University sports deserve the crowning of an international champion every year
Having the Summer and Winter World University Games every other year was not enough for university sport competitors and fans.
With this in mind, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) launched the World University Championships in 1963 with Handball in Lund, Sweden. Today the Championships season takes place in the even numbered years, filling the gap in the university sports calendar between two World University Games seasons.
The World University Championships give cities - and often universities - the chance to host a major international sport event with minimum cost and complexity. In 2018, 32 stand-alone World University Championship events made for a calendar overflowing with quality competitions.
2022 World University Championships
FISU opened the bidding for the 2022 World University Championships in November 2018.
Sixteen sports are currently confirmed for the programme:
2020 World University Championships
The 2020 season was due to host 29 World University Championships for student athletes but unfortunately almost the entire calendar was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The geographical spread of the Championships included events in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, but the speed skating in Amsterdam was the only physical sport to go ahead before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even then, the last day of competition in the Dutch capital was called off.
The inaugural World University Mind Sports Championship, planned for Bydgoszcz in Poland, did go ahead but took place entirely online in October.
On the 2020 calendar, FISU had been due to welcome three new National University Sports Federations to the hosting family - Argentina for rugby sevens, Morocco for cross-country and Ukraine for waterski and wakeboard.
While Waterski Championships have been held before, 2020 was due to be the first edition with wakeboard as part of the programme.
The World University Championships, FISU’s Sport Innovation Lab
From table tennis to taekwondo, the World University Championships are the gateway for new sports and formats to make their way into the World University Games. This allows FISU to experiment with International Federations to enhance sports delivery and innovation.
FISU’s partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to develop and promote a new discipline such as 3x3 basketball is one example.
Since collaborating with FIBA to make basketball a more versatile sport, the 3x3 format is now the undisputed game of choice on courts all over the globe and is the number one urban team sport in the world.
Mixed-team archery, a competition format first tested and developed at FISU’s World University Championships in 2006, will join 3x3 basketball for its Olympic Games debut during Tokyo 2020.
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