honorary titles awarded for life to athletes in recognition of achievements in international, national, and other official sports competitions and to instructors, coaches, and referees for exceptional work. Sports titles are conferred in accordance with the standards and requirements established by sports classification.
The following honorary sports titles have been established in the USSR and are awarded by the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the USSR: Honored Master of Sport (established 1934; awarded to 2,022 persons as of Jan. 1, 1975), Honored Coach of the USSR (1956; 897 persons), Honored Referee (1972; 90 persons), National-class Referee (1934; 9,600 persons), Master of Sport of the USSR (1935; 108,100 persons), International-class Master of Sport of the USSR (1965; 3,300 persons), Grand Master of the USSR in chess (1935; 48 persons), and Grand Master of the USSR in checkers (1961; 15 persons).
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Union republics instituted the honorary sports titles of Master of Sport in indigenous national sports and Honored Coach of the various republics, as well as the honorary titles granted by the presidiums of the Supreme Soviets of the Union republics: Honored Worker in Sports (Estonian SSR), Honored Worker in Physical Culture (Byelorussian SSR), and Honored Worker in Physical Culture and Sports (Georgian, Azerbaijan, Lithuanian, Moldavian, Latvian, and Armenian SSR’s). Sports titles include classes of referees (Republic, First, Second, Third, and others).
Sports ratings, closely related to sports titles, include Candidate for Master of Sport and Athlete of First, Second, and Third Classes, as well as youth classes. Sports ratings are granted to persons who have met the standards established by the Uniform All-Union Sports Classification. In 1974 more than 15 million rated athletes were trained in the USSR, including 21,200 Candidates for Master of Sport and 172,800 Athletes of First Class, as were 4.2 million referees of various classes, including 22,000 Republic-class Referees.
Sports titles have also been established in other socialist countries. International sports titles awarded by international sports federations include International-class Referee (by sport) and International Grand Master and Master (in chess and checkers). In 1975 the USSR had 402 International-class Referees, 37 International Grand Masters, and 57 International Masters in chess, and three International Grand Masters and 14 International Masters in checkers.
The titles of Champion and Record-holder are also included among sports titles in sports terminology.
V. G. SMIRNOV