Differences In Governing Bodies

Differences In Governing Bodies

With the growth of open water swimming around the world, there are also a growing number of governing bodies, associations, sanctioning body and federations that are being founded to oversee solo swims, races and relays across local open bodies of water in their area.

What organizations have the priority? What organizations are the “real” governing bodies?

There are no hard and fast rules, and confusion can reign for newcomers who cannot distinguish the nuanced differences.

Two or more organizations occasionally oversee the same venue (e.g., English Channel or the Tsugaru Channel) or the different types of swimming (e.g., ice swimming, extreme swimming, competitive elite swimming, masters swimming). There are usually slight differences in the rules, procedures and prices that are utilized. It is up to the individual swimmers or relays to make their own choices as to which organization they wish to swim under.

One of the major issues is whether or not the different organizations recognize the swims, achievements, procedures, protocols and records of swimmers who swim under the auspices of other organizations. Some organizations recognize other swims; others do not. The founders or leaders of each organization can make their decision whether they recognize swimmers of any other organization.

There is no fixed rule or tradition.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association