World Beach Games Next Fall Taking Shape

The World Beach Games certainly had, at best, an auspicious debut which included some missteps, a big promisea big delay and a (gulp!) smaller footprint than promised. Still the event is on the calendar for San Diego nextyear. The website has been expanded and updated; it now includes some information, including logistics, on the Games.

Right – logistics. Any ASBA members who were involved in making these venues are invited to take a bow now.

The Games, a multi-sport event in a format similar to the Olympics but emphasizing water and beach events as well as some action sports, are scheduled for October 10-15, 2019.

According to the website, all events will be held in San Diego’s South Mission Beach area. The projected attendance is 2,000 athletes, 1,800 officials of ANOC (the Association of National Olympic Committees, which is the organizing body) and an estimated 400,000 attendees. The budget is $40 million.

Inside The Games notes that sports are subject to change; however, a few sources indicate the following sports will be hosted, including 15 sports with 17 discipline, including  the beach/sand versions of:

  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Handball
  • Karate
  • Tennis

Water sports will include the following:

  • Surfing
  • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
  • Waterskiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Kite Surfing
  • Swimming

Other events planned include the following:

  • 3-on-3 basketball
  • BMX cycling
  • Park Skateboarding
  • Sport Climbing and Bouldering
  • Duathlon (Running and Swimming).

Beach volleyball, of course, is wildly popular and growing in a number of age groups in the U.S., so it is possible that the other sand-based sports featured at the World Beach Games will be able to use the attention as a springboard for growth.

Three stadium venues are planned, (one for all rounds of beach soccer and beach volleyball, one for the finals of all the other sports and one for the action games, such as BMX). In addition, there will be a water sports field of play within easy view. Opening ceremonies are planned for Petco Park, with organizers hoping for 35,000 spectators.

The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that ANOC hopes the second games will be held in 2021 and every two years thereafter, between winter and summer Olympic Games, and in cities and countries that cannot afford to put on full-fledged Olympic events. And Inside The Games notes ANOC has said that other cities have expressed an interest in hosting future World Beach Games; however, those cities have not been named.

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