Bodybuilding Sanctioning Organizations

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By Medifit Education





IFBB: The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness.

NPC: National Physique Committee.


The IFBB is the officially recognized (by the appropriate international amateur athletic organizations) sanctioning body for international amateur bodybuilding. On an amateur level, the IFBB sanctions only international events—the World Championships, the European Championships, the North America Championships and so forth.

The IFBB is a federation of federations. It is made up of national sanctioning organizations. In the United States, the organizations is the National Physique Committee of the United States. The NPC sanctions national amateur competitions, from the local level up to the USA and the Nationals.

There are other organizations that sanction bodybuilding in the United States, such as the AAU. Competing for the AAU qualifies bodybuilders for contests such as the Mr. America, or for international competition by organizations affiliated with the AAU, but only NPC competition qualifies competitors for IFBB contests.

The IFBB also sanctions professional contests, such as the Olympias, the Grand Prix events, the Arnold Classic and the Ms. International. Bodybuilders generally qualify to become IFBB professionals by winning specific national events, sanctioned by member organizations, such as the NPC USA or NPC Nationals. Neither the NPC itself, however, nor any other national sanctioning body, has any direct jurisdiction over pros or pro events.

Currently, the NPC and the IFBB have begun sanctioning amateur fitness contests and the IFBB pro events as well.



The history of the IFBB from 1946 till the present time: 

The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) was founded in 1946 in Montreal by brothers Ben and Joe Weider. The two founding countries were Canada and the United States of America.

Over the next 69 years, the IFBB would grow to include National Federations from 191 countries. The current IFBB President is Dr. Rafael Santonja, from Spain, who was elected in 2006, and re-elected in 2010 and in 2014 at the IFBB World Congress in Brasilia.

In 1969, the IFBB became a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), now SportAccord. The IFBB is also affiliated with the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee, the World Games (IWGA) and the International Council of Coach Education (ICCE).

The IFBB is recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Association of Pan American Sport Federations (ACODEPA).

The IFBB is also recognized by some 90 National Olympic Committees. The IFBB participates in the World Games and several Regional Games that are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC): Central American Games, South American Games, Arab Games, Asian Beach Games, Bolivarian Games and will be as invited sport at the 1st European Games.

The IFBB is a Signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and its anti-doping rules are in full compliance with the WADA Code. The IFBB promotes a fit healthy lifestyle and actively discourages the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

The IFBB holds competition at the World Championships level for Juniors, Seniors and Masters in Men’s Bodybuilding and Classic Bodybuilding, Men’s and Women’s Physique, Men’s and Woman’s Fitness as well as Women’s Bodyfitness and Bikini Fitness. Competitions are also held at the Continental, Regional and National levels.



The National Physique Committee (NPC) is the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States. Amateur bodybuilders compete in competitions from local to national competitions sanctioned by the NPC. One amateur organization per country is recognized by theInternational Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB), which claims to be bodybuilding’s international professional organization and the IFBB recognizes the NPC as its amateur extension for the United States.

In order to become an IFBB professional bodybuilder in the United States a class must first be won at the NPC Nationals Championship or be the overall winner at the NPC USA Championship. However, there are other organizations and federations in the US that also promote amateur athletics and have a professional extension. While the NPC and the IFBB are the largest and most well known, there are other amateur and professional bodybuilding organizations and federations. The NPC also sanctions bodybuilding fitness and figure competitions across the United States.

By Medifit Education

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