Having the summer and winter editions of the FISU World University Games every other year was not enough for university sports enthusiasts and competitors. With this in mind, the International University Sports Federation launched the FISU World University Championships in 1963, with Lund, Sweden hosting the handball event. Today, the Championships season takes place during every even-numbered year, thus filling the gap in the international university sports calendar between the two FISU World University Games events.
The FISU World University Championships are either single sport or small cluster events (see Mini Games below), and thus they give cities and often universities the chance to host a major international sports event with minimum cost and complexity.
The FISU Mini Games are the most recent formats added to FISU’s selection of sporting events. It is a smaller multi-sport event compared to our flagship events, but still requires a good level of hosting experience and a reasonable budget.
The FISU Mini Games are:
- Beach Sports
This new event will be hosted for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will comprise beach volleyball, beach soccer, beach handball, beach wrestling, beach tennis, and surfing competitions. Approximately 3,000 participants from 50 countries are expected to take part
- Combat Sports
The Combat Sports are a week-long event where 3 types of combat sports take the scene. Choose between boxing, karate, muaythai, sambo, wrestling, and wushu. In 2022 in Samsun, Türkiye. The first edition of Combat Games saw 46 countries and 943 participants.
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Organising a FISU World University Championship
The attribution process for hosting a FISU World University Championship starts with a call for candidature. Prospective National University Sports Federations are required to provide a bidding dossier that is accessed by the FISU Executive Committee. After deliberation, a World University Championship event is attributed to the chosen FISU Member Association and city.
At FISU, the World University Championship Department assists and oversees all operational, administrative and logistical elements to ensure the success of the world championship events. The Department oversees the event right from the candidature phase to competition. The team serves as the link between Organising Committees, National University Sport Federations (NUSFs) and International Federations of the relevant sports.
The FISU International Technical Committee (CTI), composed of technical experts for each sport, is in charge of assisting and following up all the technical sport-related matters of a FISU World University Championship event.
The FISU World University Championships, the sports lab of FISU
From table tennis to taekwondo, the FISU World University Championships are the gateway for new sports and formats to make their way into the FISU World University Games. This allows FISU to experiment with International Sport 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 3×3 Basketball is one recent example. Since collaborating with FIBA to make Basketball a more versatile sport, the 3×3 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, joined 3×3 Basketball for its Olympic Games debut during Tokyo 2020. As the home of university sports, it is in our DNA to collaborate with global partners to keep innovating in the ways that will shape the future of sports.
Given that Championships take place every two years, FISU can evaluate the popularity and evolution of sports, and contribute to their development. After a sport has been steadily included into the FISU World University Championships programme it can apply to become part of the FISU World University Games sports programme.
The Sports Programme at the FISU World University Championships
The FISU World University Championships event programme is subject to change and currently includes 32 sports. In order to best serve the university sports community, the FISU World University Championships biennial events programme includes individual and team sports, indoor and outdoor sports, combat sports, mind sports throughout the winter and summer.
Hosting a FISU World University Championship Event
Many, but not all, of the FISU World University Championships for 2024 have recently been attributed. Should your association be interested in organising a future Championship event, please refer to the Bid City Brochure and send the Bid City Letter of Intention to the FISU World University Championships Department.
The official documents are available for download below.
Following FISU regulations, only a FISU Member Association can submit a candidature dossier. FISU then evaluates the dossier with the input of the applicable International Technical Official and the FISU World University Championship Evaluation Commission.
“The past is prologue,” William Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest. Sports holds true to this script, and for more than just taking a trip down memory lane to the performances and numbers that have come to define the editions of the FISU World University Championship events. For those looking to recognize trends and patterns from FISU’s biennial standalone sporting events that have a history stretching back to the early 1960s, look no further than the 2018 FISU World University Championship Statistics Book (download link above).