The World Games continue to inch closer to the 2022 edition, and Birmingham is preparing itself to show the planet’s finest athletes and their fans some of that Southern hospitality that we have become so beloved for. While there will be all sorts of positive vibrations floating throughout the Magic City during the festivities, we can expect nothing but fierce competition when it comes to the athletes fighting for their respective thrones. We are helping Birminghamians take in the excitement with a gaming guide. You can view Artistic Sports, Ball Sports (Parts 1 and 2), Martial Arts, and Precision Sports as well. Below we take a closer look at the two strength sports involved in this year’s World Games: Powerlifting and Tug Of War. 


Athletes have trained for years for the chance to be named the world’s best powerlifter in Birmingham this year. All images from World Games

Powerlifting is the strong man’s triathlon. Competing athletes attempt maximum weight lifts in an impressive trio of exercises: Bench, Deadlift, and Squat. The 2022 World Games competitions will take place July 8th through 10th at the BJCC.

Bench is much like a typical bench press with strict rules. Athletes must first hold the weight at arm's length before lowering the bar to a resting position on their chest. Once the referee gives the press command, the athlete returns the bar to arm’s length and then holds it motionless. Once the referee signals “rack” the athlete can successfully return the weight to its rack.

Deadlift is another exercise many athletes may remember from their training days (but we’d imagine with a good bit less weight involved). The competitor grasps the bar from the ground and pulls it upward as the athlete enters a straight-standing position. The knees must be locked and shoulders held back for the lift to count. Once the referee signals to do so, the athlete returns the weights to the ground in a controlled manner. 

The squat segment starts with the athlete in a standing position with their weights on their shoulders. When the referee signals, athletes lower themselves slowly until the hip crease (or top surface of the leg) is below the top of their knee. The athlete will then return to the standing position and wait on the referee's signal to return their weights to the rack.

Tug Of War

Tug Of War may remind many of us of simpler times full of school crushes, blaming the dog for eating our homework, and Field Day competitions. But we mustn't let our rose-tinted glasses of retrospection make us forget one keyword: War. This is a battle to the end of two teams of 8, with each team’s cumulative weight not exceeding their weight class competition level. Players hold onto a rope that has a center line and two team lines which are 13 feet apart from the center on each side. The center line on the rope is matched with a line on the ground, and when signaled both teams attempt to pull the line closest to their opponents over the centerline on the ground. This year’s World Games competitions take place at the UAB Track and Field Complex from July 14th to 16th

As you can surely see, the Strength Sports are sure to be some of the most thrilling to experience at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham. Whichever one you choose, it’s sure to make for a great Magic City moment.