A host will be selected for the 2017 ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committee) World Beach Games at the organisation's General Assembly in Washington D.C. in October, it was revealed here today, with the inaugural event set to feature 15 sports.
Discussions on the event at last month's ANOC Executive Council meeting in Lausanne were based predominantly around conceptual discussions, with no decision of sports and location thought imminent and the Games believed likely to be held only at some stage between 2017 and 2019.
But following that meeting, a Working Group chaired by Hong Kong's Timothy Fok was set up to speed up preparations and a meeting took place on June 29.
Since then, letters have been sent out to all National Olympic Committees inviting applications to host the event ahead of a deadline of July 31, with an Evaluation Process to then take place ahead of the meeting in the United States capital scheduled for October 29 and 30.
This was revealed by ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg today during an ANOC update here as part of the Pan American Sports Organization General Assembly.
Of the 15 sports set to appear in the first edition, 13 will be chosen by ANOC with the remaining two to be selected by the host city.
All will be non-Olympic sports and disciplines, it was announced, although the Swede revealed to insidethegames afterwards how this can include beach varieties of sports on the programme, such as beach handball and basketball 3x3.
insidethegames understands that letters were sent by ANOC to selected sports today, with surfing among those to have received one.
The event will be known as the ANOC World Beach Games, Lindberg added.
The World Beach Games title had already been trademarked by SportAccord when awarding its ill-fated event to Sochi in April.
This will no longer take place following confirmation last month that Russia had pulled out of a deal with SportAccord to host next year's SportAccord Convention and other events following the conflict between the organisation and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which culminated in the resignation of the former body's President, Marius Vizer.
Lindberg, who is also a member of the IOC Executive Board and was speaking today in the absence of ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, highlighted the IOC's support for the ANOC version, which is seeking to become the third biggest event in sport.
Meanwhile, the Swede also announced that this year's second ANOC Gala Awards Ceremony, to be held during the General Assembly in Washington, will feature new awards recognising the best male and best female athletes from the various Continental Games.
Athletes' Commissions from each continental federation will propose a shortlist which will then be whittled down by an ANOC jury.
As well as the Pan American Games starting here on Friday (July 10) and the Pacific Games currently taking place in Port Moresby, this is also expected to include last year's Asian Games in Incheon, last month's European Games in Baku and the All Africa Games, due to take place in Brazzaville in September.
June 2015: Exclusive: ANOC Beach Games to bear no relation to SportAccord version
April 2015: World Beach Games to be organised by SportAccord in Sochi in 2019
January 2015: World Beach Games to have additional shareholders beyond ANOC and SportAccord
November 2014: Exclusive: World Beach Games will occupy unique place on sports calendar, promises Sheikh Ahmad