Award categories and criteria
All sports books, published in the UK in hardback or paperback in calendar year 2021, are eligible. However, different editions of titles shortlisted in last year’s awards are ineligible for submission.
Timing: it is anticipated that the key winning titles in each of the relevant categories will be available in a paperback format for the winners campaign during July 2022.
Please send 1 copy of each submitted title to SBA C/O AGILE IDEAS, Studio 10, Glove Factory Studios, Brook Lane, Holt, Wilts, BA14 6RL.
Each title successfully shortlisted attracts a small levy of £345 per title from BSBA LTD to cover the costs of the design, printing and distribution of the official pos to libraries and retailers. In addition, the winners of each category will incur a further levy of £375 to cover the extra costs of the considerably greater PR coverage and display space.
Autobiography of the Year
For all sports autobiographies of author/subjects born in the UK.
Best Sports Writing of the Year
Recognising original and insightful works that transcend sport – in selecting the winner, judges will be looking for compelling storytelling with literary merit that leaves a lasting impact on the reader.
Children’s Sports Book of the Year
Any sports book aimed at children that encourages a love for reading, sports and physical activity.
Cricket Book of the Year
Any work of non-fiction related to cricket.
Cycling Book of the Year
Any work of non-fiction related to cycling.
Football Book of the Year
Any work of non-fiction related to football, with the exception of autobiographies.
Health & Fitness Book of the Year
For all sports books covering the health, fitness and wellbeing genre.
Illustrated Book of the Year
Best use of photographs and/or drawings in an illustrated sporting title.
International Autobiography of the Year
For all sports autobiographies of author/subjects not born in the UK.
Rugby Book of the Year
Any work of non-fiction related to rugby.
Sports Entertainment Book of the Year
Anecdotal, humorous, or entertaining sports books, that are not autobiographies/biographies.
Overall Sports Book of the Year
At the end of the awards ceremony the Overall Sports Book of the Year will be announced. This will be decided by the judges from the winning books of each category.
Each of the specific sports category awards will be judged by either, the relevant Sport’s Writers’ Association or a separately selected specific panel of judges, under the guidance of SBA Chairman David Willis. Some categories are decided by an online web-poll divided into two constituencies, a public vote and a specialist SBA Academy vote, weighted equally and combined to provide the winners. All collated submission lists are passed to the individual judging panels for assessment before the shortlists are set. Further titles may be called in by the judging committees.
The number of submissions for each category will confirm which awards are actually presented, so the number of categories may vary from the above if too few are submitted in any category.