Soviet Union Table of Contents
In 1989 the Soviet Union had thirty-six sports societies, consisting of an urban and rural society for each of the fifteen union republics and six all-union (see Glossary) societies. All but two of these organizations were operated by the trade unions. The State Committee for Physical Culture and Sports served as the umbrella organization for these societies. Each society built its own sports facilities, secured equipment for its members, and hired a permanent staff of coaches and other personnel. Each held local and all-union championships for various sports, and each society's teams played against the teams of other societies. Although in theory the Soviet Union had no professional sports, each society supported athletes who played sports full time. Furthermore, the best, or "master sportsmen," received additional pay from the State Committee for Physical Culture and Sports.
Data as of May 1989