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 2022, 12 stand-alone World University Championship events made for a calendar overflowing with quality competitions.

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2024 World University Championships

In 2024, World University Championships are currently planned in the following sports:

January 12-16Ski orienteeringLenzerheide/Lantsch/Lenz, Switzerland
February 17-18Cross-countryMuscat, Oman
February 22-25Speed skatingHamar, Norway
April 26-27Finnswimming  Manizales, Colombia
May 29-June 2CyclingSan Carlos, Costa Rica
June 6-10SailingDesenzano del Garda, Italy
June 10-16FutsalShanghai, China
June 14-16Rugby sevensAix-en-Provence, France
June 24-30HandballMadrid, Spain
June 25-30Mind sportsEntebbe, Uganda
July 4-6RowingRotterdam, Netherlands
July 23-27PowerliftingTartu, Estonia
August 1-5OrienteeringBansko, Bulgaria
August 2-4CheerleadingSplit, Croatia
August 21-25Modern pentathlonKaunas, Lithuania
August 27-30GolfKuortane-Seinajoki, Finland
August 30-31TriathlonGdansk, Poland
September 2-8SquashJohannesburg, South Africa
September 9-12Sport climbingKoper, Slovenia
November 9-13ShootingNew Delhi, India
TBCBeach sportsRio de Janeiro, Brazil

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2022 World University Championships

FISU opened the bidding for the 2022 World University Championships in November 2018.

The following sports were confirmed for the programme, and included a rowing event for 2023 in London in Ontario, Canada.

February 22-26
Ski orienteeringJachymov, Czech Republic
March 2-5Speed skatingLake Placid, United States
March 12Cross-countryAveiro, Portugal
June 14-17Sport climbingInnsbruck, Austria
July 18-24FutsalBraga-Guimaraes, Portugal
July 20-23GolfTurin, Italy
August 17-21OrienteeringBiel/Bienne, Switzerland
August 24-28Beach volleyballLake Placid, United States
September 10-11TriathlonMaceio, Brazil
September 12-17Mind sportsAntwerp, Belgium
September 16-18Canoe sprintBydgoszcz, Poland
November 7-13SquashNew Giza, Egypt
July 13-15, 2023RowingLondon, Canada

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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. 

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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, joined 3x3 basketball for its Olympic Games debut during Tokyo 2020.

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We Want to Hear From You!

The FISU World University Championships team wants to hear from you. Try us on one of these channels:

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: FISU World University Championships

Web: University Championships