PtG Article 24.09.2017

How is the state of governance in national sports federations?

The preliminary results of the National Sports Governance Observer will be revealed at Play the Game 2017, taking place in Eindhoven, 26-30 November. Hear about the project partners’ expectations of the outcome of the project in a series of video interviews.

The Erasmus+ project the ‘National Sports Governance Observer’ (NSGO) includes researchers and sports organisations from eight countries across Europe. The group has been working during the past six month to identify the most relevant sports and indicators in order to create a benchmarking tool that assesses the level of good governance in national sports federations.

Currently, the participating partners are reviewing at least eight sports in their respective countries. The reviews are based on a set of indicators developed specifically to this project, building on the experiences and knowledge gained from a prior project, the Sports Governance Observer. It benchmarked 42 international federations according to how well they performed on indicators within transparency & public communication, democratic processes, checks & balances and solidarity. Read more about the Sports Governance Observer.

All partner countries are reviewing their respective national federations of football, handball, swimming tennis and athletics. The partners have had the opportunity to freely select an additional three sports to the above mentioned, although three sports have been recommended: gymnastics, triathlon and the national umbrella federation.

At Play the Game 2017, a smaller report describing the indicators along with a methodological overview of the importance of the indicators, implementations and measurement will be presented. Conference delegates will also be presented with the very first preliminary results of the data collected by the partners.

In the months after the conference, the project partners will continue the review of the collected data in preparation for developing a comparative analysis of the scores that the federations have reached according to the indicators.

The final report is expected to be submitted in November 2018 and will include a benchmarking of the national federations examined and specific reports for each of the partner countries. The report will hopefully serve as a tool for both sports leaders, researchers and officials to measure, discuss and amend governance standards and practices.

Video interviews with NSGO partners

In a series of video interviews, project partners give their viewpoints on why a project like the National Sports Governance Observer is important and what outcome they anticipate from being a part of the project.

Watch the video interviews on the National Sports Governance Observer website or on Play the Game's YouTube channel.

Join the discussion on good governance

Play the Game 2017 will have much more about good governance in sports on the programme when the 10th conference kicks off on 26 November in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Over the course of the four days of conference, Play the Game 2017 will take on familiar themes like sports reforms, anti-doping efforts, mega-event legacy, and crime in sport with a view to exposing problems that persist in these areas while also trying to bring forward possible solutions. Other areas of sport that need addressing like innovation, e-sports, agents, athletes’ rights and sexual abuse will also be taken up for discussion.

The programme is currently being finalised and an overview programme is now available. More than 100 abstracts have been submitted and speakers are being added to the list of speakers every day. 

In more than 40 sessions, more than 100 speakers will present their thoughts and opinions on a wide range of the most topical questions in world sport during the tenth Play the Game conference, taking place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 26-30 November 2017.Discover the tentative programme and the continuously updated speakers list.Sign up now and secure yourself four days densely packed with debates, discussions and networking between experts and professionals from sport, media and academia.Read more and register