HomeSports:  Governing Bodies: Authority for a Sport

Bodies of Control: Governing and Regulating Sport

Because there are so many rules and competitions involved in any sport, there have to be sport governing bodies to act as authorities and controls in all situations relating to the sport. Sports are an extremely popular pastime, and millions of dollars are spent each year on athletic activities. There are many dimensions to a sport, as well. Children often participate in community or school teams and leagues, but there are also amateur and professional leagues for those athletes who are really serious about their sport. Although most people only see the action of the sports--the competitions and maybe the practices occasionally--there is actually quite a bit of behind-the-scenes activity by sport governing bodies that takes place to keep the sports going smoothly and to keep the competitions fair and regulated.

Responsibilities of Sport Governing Bodies

Sport governing bodies have a variety of functions. One of their first responsibilities is to be the sport's United States representative in the international sports organization. This can be important in creating international competitions and in promoting general goodwill among countries and their sports teams. Because every sport wants to promote greater success and achievement every year, the sport governing bodies facilitate this by making national sports goals and encouraging all participatory teams to strive to attain them.

One very important responsibility of sport governing bodies is to be the chief coordinator for all amateur teams, leagues, or individuals. Amateur athletics are just as important and regulated as the professional teams, but they just do not receive as much fame or attention. However, rules must exist to govern amateur participation to ensure that it maintains credibility and respect. In relation to this amateur governance, the sport governing bodies have control over amateur athletics in the international domain and decide what is allowable in terms of international sponsorship. The sport governing bodies also conduct amateur competitions and establish the standards for eligibility in these competitions.

An interesting action of the sport governing bodies is related to the Olympic Games. Because the sport governing bodies have knowledge of all the different athletes and teams, they recommend which ones should represent the United States in the Olympics and the Pan-American Games, as well as other international amateur competitions. There are many sport governing bodies because one exists for each sport, so if you are interested in contacting the one pertaining to your sport or knowing more about it, search the internet for the name and contact information.

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