|First event||1981 – Santa Clara, California, United States|
|Occur every||4 years|
|Last event||2017 – Wrocław, Poland|
|Purpose||To conduct multi-sport events for sports and disciplines that are not contested in the Olympic Games|
|President||José Perurena López|
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 host city will be Birmingham, United States in 2022 edition.
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).
A number of sports that are held regularly at the World Games are acrobatic gymnastics, ultimate, orienteering, karate, powerlifting, tug of war, finswimming, squash, korfball, 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.[a] Between 25 and 30 sports have been 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.
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 a member of the IWGA. In each sport, only the best athletes or teams may participate, as determined 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.
|Year||Edition||Host City||Host Country||Opened by||Athletes||Countries||Official
|Top of the Medal Table|
|1981||1||Santa Clara||United States||Kim Un-yong||1745||58||15||1||104||United States|
|1985||2||London||United Kingdom||Charles Palmer||1227||57||20||1||134||Italy|
|1989||3||Karlsruhe||West Germany||Richard von Weizsäcker||1206||50||17||2||112||Italy|
|1993||4||The Hague||Netherlands||Beatrix of the Netherlands||2264||72||22||4||155||Germany|
|1997||5||Lahti||Finland||Martti Ahtisaari||1379||73||22||6||164||United States|
|2009||8||Kaohsiung||Chinese Taipei1||Ma Ying-jeou||2536||101||26||5||165||Russia|
1 The Republic of China (Taiwan) is recognised as Chinese Taipei by International World Games Association and the majority of international organisations it participates in due to political considerations and Cross-Strait relations with the People's Republic of China.
Main article: World Games sports
These were the official sports/disciplines of the 2017 World Games programme.
Main article: All-time World Games medal table
As of the 2017 World Games
|Totals (10 nations)||942||843||814||2599|
... multi British Sports Aerobics champions Helen Carpenter-Waters and Alastair Rates who became GB’s only ever medallists at World level