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Major International Sports Events

Here is a list of the major international sports events in which teams from different countries battle it out, both for individual sports and multi-sport events. In these events countries of the world are brought together in competition - in some of these most countries of the world are represented, in others only a select few. See our discussion on the World's Most Popular Sporting Events, there is no surprise that the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics top most lists.

Here are the major events sorted by sport. If you know of others that should be listed here, let me know.

Athletics World Championships Athletics championships held every two years
Athletics World Cup a team-based international athletics competition started in 2018
Badminton Badminton World Championships Annual event held by BWF
World Baseball Classic The World Baseball Classic is an international baseball tournament for national baseball teams from around the world, sanctioned by the IBAF and includes Major League Baseball players playing for their home country. It is held every four years. This event was (sort of) preceded by the baseball World Cup.
Baseball World Series The so-called World Series is only played by teams of the USA, though elite players from around the world play in the US, and the World Series would be considered a major event for baseball fans all around the world.
Basketball World Cup The FIBA Basketball World Cup is an international basketball competition for the men's national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation
NBA Finals National Basketball Association Finals held in June each year.
Boxing Boxing World Championships held biennially, competitions are hosted separately with the men’s and women’s occurring in alternating years
Cricket ICC World Cup An international one-day cricket tournament contested by all Test-playing nations plus some qualifiers.
World Twenty20 World Cup of the twenty over game
Cycling UCI World Championships (Track Cycling and Road) Winners of this event are considered the World Cycling Champion for which they receive the right to wear the Rainbow Jersey for a full year in the respective discipline they are world champion
Tour de France  
Golf Ryder Cup Annual tournament between teams from USA v Europe. The event is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the US and Europe (usually UK)
Presidents Cup A match play tournament between a team representing the United States and an International Team representing the rest of the world (minus Europe)
The Open Championship  
US Open  
Equestrian EI World Equestrian Games (WEG) This equestrian championship is held every four years
Fencing World Fencing Championships  
Gymnastics Artistic Gymnastics World Championship  
World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships  
Handball World Championships  
Hockey (Ice) Stanley Cup finals of North American league (NHL) in June each year
World Cup of Hockey Organized by the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA).
Ice Hockey World Championships an annual event run by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
Hockey (Field) World Cup  
Football (American) Super Bowl The Championship game of the National Football League (NFL)
Football (soccer) FIFA World Cup Held every 4 years.
FA Cup  
Asian Cup  
Motorsports F1 Grand Prix a series of events held around the world, such as the British, Monaco and Italian Grand Prix.
Netball World Championships  
Rowing World Championships

a week-long, international rowing event including eight different boat styles with 21 different classes.

Rugby Union Rugby World Cup an international rugby union competition played every four years
Six Nations an annual competition between six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales
The Rugby Championship formerly the tri-nations championships, it is contested by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
World Cup Sevens competed by the national seven teams every four years
Rugby League World Cup  
Sailing Americas Cup An international yachting event held every 4 years.
Swimming FINA World Championships The world championships for aquatic sports (diving, swimming-50m, open water swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming), held every 2 years.
Surfing World Surfing Games  
Table Tennis Table Tennis World Championships Consists of five events:, men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles. All are hosted in odd numbered years.
Tennis Wimbledon part of the Grand Slam
US Open part of the Grand Slam
Australian Open part of the Grand Slam
French Open part of the Grand Slam
Davis Cup An annual international team tennis competition for men.
Hopman Cup annual international mixed team tennis competition played in Perth, Australia
Billie Jean King Cup(formerly the Fed Cup) annual international team tennis competition for women
Triathlon World Triathlon Series triathletes compete is a series of head-to-head standard and sprint distance races, the winner crowned World Champion.
Volleyball World Championships An international competition held every four years
Weightlifting World Weightlifting Championships  

International Multi-Sport Events

These are just some of the major international sporting events from around the world. See our full list of world multi-sport events.

event notes
Summer Olympics The world's premier multi-sport and multi-country sporting competition, held every four years.
Winter Olympics the winter sports version of the Olympic Games, held every four years, two years after the Summer Olympics.
Paralympic Games A major event for athletes with disabilities, now run in conjunction with the Summer Olympic Games, every four years.
Commonwealth Games the next being held in Glasgow, in 2014. It is held every four years.
Asian Games The Asian Games, officially known as Asiad, is a multi-sport event along the lines of the Olympics, though only for Asian countries. They were first held in 1951.
Gay Games The Gay Games, held every 4 years, is open to all who wish to participate, without regard to sexual orientation.
Military World Games For military athletes from over 100 countries.
European Games A Multisport event along the lines of the Summer Olympic Games, though limited to athletes from European nations. The inaugural European Games are scheduled to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2015.
Youth Olympics The Youth Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event, held every four years for athletes aged 14 to 18.

Related Pages

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Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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