Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR (Russian : Единая Всесоюзная спортивная классификация) is a document which provided general Soviet physical education system requirements for both athletes and coaches. Similar systems still exist today in several former Soviet republics.
The classification was established in 1935 and was based on separate classifications, which existed for several sports disciplines before. Starting in 1949, it was revised every four years, the period, which corresponded to the Olympic cycle, to reflect new standards for the physical training. The document contained test standards, principles and conditions, necessary for the conferment of sports ranks and titles, for all sports, cultivated in the USSR. As of the 1970s, there were following ranks for athletes of the USSR (listed in descending order of value):
Each of these titles was awarded only for results on the official competitions. Athletes who qualified for the rank were awarded a badge with serial number.
This system was popular among Soviet satellite states and was used in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, and Romania until the breakup of the USSR in 1991.Russia continued the system, and former Soviet republics Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan also maintain a similar or identical ranking system. In Albania, a similar system, the Sports titles one, was started in 1967.
A new sports title called Merited Master of Sport of Russia was created by the Russian government in 2007 to replace the previous one.
The title of Merited Master of Sport of the USSR was awarded to a handful of foreigners.
On 30 January 1952, the title Merited Master of Sport of the USSR was awarded to Agustín Gómez Pagóla,who was born in Spain and started to play football there, but moved to the USSR during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, and played for Torpedo Moscow in 1947–1954, being the team captain in 1951–1953.
In 1972, to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet Union, this title was awarded to the following prominent athletes from socialist nations:
Under the Soviet system, titles were awarded to coaches based on national and international success. Significant International success brought Merited Coach of the USSR while national success was rewarded with Merited Coach of one of the Soviet republics.
The same system is in place today for most of the former Soviet republics as well. For example,
Since 2007, a few foreign coaches have been awarded the title of Merited Coach of Russia for their roles in securing Russian victories:
The title of Honored Judge of Russia may be given to sport judges and referees who have reached the level of "All-Russian Sports Official" and have distinguished careers of officiating to their credit.
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