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

30 sports competing for gold in Birmingham, Alabama

BANGKOK--()--The International World Games Association (IWGA) today announced the official sports programme for The World Games 2021 Birmingham. A total of 30 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
MARTIAL ARTS            
      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
BALL SPORTS            
      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
TREND SPORTS            
      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. Three of those invitational sports – 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.


For The World Games 2021 Birmingham
Jessica Black, 205-558-0673

Release Summary

The International World Games Association releases the 30 sports in the official sports programme for The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, AL.


For The World Games 2021 Birmingham
Jessica Black, 205-558-0673