About IBA
Governance and Integrity

Governance Integrity

In June 2021, independent governance expert Professor Dr Ulrich Haas was appointed to chair an independent Governance Reform Group comprising legal and governance experts.

Other members of the GRG

  • Melanie Schärer
  • Annett Rombach
  • Dr Stephan Netzle
  • Dr Heiner Kahlert

The Group reviewed IBA’s governance structures, assessing them against international best practice, and issued concrete recommendations for further improvement in November 2021. The GRG’s report was further adopted at IBA’s Extraordinary Congress, held in December 2021.

Under its terms of reference, the GRG is fully independent from any IBA officials, bodies and committees (current and previous).

Its mandate was to assist IBA in improving its governance in order to meet the highest standards applicable in the field. This mandate included not only assisting IBA in assessing, reviewing, drafting and/or amending the relevant rules and regulations, but also assisting in the implementation of these rules and regulations (and any amendment thereof) within IBA, and, to the extent applicable, within IBA’s continental federations and national member federations.

Key recommendations included

  • Create a new, operationally-independent, Integrity Unit
  • Downsize Board of Directors
  • Abolish IBA Council
  • Secretary General’s status to be elevated to that of ‘true’ CEO
  • President Office to be dissolved
  • IBA’s committees to be reorganised, with special attention to Finance, Audit and Strategy Committees
  • Implement special emergency measures ‘to enable IBA to overcome its acute crisis’

On 12 December 2021 the IBA Congress adopted the Recommendations of the Governance Reform Group (“GRG”) consisting of Ulrich Haas, Heiner Kahlert, Stephan Netzle, Annett Rombach, and Melanie Schärer.

Since December 2021, the GRG accompanied, monitored and advised IBA on various steps to implement the Recommendations. IBA has asked the GRG for mutual termination of its mandate as IBA seeks to undertake the final steps of the implementation process without external advice, which is understandable under the current circumstances.

Therefore, the GRG has agreed to such mutual termination – especially since IBA confirms its intention to complete all reforms recommended by the GRG.

Board of Directors

The IBA Board of Directors, previously made up of 28 members, has been reduced to 18, as follows:

  • President – elected by the IBA Congress
  • Five Directors representing the Continental Confederations – elected by the Confederations
  • Ten independent Directors – elected by the IBA Congress
  • Two athletes – elected by their peers

Of the 10 independent Directors, at least five must be women and there must be at least one from each continent.

All candidates must provide detailed evidence of their eligibility according to a set of strict criteria, including term limits. All candidates are also subject to comprehensive background checks conducted by Genius Sports, an independent provider.

An independent Interim Nomination Unit further examines the applications, applying a skills analysis to those nominated for the position of independent Director. Skills being sought include finance, marketing, medical and exceptional sporting ability. After its analysis, the independent Unit is expected to recommend a group of 20-30 candidates for election.

The GRG’s report can be found here.

Road to Compliant IBA



  • Aproves GRG recommendations
  • Prepares Congress

Extraordinary Congress

  • Aproves GRG recommendations
  • Aproves urgent amendments of the Statutes
  • Aproves establishment of a Provisional Nomination Unit
  • Mandate Board with implementation steps

IBA has approved the creation of three corporate governance committees: the Audit Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Strategy Committee. Membership of these committees is open only to independent candidates.


Provisional Nomination Unit

Prepares election proposals


  • Prepares Terms of Reference for all Units, Committees and Commissions
  • Implements those parts of the GRG recommendations, wich have been mandated to the Board

Electoral Congress

  • Approves ToR
  • Elects president and board and other positions based on PNU proposals elects the members of the integrity Unit


  • Appoints remaining members of C&C
  • Prepares further changes of the statutes

Integrity Unit

Integrity Unit and C&C become operational

Committees and Commissions

Integrity Unit and C&C become operational

Ordinary Congress

Makes the final statutory changes