The International Skating Union (ISU) is the international for competitive skating disciplines. It is one of the oldest international sport federations. The ISU was formed to establish standardized international rules and regulations for the skating disciplines it governs, and to organize international competitions in these disciplines.
The International Skating Union (ISU) was founded in 1892 to govern speed skating and figure skating. In 1895, the ISU streamlined its mission to deal only with amateur competitors and not professionals. The organization hosted its first amateur skating championship in February 1896.
A competing organisation, the International Skating Union of America (ISUA), was formed in 1907. Within the next two years, twelve European nations had joined the ISU, and the ISUA had only its original members. The ISU had "systematized and arranged" the sport of figure skating In 1911, Canada joined the ISU, leaving the United States as the only major competitor to not be a member.
By 1988, 38 nations had joined the ISU. Within the next few years, the ISU abandoned one of its long-held practices, eliminating the use of mandatory figures in the singles' figure skating competitions and reducing their use in ice dancing.
In addition to sanctioning other international competitions, the ISU designates the following competitions each year as "ISU Championships":
- Figure skating:
As of the summer of 2008, the ISU consisted of 63 member nations, with a governing council of 11. To add any proposal to the agenda of meetings, it must have support from four-fifths of the members. Proposals on the agenda are approved with a two-thirds majority vote.