Sports governing body

sports organization that has a regulatory or sanctioning function

A sports governing body is a sports organization that has a "regulatory" or "sanctioning" function. This normally means it manages a sport, sets the rules, helps clubs and runs competitions.

Sports governing bodies come in lots of forms and can have different jobs. This can include setting the rules for the sport that they govern, and giving punishments for breaking the rules. Some governing bodies manage lots of sports at an international level, such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, or only one sport at a national level, such as the Rugby Football League. National bodies will normally work with the international bodies for the same sport.

Types of sports governing bodies


International sports federations


International sports federations manage a sport (or a set of similar sports) at the highest level.[1] These federations work to set common rules and run international competitions. They help run the events at the Olympic Games.

About 30 international sport federations are based in Switzerland, with about 20 in the Lausanne area, where the International Olympic Committee is based.[1]

National governing bodies


National governing bodies do the same work as an international federation, but within one country. They support local clubs and pick national teams.



  1. 1.0 1.1 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.