FINA (French: Fédération internationale de natation, English: International Swimming Federation[a]) is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)[2] for administering international competitions in water sports. It is one of several international federations which administer a given sport or discipline for both the IOC and the international community. It is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

International Swimming
Fédération Internationale de Natation
FINA official logo.png
Founded19 July 1908; 114 years ago (1908-07-19)
AffiliationAssociation of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)
HeadquartersLausanne, Switzerland
PresidentHusain Al-Musallam[1]
Official website

FINA currently oversees competition in six aquatics sports: swimming, diving, high diving, artistic swimming,[3][4] water polo, and open water swimming.[5] FINA also oversees "Masters" competition (for adults) in its disciplines.[5]


FINA was founded on 19 July 1908 in the Manchester Hotel in London, UK at the end of the 1908 Summer Olympics by the Belgian, British, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian and Swedish Swimming Federations.[6]

Number of national federations by year:

  • 1908: 8
  • 1928: 38
  • 1958: 75
  • 1978: 106
  • 1988: 109
  • 2000: 174
  • 2008: 197
  • 2010: 202
  • 2012: 203
  • 2015: 208[7]
  • 2016: 207
  • 2017: 209


At the June 2017, FINA Bureau meeting, Bhutan became the 208th national federation of FINA.[8] and on 30 November 2017, Anguilla became the 209th national federation of FINA.[9] Members are grouped by continent, and there are 5 continental associations of which they can choose to be a member:

Note: The number following each continental name is the number of FINA members which fall into the given geographical area. It is not necessarily the number of members in the continental association.


The FINA membership meets every four years, usually coinciding with the World Championships. There are two types of normal or "ordinary" congress: General and Technical. FINA's highest authority is the General Congress. Any technical issues concerning FINA's five aquatic disciplines are decided by the Technical Congress. Each Congress has two voting members from each Member federation, plus the following non-voting members: the 22 members of the Bureau, the Honorary Life President, and all Honorary Members. The Technical Congress has the following additional non-voting members: all members from the respective Technical Committees.[10] "Extraordinary" Congresses are also called from time to time, to deal with a specific topic or area of concern (e.g. an Extraordinary Congress was held with the 2009 World Championships to review the Masters swimming rules; there was a General Congress at the 2009 Worlds[11]). All Congress meetings are chaired by FINA's president.[10]

Between Congress meetings of the entire membership, a smaller 22-member representative board, called the FINA Bureau, meets to act in a timely manner on items which cannot wait until the entire body can meet. It is the Bureau that elects the FINA Executive Officers.[12]

Various committees and commission also help with the oversight of individual disciplines (e.g. the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee helps with open water), or topic-related issues (e.g. the FINA Doping Panel).[13]


Each presidential term is four years, beginning and concluding with the year following the Summer Olympics (i.e., 2018-2021 is the current term).

1954 Honorary President Ing. Ladislav Hauptmann - Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia) - President LEN (1948 - 1950) and FINA official.

FINA Presidents
Name Country Term
George Hearn   Great Britain 1908–1924
Erik Bergvall   Sweden 1924–1928
Émile-Georges Drigny   France 1928–1932
Walther Binner   Germany 1932–1936
Harold Fern   Great Britain 1936–1948 (*)
Rene de Raeve   Belgium 1948–1952
M.L. Negri   Argentina 1952–1956
Jan de Vries   Netherlands 1956–1960
Max Ritter   Germany 1960–1964
William Berge Phillips   Australia 1964–1968
Javier Ostos Mora[14]   Mexico 1968–1972
Dr. Harold Henning   United States 1972–1976
Javier Ostos Mora (2nd term)[14]   Mexico 1976–1980
Ante Lambaša   Yugoslavia 1980–1984
Robert Helmick   United States 1984–1988
Mustapha Larfaoui   Algeria 1988–2009
Dr. Julio Maglione   Uruguay 2009–2021
Husain Al-Musallam   Kuwait 2021–present


2008 FINA World Cup swimming at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

FINA organizes one championship involving each of the five disciplines it oversees (the "World Championships"), as well as championships and circuits in each of the disciplines.[15]

World Aquatics ChampionshipsEdit

The biggest FINA event is the biennial World Aquatics Championships, currently held every odd year. It features competitions in all five aquatic disciplines. Prior to 2000, the event was held every 4 years, in the even year between (Summer) Olympic Games.

Discipline championshipsEdit

Discipline world cupsEdit

In addition to the championships events listed above, FINA also organizes the following events:

Junior championshipsEdit

World-level championships restricted to a younger age, with the age limit varying by discipline and gender:

Russia and Belarus bansEdit

Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials are banned from every FINA event through the end of 2022.[16] FINA also cancelled FINA events in Russia, and banned Russian and Belarusian teams through to the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022.[16] In March 2022, after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, FINA banned all Russians and Belarusians from competing at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships and withdrew the 2022 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) from being held in Russia.[17] This came after indefinitely banning athletes and officials of both countries from wearing the colours of their country, swimming representing their country with their country's name, and the playing of their country's national anthem in case an athlete from either country won an event.[18]


Soul CapEdit

In 2021, FINA came under criticism for not approving the use at the Olympics of the Soul Cap, a brand of swimming caps designed for natural Black hair.[19] FINA said the caps did not fit "the natural form of the head" and to their "best knowledge the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require … caps of such size and configuration."[19] After receiving criticism about racism, FINA announced that they would review their decision.[20][needs update]

Transgender athlete restrictionsEdit

On 19 June 2022, FINA "committed to the separation of Aquatics sports into men's and women's categories according to sex" by a 71% vote, adopting a new policy on eligibility for the men's and women's competition categories.[21][22][23] This policy effectively bars all transgender women from competing in professional women's swimming, with the exception of athletes who "can establish to FINA's comfortable satisfaction that they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 (of puberty) or before age 12, whichever is later". FINA also announced the development of a separate "open" category for some events, to be determined by a working group over the next six months, so that "everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level".[24][25] The decision was criticized as "discriminatory, harmful, unscientific and not in line with the 2021 IOC principles" by LGBT advocacy group Athlete Ally.[26]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Official name in French. See Overview page of FINA's Constitution (page visited on 11 April 2016).


  1. ^ "FINA Executive".
  2. ^ The International Olympic Committee online listing of the international federations.
  3. ^ a b c d "Synchronized swimming to be called artistic swimming". Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "FINA artistic swimming rules 2017-2021" (PDF). FINA. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b FINA Sports page Archived 15 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine from the FINA website (; retrieved 2013-06-05.
  6. ^ The National Federation page Archived 21 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine on the FINA website.
  7. ^ "Kosovo is the 208th FINA member". FINA. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  8. ^ FINA (8 June 2017). "Bhutan Swimming Federation joins FINA as 208th National Member Federation". FINA. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  9. ^ FINA (30 November 2017). "PR 93 - FINA BUREAU MEETING - 30 November 2017". FINA. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b Structure Archived 2 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. FINA official website. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  11. ^ FINA calendar of upcoming meetings. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  12. ^ FINA Bureau page[permanent dead link] of the FINA website.
  13. ^ "FINA Committee list". Archived from the original on 2 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b FINA Honorary Life President Lic. Javier Ostos Mora passes away at 92 Archived 8 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Published 2008-11-07 by FINA. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  15. ^ FINA Media Kit Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine for the 2010 FINA World Aquatics Convention; published by FINA on 2010-02-22; retrieved 2010-02-25. (The listing and structure of the "Events" section is based on the event listing in this packet.)
  16. ^ a b "PRESS RELEASE | FINA Bureau meets, acknowledges decision to suspend Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov". FINA - Fédération Internationale De Natation.
  17. ^ "PRESS RELEASE | FINA Bureau meets, makes further decisions on Russian and Belarusian athletes and event hosting". FINA. 23 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Press Release | FINA Order award withdrawn". FINA. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  19. ^ a b Priya Elan (2 July 2021). "Swimming caps for natural black hair ruled out of Olympic Games". The Guardian.
  20. ^ Owoseje, Toyin. "FINA to review use of Afro swim cap at competition level after facing criticism". CNN Sports. CNN. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  21. ^ FINA Communication Department. "Press Release: FINA announces new policy on gender inclusion". FINA. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  22. ^ FINA (19 June 2022). "Policy on Eligibility For The Men's And Women's Competiton Categories" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  23. ^ FINA (19 June 2022). "INA Extraordinary General Congress, 19th FINA World Championships, Budapest". FINA. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Transgender swimmers barred from women's events". Al Jazeera. 19 June 2022. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  25. ^ Ingle, Sean (19 June 2022). "Transgender women swimmers barred from female competitions by Fina". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  26. ^ Melnick, Kyle; Carpenter, Les (19 June 2022). "FINA vote restricts transgender athletes in women's competitions". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 June 2022.

External linksEdit