World record

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A world record (also world best time ) describes the best performance ever achieved worldwide in a certain discipline , especially in sport . World records can only be set if the performance measurement is based on a quantifiable physical variable such as time, distance or speed.

In a derived meaning, the term is also used for worldwide records in other areas, such as in technology and nature. A list of records of all kinds is kept in the Guinness Book of Records . There are separate criteria for the recognition of such records, which were set by the editorial staff of the book.

World records in sport

Usain Bolt , world record holder in the 100 meter run


A sporting world record must be achieved according to the regulations of the responsible international sports federation according to prescribed criteria in order to be recognized. These usually contain certain specifications regarding the venue and external conditions (especially with regard to wind speed and temperature ), for the sports equipment used and for determining the competition result (especially with regard to timekeeping , the composition of the jury ). In most sports, a doping control after the competition is a prerequisite for recognition. In many cases, only records are recognized that have been achieved in official international competitions. Top performances that do not meet these criteria will not be included in the official lists.

Another form of recognition of world records is practiced in sailing, for example. Responsible is the World Sailing Speed ​​Record Council (WSSRC), a body that was originally set up to organize sailing competitions. It is formally an independent economy end non-profit organization under British law, which the International Sailing Federation World Sailing belongs. World record attempts must be registered there in advance and for a fee. The amount of the registration fee depends on the type of record sought. It ranges from a few hundred British pounds per day to several thousand pounds per month plus travel expenses and expenses of observers of the WSSRC or, in the case of non-observable record types, is an experimental fee. For example, a registration fee of £ 946 (as of April 2011) is payable in advance for attempting a course record across the Atlantic and a further £ 710 for each attempt to be repeated after a break. Recognition of a successful attempt and entry in the record list costs an additional £ 474, issuing and sending a certificate costs another extra.

In addition to international sports associations, companies that organize, market or exploit the rights to sporting events also compile lists of world records. These companies are mostly based on British law, British sport and record understanding ( record as a possibly sorted list of remarkable, comparable events according to more or less curiously defined rules and criteria). Examples of this are the FIA (e.g. Formula 1 ), the ATP (tennis), the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association or the US National Hockey League ( ice hockey ), Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association , the internal company Declare top performances directly to world records due to a lack of comparability.


If it turns out that a record was achieved by improper means ( doping , fraud, etc.), it will be removed from the list of records. The record list is also updated when a piece of sports equipment is changed. So that was focus of the spear in the javelin changed frequently because there was a danger that the old spear could fly too far. The record list was then restarted, the previous records lost their validity.

In some sports it was also discussed whether world records suspected of doping (e.g. several swimming world records from the 1980s) should generally be removed from the official lists.


In some professional competition series, the organizer announces special awards for world records , such as B. in athletics . The athlete or team that has achieved the world record is called the world record holder .

The best performance of a competition season (which does not have to coincide with the calendar year) is called the world annual best .

No lists

In some sports there are no official world records due to the highly variable conditions, although the fastest times, for example, are determined. Usually this concerns the so-called outdoor sports , e.g. B. road cycling , rowing ( list of the world's best times in rowing ), canoe racing or game sports, where statistical records can at best be determined (see e.g. tennis records ). The term world best is occasionally used for this .

World records in individual sports

More records

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: World record  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Statutes of the WSSRC ( Memento of July 3, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  2. WSSRC Rule 27, Fees (charges) ( Memento of 8 February 2010 at the Internet Archive ) (Engl.)
  3. WSSRC Rule 30, Certificates ( Memento of February 8, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (Eng.)