chapter  4
19 Pages

International Sports Federations

An International Sports Federation (IF) is a group of National Sports Federations (NFs) and continental federations, at times completed by individuals, that wishes to promote and develop a specific sport or a group of sports disciplines on a world level. Its objective is to represent all those practicing the said sport, notably those holding licenses from the national federations, and even if the individuals in question are not usually members of “their” NF but at most members of their own local sports club. A total of nearly 150 sports or disciplines have been identified

throughout the world, and there are around 100 IFs that belong to a parent association: the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), presented at the end of this chapter. The around 50 sports that are not represented in the GAISF (such as the Brazilian sport of capoeira or the winter sport of snowshoe) rarely have a worldlevel parent organization or have one that is almost unheard of (such as the World Armsport Federation, for arm wrestling). In order to enter the Olympic system, an IF must be recognized by

the IOC in ways explained in the first section of this chapter. We briefly present the IFs’ mission in the second section. The major IFs have been the subject of various works, although there are few overall descriptions of their huge responsibilities within world sport with the exception of the book by John Forster and Nigel Pope.1