With the British Empire formally ended, the Kingston Games became the VIII British Commonwealth Games. There was a worry amongst the larger nations that Jamaica’s infrastructure would not enable a successful Games delivery – but this proved to be largely unfounded. Controversially, also, the event programme was altered for the first time since 1950 with lawn bowls and rowing dropped and replaced with badminton and shooting instead.
Thirty-four nations (including Aden and Saudi Arabia) competed in the Kingston Games sending a total of 1,316 athletes and officials.
The nine sports on the programme were were athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, fencing, shooting, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.