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The International Betta Congress (IBC) is a worldwide union of Betta-lovers and breeders. It was founded in the United States in 1966 by Dr. Gene Lucas (known as the father of the IBC) and others as a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting bettas and researching them. The first international betta show took place in 1967 with a large participation of 60 IBC members and another 150 interested breeders. At that first show, there were over 200 fish judged.

A year later, there were 120 members and a team of 12 directors. The organization’s magazine FLARE! was brought to life, and a Class Standard was developed to allow fair and equal judgment during shows.

Today, the IBC exists in all parts of the world, with the largest memberships being in the United States (Area 1), Asia (Area 6), and Europe (Area 2). We have over 50 certified judges who are represented in every continent, and every month there are several sanctioned shows taking place somewhere around the globe.  Shows draw on average between 300 – 1400 bettas.


The goals of the IBC are:

  • To organize betta fanciers throughout the world
  • To promote and establish betta shows
  • To establish and conduct training courses for the certification of judges, to define and establish standards for judging bettas, and to promote betta shows (these items are the direct responsibility of the official IBC Judging Board)
  • To sponsor research and investigation of the betta genus and to publish the findings in the official publications of the IBC. For this, there are several different scholarships.
  • To provide technical assistance in the breeding, raising, and keeping of bettas
  • To build up an extensive collection of information about bettas and to maintain it (the complete collection is known as the Technical Article Library and is available in the IBC shop as a CD or download)
  • The publication of the magazine FLARE! for the exchange of information and knowledge

The IBC offers to betta fanciers and breeders a treasure in knowledge, enthusiastic members to help whether you have pet bettas or are a breeder of them, and the possibility of breeders getting to send their fish to International Shows and to compete against other bettas.

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