The International Functional Fitness Federation
In the beginning of June, the International Functional Fitness Federation (iF3) announced its existence and intention to act as a nonprofit governing body for competitive functional fitness, with the ultimate aim of getting the sport into the Olympics. Since then the iF3 has announced its recognition of official federations in the United State, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden, with many more in the formation process.
As the concept of sports governance is new to the functional fitness community, a lot of questions remain about what these organizations are, what they do, and why the community can benefit from their existence.
Below I attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions to shed some light on the establishment of sports governing bodies within competitive functional fitness.
What is the International Functional Fitness Federation?
The International Functional Fitness Federation (iF3) is the international governing body for competitive functional fitness. It is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help promote and growth competitive functional fitness worldwide through the establishment of rules, movement standards, safety guidelines, judge training programs, and additional competitive opportunities for athletes. The iF3 is also focused on developing the sport in such a way that it will be eligible for inclusion in the Olympic Games.
Q. What needs to be done to get the sport into the Olympics?
Getting a sport into the Olympic Games is not an easy task, and there are no guarantees along the way. Now that the international governing body is established, the next big task is to show that participation in the sport is worldwide, and that there are national governing bodies for the sport in a significant number of countries. Our goal is to assist in the development of national governing bodies in a minimum of 40 countries.
National governing bodies essentially play the same role as international governing bodies, but on a national level.
Q. Who are national governing bodies?
Currently, the iF3 officially recognizes:
- USA Functional Fitness (www.usafunctionalfitness.org) as the national governing body in the United States
- Svenska Förbundet för Funktionell Fitness (https://www.facebook.com/swe3f/) as the national governing body in Sweden
- the Canadian Functional Fitness Federation as the national governing body in Canada (http://functionalfitnessfederation.ca/)
- Federación Mexicana de Fitness Funcional Competitivo A.C (https://www.facebook.com/femexfit/) as the national governing body in Mexico.
We also have fifteen (15) other countries who are in various stages of developing their federations and who we plan to announce and recognition as they become more fully developed.
Q. What else does the iF3 actually do?
The iF3 actually does a lot of different things, but to keep this from getting too long I am going to talk about three things, which I think are the most important right now.
Our major focus is creating a solid governance structure for the sport. Initially, this meant writing out a rulebook and movement standards. Typically at functional fitness events you don’t find out how a movement is judged until maybe a few weeks or days, sometimes only mere hours before a competition.
One of the first things we worked to establish was to have a set of movement standards that would be available far before any sanctioned competitions ever occurred and would remain constant for the entire season. This way an athlete knows exactly how they will be judged on a movement long before they ever step foot on the competition floor.
We also place a great emphasis on the development and training of judges. Functional fitness competition judges are often put in positions where they have to make tough calls, which may end up making or breaking an athletes competition or sometimes even their season. However, these judges are oftentimes receiving very little training on how to make those calls. We held the first iF3 Judge Training Course on July 15th , and this course was the first in a larger system aimed at increasing the accuracy with which judges can determine counting and non-counting repetitions and increasing judges’ confidence in making those determinations.
Finally, the iF3 is focused on creating truly international competition environments, which allow athletes from countries all over the world to come together and participate. The first iF3 Championships will occur October 21-22 in Concord, California and will be an international event where we aim to have individuals and teams from as many countries as possible taking the floor together.
If you are interested in participating, please contact us, and we can direct you to the appropriate federation for your country.
How to support the iF3 or get involved with a national governing body in your country?
If you are an individual outside of the US who is interested in starting a governing body in your country please contact me directly at Gretchen@functionalfitnessfederation.org for more information.
If you are an individual who is interested in competing at the iF3 Championships in October please contact us directly and we can let you know if a governing body and qualifying process has already been established in your country.