The World Games are an international sports competition held triannually.
Over the course of the 19th century, various sports leagues developed in nations around the world. By the middle of the century, international competitions began to be held, initially on an irregular basis, and generally within alliances.
Gradually, a wide range of international sports competitions arose, such as the Empire Games in the British Empire, and the Pan-German Games in the Holy Roman Empire.
As an internationalist sentiment rose in the late 19th century, there became talk of establishing international festivals, to promote world piece and friendship. One result of this was the World's Fairs. In 1895, an international conference was held in Paris, proposing an International Sports Festival, later renamed the World Games (though, confusingly, its organizing committee has retained the name International Sports Festival Committee to this day).
The International Sports Festival Committee hammered out the details. It was agreed that the games would be held in a different nation every year, and that the host nation would be responsible for organizing the games and determining the rules that would be used.
The earliest games were competitions between both national and private teams, but, by 1908, private teams had disappeared.
The first games were quadrennial, but the frequency was increased to triannual in 1912, and then biannual in 1924. Beginning in that year, a Winter Sports Festival was also held in conjunction with the Games. The games returned to a triannual schedule in 1934.
Event History: Early in the history of the World Games, the main events were limited in number to the basic field sports (rugby, football, rounders and the like). There were several "off time" events, featuring other athletic activities such as various throwing events (spear, hardball) for accuracy and distance; kicking (usually a football) also for accuracy and distance; running (short distance sprints, longer distance around a track, leaping gates and the like); scrumming; tackling and leaping (for height). There were also "off field" events, such as archery, fisty cuffs, and unofficial sports such as la crosse, bandy and cricket. The off time events were originaly played inside the stadium outside of regular event times. The off field events were held at any time, but outside the main stadium, often in a nearby venue such as a park or convenient field. They served as warm up events and entertainment for the crowds and also as ways of boosting a side's image and supporters' morale. Thus, even if a side lost its main event, participants could still claim to be fastest or strongest in some related endeavour. At first, these secondary events were played mainly by benchwarmers so the principle players would not be tired or injured for the main events.
As time has passed, these contests proved to be increasingly popular. As can be seen from the list of World Game events, the popularity of the one time off field events has secured their posiiton as main events in the modern Games.
Locations of World Games
|World Games||Winter Sports Festival|
|Year||Games||Host City||Country||Games||Host City||Country||Notes|
|1908||3rd||Chicago||North American League|
|1912||4th||Stockholm, Sweden||Scandinavian Realm|
|1915||Berlin||Holy Roman Empire||Cancelled due to First Great War|
|1918||Cancelled due to First Great War|
|1924||6th||Toledo||Castile and Leon||1st||Chamonix||France|
|1928||8th||Boston||North American League||3rd||Oslo||Scandinavian Realm|
|1934||11th||Berlin||Holy Roman Empire||6th||Garmisch-Partenkirchen||Holy Roman Empire|
|1937||12th||Tòquiò||Japan||7th||Sapporo||Japan||First Games in Asia|
|1940||Cancelled due to Second Great War|
|1943||Cancelled due to Second Great War|
|1946||Cancelled due to Second Great War|
|1949||13th||Bon Aire||Riu de l'Argent||Many nations did not participate due to the Second Great War|
|1952||14th||Helsinki||Scandinavian Realm||8th||Zürich||Helvetia||First post-War Games|
|1955||15th||Munich||Holy Roman Empire||9th||Innsbruck||Austria|
|1958||16th||Cape Town||South Africa||10th||Ceres||South Africa||First Games in Africa|
|1961||17th||Belgrade||CSDS||11th||Novi Pazar||CSDS||The last World Games held in a single country|
|1964||18th||Xinjing||Beihanguo||12th||Trst||CSDS||The Winter Games was the only one held back-to-back in the same country. Originally, Olmyc in Bohemia was to be the winner, but a scandal broke out due to the head of the Bohemian committee getting a bribe in exchange of victory that it was given to the runner-up, Trst, the choice being controversial on its own.|
|1967||19th||Ciudad de Mejico||Mejico||13th||Grenoble||France|
|1979||23rd||Seoul,Corea||Japan||17th||Vuriloche||Araucania and Patagonia|
|1982||24th||Moscow||Russian Empire||18th||Yerevan||Armenia||Boycotted by Western nations and many Muslim nations|
|1985||25th||Philadelphia||North American League||19th||Czieta da Saray||CSDS||Boycotted by Snorist nations|
|1988||26th||City of Montrei||Montrei||20th||Kartalkaya||Turkey|
|1991||27th||Warsina||Republic of the Two Crowns||21st||Mzaar Kfardebian||Lebanon|
|1994||28th||Palermo||Two Sicilies||22nd||Hamar||Scandinavian Realm|
|2003||31st||Quiòto||Japan||25th||Val de Niav||Montrei|
|2009||33rd||Athens||Greece||27th||Lhasa||Tibet||The hosting of the games in Tibet was widely protested by activists opposed to the current Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government.|
|2015||35th||Rio de Janeiro||Brasil||29th||Lachung||Sikkim|
|2018||36th||Edo||Japan||30th||Phieñchhañ, Corea||Japan||First games since 1961 to be held in a single country. Also the second time Edo becoming the host city, this time under its current name.|
In 1905, the International Sports Festival Committee revised the World Games charter, to take effect in 1908, abolishing private teams. It established the present system of National Chapters to the ISFC. Any entity with a National Chapter to the ISFC may field a team. National Chapters, despite their name, are not restricted to individual nations. A sub-national entity, with the consent of its governing nation, may have a National Chapter (but, if so, may not also participate in its governing nation's Chapter), and two or more nations may share a Chapter. For example, the Japanese Empire has no National Chapter for the Empire as a whole. Instead, there are three NC's. Corea, Ezo, and a single NC for Yamato and Lùquiù (due to Lùquiù's small size, the Lùquiù NC merged with Yamato's in 1993).
In each event, the 1st place winner is given an Olive Branch, the 2nd place winner a gold medal, the 3rd place a silver, and the 4th place bronze.
The exact set of events varies from year to year. In the 2006 World Games, the following events were held: Incomplete?
- Distance Jumping
- Distance Kicking
- Distance Throwing
- Javelin Tossing
- Pole Vaulting
- Precision Kicking
- Precision Throwing
- Relay Racing
- Tug of War
- Weight Lifting
There are talks of including Kabaddi and Kokburu, but as of this writing, no decision has been made.