The Governing Bodies in Sport

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The Governing Bodies in Sport

Sport or sporting activities at whatever level they are played has to be organised. Be it in the local park having a 'kick around' or on the beach playing beach volleyball or rounders.

The Governing Bodies in Sport

This organisation of the activity will involve selecting teams, deciding what the rules are and dealing with any disputes that may arise during the activity.

Recognised sports and related activities also need similar organisation on a larger scale. They need a body of people to administer all aspects of that activity.

This administration will include:

  1. Developing the rule structure of the activity,
  2. Organising competitions from local level to international level,
  3. Electing teams,
  4. Dealing with disputes,
  5. Raising finance,
  6. Distributing finance,
  7. Promoting their sport,
  8. Developing coaching in the sport,
  9. Offering technical advice to clubs.

Such a body of people are known as the Governing Body of that sport or activity.

All sports have a National Governing Body and new sports and governing bodies are developing all the time.

Examples of these are the Football Association (FA), Rugby Football Union (RFU), English Volleyball Association (EVA), English Netball Association (ENA) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The Governing Bodies in Sport

Any Sport involved in international competition will also have an International Governing Body that administers the sport at an international level.

Administering the Rule Structures

Changes to rules occur in most sports on a fairly regular basis.

These rule changes are usually to maker the sport more exciting for the spectators or to make the sport safer for the performer.

Rule changes may be as simple as changing the way the game is scored as recently happened with the game of volleyball or they can alter the structure as recently happened with the game of football and how long a goalkeeper can hold on to the ball.

All rule changes have to be agreed by the international governing body before they are made law.

Administering Competitions

Organising and administering competitions is a major role of governing bodies that want to see these events run smoothly and efficiently.

They are an excellent way of promoting a sport as well as getting participants together at one event.

Team Selection

Most governing bodies of a sport will be involved in the selection of a representative team for international competitions.

Clubs and Players

The governing bodies are often used to resolve differences between clubs and players. They will also discipline any offences made by clubs and players.

The Governing Bodies in Sport


Clubs affiliate to their governing body that allows them to take part in competitions and vote on any issues to do with the activity.

This affiliation usually provides insurance for the club and its members.

Governing bodies are also funded by Sport England (formally the Sports Council), grants from the National Lottery and the Foundation for Sport, sponsorship and TV deals.

The Distribution of Finance

Money received by the governing bodies will then be paid out to clubs and players to support the development of the player or club.


To maintain a high level of participation in the sport the governing bodies have to promote their sport.

edia coverage particularly through TV is the best way of increasing public awareness of the sport and can result in financial gains as well.

Developing Coaching

It is only through excellent coaching, which is usually on a voluntary basis, that excellent performers are produced.

Governing bodies have a vested interest in good coaching in their sport and will often run coaching courses throughout the year.

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