A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Tourism Jargon

Sports Tourism Jargon
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What in the world is an NGB?” you are not alone. Sports tourism jargon can be overwhelming to newcomers. Whether you’re an industry vet in need of a resource to prep volunteers, or a recent college grad kicking off your career as a rights holder, use this glossary of acronyms and terms to brush up on the world of sports tourism.

AAU: Amateur Athletic Union

For more than 120 years, AAU has been one of the largest sports organizations in the country. AAU is also an event rights holder that conducts national championships in 33 different sports.

CVB: Convention and Visitors Bureau

Many cities house their sports tourism and event efforts within a CVB.

Event Rights Holder

Not to be confused with an NGB (definition below), a rights holder is a non-Olympic-sanctioned entity that owns and operates events. Like NGB events, rights holder events are often bid on by cities and drive significant economic impact and overnight hotel stays to the host community.

HOF: Hall of Fame

There are hundreds of halls of fame for nearly every sport, state or sports-related industry.

IOC: International Olympic Committee

This is the body that administers the Olympics every two years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Games.

LOC: Local Organizing Committee

An LOC is a group of local citizens put in place to help coordinate a championship event in that community.

NAIA: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The NAIA covers small, four-year liberal arts colleges and universities. Its membership includes more than 250 schools from across the country in 21 conferences.

NASC: National Association of Sports Commissions

The NASC is an association of more than 900 members including CVBs, sports commissions, NGBs, event rights holders, and companies supporting the sports tourism and events industry.

NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association

Similar to the NAIA, the NCAA covers larger four-year universities like Alabama State, The Ohio State and Southern California. The NCAA governs the Final Four, along with more than 80 other championships across three divisions. There are also myriad NCAA conferences with acronyms of their own: for example, SEC for the Southeastern Conference, ACC for the Atlantic Coast Conference, etc.

NFL: National Football League

All of the professional leagues have their own acronym: MLB is Major League Baseball; NHL is the National Hockey League; NBA is the National Basketball Association; and MLS is Major League Soccer.

NGB: National Governing Body

An NGB is the recognized sports organization for an official Olympic, Paralympic or Pan-American sport. NGBs often start with “USA,” and many have their own acronyms as well. (Examples: USAB stands for USA Badminton and USAV means USA Volleyball.)

NJCAA: National Junior College Athletic Association

The NJCAA membership encompasses all two-year colleges outside of California. (Due to a high volume of schools, California has its own two-year college league.) Two-year schools are often called “JUCOs.”

PGA: Professional Golf Association

The PGA runs the PGA Tour, which has professional golf tournaments almost every week of the year. The women’s version is the LPGA, which is a separate entity from the PGA. It’s important to note the PGA Tour does not govern all golf tournaments; for example, the United States Open is governed by the USGA (United States Golf Association).

USOC: United States Olympic Committee

The USOC is a member of the IOC and governs all Olympic, Paralympic and Pan-American sports in the United States.

USSSA: United States Specialty Sports Association

Often recognized as “U-Trip,” USSSA is one of the largest event rights holders in softball and baseball, among other sports.   Jon SchmiederJon Schmieder is the Founder of the Huddle Up Group LLC, a sports tourism and events consulting company led by award-winning executives. Schmieder has over 20 years of experience in leading sports organizations through strategic growth and increased community collaboration.