Sanctions of Races, Clinics, Camps, Teams and Associations

The purpose of the World Open Water Swimming Association is to support and promote the sport of open water swimming in a safe and responsible manner on a global basis where the athletes’ needs and desires have the highest priority.

The World Open Water Swimming Association sanctions, recognizes and supports open water swimming events, races, clinics, seminars, camps, and training tours, as well as solo swims and relays that fall outside the reach of traditional governing bodies and organizations.

Event organizers and race directors who wish to receive a sanction from the World Open Water Swimming Association must follow the WOWSA Rules & Regulations.

Cost of Sanctions

A WOWSA sanction for a world championship event is US$350, exclusive of liability insurance.

A WOWSA sanction for a non-world championship event is US$250 exclusive of liability insurance.

Requirement of Sanctions

WOWSA recommends that all participants in a non-championship WOWSA-sanctioned event be WOWSA members. It is the requirement of the race director to offer each participant the opportunity to become a WOWSA member.

Participants and officials in WOWSA World Championship events do not need to be WOWSA members. The race director is eligible for a free WOWSA membership upon his/her race becoming a WOWSA-sanctioned event.

Benefits of Sanctions

The benefits of joining the World Open Water Swimming Association for race directors include the following:

  1. If requested, event insurance to protect the participants, sponsors and race organization staff in the event of accident, injury of death to competitors, volunteers and staff.  (US events only)
  2. An online open water swimming safety education program, offered online to each participant prior to the event.
  3. Pre- and post-race articles to generate more attention to the race in both Swimming World Magazine and the Daily News of Open Water swimming.
  4. Discounted ad space in the Daily News of Open Water Swimming and the opportunity for a feature article in Open Water Swimming Magazine.
  5. Inclusion of the event in the Global Race Calendar.
  6. 20% product discounts from FINIS to the event participants.
  7. Input of the names of all participants in Openwaterpedia with links to your race (subject to receiving the official race results via email).
  8. Discounted turn buoys from FINIS (depending on availability)
  9. 10% commission on Certificates of Accomplishment, which are offered to swimmers in your event.  This is an official WOWSA certification of their accomplishment.
  10. Discounted cost of Race Roster registration program. (USA Only) For more info click here.
  11. A certificate that acknowledges the event is a member in good standing with WOWSA.
  12. Free individual WOWSA membership for the Race Director, his volunteers, and his staff. This includes the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual Open Water Swimming Almanac, and the Open Water Swimming Safety Education Program.
  13. Opportunity to create event swimwear with customized designs by FINIS which includes US$5 sales commission on customized men’s swimsuits designed by FINIS and US$10 sales commission on customized women’s swimsuits designed by FINIS

There is a requirement that entrants be given the opportunity to become members of WOWSA.  The annual Individual WOWSA Membership costs $19.95.  Their benefits include:

  1. Access to an online Open Water Safety Education Course, a short online safety video to help educate swimmers, coaches, parents, and volunteers on optimal preparation for open water swims.
  2. 20% product discounts on all FINIS products.
  3. Open Water Swimming Magazine, a monthly online magazine, a value of $48 value.
  4. Open Water Swimming Almanac, an annual digital edition of over 300 pages of eclectic and esoteric information on the open water swimming world, a value of $49.95.
  5. WOWSA Membership Card, effective for one full year from the time of registration.
  6. Entry in Openwaterpedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia entirely focused on open water swimming.
  7. Access to Open Water Workouts of the Week, a weekly offering of specific open water swimming-oriented workouts.
  8. Access to Sponsor My Swim, an opportunity for swimmers, coaches, teams, and race directors to raise money and solicit donations for their events and swims through crowdfunding with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the swimmer or their cause.


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