IFs and NOCs

International Federations

The World Games Preparations

International Federations (IFs) govern the rules and regulations of their sports globally. They understand best the needs of athletes, officials, fans, journalists and broadcasters, but also of host cities.
To organise and run the competitions, their advice and assistance have proven to have a decisive impact on previous editions of The World Games. All aspects in relation with sports competition lie within the responsibility of the sport federations, which eases the responsibilities for the LOC.

The IFs administer the global sports competition calendar and establish world rankings, world championships and qualifications for multi-sport events. They ensure that their best athletes enter The World Games.

The federations draw up the selection criteria and establish the qualification rules for their contingent of athletes in The World Games accordingly. Together with the stipulation for global representation, this brings about top-level competitions and maximum universality.

As per the Rules of The World Games, the federations endeavour to present their events in ways that allow athletes to shine at their brightest while spectators are ensured maximum entertainment out of the performances. Each federation commits to stage its events in ways that enable spectators watching them for the first time to follow and enjoy the competitions.

Sports Programme

The list of participating sports, disciplines and events always varies from one edition to the next. According to our principles of using existing or temporary infrastructure only, every sports programme must be fully adapted to the identity, characteristics and available venues of the host city. Thus, not all sports listed above will automatically be part of the programme.

Today, IFs are increasingly developing current and new competition and broadcast formats through innovation, creativity and experimentation. As innovation is a force that drives excellence, new disciplines, events or formats sharpen and modernise the overall experience, attracting younger audiences to the event. Thanks to the high quality of the sports presentation, many of the sports in The World Games programme have joined the Olympic Games.

Display Programme

From TWG 2025 onwards, the Display Programme will replace the current invitational sports programme. IWGA Member Federations which are not part of the official or invitational sports programme and comply with the IWGA rules and regulations have a priority to display their sport in the Display programme.
This programme may also include disciplines of IWGA full members and others, provided that these disciplines are played globally. In addition, the Host City may propose at most one discipline of a sport that doesn’t meet the globality criteria. The final selection is discussed between the IWGA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC).


Today, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have started in many countries to support athletes participating in The World Games. In addition, National Sports Organisations (NSOs) are the national body supporting the national non-Olympic athletes for the Games and developments of the sports in those countries in which the National Olympic Committees (NOC) only support Olympic athletes. These play a key role in the support of the participating athletes for The World Games (TWG). Since there is no umbrella organisation for the NSOs and no joint, formal communication platform, the IWGA strives to build this up.

While there is a recognised NOC for all countries worldwide, only some countries have an autonomous NSO. Therefore, three different scenarios in regard to governing bodies for participating athletes/countries can be met at The World Games.  

  1. The NOC and NSO are different, separate entities.  
  2. The NOC and NSO are the same body.
  3. The NSO is a recognised part of the NOC.

All athletes / teams have to qualify for participation in TWG in accordance with the rules and regulations of the participating International Federations (IF). In contrast to the Olympic Games, NOCs/NSOs do not nominate the participating athletes for TWG. However, some International Federations nominate athletes and teams in consultation with the national sports authorities.

Nevertheless, more and more NOCs and NSOs support their athletes/teams after qualification in their preparations for the event and during their stay on site. In most of the countries, The World Games are for non-Olympic sports in their competitive sports conception what the Olympics are for the Olympic sports. The financial and organisational support by the government is based on the sports’ success at these two elite events.

NOCs/NSOs become more and more involved when the Games approach. The organisations usually support athletes by providing financial support or equipment/gear, bringing an accompanying team of officials or helping with the organisation and promotion of the athletes.

They are invited to visit and gather in the Host City, following the second Competition Managers Meeting in the year preceding The World Games.