|First event||1981 – Santa Clara, California, United States|
|Occur every||four years|
|Last event||2013 – Cali, Colombia|
|Purpose||Multi-sport event for sports and disciplines that are not contested in the Olympic Games|
|President||José Perurena López|
|Website||IWGA Official Website|
The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports, or disciplines or events within a sport, 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. The next World Games will be held Wrocław/Poland in July 2017.
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. Other sports have been Olympic sports in the past (like tug of war).
Some of the sports that are held at the World Games are acrobatic gymnastics, ultimate, orienteering, body building, powerlifting, finswimming, squash, 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 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. No World Games medals are awarded to invitational sports.
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 member of the IWGA. In each sport, only the best athletes or teams may participate, they are named 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.
|1981||Santa Clara||United States||1745||58||15||1|
These are the official sports/disciplines of the World Games programme.
All-time medal table
Ranked by total medals:
† The Soviet Union, which amassed 36 total medals in 1989, is counted separately from its successor states, including Russia. This is consistent with the separate counting of medals for other states that sub-divided into their constituent successor states following their initial participation in the World Games. These include Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic and Slovakia) and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).
- "Santa Clara, USA 1981 Programme Sports". International World Games Association. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- Bryant, Joseph D. (January 22, 2015). "Birmingham wins! City chosen as site for 2021 World Games". www.al.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- "TWG2017 Documents". theworldgames.org. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- First time official sport.
- "Results of the World Games". International World Games Association. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- "The World Games 2013 Cali Medal Tally". sportresult.com. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- "International Sumo Federation – World Games". Retrieved 2015-11-01.