Alabama

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Determined Not to be Overlooked, World Games Share Progress Report

25 Apr, 2021

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

At this moment, attention is fixed on Tokyo and the Olympics but the World Games, nearly a year to the day later – and thousands of miles closer – is determined not to be overlooked.

In fact, organizers of the event (which is to be held July 7-17, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama) are making sure it doesn’t slip anyone’s mind. To that end, they have announced some new venues to be used – and have put out a call for auditions for performers to be part of a youth choir.

The three venues selected are Oak Mountain State Park, Barber Motorsports Park and John Carroll Catholic High School. And accordingly, The World Games 2022 signage has been installed at all three venues.

According to the World Games website, the facilities – all outdoors – will host the following events:

Oak Mountain State Park will play host to several water-based competitions, including Waterski/Wakeboard, Canoe Marathon and Orienteering (middle distance).

Since it was established by the Alabama State Lands Act of 1927, Oak Mountain State Park has grown to 9,940 acres making it Alabama’s largest state park. With the largest land-area, one of the widest varieties of outdoor activities of any state park, and its proximity to Birmingham, Oak Mountain is a popular destination.

At Barber Motorsports Park, organizers will be holding two events in the Air Sports category: Drone Racing and Canopy Piloting.

The Barber Motorsports Park is an 880-acre, multi-purpose racing facility located on the eastern fringes of Birmingham, Alabama. It was built by George Barber and includes the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum, which has been named “World’s Largest Motorcycle Museum” by Guinness World Records. The Park, which opened in 2003, has a 17-turn, 2.38-mile (3.83 km) road course, designed by Alan Wilson, viewable from several naturally wooded or grass-covered banks.

Flying Disc events will take place on the campus of John Carroll Catholic High School.

Founded in 1946, John Carroll is home to more than 500 students and focuses on student development through spiritual growth, academics, the arts, athletics, and discipline in a religious environment.

These venues join others previously announced:

Legion Field will host the flag football competition. The stadium, a historic property with a capacity of 71,594, was opened in 1927. Currently, Legion is the home field for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Birmingham Blazers football team. Legion Field also hosts the annual Magic City Classic and the Steel City Classic each year. The playing surface is artificial turf.

Birmingham CrossPlex, a 750,000 square foot multi-sport complex, will host inline hockey, artistic roller skating, indoor and outdoor speed skating, wheelchair rugby, lifesaving, finswimming (Google it here) and canoe polo (Google that one too). Fun fact: The CrossPlex has an indoor track and the banking of that track can be adjusted hydraulically. It is one of only a few such facilities in the world.

Boutwell Auditorium, a 5,000-seat multi-use arena that was constructed in 1924, will stage martial arts competition. Martial arts contested at the World Games are sumo, kickboxing and Muay Thai, often called Thai boxing or Thai Kickboxing.

Protective Stadium, which is currently under construction, but is due to be completed later this year, was previously announced as the setting for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the World Games 2022 and is due to be the permanent home of the Birmingham Blazers football team.

According to the World Games 2022 website, a total of 24 competition venues will be used. The renovation of the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex will also be completed by the time of the Games. TWG 2022 will also have the Sloss Furnaces Park for use as a competition venue. The Railroad Park in the heart of the city is the start and finish of Duathlon and Orienteering competitions. In the concert hall of the Jefferson Civic Complex, the powerlifting competition will be staged.

Additionally, renovations of the Legacy Arena, expected to host gymnastics and dance, are scheduled to be completed in April 2022.

Birmingham, which is rich in sports venues, was the host of the National Senior Games in 2017, which offers competition in more than 25 sports. It also offers a vibrant city with restaurants, shopping and attractions.

Volunteerism is not going to be a problem, either. According to Inside The Games, with more than 1,500 people from 60 countries already expressing an interest, according to chief executive Nick Sellers.

Official volunteer recruitment is scheduled to open on July 7, one year before the Opening Ceremony of the World Games. About 2,500 volunteers will be needed in all.

The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport event meant for sports, disciplines and events not contested in the Olympic Games.

Sports are divided into groupings. Each sport may include various disciplines; for example, dance sport includes Latin, rock’n’roll, standard and breaking. For definitions of sports, and disciplines offered at the World Games, click here.

Artistic Sports

  • Dance Sport
  • Gymnastics
  • Roller Sports

Ball Sports

  • Canoe (Polo)
  • Fistball
  • Floorball
  • Handball
  • Korfball
  • Lacrosse (women’s)
  • Racquetball
  • Softball
  • Squash

Martial Arts

  • Ju-Jitsu
  • Karate
  • Kickboxing
  • Muay Thai
  • Sumo

Precision Sports

  • Archery
  • Billiards
  • Boules Sports
  • Bowling

Strength Sports

  • Tug of War
  • Powerlifting

Trend Sports

  • Air Sports
  • Canoe (Marathon)
  • Finswimming
  • Flying Disc
  • Lifesaving
  • Orienteering
  • Roller Sports
  • Sport Climbing
  • Waterski & Wakeboard

Invitational Sports

  • Duathlon
  • Flag Football
  • Lacrosse (Men’s)
  • Wheelchair Rugby

(There will be a brief pause while everyone Googles what they don’t know, likely starting all the way back with dancesport).

The 11th edition of the World Games is due to feature 3,600 athletes from more 100 countries.

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