International School Sport Federation

The International School Sport Federation (ISF) is an international sports governing body for school sport. Founded in 1972 with 21 signatory nations (all European), the federation has been organising international competitions to encourage education through sport and student athletes. It has 113 members from five continents.[2]

International School Sport Federation
Fédération Internationale du Sport Scolaire
MottoWe Are School Sport
TypeSport federation
PurposeInternational School Sport Federation organises sport events for youth athletes of age 13–18.
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Official language
French, English, German, Spanish[1]
Laurent Petrynka

ISF is recognised by the International Olympic Committee since 1995 and is a member of SportAccord.[3][4][5] Its headquarters are based in Brussels, Belgium.[6]

ISF limits itself to activities with school children between the ages of 13 to 18 (roughly contiguous with high school age).[2] This distinguishes its role from the longer-established International University Sports Federation, which governs student sport from the ages of 17 to 25.[7][8]

There are currently 45 recognised ISF sports, with many of them having their own World Schools Championship every two years.[9] Other sport disciplines are part of the Gymnasiade, also known as School Summer Games, its winter edition School Winter Games or ISF Combat Games.

The first official ISF championships were in football and volleyball, which both took place in 1972, athletics, basketball, handball and skiing championships followed a year later.

The foremost competition held by the ISF is the Gymnasiade – a biennial multi-sport event first held in 1974 in Wiesbaden, Germany that featured athletics, gymnastics and swimming events.


Around the mid 1960s, international sporting contests between schools has been increasing. Besides occasional and haphazard meetings between two or more schools, tournaments were beginning to be organised regularly in different disciplines: in handball from 1963, in volleyball from 1969, in football one year later and from 1971 also in basketball. Each of these annual tournaments produced basic regulations and a standing committee.

The large number of international competitions requiring eliminating heats at the national level soon gave rise to a desire to co-ordinate these events, within a specific International Federation. To help promote this idea, the Federal Minister of Education and Arts of the Republic of Austria convened a Conference at Raach in the Autumn of 1971. Here the conditions were discussed for setting up a European School Sport Federation.

After very lengthy debates, the project was approved. However, bearing future development possibilities in mind, the ISF was not limited to European countries alone. A Provisional Committee, the members of which were chosen from among the 21 nations present, was set up, and the meeting of the constituent General Assembly was fixed for 4 June 1972 at Beaufort/Luxembourg. This meeting adopted the Statutes and proceeded to elect the members of the first Executive Committee.[10]

Vision and Values

Sport can greatly contribute to the physical, social and intellectual development of youngsters.Sport is a prevailing tool for the promotion of mutual understanding, peace and tolerance. The power of sport can break down cultural, religious and ideological barriers, no matter how big.


General Assembly

The General Assembly brings together ISF’s school sport federation members which meet every two years. In the assembly, members elect Executive Committee members for a four-year period, and approves the budget and the programme proposed by the Executive Committee. The most recent General Assembly was held in May 2016 at Marmaris, Turkey.

Management Committee

The Management Committee consists of the President, the Deputy President, the Vice-President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer. It meets periodically when convened by the President, to carry out the business of the ISF between meetings of the Executive Committee. Twice a year, the Management Committee meets with the Continental Presidents.

President Laurent Petrynka France
Deputy President Robson Aguiar Brazil
Vice-President Xue Yanqing China
Secretary General/CEO
Treasurer Hrvoje Čustonja Croatia

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is composed of 38 members. It meets twice a year to take the decisions necessary for the proper functioning of ISF.


Committees assist and advise the Executive Committee in the overall administration of the ISF. The Committees include:

Advisory Council Studies the decisions of the ISF and gives advice on its actions.
Educational Commission Proposes the educational programme within the ISF events.
Disciplinary Committee Preserves the integrity and reputation of ISF and ISF events, and contributes to ensure the security of the ISF athletes.
Technical Commissions In charge of monitoring the preparation of competitions from technical point of view, drawing up the competition programme and ensures the good running of the event.
Youth Council Responsible for implementing projects approaching the interest of our athletes


Gymnasiade is the biggest school sport event for youth athletes aged 15-18. It is being held every two (even) years, hosts between 12-18 different sport disciplines and welcomes over 3000 pupils from all over the World.

ISF School Summer Games

Edition Year City Country Date
1 1974 Wiesbaden  West Germany 23–28 September
2 1976 Orléans  France 21–27 June
3 1978 Izmir  Turkey 18–24 July
4 1980 Turin  Italy 1 - 7 June
5 1982 Lille  France 1 - 6 June
6 1984 Florence  Italy 5 - 9 June
7 1986 Nice  France 2 - 7 June
8 1988 Barcelona  Spain 3–9 June
9 1990 Bruges  Flanders 20–27 May
10 1994 Nicosia  Cyprus 14–21 May
11 1998 Shanghai  China 12 -19 October
12 2002 Caen  France 27 May - 3 June
13 2006 Athens/Thessaloniki  Greece 26 June – 3 July
14 2009 Doha  Qatar 7 – 12 December
15 2013 Brasília  Brazil 28 November – 4 December
16 2016 Trabzon  Turkey 11–18 July
17 2018 Marrakech  Morocco 2 - 9 May
18 2020 Jinjiang  China 17 - 24 October

Gymnasiade 2018 hosted 18 sport competitions:

ISF School Winter Games

ISF School Winter Games consisted of the following sport disciplines:

Edition Year City Country Date
1 2018 Grenoble  France 5 - 10 February

Source : [11]

ISF Combat Games

  • 2017 ISF Combat Games consisted of 4 combat sports: Judo, Karate, Taekwondo and Wrestling.
  • In 2017, 300 athletes from 6 countries (India,China, Russia, Brazil, UAE and France) attended the ISF Combat Games.

ISF Combat Games consist of the following sport disciplines:

Edition Year City Country Date
1 2017 Agra  India 7–14 July
2 2019 Budapest  Hungary 16-20 June

From August 22-26, 2018, the first ever World Schools Championships in sambo took place in Oryol, Russian Federation.

Source : [12]

ISF Inclusive Games

ISF Educational Games

ISF World Schools Championships

Around the 1960’s international sporting contests between schools were on the increase. Besides occasional and haphazard meetings between two or more schools, tournaments were beginning to be organised regularly in different disciplines: in handball from 1963, in volleyball from 1969, in football from 1970 and from 1971 also in basketball.

Today 21 sports have a separate World Schools Championship (WSC) with 10-12 championships being held per year. Each World Schools Championship usually last from 3-7 days. Yearly, more than 10.0000 pupils from all over the World take part in ISF World Schools Championship. Until 2017, only 21 Sports have a separate World School Championship (WSC). Other sports exist in Games (Summer , Winter or Combat) and havent separate WSC.

NumberEventFirst EditionLast Edition
Main Sports
1World School Athletics Championship197324th (2017)
2World Schools Cross Country Championship197523rd (2018)
3World School Swimming Championship199112th (2017)
Combat Sports
4World School Sambo Championship20181st (2018)
Team Sports
5World School 3x3 Basketball Championship20143rd (2018)
6World School Basketball Championship197324th (2017)
7World School Beach Volleyball Championship20114th (2017)
8World School Cricket Championship20181st (2018)
9World School Flying Disc Championship20191st (2019)
10World School Football Championships197226th (2017)
11World School Futsal Championships20075th (2018)
12World School Handball Championship197324th (2018)
13World School Volleyball Championship197223rd (2018)
Winter Sports
14World School Alpine Ski Championship197323rd (2016)
Other Sports
15World School Badminton Championship199818th (2018)
16World School Orienteering Championship198717th (2017)
17World School Sport Climbing Championship20191st (2019)
18World School Table Tennis Championship199115th (2018)
19World School Tennis Championship19959th (2017)
20World School Triathlon Championship20133rd (2017)
21World School Chess Championship20191st (2019)

Source : [13]


ALB AlbaniaAlbanian School Sport Federation
ALG AlgeriaFederation Algerienne du Sport Scolaire
AND AndorraSecretariat d'état aux sports, de la jeunesse et du volontariat
ARG Argentina
ARM ArmeniaFederation Sportive Republicaine Des Ecoliers
AUT AustriaBundesministerium für Bildung und Frauen
AUS AustraliaSchool Sport Australia
AZE AzerbaijanMinistry of Youth and Sport
BLR BelarusRepublican Center of Physical Education and Sports for Pupils and Students
BAN Bangladesh
BEN BeninMinisterio de Deportes
BOL BoliviaMinisterio de Deportes
BOT BotswanaBotswana Integrated Sport Association
BRA BrazilConfederação Brasileira do Desporto Escolar
BUL BulgariaBulgarian Association Sport for Students
BUR Burkina Faso
CMR CameroonFederation Nationale des Sports Scolaire
CPV Cape VerdeCoordenação Nacional de Educação Física e Desporto Escolar
CHI ChileClub Deportivo Universidad Catica de Chile
CHN People's Republic of ChinaC.S.S.F. – China School Sport Federation
TPE Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei School Sport Federation
COL ColombiaColdeportes
COM ComorosCoordination de Nationale I'Education et Sport Scolaire
COD Democratic Republic of the Congo
CRO CroatiaCroatian School Sport Federation
CYP CyprusMinistry of Education and Culture
CZE Czech RepublicCzech school sports clubs association
DEN DenmarkDanish Schoolsport Association
DOM Dominican RepublicInstituto Nacional de Educacion Fisica
DGB Eastern BelgiumMinisterium der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft / Fachbereich Sport
ENG EnglandNational Council for School Sports
GEQ Equatorial Guinea
EST EstoniaEstonian School Sport Union
FIN FinlandFinnish School Sport Federation
FLA Flemish CommunityStichting Vlaamse Schoolsport
FRA FranceUnion Nationale du Sport Scolaire
CFB French Community of Belgium
PYF French PolynesiaUSSP - Union du Sport Scholaire Polynesien
GAB Gabon
GAM GambiaThe University of The Gambia Sports
GEO GeorgiaChildren and Youth Sports National Federation of Georgia
GER GermanyKommission Sport der KMK der Länder
GHA Ghana
GRE GreeceDirectorate of Physical Education
GUA GuatemalaDireccion General de Educatición Fisica
GUI Guinea
HAI HaitiHSSF - Haitian School Sport Federation
HKG Hong Kong,ChinaHong Kong Schools Sports Federation
HUN HungaryHungarian School Sport Federation
IND IndiaSchool Games Federation of India
IRI Islamic Republic of IranIran School Sport Federation
ISR IsraelMinistry of education, culture and sports
IRL IrelandIrish School Sport Federation
ITA ItalyMinistero dell Instruzione dell universita e della Ricerca
CIV Ivory CoastOffice Ivoirien des Sports Scolaires et Universitaires
JAM Jamaica
KAZ KazakhstanKazakhstan School Sport Federation
KEN KenyaKazakhstan School Sport Federation
KOS KosovoSchool Sport Federation of the Republic of Kosovo
KUW KuwaitMinistry of Education, Kuwait
LAT LatviaLatvian School Sport Federation
LBN LebanonMinistry of Education and Higher Education
LIE LiechtensteinLiechtensteinische landesverwaltung
LIT Lithuania
LUX LuxembourgLigue des Associations Sportive Estudiantines Lux
MKD MacedoniaMacedonian Schools Sports Federation
MAD MadagascarFédération Omnisports scolaire Madagascar
MLI Mali
MLT MaltaMalta School Sport Federation
MRI Mauritania
MGL Mongolia
MNE MontenegroAssociation Montenegrine du Sport Scolaire
MAR MoroccoFederation Royale Marocaine du Sport Scolaire
NEP Nepal
NED NetherlandsKoninklijke Vereniging van Leraren Lichamelịke Opvoeding
NZL New ZealandNew Zealand Secondary School Sports Council
NCA NicaraguaInstituto Nicaraguense de Deportes
NIG Niger
NGA NigeriaNigerian School Sport Federation
NOR NorwayLandslaget Fysisk Fostring i Scolen
OMA Oman
PAK PakistanPSSF - Pakistan Schools Sports Federation
PAR ParaguaySecretaria Nacional de Deportes
PER PeruAsociacion Peruana De Deporte Escolar
POL PolandSzkolny Zwiazek Sportowy
POR PortugalGabinete Coordenador Desporto Escolar
PUR Puerto RicoPropulsores del Deporte
ROU RomaniaScholar and University Sports Federation
QAT QatarQatar Sport School Federation
RSR Republic of SrpskaMinistry for Family, Youth and Sport
ROU RomaniaMinistry Of Education And Research / Scholar And University Sports Federation
RUS RussiaRussian Socio - State Society of Physical Training
STP São Tomé and Principe
KSA Saudi ArabiaMinistry of Education
SCO ScotlandScottish SchoolSport Federation
SEN SenegalComité National de Gestion et de Relance du Sport Scolaire (CNG/RSS) - Sénégal
SRB SerbiaSchool Sports and Olympic Education Federation of Serbia
SIN SingaporeSingapore School Sport Council
SLO SloveniaZavod za sport RS Planica
SVK SlovakiaSlovak School Sport Association
RSA South AfricaSouth African Sports Confederation
ESP SpainMinisterio de Educacion y Ciencia
SRI Sri LankaSchools Sports Council
SUR SurinameMinistry of School and Youth Affairs
SWE SwedenSvenska Skolidrottsförbundet
SUI SwitzerlandSchweizerischer Verband fur Sport in der Schule
TAN Tanzania
TUN TunisiaFederation Tunisienne des Sports Scolaires et Universiateires
TUR TurkeyTurkiye Okul Sporlary Federasyonu
THA ThailandMinistry of Tourism and Sports
UAE United Arab EmiratesUAE Interschool Sports Association
UGA Uganda
UKR UkraineSchool Sport Federation of Ukraine
USA United StatesAmateur Athletic Union of the United States of America


  1. Charter. ISF. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  2. Reaching new heights of development; 108 members from all over the world. ISF. Retrieved on 2018-07-12.
  3. About ISF Archived 2014-07-29 at the Wayback Machine. ISF. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  4. Organisations recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  5. Members. SportAccord. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  6. Contact. ISF. Retrieved on 2018-07-12.
  7. FISU Today. FISU. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  8. Li, Ming et al. "International School Sport", pgs. 291–2. International Sport Management (2012). Human Kinetics. ISBN 978-0-7360-8273-0.
  9. . ISF. Retrieved on 2018-07-12.
  10. "History of ISF". ISF official website. Archived from the original on 2016-07-06.
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