Establishing a Federation

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At the heart of IFAF's mission is the desire to support nations around the world provide a strong infrastructure to support the growth and development of the game.

IFAF recognises that federations vary in size and structure. Some nations deliver just one competition; others host multiple activities across a number of age ranges and across both contact and non contact disciplines, culminating in national representative teams.

Irrespective of the size and scope of the federation, it is critical a federation is managed effectively for the benefit of those who wish to play football.

There are many responsibilities for federation committees as they seek to ensure that their federation provides the highest quality environment for its members and complies with both national and international standards of good governance practice. These include but are not limited to financial management, equality compliance, strategic planning and development, and welfare and safeguarding. 

The Membership Process

IFAF has a three-stage approach for nations to gain membership of the organisation.

Stage One: The Building Blocks

Federations largely start with there being a small group of like-minded individuals who wish to play competitive football and ensure that there is a strong platform for this.

In order to ensure a federation is viable it is important that a mapping exercise is undertaken which will establish both current provision and need.

People interested in setting up a new federation should look to engage with the key national stakeholders such as the National Olympic Committee, Government and other important organisations which have an important role in sports development. This will enable them to establish what steps are required within the country to register a federation and what the main requirements are.

From here a committee structure can be established which allows those involved to begin to effectively manage the establishment of the federation, developing policies and procedures and setting out a vision for the sport.

Stage Two: Emerging Nation Status

As the federation begins to take shape an application can be made to IFAF for Allied Membership.

Gaining this status means that IFAF recognises that organisation as a key body for the management and development of the sport in that country. It does not provide the federation with specific rights within IFAF as defined by the Statutes but it ensures channels of official dialouge.

Each federation applying for this status has to provide evidence of strong leadership and good governance practice by providing a series of documents and completing an application form.

IFAF Membership Application Form

Stage Three: Membership

Membership of IFAF is granted by the existing members at the annual Congress.

At each Congress the Executive Board will present a report on the progress of those federations with Country Administrator Status and will make a recommendation to the members as to whether membership should be awarded. The members will then vote. 

Document Library

Documents and websites which may be of interest.

The Sport and Development website (English and French versions) provides a wealth of information and resources to support organisations manage and develop their sport. It provides updates on the latest news in international sport and toolkits to get you started.

Code of Good Governance

This Code was launched in the United Kingdom and provides guidance on the principles which a sporting organisation should stick to when managing their sport.

Olympic Governance

The IOC have provided guidelines on the principles and practice of good governance.