The World Games are an international multi-sport event comprising sports and sporting disciplines that are not contested in the Olympic Games. They are usually held every four years, one year after a Summer Olympic Games, over the course of 11 days. The World Games are governed by the International World Games Association, under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.
|First event||1981 – Santa Clara, California, United States|
|Occur every||4 years|
|Last event||2017 – Wrocław, Poland|
|Next event||2022 – Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
|Purpose||To conduct multi-sport events for sports and disciplines that are not contested in the Olympic Games|
In the most recent editions, between 25 and 30 sports have been included in the "official" programme. A number of sports or disciplines that were on the programme of The World Games have been discontinued because they are now included in the programme of the Olympic Games. Around 3500 participants from around 100 nations take part.
The World Games differs from other multi-sport events, such as the Olympic Games, in that host cities are not required to construct new venues or facilities for the Games.: 9 The competitors are selected by the sports' international federations, as opposed to by National Olympic Committees or national governing bodies. In most disciplines, qualification is by a top ranking at the world championships or a qualification tournament. This is intended to ensure the top athletes in a sport compete at the Games.
The first edition of The World Games was held in Santa Clara, USA in 1981, and the next edition will be held in Birmingham, USA from 7–17 July 2022, having been delayed one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.