The History of Pole and Aerial Sports

    The International Pole Sports Federation was founded in 2009 by Tim Trautman and Katie Coates with the purpose of uniting the athletes, coaches, judges and enthusiasts.
     
    The concept of Pole as a sport dates back to 2006, after pole became a popular fitness form in 2000 and pole competitions started gaining popularity. Competitions had little or no scoring or judging criteria, no way of consistently awarding points to those athlete that were technically and artistically superior, and rules consisted of very little in the way of guidance on what the judges were and were not looking for.
     
    In 2006, a survey was carried out by Katie Coates to see how the pole community felt about Pole Sports becoming an Olympic Sport; over 10,000 voted in favour. In 2008, Tim Trautman of the USA began working with Katie on the International Pole Sports Federation, and the term Pole Sports was created transforming Pole forever from a physical activity performed socially and for fitness, into to an international sport and competition.
     
    Soon, national federations began forming and competitive teams were organised. The 1st World Pole Sports Championships took place in 2012 with just 43 athletes from 14 countries; only 5 were men. 2013 saw the launch of the Youth category with just 7 athletes. Just 5 years later, in 2017, there was an increase of over 80% in participation in the youth category; in total, 229 athletes from 36 countries competed on the World Pole Sports stage.
     
    By mid-2011, an estimated 95 percent of all Pole Sports Athletes were girls and women; as a consequence the feedback from the IOC has been to improve the balance in genders, which the IPSF have pushed to do. In 2017, male junior and novice categories were opened for the first time, which helped to increase male participation by more than 70%.
     
    In 2014 the IPSF contacted GAISF regarding the application process, and the road to recognition began. The IPSF began aligning itself to the GAISF and IOC criteria, expanding national federations to 25 with a further 12 in the application process.
     

    Development of the sports over the years

    2009
    Formation of the IPSF

    2011
    The first Code of Points were created for Pole

    2012
    First World Championships

    2013
    Introduction of a youth programme

    2014
    First contact with SportAccord (now GAISF)

    Now GAISF

    2014
    Anti-Doping programme introduced

    2015
    First application to SportAccord

    Now GAISF

    2016
    Approved as a WADA signatory

    2016
    The introducation of Ultra Pole

    2016
    Applied to the IOC for membership

    2017
    Signed a trilateral agreement with the FIG and GAISF to allow the IPSF membership of GAISF

    2017
    The introduction of Artistic Pole and Para Pole

    2017
    Observer Status granted by GAISF

    2018
    The introduction of Aerial Hoop

    2022
    The introduction of Artistic Aerial Hoop and Aerial Pole

    2023
    The introduction of Artistsic Aerial Pole

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