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International World Games Association Announces Participating Sports for The World Games 2021

todayDecember 12, 2018


APRIL 16, 2018

Jessica Black, 205.558.0673,

IWGA Announces Participating Sports for
The World Games 2021

30 official sports competing for gold in Birmingham, Alabama


BANGKOK (April 16, 2018) – The International World Games Association (IWGA) today announced the official sports programme for The World Games 2021 Birmingham. A total of 30 official sports, featuring 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries, will compete for gold in Birmingham, Alabama, between July 15-25, 2021.

“This is a big day for The World Games, and for Birmingham,” said DJ Mackovets, CEO of The World Games 2021 Birmingham. “We’re excited to bring these sports – some of which likely will be new and unique to sports fans – to our city. But more importantly, we’re thrilled about Birmingham’s opportunity to shine on an international stage.”

“This is an exciting time as we learn more about the sports that will be part of The World Games Birmingham 2021. They are a combination of familiar sports and a few lesser-known ones that many people will come to love,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “As we prepare to host the world in 2021, we also have a great opportunity to learn more about the incredible athletes and competition heading to our city. We’ll be ready.”

The World Games 2021 Birmingham will celebrate the return of two sports to competition, including racquetball (last played in 2013) and softball (last played in 1985). Several of the 30 sports selected, including bowling, finswimming, gymnastics, karate, powerlifting, racquetball, roller sports, softball, tug of war and water ski, were also on the official programme of the first World Games – and the only other Games to be held in the United States – in Santa Clara, California, in 1981.

The full list of official sports at The World Games 2021 Birmingham includes:

  DanceSport World DanceSport Federation
Gymnastics International Gymnastics Federation
  Ju-Jitsu Ju-Jitsu International Federation
Karate World Karate Federation
Kickboxing World Association of Kickboxing Organizations
Muaythai International Federation of Muaythai Amateur
Sumo International Sumo Federation
  Canoe Polo International Canoe Federation
Fistball International Fistball Association
Floorball International Floorball Federation
Handball International Handball Federation
Korfball International Korfball Federation
Lacrosse Federation of International Lacrosse
Raquetball International Racquetball Federation
Softball World Baseball Softball Confederation
Squash World Squash Federation
  Archery World Archery Federation
Billiards World Confederation of Billiards Sports
Boules Sports World Confederation of Boules Sports
Bowling World Bowling
  Powerlifting International Powerlifting Federation
Tug of War Tug of War International Federation
  Air Sports The World Air Sports Federation
Finswimming World Underwater Federation
Flying Disc World Flying Disc Federation
Lifesaving International Life Saving Federation
Orienteering International Orienteering Federation
Roller Sports World Skate
Sport Climbing International Federation of Sport Climbing
Waterski & Wakeboard International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation
Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Rugby


“I’m sure this programme will be attractive for spectators, both on site and on screen,” said International World Games CEO Joachim Gossow. “It strikes a good balance between team and individual sports, and demands widely varying skills, such as strength, precision, control, artistry, endurance, courage and agility. We took account of all the reports on last year’s Wroclaw Games and the performance of our various federations. Now we just have to fine tune the specific events in association with our federations. We’re all set for great Games in Birmingham 2021.”

In addition to the 30 official sports selected by the IWGA, Birmingham, as host city, has the opportunity to select up to five invitational sports to include in the programme. Four of those invitational sports – duathalon, lacrosse, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby – also were announced on Monday.

The 2021 edition of The World Games will mark the 40th anniversary of the Games, and the first time the event has returned to the United States since 1981. The event, which also features the traditional pageantry of an Opening Ceremony and concludes with a Closing Ceremony celebration, is projected to generate $256 million in economic impact on the city of Birmingham over the course of 11 days.



In 2021, Birmingham, Alabama, will serve as host city for The World Games, an international, multi-disciplinary sport event held every four years in the year following each Olympic Summer Games. Established by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee, The World Games are staged over 11 days and include 30 non-Olympic sports featuring 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries. The World Games 2021 Birmingham marks the 40th anniversary of the event and will take place from July 15-25, 2021. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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