World OCR: The story behind the Federation

[Video series]


The attached video was created in response to requests from community members who wanted a better understanding of the changes occurring within the sport of OCR. In some cases, it is the very sport that they compete in, and in some cases, they even govern. It details some of the aspects that led to what some might categorise as “the creation of a new world governing body for OCR.” As we will deduce at the end, that phrasing is inaccurate because the World Obstacle Course Running Federation is actually the first legally created and duly registered governing body for OCR in Europe and, actually, the entire world.

For the sake of clarity, we will differentiate between two seemingly identical organisations: the prior World OCR—one of the six identities used by the organisation currently identifying as World Obstacle—and the new World OCR, which was founded in 2024 and registered in the same country, the same region, and the same city, where the first one claimed existence and operation since 2018 under the same identity.

This video will mainly present why the founding of World OCR was necessary and demonstrate, through examples and analogies, that the purpose was never to hurt the sport or divide it without a clear and justified purpose. A second video will be uploaded to explain the strategy of World OCR and what will follow between 2024 and 2029.

Addressing the claims of division of the sport

Some have claimed that founding the new World OCR, we started a division within the sport, but this division had already begun with the inclusion of Adventure Racing, which incidentally severed its partnership with World Obstacle at the end of 2023. The International Adventure Racing Association (IARA), which was founded on December 7, 2023, now serves as the standalone governing body for the developing sport of adventure racing.

The goal of World OCR is not to diminish the sport. However, the direction that the sport was heading in became uncertain following the announced dissolution of World Obstacle, as presented by the President of Modern Pentathlon himself on the UIPM website, and by World Obstacle to all National Member Federations that attended the 9th General Assembly of World Obstacle in Belgium. During that conference, it was also announced that it would be the last Congress to be organised for its member federations and that UIPM would be stepping in starting in 2024; this announcement left us with no choice.

While we salute the integration of Obstacle as a discipline within Modern Pentathlon in the Olympic programme because it will also provide good exposure for our version of the sport, we believe that OCR is strong enough to become a standalone sport capable of pursuing recognition on its own.

Redefining the way in which an IF should be managed:

Our organisation’s operations are transparent and follow an open-type communication policy. Transparency in operations is not just a commitment but a necessity for any International Sports Federation to function effectively. By openly sharing our decisions, processes, and strategy, we aim to build a different organisation from those that were claiming to govern the sport until now—an organisation that athletes deserve.

Accountability is another cornerstone of how an International Sports Federation should operate. We hold ourselves responsible for our athletes, member federations, and supporters, ensuring that every action taken is in the best interest of the sport and its participants. This accountability is crucial for maintaining the integrity and credibility of the sport on a global scale.

For more information about World OCR, please contact us directly.

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For more information please contact the media relations team: contact [at]
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