13. Rugby World Cup Sevens
No sport benefited from a boost from the Rio Olympics more than Rugby Sevens. Two years later, the sport invades AT&T Park in San Francisco. The men’s field features 24 teams, and there are 16 squads in the women’s competition. It’s only the third time the world cup will include both genders.
14. Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals
Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will host the country’s largest longstanding annual multisport event for youth with a physical disability and/or visual impairment. More than 300 athletes and their families will be on hand as the destination puts a central focus on adaptive sports.
15. AAU Junior Olympic Games
July 25-Aug 4
Des Moines, Iowa, is expecting about 15,000 athletes to compete in the 16-sport competition. The destination hosted the event previous in 2014, 2009 and 2004. Other areas to host on multiple occasions include Detroit, Houston, New Orleans and Hampton Roads, Virginia—talk about good company!
16. Flag Football World Championship
July 28 -29
In what promises to be one of the biggest events in the country’s largest sports complex, more than 225 teams are expected to compete at Grand Park in Hamilton County, Indiana. Beyond the 4,000-plus room nights, the Flag Football World Championship will bring coveted television exposure to the area outside of Indianapolis.
17. Gay Games 10
Six years before Paris hosts the Summer Olympics for the first time in a century, the City of Lights is the backdrop for the Gay Games. The quadrennial LGBTQ event—dating back 32 years—is expected to bring together 15,000 participants from 70 countries. Figure skating is a welcomed addition to the lineup featuring at least 36 sports. The Gay Games will next be held in Hong Kong, another major international destination that was awarded the 2022 event late last year.
18. World Guinness OneHockey’s Holiday Invite 2018
The goal of the Holiday Invite is no less than to set a new Guinness World Record for largest hockey tournament event. OneHockey and the Michigan Hockey Association hope this four-day event will feature as many as 1,000 boys and girls teams, totaling 18,000 or more players from 10 countries.