Sports Insignia and Awards
Sports Insignia and Awards
decorations awarded for excellence in sports. Sports insignia and awards include the emblems and official badges of sports associations, federations, societies, and clubs and badges indicating the holder’s qualification as an athlete or referee or his level of physical fitness. There are also badges for services performed in the fields of physical culture and sports and emblems and official badges of international, national, and other sports competitions. Awards and medals are also given to winners of competitions, record-holders and their coaches, and other persons. Sports decorations also include various types of souvenir lapel pins.
Sports insignia and awards became widespread in the second half of the 19th century, with the development of modern sports, the organization of national and international sports competitions, and the establishment of sports clubs and national and international sports associations. One of the first Soviet sports badges commemorated the parade of universal military training detachments, held on May 25, 1919, on Red Square in Moscow. In the 1920’s badges of sports clubs, sports collectives, and the sports society Dynamo appeared. Badges of other sports societies, the Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR Medal, the Voroshilov Rifleman award and other badges appeared in the 1930’s.
The USSR has established standard all-Union badges that are awarded simultaneously with sports titles by decision of the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the USSR. Such badges include Honored Master of Sport of the USSR, first awarded to the speed skater F. Ia. Mel’nikov (badge established 1935; awarded to 2,022 persons as of Jan. 1,1975), Master of Sport of the USSR, first awarded to the gymnast A. S. Abramian (1949; more than 108,000 persons), Honored Coach of the USSR, first awarded to the track-and-field coach V. I. Alekseev (1956; 897 persons), and International-class Master of Sport of the USSR, first awarded to the hockey player B. A. Maiorov (1965; 3,300 persons).
Other badges conferred simultaneously with titles include Honored Sports Referee, first awarded to I. Ia. Ozerova, referee in academic rowing (1972; 90 persons), All-Union Collegium of Sports Referees of the USSR, for national-class referees (1934; 9,600 persons), Distinguished Worker in Physical Culture and Sports (1946; more than 23,000 persons), and the Honorary Badge for Services in the Development of Physical Culture and Sports (1974).
In 1947 a special decree introduced standard lapel pins for athletes who met the standards established by the Uniform All-Union Sports Classification; youth ratings were established in 1955. The lapel pins were for Candidate for Master of Sports, Athlete of First, Second, and Third Ratings, and Athlete of First, Second, and Third Youth Ratings.
Persons who meet the standards of one of the five levels of the All-Union Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR physical-culture complex are awarded corresponding lapel pins. The first such pin was instituted in 1931, while the most current one was introduced in 1972. Persons who meet the standards for several consecutive years are awarded Honorary Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR Pin. Mountaineers and hikers may be awarded the lapel pins Mountaineer of the USSR (1934) and Hiker of the USSR or Young Hiker of the USSR (1957). These pins are awarded to persons who have met the standards established by Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR for training in mountaineering and hiking.
In 1955 the lapel pin Volunteer Instructor was instituted. It is awarded to volunteer coaches and instructors for special achievements in training rated athletes and winners of the Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR Pin.
Other sports awards include Olympic medals, medals of world championships, championships of continents, and championships of individual countries, medals for setting world, continental, and national records, the laurel wreaths and ribbons of champions, and challenge cups, diplomas, and medals awarded to winners of sports competitions.
In the USSR, medals awarded to athletes who win first, second, or third place in national championships or who set all-Union records were established by a 1947 decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. There are also medals of republic sports committees, sports societies, government departments, and organizations for champions and record-holders of republics, societies, and the like, medals of the Sports Committee of the USSR for training international-class masters of sport and for scientific research in sports, as well as commemorative medals of the Sports Committee of the USSR and the USSR Olympic Committee. Other awards include medals awarded to first-, second-, and third-place sports at various competitions, and the ribbon and crimson jersey of the champion, as well as certificates, diplomas, and challenge prizes, for example, the USSR Cup in soccer, ice hockey, and gymnastics.
V. M. ANDRIANOV and V. L. SHTEINBAKH