What Are Open Water Swimming Governing Bodies?

What Are Open Water Swimming Governing Bodies?

Football has FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Pool swimming has FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation). Volleyball has FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball). These global organizations were established to bring uniformity, promotion and governance to their respective sports.

What does open water swimming have?

Frankly, it is an expansive alphabet soup.

There are dozens of open water swimming governing bodies, an intriguing collection of governing bodies, organizations, committees, associations, federations and groups with common goals and missions to support, promote, manage, monitor, register, sanction, certify and oversee local, regional, national and international rough water swims, long-distance swims, marathon swims, ultra-marathon swims, extreme swims and cold water swims around the world.

These open water swimming associations are responsible for events, races, clinics, competitions, relays, stage swims, exhibitions and camps in oceans, lakes, bays, rivers, estuaries, canals, channels and seas.

Below is a growing list of governing bodies, but it does not include the hundreds of national membership associations such as Swimming Canada, Australian Swimming, British Swimming, South Africa Swimming, USA Swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming or any of their local swim committees:

1. ACNEG: Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar (Strait of Gibraltar)
2. AKOWS: Association of Korea Open Water Swimming (사단법인 한국바다수영협회)
3. AOWS: Alaska Open Water Series (Alaska, USA)
4. ASUA: Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas
5. ASA: American Swimming Association
6. AOWS: Arab Open Water Swimming Championship
7. ABG: Asian Beach Games
8. AOWC: Austria Open Water Cup
9. BLDSA: British Long Distance Swimming Association
10. CIASA: Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association
11. CPDSA: Cape Long Distance Swimming Association (South Africa)
12. CCSF: Catalina Channel Swimming Federation
13. CSA: Channel Swimming Association (English Channel)
14. CS&PF: Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (English Channel)
15. CIBBOWS: Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (New York, USA)
16. CSMS: Cook Strait Marathon Swimming (New Zealand)
17. Croatian Long Distance Swimming Federation: Croatian Long Distance Swimming Federation
18. CS: Culture Sport (Spain)
19. Dolphin Swimming and Boating Club of San Francisco (California, USA)
20. DOWSSA: Dubai Open Water Swimming Sports Association (United Arab Emirates)
21. END-Wet: Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (North Dakota, USA)
22. FISF: Farallon Islands Swimming Federation (California, USA)
23.FINA: Fédération Internationale de Natation (202 member associations)
24. GLOWS: Great Lakes Open Water Swimming Series (USA)
25. Gambia Swimming and Aquatic Sports Association (Gambia, Africa)
26. HCSA: Hawaiian Channel Swim Association
27. HSDP: Hrvatski Savez Daljinskog Plivanja (Czech Republic)
28. IISA: International Ice Swimming Association
29. IMSHOF: International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
30. IOWSA: International Open Water Swimming Association
31. ILDSA: Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
32. JIOWSA: Japan International Open Water Swimming Association (Japan)
33. Jersey Long Distance Swim Club (Jersey, Channel Islands)
34. L Street Brownies Club (Boston, USA)
35. LEN: Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Union)
36. L.O.S.T.: Lake Ontario Swim Team (Canada)
37. LOCOG: London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (London, England)
38. LTSA: Lake Tahoe Swimming Association (California, USA)
39. LTSS: Lake Tahoe Swimming Society (California, USA)
40. MCSA: Menorca Channel Swimming Association (Balearic islands, Spain)
41. NEMSA: New England Marathon Swimming Association (Massachusetts, USA)
42. NYC Swim (New York, USA)
43. NEKOWSA: Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association (Vermont, USA)
44. RCSA: Rottnest Channel Swim Association (Western Australia)
45. SBCSA: Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (California, USA)
46. SSO: Solo Swims of Ontario
47. SO: Special Olympics (170 countries)
48. SOWSA: Stage Open Water Swimming Association
49. TOWSA: Townsville Open Water Swimming Association (Australia)
50. Traversata dello Stretto: Traversata dello Stretto (Sicily, Italy)
51. UANA: Unión Americana de Natación
52. USOWSA: United States Open Water Swimming Association
53. VOWSA: Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association (Canada)
54. WOWSA: World Open Water Swimming Association
55. WPMSF: World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones
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