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 35 sports have included in the programme of the World Games. 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.
† 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).