The components of the programme are sports, disciplines and events. A discipline is a branch of a sport comprising one or several events. An event is a competition in a sport or in one of its disciplines, resulting in a ranking and giving rise to the award of medals and diplomas. The choice of all sports for the programme, as well as the determination of the criteria and conditions for the inclusion of any sport in the programme, falls within the competence of the Session.
The decision to include a discipline or event in the programme falls within the competence of the IOC Executive Board. After each edition of the Olympic Games, the IOC reviews the programme. The inclusion of a sport in the programme of any edition of an Olympic Games shall be decided not later than at the Session electing the host city of that edition of the Olympic Games. The inclusion of disciplines or events in the programme of any edition of an Olympic Games shall be decided by the IOC Executive Board not later than three years before the opening of the Olympic Games. The deadlines may be waived, in order to allow changes in the programme with the approval of the relevant International Federation, of the OCOG and of the competent organ of the IOC.
The sports included in the programme consist of core sports and additional sports. The core includes at least 25 sports chosen by the Session upon the proposal of the IOC Executive Board. Upon proposal of the IOC Executive Board, the Session may choose one or several additional sports, but the total number of sports shall not exceed 28.
For the Olympic Winter Games, the procedure to be followed will be the same as the procedure applicable to the Games of the Olympiad. Only the number of sports included in the core is different. Seven sports make up the core.
Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter provides more information on this topic.