "bring the YOG to cities that cannot organise the Olympic Games", "expand the reach and impact of the YOG", "leverage digital platforms to extend the YOG experience" and "enhance the YOG’s role as incubator for innovation".

Buenos Aires is due to host the next summer edition in 2018 while Lausanne will play host to a winter version in 2020.

But delegates at the PASO meeting gave the impression that the longer term objective is to adopt a regional rather than a global format - principally to reduce costs.

Their plans are for a maximum operating budget of $25 million (£20 million/€23.7 million) in an event utilising many of the same events as on the Pan American Games programme.

It will also aim to compliment a South American Youth Games of which a first edition was held in Lima in Peru in 2013 and a second is planned for Santiago in Chile in 2017.

No final decision over whether to press forward was made in Doha, with it expected to be discussed once again at April's General Assembly in Montevideo.

PASO delegates raised concerns about the sporting timetable becoming too busy ©Getty Images
PASO delegates raised concerns about the sporting timetable becoming too busy ©Getty Images

There appeared support in principle from delegates present, although concerns were made about the dangers of the regional calendar becoming too congested.

Youth Games already take place in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The European Youth Olympic Festival has been held since 1991, with summer and winter editions scheduled for 2017 in Győr, Hungary and Erzurum, Turkey respectively.

Editions of the Asian Youth Games were held in Singapore in 2009 and Nanjing in 2013, but a third scheduled for Jakarta next year has now been postponed until 2021.

African Youth Games have taken place in Rabat, Morocco in 2010 and Gaborone, Botswana in 2014, with a third scheduled for Algerian capital Algiers in 2018.

Preliminary plans for the Pan American Beach Games are for it to take place in "late 2018 or early 2019". 

Around 15 sports would be considered, with it claimed that there is an "abundance of possible hosts and potential revenue generators".

It was pointed-out that this timeline risks clashing with the ANOC organised World Beach Games in San Diego, due to take place at a yet to be confirmed time in 2019, however.

Additional problems raised include PASO members not having National Federations for sports likely to be on the programme.

insidethegames has contacted the IOC for clarification about a more regional future for the Youth Olympics.