Changes of countries recognized by the WCA

Announced by Linus Frész on

Dear WCA Community,

With this message, we inform you on a change regarding the countries that the WCA recognizes. This change may affect some of you who are currently registered for these countries.

In the current situation, the WCA uses a list that is maintained on a public Wikipedia page, extended with some sovereign areas. There are many inconsistencies on this list: some countries are just states or provinces of another country, some areas are countries but were never accepted as countries because of local geopolitical reasons.
In the new situation, the WCA uses a list called the “WCA List of Recognized Countries”. This new list is based on the UN charter and defines all countries that are eligible to be represented by a competitor in WCA competitions. This change also involves an update of the relevant regulations, so that inconsistencies between the Regulations and the recognized countries will be resolved.

A significant number of countries on the previous list were not officially recognized countries and some territories were equivalent but treated differently. This leads to changes for some of our community members. These changes affect competitors from Aruba (now part of the Netherlands) and Puerto Rico (now part of the United States). Unfortunately, all former National Records of Aruba and Puerto Rico will not be recognized anymore.

Some countries were renamed:

  • "Korea" was changed to "Republic of Korea",
  • "North Korea" was changed to "Democratic People’s Republic of Korea",
  • "Macao" was changed to "Macau" and
  • "Palestinian Territories" was changed to "Palestine".

If you are affected by this and would like to get more information, please contact the WCA Communication Team via and we will give you a bit more detail behind the changes.

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