Of course, they tend to be filled with the formerly great and good, often splattered with the corrupt, but above all, they almost all take decisions that are bad for their sports whilst staying in five star luxury, or at least being big fish in the tchouckball or synchronised swimming pond, if you'll excuse the pun (and I have no evidence that either of these sports are at all badly run compared to some of their more senior brethren).
From the total 'head in the sand' approach to piracy and the gradual erosion of any value in their properties, to the way that they run their decision making, as organisations they often beggar belief.
The ICC's decision to exclude non-test playing nations on the back of a hugely successful World Cup where the likes of Ireland beat England is utterly unbelievable and totally devalues all the hard work and goodwill built following the debacle of a tournament in the West Indies four years ago (it also redeemed India after their own disaster in trying to organise the Commonwealth Games).
If any commercial board was run the way sports federations are, they would dismissed by their shareholders with short shrift. Indeed, they'd be bust long before they would get to this point.
Isn't it high time that sports federations introduced Non Executive members, brought in outside experts and upped their game ?
Decisions about the location and make-up of tournaments is one thing, letting their sport fall foul of rampant piracy and not doing anything proactive to address this borders on being criminal, as many sports fans around the world will find over the next five years as sponsors and broadcasters become ever more disinterested in paying for content over which the federations have no control.
The issues of competence, performance and control are ones that sports federations take very seriously when it comes to their own performers, but doesn't seem to extend upwards within their respective sports.