The rules of the Federation Internationale de Natation
(FINA), the international
federation responsible for the sports of swimming, diving, synchronized
swimming, and water polo, require there to be only one recognized member
federation of FINA in each country throughout the world.
For the United States of America, that member federation is United States
Aquatic Sports (USAS).
USAS was formed to become the U.S. member of FINA in 1980, when the Ted
Stevens Amateur Sports Act of 1978 took effect in the United States and
required restructuring of many sports organizations.
USAS deliberately attempts to play a minimal role within the
United States, leaving primary responsibility for the governance
of each of the aquatic
sports to the members of USAS. The governing bodies (aka National Governing Body) are:
United States of America Swimming, Inc. (USA Swimming)
United States Diving (USA Diving)
United States Synchronized Swimming, Inc.
USA Water Polo, Inc.
United States Masters Swimming, Inc.
By law, USAS must present a single organization to represent
the United States NGBs internationally. By choice, the NGBs
have also determined
to delegate to USAS the responsibility of conducting a national
convention. The USAS Convention allows for economies of scale
and permits the leadership
and membership of the various NGBs, to get together to talk over
common problems and concerns. If, and when, the revenues of
the convention exceed
expenses, the surplus is dedicated to sending the US teams to
the World Swimming Championships.