The International Pole Sports Federation are one of seven governing bodies to be given observer status ©IPSF

Seven governing bodies have become the first to achieve observer status with the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

The World Armwrestling Federation, the World Dodgeball Association, the Federation for International FootGolf, the International Union of Kettlebell Lifting, the International Federation of Poker, the International Pole Sports Federation and the International Table Soccer Federation have all been granted the new status.

Observer status was introduced for members wanting to join the umbrella sporting body at the GAISF General Assembly in Danish city Aarhus in April.

The GAISF Membership Commission, chaired by World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinós, has since worked to define eligibility criteria and applicant procedures were shared with aspiring governing bodies in May.

It is hoped that observer status will allow newer Federations to "take advantage of the GAISF network to grow and develop".

They can take part in the annual International Federation (IF) Forum and attend the GAISF General Assembly, but have no voting rights.

It is seen as the first step towards full GAISF membership with the body pledging to work with observers so they can meet the criteria required.

This includes helping them become compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency and assisting them in increasing membership in countries across the world.

"We warmly welcome our first observers," said GAISF President Patrick Baumann. 

Armwrestling is another of the seven sports to be recognised ©Facebook
Armwrestling is another of the seven sports to be recognised ©Facebook

Baumann added: "This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realise their full potential as IFs within global sport's family and, one day, maybe become part of the Olympic programme. 

"The new sports debuting at Tokyo 2020 and at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics are evidence that the pathway is there."

GAISF has currently approximately 100 pending requests for membership, at different stages of the process.

A total of 15 requested observer status with those unsuccessful so far being guided in their efforts for recognition in the future. 

The GAISF was formerly known as SportAccord but changed its name in April.

It represents 109 International Federations and sporting bodies in all. 

"GAISF supports a diverse and evolving sports ecosystem and the newly created observer status is central to this," said Espinós.

"Sport is constantly evolving, mirroring the world we live in and the observer status provides the opening many IFs representing new sports require to enable them to gain legitimacy and flourish. 

"The Commission's role is to support all those who qualify and have the potential to raise their sport to the next level and join all other GAISF members."