Youth Empowerment and Sports department was established in 1969 as the Directorate of Youth Services with the aim of channelizing the dynamism of Youth in nation building activities. The department was reorganised in 1975 by establishing divisional level and district level offices and again in 1977 by appointing officers at the block level. In 1980 the department was again reorganised by merger of Karnataka state sports council and renamed as Department of Youth Services and Sports. The Department was renamed as Youth Empowerment and Sports Department in 2013.
The Department is headed by the Commissioner/Director who is ex-officio Director General of Sports Authority of Karnataka, Member Secretary of GETHNAA and Secretary of Stadium Management Committee.