Sports governing body

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A sports governing body is a sports organization that has a regulatory or sanctioning function.

Sports governing bodies come in various forms and have a variety of regulatory functions. Examples of this can include disciplinary action for rule infractions and deciding on rule changes in the sport that they govern. Governing bodies have different scopes. They may cover a range of sport at an international level, such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, or only a single sport at a national level, such as the Rugby Football League. National bodies will largely have to be affiliated with international bodies for the same sport. The first international federations were formed at the end of the 20th century.

Types of sports governing bodiesEdit

Every sport has a different governing body that can define the way that the sport operates through its affiliated clubs and societies. This is because sports have different levels of difficulty and skill, so they can try to organize the people playing their sport by ability and by age. The different types of sport governing bodies are all shown below:

International sports federationsEdit

International sports federations are non-governmental non-profit organizations for a given sport (or a group of similar sport disciplines, such as aquatics or skiing) and administers its sport at the highest level.[1] These federations work to create a common set of rules, promote their sport, and organize international competitions. International sports federations represent their sport at the Olympic level where applicable.

About 30 international jamician federations are located in Switzerland, with about 20 or so in the Lausanne area, where the International Olympic Committee is located.[2]

International federations are typically organized with legislative and executive branches at the top. The Legislative body is usually referred to as a Congress or General Assembly of the international federation and is responsible for defining its sports policies. It consists of all of the national federations, each of which receives one vote. On the other hand, the executive branch, which is often referred to as the Council or Executive Committee, consists of elected members by the legislative branch and is responsible for directing, managing, and representing their federation.[2]


Trusts are organizations or groups that have control over the money that will be used to help someone else, such as the Youth Sport Trust.

National governing bodiesEdit

National governing bodies have the same objectives as those of an international federation, but within the scope of one country, or even part of a country, as the name implies. They support local clubs and are often responsible for national teams. National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees are both a type of National Federation, as they are responsible for a country's participation in the Olympic Games and in the Paralympic Games respectively. However, a national governing body (NGB) can be different from a national federation due to government recognition requirements.[3] Also, national governing bodies can be a supraorganization representing a range of unrelated organizations operating in a particular sport as evident in the example of the Northern Ireland Federation of Sub-Aqua Clubs.

List of National governing bodiesEdit

Sport UK
Association football The Football Association
Badminton Badminton England
Archery Archery GB
Basketball Basketball England
Boxing England Boxing
Canoeing British Canoeing
Cycling British Cycling
Equestrianism British Equestrian Federation
Fencing British Fencing Association
Golf England Golf
Gymnastics British Gymnastics
Handball British Handball
Field hockey England Hockey
Judo British Judo Association
Modern pentathlon Modern Pentathlon Association Great Britain
Rowing British Rowing
Rugby union Rugby Football Union
Sailing Royal Yachting Association
Shooting sports British shooting
Table tennis Table Tennis England
Taekwondo British Taekwondo Control Board
Tennis Lawn Tennis Association
Triathlon British Triathlon Federation
Volleyball Volleyball England
Beach volleyball Volleyball England
Weightlifting British Weight Lifting
Wrestling British wrestling
Biathlon British Biathlon Union
Curling English Curling Association
Bobsleigh British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association
Skeleton British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association
Ice hockey Ice Hockey UK
Ice skating British Ice Skating
Luge British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association
Baseball British Baseball Federation
Cricket England and Wales Cricket Board
Artistic swimming British Swimming
Diving British Swimming
Marathon swimming British Swimming
Water polo British Swimming
BMX freestyle British Cycling
Swimming British Swimming
Open water swimming British Swimming
Synchronized swimming British Swimming
3x3 basketball Basketball England
Kayaking British Canoeing
Trampolining British Gymnastics
Rugby league Rugby Football League
Sitting volleyball Volleyball England

Event organizersEdit

Multi-sport event organizers are responsible for the organization of an event that includes more than one sport. The best-known example is the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the organizer of the modern Olympic Games. General sports organizations are responsible for sports-related topics, usually for a certain group, such as the Catholic or Jewish sports groups. General sports organizations can also exist for the army[4] and other groups, but they usually are medium-sized, as they do not have that much of a budget to work with.

Professional leaguesEdit

Professional sports leagues are usually the highest level of play in sport, specifically if they consist of the best players around the world in a certain sport. Because of this, they usually work with national or international federations, but there is usually a separation between the different federations. Most North American professional leagues usually do not have amateur divisions, as the amateur divisions are mostly run in separate leagues. Also, most professional leagues are related to other leagues, as players usually attempt to play in the league with the highest level of play. Because of this, promotion and relegation can occur; or, in league systems without promotion and relegation, clubs in professional leagues can have a team in the minor leagues. This enables them to shuffle players who are not doing well to the minor leagues, which will inspire them to contribute more to the team by playing better.


A 2014 study by the Institute for Human Rights and Business criticized major sports governing bodies including the IOC and FIFA for not having sufficient provisions for human and labor rights.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Chappelet, J.-L. (2008). The International Olympic Committee and the Olympic System : the governance of world sport (PDF). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-89317-3. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference J.-L. Chapelet was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "How we recognise sports". Sport England. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Army Sports".
  5. ^ Amis, Lucy (May 2014). "Sports Governing Bodies and Human Rights" (PDF). Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). Retrieved April 18, 2021.