LAUSANNE. 2nd October 2017 – The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) today announced the first International Federations to achieve Observer Status.

They are:

  • World Armwrestling Federation (WAF)
  • World Dodgeball Association (WDA)
  • Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG)
  • International Union of Kettlebell Lifting (IUKL)
  • International Federation of (Match)Poker (IFP)
  • International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF)
  • International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF)

Details on these Federations can be found here.

The decision to introduce Observer Status for aspirant members was unanimously agreed by delegates at the GAISF General Assembly in Aarhus, Denmark, earlier this year.

Since then the GAISF Membership Commission Chaired by Antonio Espinos along with Vice Presidents Dr Raffaele Chiulli (President of ARISF) and Stephan Fox (President of AIMS) have worked to define eligibility criteria and application procedures which were shared with aspirant Federations in Lausanne in May.

Observer Status allows new, young International Federations to take advantage of the GAISF network to grow and develop. They can take part in the annual IF Forum and attend the General Assembly, but have no right to vote.

The Observer status has been designed as a first step in a clear pathway towards full GAISF membership. Observers will be accompanied by GAISF in their development towards fulfilment of all criteria required for membership, such as preparing them for becoming WADA compliant, assisting them in increasing their members in various countries across the globe and receiving the required recognitions by National Olympic Committees or by the highest national sports authorities.

Patrick Baumann, President of GAISF said:

We warmly welcome our first Observers. This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realise their full potential as International Federations within the global sport’s family and, one day, maybe become part of the Olympic program. The new sports debuting at Tokyo 2020 and at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics are evidence that the pathway is there.

Mr Espinos, Chairman of the Membership Commission added: “GAISF supports a diverse and evolving sports eco system and the newly created Observer Status is central to this. Sport is constantly evolving, mirroring the world we live in and the Observer Status provides the opening many IFs representing new sports require to enable them to gain legitimacy and flourish. The Commission’s role is to support all those who qualify and have the potential to raise their sport to the next level and join all other GAISF members.

GAISF has currently approx. 100 pending requests for Membership at different stages, around 15 of them officially requested the observer status. The Membership Commission evaluated the 15 files and informed all applicants on their current status. The seven Federations nominated for Observer status are the most advanced files, but the GAISF administration continues to follow-up on all the requests and guide them through the process.

The level of interest among new IFs reflects the constantly evolving nature of sport and reaffirms GAISF key role to act as One Voice for all Sport.

GAISF represents 109 International Federations and other sports bodies and acts as a forum for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and best practice and provides a range of services in key areas such as anti-doping. GAISF works closely with the International Olympic Committee and their vision and values are entirely aligned.