The first Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2000 where 733 Athletes from 14 countries competed in 8 sports over 3 days. The second edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Bendigo, Australia in December 2004 and saw over 1000 athletes and officials from 22 countries in a 10 sport programme. The third Youth Games were held in the Indian city of Pune from 12 - 18 October 2008 where 71 nations and territories participated in 9 sports.
A decision was taken by the Commonwealth Games Federation at their General Assembly in 2005 to move the Youth Games outside of the Olympic Games year and in doing so awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man. A decision was taken at the General Assembly in 2008 to award the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games to Samoa (5-12 September 2015) and also to subsequently adjust the quadrennial cycle, so that future events will take place in 2017, 2021 and so on. Bahamas were awarded the right to host the 2017 Games. The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will take place between 19-23 July 2017. Belfast were selected as the hosts for the 2021 Youth Games.
All competitors in the Commonwealth Youth Games will be a minimum of 14 and maximum of 18 in the year of competition (i.e, their 18th birthday is during the calendar year in which the Games is held) and a maximum number of 1000 competitors are invited to participate from every Commonwealth Games Association.