Das Bayerische Sport-Leistungs-Abzeichen
I felt like presenting the examples of the Bavarian Sports Badge from my collection. A very common and inexpensive badge over here, it appears to be relatively little known in the English-speaking collecting world, so I hope it is of interest to our members.
(Of course, this is not a Bundeswehr badge, but for lack of alternatives, I felt this sub-forum is the most appropriate one for a post-war German award).
First, a bit of history:
With the fall of the Third Reich, awards of the popular Deutsches Reichssportabzeichen (and all other awards and badges, for that matter) ceased.
Just a few years later, sports badges were once again awarded. At first, there was no nationwide standard badge, with various different types instituted by the individual state sports associations. All of these badges were closely modeled on their historic DRA/DRL predecessors and thus consisted of a laurel wreath with a bow at the base and a three-letter cypher in the center.
The respective state sports associations of North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg awarded a sports badge with the cypher "DSA" [Deutsches Sportabzeichen = German Sports Badge], those of Lower Saxony, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bremen had a badge with the cypher "BSA" [Bundessportabzeichen = Federal Sports Badge] and Wurttemberg used an "LSA" [Landessportabzeichen = State Sports Badge] cypher.
All of these badges were implemented in the various states between 1948 and 1950 and were discontinued in 1952 with the institution of the new-model Deutsches Sportabzeichen with the "DSB" cypher which was now awarded by the Deutscher Sportbund in all states.
One state, however, retained its special state sports badge: The Bayerisches Sportleistungsabzeichen [BSLA, the badge featuring an "SLA" cypher]. (We like to do our own thing, you know.) The badge was instituted in 1948 and continuously awarded until 2012 (after 1952, parallel to the DSB badge). Unlike the DSB badge, the Bavarian SLA was not recognized as an official decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany and could not be worn on military uniforms.
The badge came in the traditional three grades of bronze, silver and gold. The gold grade could also be awarded with an additional number at the base (5, 10, 15 etc.) that identified the number a person had re-qualified for the badge.
The grade of the badge did not depend on the recipients' age and the number of times they had qualified for the badge, but on their actual scores in the qualification tests. Thus, it was possible to instantly qualify for the gold grade.
First, the full-size badges in bronze, silver and gold:
A reduced-size half-miniature of the gold grade:
Miniatures for lapel wear. The gold grade badge as a stickpin and a more recent bronze grade badge with clutch-back fastener:
The woven cloth version for wear on sports clothing, bronze and gold grade:
And a familiy picture:
(By the way, the half-miniature, stickpin and cloth version of the gold grade belonged to my late grandfather, who qualified for the badge in 1958 as a 44-year old amputee, having attained the DRL sports badge some two decades earlier as young soldier. But that's another story... The other items were bought from various sources.)
Last edited by HPL2008; 10-15-2016 at 07:49 PM.
10-15-2016 05:26 PM
Very interesting thank you for taking the time to post.
What I also find interesting is the hardware that is on the full and half size badges as it looks like a perfect match to the hardware that is applied to reproduction TR badges.
Do you know who makes the current sports badge?
Steinhauer & Lück has been the sole manufacturer of the German Sports Badge (the DSB/DOSB one) since 1952.*
However, I don't know if they were also the manufacturer of the Bavarian Sports Badge or, if not, who was.
*) It's mentioned in a DOSB brochure chronicling the badge's history from 1988 to 2013, i.e. the quarter century from the 75th to the 100th anniversary of the German Sports Badge's institution:
very nice badges Andreas.
Nice collection and information !!
I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "
I like seeing these Sir! Thanks for posting! I have collected every sport badge in the DRL, DRA, SA Sports, and Defense family.... Nice to see the continuation badges after the war, thanks!