The World Games in Birmingham postponed until 2022

02 Apr. 2020

The World Games in Birmingham postponed until 2022

Following the decision earlier this week by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 23 July to 8 August 2021, the World Games 2021, originally scheduled to take place from 15 to 25 July next year, have now been postponed by one year, with the new dates of 7 to 17 July 2022.

The World Games will still take place in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, after the International World Games Association (IWGA) and Birmingham Organising Committee (BOC) announced their agreement to postpone today.

In a statement on their website, The World Games 2021 said:

“The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to move the Tokyo Olympic Games to July 2021 made a significant impact on the planning of The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. 

“Keeping to the original dates in July 2021 would have meant excluding many athletes and officials involved in the Olympics and would have led to a potential reduction in public and media interest. 

“When the IOC announced its decision, the BOC urgently set about assessing what alternative dates might be viable, particularly as regards venues and accommodation. Meanwhile, the staff of the IWGA were establishing when the vital services provided by key partners, such as Swiss Timing and International Sports Broadcasting, could still be made available.

“It soon became clear that only one 10-day period existed in which venues, accommodation and key partner support could be guaranteed: 7–17 July 2022. 

“The IWGA Member Federations with sports on the programme gave their full support to delaying The World Games, and the joint decision of the IWGA and BOC Boards to adopt these new dates was unanimously approved by the federations in a video conference.”

The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the IWGA under the patronage of the IOC. Birmingham will be the 11th edition of The World Games and is set to feature 600 athletes from more than 30 sports and 100 countries.

Beach handball has been part of the World Games since it was introduced as a demonstration/invitational sport back in Japan in 2001. It followed in Germany (2005) and Chinese Taipei (2009), before becoming a full sport at the 2013 edition in Colombia. Poland was next in 2017, with the USA now scheduled for 2022. 

Beach handball was also an original sport at the first-ever ANOC World Beach Games, held last year in Qatar.

IWGA President José Perurena, described beach handball to back in October, as one of the “top sports of the whole World Games,” praised the host city for their quick turnaround and rearrangement, to ensure the multi-sport event will get underway eventually.

“I am impressed by the flexibility and efficiency of the Birmingham Organising Committee,” he said to the IWGA website. “They have been able, in just two days after the IOC’s announcement, to get all the main organisational items in place.”

For more information on handball at the next edition of the World Games visit