Alabama

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Progress Being Made on World Games 2022 in Birmingham

13 Feb, 2021

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

While much attention has been given to Tokyo and the Olympics there, another international multi-sport event is gearing up much closer to home. The World Games in Birmingham, which will take place July 7-17, 2022, is moving forward and sending the message that it will be more than ready when the calendar turns.

Among the most recent announcements was the selection of three more venues to host events.

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.

Additionally, noted the article, an ad campaign to sell tickets is set to launch in March.

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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