Chapter III

From the comparative analysis between the organizational structure of conventional or regular sport in relation to sport for persons with disabilities, we find that the organizational geographical dimension is identical. Regarding the typology of sports organizations, we identified some similarities as well as differences or particularities.

At first analysis we would say that the vertical structure is not so linear due to the diversity of the organizations either due to its sporting nature or its disability organization, which makes it quite complex.

Regarding the typology of international organizations, the similarities and differences are as follows:

  1. Olympic – there are four IOC parallel organizations which are the International Paralympic Committee (IPC – Paralympics), the International Committee of Sports for Deaf (ICSD – Deaflympics), the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF – Transplant) and the Special Olympics;
  2. Confederate – there is no confederation of Federations for sport modalities but there are International Organizations Sport for Disabled (IOSDs) which are multi-sport organizations of either disability type or sport organization which are member of the IPC: (IWAS – International Wheelchair and Amputees Sports Federation, CPISRA – Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association, IBSA – International Blind Sports Federation and INAS – International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability.) We are not considering other non-IPC IOSDs, although according to their regime and legal natures they are equivalent, namely the Sports Union for Athletes with Down Syndrome (SUDUS), the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) and the International Committee on Sports for the DEAF (ICSD);
  3. International Sports Federations (FIs) – International Sports Federations are of a different nature, from conventional canoeing (International Canoe Federation – ICF), Boccia specific modalities (Boccia International Sports Federation – BISFed), Goalball tutored by an IOSDs which is the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), such as blind football and for cerebral palsy sponsored by different organizations, respectively, by the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) or modalities such as athletics, swimming, etc, under the IPC under the name World Para Sports.

The intermediate structures will not necessarily reflect the world structure.

The sports organization by country generally reproduces the two models: one based on disability organizations, which reproduces the medical model and which gave rise to IOSDs; there are countries, such as the Nordics, where the organizational structure is based on sports rather than disability. Rare examples of a unified structure are found in Norway, which was one of the first countries in the world to unite the Olympic, Paralympic and Confederate into one national organization.



Table 3

LevelsAble-bodied OrganisationDisabled Organization at European Region
WORLDWIDE IOC – Olympic SportAccord – Confederation IF’s – International Federations IPC – Paralympic IOSD’s – Disabilities IF’s – International Federations
Regional Olympic – 5 Regions Confederation – 5 Regions IF’s – 5 Regions (Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Oceania) EPC European – IOSDs European – IFs
NATIONAL By Country National Olympic Committee National Sports Confederation NFs – National Sports Federations NPC IOSDs European – IFs