Section 10 (“Competences of the Administration of the autonomous region”) of Law 14/2006, of 17 October regarding Sport in the Balearic Islands states in paragraph 3 “In relation to sporting facilities” letter b) that a census of sporting facilities in the Balearic Islands must be drawn up and managed to encourage their use. More specifically, Chapter III of this law, “Census of sporting facilities”, section 110 specifies that the autonomous administration of the Balearic Islands will be responsible for creating and managing the census of sporting facilities.
Since 2005 there has been a census of sporting facilities in the Balearic Islands, drawn up by the Supreme Council for Sports. This census lists all public and private sporting facilities that are for collective use. It uses the municipality as the basic territorial unit and the sporting facility as the basic census unit.
The Database of the Census of Sporting Facilities in the Balearic Islands was most recently fully updated in 2016 and has been kept up-to-date up to 2021.
In 2016 it became apparent that it was necessary to adapt it to meet the needs of the moment and the particular features of the facilities in the Balearic Islands. The following main objectives were established:
- To maintain an up-to-date data base of all of the sporting facilities in the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, making it possible to establish their number and record the main technical characteristics of the sporting spaces and any complementary ones.
- To establish the mechanisms for collecting, updating, exchanging and disclosing the information.
- To use the data obtained as the basis of a statistical analysis and study to be published of the characteristics and development of the sporting facilities in the Autonomous Community.
- To provide statistics that will make it possible to take decisions regarding planning, management and investment in sporting facilities in the Autonomous Community.
The fieldwork for the latest census was carried out in each of the islands that make up the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, and covered a total of 4,411 sports facilities, 11,192 sporting spaces and 9,036 complementary spaces. These figures represent an increase of 23.25% in sports facilities, 30.52% in sporting spaces and 128.18% in complementary spaces compared to the 2005 census.
The work was organised geographically by islands and municipalities.
This process included verifying the facilities included in the 2005 census and visiting and measuring new facilities and ones that were not detected in the previous census.
A sports facility consists of a space or spaces where physical-sporting activity is carried out. These spaces are called sporting spaces. The facilities might or might not also include other spaces that provide support for sporting activity (changing rooms, stands, sporting equipment storage, etc.). These are called complementary spaces. These facilities might have or offer other services that are not directly related to the sporting spaces (nursery, hairdresser’s, bar, parking etc.). These are called auxiliary services.
A sporting facility comprises sports spaces and complementary spaces that are located on the same premises and have dependent and homogenous functions.
In facilities with activity areas, it is common for complementary spaces to be the only built spaces. As mentioned above, sports facilities can have other services as well as part from sports and complementary spaces, called auxiliary services.
For the purposes of this census and considering the basic characteristics of sports spaces, we can differentiate between three major groups of sports spaces.
- Conventional: these are the more traditional types. These have regulated benchmarks with set dimensions, although they do not always conform to them.
- Singular: the dimensions and characteristics of these are adapted to each type. These are more specific spaces and generally have spatial requirements that mean that their distribution in the territory is uneven.
- Activity Areas: these are not strictly sporting, but instead are infrastructure or natural spaces where physical-sporting activities are carried out (trails, marinas, refuges, aerodromes, etc.). The indeterminate nature of their boundaries and specific characteristics makes it difficult to measure them and collect data about them.
To be included in the census, sporting facilities must fulfil the following conditions: being for collective use, having signage, having been built for doing physical-sporting activity or having had work done to adapt them to allow it permanently or being in a place for carrying out these activities.
Facilities for private use by a family unit and any potential activity spaces that do not fulfil these requirements have been excluded from the list. Facilities that are not permanent have also been excluded from this category, namely temporary adaptations, and facilities belonging to healthcare or hospital facilities intended solely for rehabilitation or physiotherapy.
Gyms and community facilities in parks are included, with only children’s play areas being excluded.