World Swimming Association Announces 2017 Constitutional Convention

World Swimming Association

The newly assembled World Swimming Association (WSA) has announced the 2017 Constitutional Convention which will be held on the first of September next year in Washington, DC.

The convention has two aims:

  1. To modify, finalize, and approve the WSA Constitution, which has been developed openly online for the past 18 months.
  2. To form working committees for multiple developmental areas within the WSA, and begin planning and working on each area.

In the convention announcement the WSA acknowledged that their aim is to put an end to “corruption, self-centered governance, and money into the pockets of those ‘leading’ the sport.” Instead, the organization aims to flow money towards the athletes and vows to put an end to doping with high-throughput testing.

The Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) is the governing body for aquatic sports and is recognized in that capacity by the International Olympic Committee. The World Swimming Association (WSA) is in the early stages of establishing a new entity as a credible alternative to FINA when it comes to governing swimming and open water events.

WSA is in the early stages of defining their organization to parallel FINA. Visitors to the WSA web page can see the provisions comparing FINA to WSA in draft form.

A huge distinction in organizations can be seen immediately in how both organization select their governing board.

FINA Governing Board:
• All Bureau Members elected by the FINA Congress

WSA Governing Board:
• Will consist of 28 members/directors:
• The top three nations at the WSA Championships or Olympic Games will each have the right to nominate 3 members (at least one must be a coach and at least one must be an athlete*)
• The next seven nations (4th – 10th place) will each have the right to nominate 2 members (1 of these members must be either a coach or an athlete)
• The following five nations (11th-15th) will each have the right to nominate 1 member (this member must be either a coach or an athlete).
*An athlete is defined as someone who has been ranked in the Top 150 in the World or competed at the Olympics or WSA Championships during the five years prior to being nominated to the Governing Board.

    Nomination Process:

• To the extent a country is nominating a coach or an athlete and that country has a national coaches group or athletes union, the coaches group and the athletes union will be responsible for nominating the coach or the athlete, respectively.
• All non-coach and non-athlete representatives will be selected by the national governing body.
• To the extent a country may only nominate one person and that country has both a coaches group and an athletes union, the coaches group, the two groups will work together to select a nominee. If the groups are not able to come to an agreement, the national governing body will choose the nominee.
• To the extent a country may nominate either a coach or an athlete and that country only has a coaches union, that country shall select a coach. Similarly, if the country only has an athlete’s union and not a coaches group, that country shall nominate an athlete.

Another distinction is how members are terminated.

FINA Member Termination:
• The member no longer exists
• The member withdraws its affiliation
• The member is expelled.
WSA Member Termination:
• Cheating
• Dishonesty
• Fraud
• Voluntary withdrawal

For those that follow the governance of aquatic sports, the WSCA website is an interested read and is a visible contrast of beliefs in cultural and administrative governance.


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