The World Games are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games. The World Games are organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The World Games are held every four years, one year after the Summer Olympic Games.
A number of the sports that were on the programme of The World Games have been discontinued because they are now included in the programme of the Olympic Games, for example badminton, beach volleyball, trampolining, rugby sevens, taekwondo, triathlon, and women’s weightlifting.
Some of the sports that are held at The World Games are acrobatic gymnastics, ultimate, orienteering, karate, powerlifting, finswimming, squash, korfball, billiards, water skiing, and dance sport. The sports that are included in The World Games are limited by the facilities available in the host city; no new facilities may be constructed for the games. Between 25 and 30 sports have been included in the official programme of The World Games. In addition, the IWGA, in coordination with the host city, can invite some sport to participate in the “invitational” programme.
To become part of The World Games programme, the sport must be widely spread in the world and the specific international sports federation must be a member of the IWGA. In each sport, only the best athletes or teams may participate, as determined by the international sports federations. In most classes, it is necessary to qualify by a top ranking at the world championships or a qualification tournament to be able to participate.
The World Games is an event open to all countries.
These are the official sports/disciplines of The World Games programme:
Artistic and dance sports
Acrobatic gymnastics, Aerobic gymnastics, Artistic roller skating, Dancesport, Rhythmic gymnastics, Trampoline, Tumbling
Beach handball, Canoe polo, Fistball, Korfball, Floorball, Lacrosse, Racquetball, Squash
Ju-Jitsu, Karate, Sumo, Muay Thai
Archery, Billiards, Boules Sports, Bowling
Powerlifting, Tug of War
Air Sports, Finswimming, Flying Disc (Ultimate), Inline Hockey, Lifesaving (Pool), Orienteering, Roller Speed Skating, Sport Climbing, Water Ski & Wakeboard
American Football, Indoor Rowing, Kickboxing, Speedway
2025 World Games
The most recent World Games were held in Birmingham (Alabama), USA in 2022.
AFI will lobby for the inclusion of Footy 9s as a demonstration sport in the 2025 World Games, which will be held in Chengdu, China.