• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Let the Games Begin: A Guide to Venues, Sports

ByMary M. Ward

Jun 27, 2022

The World Games are returning to the United States for the first time since 1981 – the first year the event was held – and Birmingham is hosting it.

Unique sports such as wheelchair rugby and sport climbing are featured, along with traditional sports like softball and gymnastics.

These sports will be staged at over a dozen venues in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

For more details, including times and tickets, go to twg2022.com/venues.


The Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex venues, 1 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N., will include the Exhibit Halls, Concert Hall, Legacy Arena and Protection Stadium, as well as the nearby Sheraton Ballroom.

Showrooms: The BJCC exhibition halls will host three events: bowling, floorball and korfball.

Bowling teams will compete in singles and doubles matches playing traditional 10 pin games. Qualifying rounds begin July 8 for singles and July 9 for doubles.

Floorball is a form of floor hockey that involves two teams aiming to put a small plastic ball into the other team’s goal. The first qualifying match will take place on July 8.

Korfball is similar to basketball and netball with teams of eight players, four men and four women. The first two games will be played on July 13.

Legacy Arena: The arena will host two events — dancesport and gymnastics.

Dancesport dancers will compete in rock’n’roll; the standard dance, which includes the waltz, the tango and the foxtrot; and Latin dance, which includes samba, rumba and jive. The qualifying rounds begin on July 8.

Six gymnastics disciplines will be presented, including acrobatics, aerobics, trampoline, tumbling and rhythmic gymnastics. The first round for aerobic and rhythmic gymnastics will take place on July 12 and acrobatic and trampoline gymnastics will start on July 15.

Concert hall: The powerlifting competition will take place in the concert hall. This competition will consist of three types of lifts – squats, bench and deadlift – all with the goal of performing a single lift with the greatest weight on the bar. The first qualifying round will take place on July 8.

Sheraton Ballroom: Billiards – competition in cue sports, such as nine-ball, carom and snooker – will start on July 13.

Protection stage: Birmingham’s new open-air stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Games, as well as a racing event, but not the kind you’re probably thinking of. The stadium will host one of the two air sports of the Games: drone racing. Pilots fly their drones around a course with gates and obstacles to cross the finish line with the fastest time. The first race will take place on July 9.

Butwell Auditorium

Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., will host most of the Games’ martial arts events, including three combat sports: muay Thai, kickboxing and sumo.

Muay Thai: Muay Thai requires both standing and clinch striking techniques. It’s called “the art of eight limbs” because fighters use their fists, elbows, shins, and knees. The quarter-final round will take place on July 15.

Kick boxing : Similar to Muay Thai, kickboxing is another sport where opponents punch and kick each other. The Games will include K1 rules, in which both fighters use legal hand and foot techniques. The first qualifying round will take place on July 13.

Sumomo: Wrestlers will aim to either push themselves out of the ring 4.55 meters or force their opponent to touch the ground with something other than the soles of their feet. Sumo wrestlers wear a loincloth when wrestling and women wear a leotard underneath theirs. The first qualifying round will take place on July 9.

railway park

Railroad Park – located along 1st Avenue South between 14th and 18th Streets – will offer two competitions open to the public free of charge: the duathlon (a sporting event that consists of a running race; a bike race; and a final, second run) and orientation sprint relay.

Avondale Park

Avondale Park is a 40-acre park located at 4101 Fifth Ave. S. in the colorful neighborhood of Avondale in Birmingham. It will host the archery events for the Games, including field and target archery. The first games will take place on July 8.

Birmingham CrossPlex

The Birmingham CrossPlex will host a wide range of unique sports: figure skating, inline hockey, canoe polo, finswimming, lifesaving and wheelchair rugby.


One of the nation’s leading medical universities, the University of Alabama at Birmingham – located south of the Parkside and Midtown areas – will provide multiple venues for the 2022 World Games.

PNC field: Home to UAB’s soccer teams, PNC Field will host lacrosse competitions.

Athletics: The UAB athletics facility will host the tug-of-war competition, in which two teams of eight, whose total mass must not exceed a maximum class weight, pull opposite ends of a rope in a classic force battle.

University recreation center: The racquetball and squash competitions will take place on the courts and gymnasiums of the university’s recreation center.

Bessie Estell Park: A 2-hectare park near the campus will host boules sports competitions, including Lyonnaise and Pétanque. In the sports of pétanque, competitors attempt to roll or throw heavy balls as close to a target as possible.


Birmingham-Southern College, a highly acclaimed liberal arts college at 900 Arkadelphia Road, will host five competitions – ju-jitsu, karate, fistball, wushu and orienteering sprint – starting July 8.

Legion Field

Legion Field, a legendary football stadium open since 1927, has hosted hundreds of college and professional games and will now be the site of World Games flag football competitions beginning July 10. The stadium is located at 400 Graymont Ave. W.

Sloss Ovens

This historic cast iron production furnace will host breakdancing (or breakdancing) competitions for dance sports as well as beach handball, sport climbing and parkour (a gymnastic discipline). The first qualifying round for break will take place on July 9, beach handball will start on July 11, the first round for sport climbing will take place on July 14 and parkour will start on July 10.

Powell Steam Plant

Originally, this place supplied electricity to Birmingham. Now it is the venue for this year’s speed skating event starting July 8.

Barber Motorsports Park

Barber Motorsports Park is home to the largest collection of motorcycles in the world and is also connected to its own circuit. The park will host the second of the air sports of the Games: canopy piloting. In this event, skydivers jump from an airplane into a “dive pond” and earn points based on speed, accuracy, and distance. Freestyle canopy skydivers are judged on presentation, difficulty and landing. The first competition will take place on July 10.

Hoover Met Stadium

Built in 1988, Hoover Met Stadium at 5508 Stadium Trace Parkway has a seating capacity of nearly 11,000 for softball and will host softball competition for the Games beginning July 9. The United States, Japan and six other countries will participate. Eight members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic roster who won silver in Tokyo will make the U.S. team when competing in Birmingham.

Oak Mountain State Park

Alabama’s largest state park, Oak Mountain State Park – located at 200 Terrace Drive near Pelham – will host several water sports, including three types of waterskiing, wakeboarding and marathon canoeing. OMSP will also host the mid-distance orienteering race, in which competitors use a map and compass to navigate from point to point over diverse and unfamiliar terrain while moving at high speed. The competitions start at the park from July 11th.

John Carroll Catholic High School

John Carroll Catholic High School will host the ultimate frisbee competition starting July 12, where two teams will attempt to move a frisbee, or frisbee, across a field in the opposing team’s end zone.