Founded in 1980, the International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-governmental and non-profit-making international organisation constituted under Swiss law. Made up of International Sports Federations, it administers a quadrennial and multidisciplinary sports event, The World Games, which aspires to equal and exceed the importance of World Championships organised by each federation individually.
The principal aim of the IWGA is to develop the popularity of the sports governed by its Member Federations, to improve their prominence through excellent sporting achievements, and to conserve all the traditional values of sport through The World Games.
Since its founding meeting in Seoul, Korea, IWGA membership increased from 12 to currently 37 International Sports Federations (IFs). For IFs to become a Member of the IWGA, their membership with General Association of International Sports Federations - GAISF is prerequisite. The IWGA is a member of GAISF and represented on its Council. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in The World Games are not currently on the programme of the Olympic Games.
In the year following The World Games, the IWGA General Meeting elects a seven-member Executive Committee to a term of four years. This board coordinates and supervisesall mattersrelated to The World Games on behalf of the Member IFs. The board's tasks include making recommendations for the selection of suitablehost cities and serving as the permanent liaisonbetween the IWGA and the games' organizers.
Part of the Olympic Movement
The International World Games Association is an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Affirming that IOC and IWGA share the same values of promoting physical and sporting activities for the well-being of society, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2000. A new Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2016 to replace the previous one.
The 2016 MoU underlines the closer cooperation between the IOC and the IWGA which was set out in Recommendation 6.1 of Olympic Agenda 2020. It states that the IOC and the IWGA closely cooperate regarding the sports programme composition and their respective evaluations. The new agreement confirms that the IOC recognises the importance of The World Games as a multi-sport event and the IWGA is committed to develop its activities in the Olympic spirit and in conformity with the Olympic Charter.
The IOC agrees to grant patronage to Organising Committees of The World Games and to provide technical assistance. Furthermore, the IOC will provide its expertise and help to promote IWGA’s activities within the Olympic Movement and encourages the NOCs to support and assist their national multi-sport delegations taking part in TWG.