At AISTS, Client team projects are highly valued as they serve as one of the best learning platforms for our participants whilst providing leading edge knowledge and data on behalf of our clients.

Class of 2020, Team Project group commissioned by IFSO and in cooperation with FISU

On June 29, 2020, three AISTS Master participants, Eric Mackenzie, Rijul Sharda, and Xiaohan Wen, presented their findings of a nine-month-long client team project study, titled “An inquiry into the selection criteria of Sports Officials by International Sports Federations”. The project was commissioned by the President of the International Federation for Sports Officials, Patrick Vajda in cooperation with FISU General Secretary, Eric Saintrond.

The objective of the project was to create a benchmark document outlining the recruitment process of sport officials by International Sport Federations at the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

This first of its kind exploratory research into the demographics of international Sports Officials involved 18 International Sports Federations and covered almost 18,000 Sports Officials. The findings and recommendations provided to IFSO by the AISTS participants in the form of a benchmark document, will enable IFSO to gather a clearer picture of the current landscapes for Sports Officials and intends to provide transparency and consistency around the selection of Sports Officials at major sporting events.

In identifying trends and best practices in the selection of Sports Officials at major sporting events, the investigation compared the data of Sports Officials across the last two Summer Olympic Games, London 2012 and Rio 2016, and the last two Winter Olympic Games, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018.  Surveys and interviews were also conducted with 18 International Sports Federations.

Photo: Bob Martin for OIS/IOC. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

“I had the privilege of interviewing FIFA, FIVB, FIH, FEI, and ICC – this was a  unique opportunity and it allowed me to grow immensely as a Sports Administrator. Thereafter in March 2020, Xiaohan and I presented at The Hague in the Netherlands to the General Assembly of the IFSO. I am thankful to AISTS as a year ago, I could not have even imagined attending a general assembly of an International Sports Federation, let alone presenting at one.” says Rijul Sharda

Following the conclusion of this project, IFSO aims to increase the awareness of the role that Sports Officials play in sport events and intends to increase the number of Federations and sporting bodies that sign up to become a member of IFSO.

RIO Olympic Games 2016, Photo by TownPost

“Working in conjunction with AISTS has been hugely beneficial to IFSO, as the quality of the work is extremely high level, and IFSO endeavours to continue this relationship with AISTS.” says Patrick Vajda

To find out more on this topic join IFSO together with Onside at the International Event on Sport Officiating. The event is taking place online on the 20th of November 2020 (10am to 1pm Paris/ Brussels time) as a Zoom Webinar.

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