Sports calendar 2020: the year's biggest events to watch and key dates

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics headline a big year of sport, in addition to world championships.

It's a big year in the sporting landscape as we enter 2020, with two Olympic Games – the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics and Tokyo 2020 – on the calendar.

Stars of the future will announce themselves in Lausanne before the world's best athletes gather in Japan's capital in July, where baseball/softball makes its Olympic return and karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing will appear on the Olympic program for the first time.

As it's an Olympic year, there are no world championships in a number of summer sports, with the Olympic Games competition or tournament taking pride of place on the calendar. Additionally, there are also no world championship events in sports which run those competitions every odd-numbered year.

Here we run through the big events of the year, and more information on final Olympic qualifying events.

Multi-sport events

Olympic Games 2020

Where? Tokyo, Japan (some events will take place in other parts of Japan)

When? 24 July–9 August 2020, although some events will start prior to 24 July.

It's the big one of the year and the event every athlete plans their four-year cycle around. Competition will begin on 22 July in football and softball before the Opening Ceremony two days later.

Outside of Tokyo, football matches will also be played in Saitama, Yokohama, Kashima, Rifu, and Sapporo; baseball/softball will be played entirely in Yokohama and Fukushima; basketball will be staged in Saitama; golf will take place in Kawagoe City; and the athletics marathons and race walks will be held in Sapporo to avoid high summer temperatures in the capital.

Elsewhere, Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba Prefecture will host surfing's Olympic debut; sailing can be seen off the island of Enoshima south of Tokyo; track and mountainbike cycling will be held in Izu City; and the cycling road races and individual time trials will be based around the Fuji International Speedway race circuit.

Read our full schedule and day-by-day guide.

Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020

Where? Lausanne, Switzerland (some events will take place elsewhere)

When? 9–22 January 2020

The world's best winter youth athletes are gathering in Switzerland for the third Winter Youth Olympic Games (following Innsbruck 2012 and Lillehammer 2016).

The events are split into four location clusters. Ice hockey, figure skating, and short track will all take place in the Olympic Capital, while the other sports will be spread out across Switzerland and France.

France's Jura resort of Les Tuffes will host biathlon, Nordic combined, and ski jumping while the Vallée de Joux across the border in Switzerland hosts cross-country skiing. A third cluster of athletes will be based in the eastern Swiss city of St. Moritz, where the sliding sports (bobsleigh/skeleton and luge) and speed skating will take place.

And the other cluster will see Leysin host freestyle ski and snowboarding; Villars will host ski cross, snowboard cross, and the new sport of ski mountaineering; alpine skiing will be held at Les Diablerets; and the curling competitions will happen in Champéry.

Read our full schedule, preview, or our athletes to watch guide.

Paralympic Games 2020

Where? Tokyo, Japan (some events will take place in other parts of Japan)

When? 25 August–6 September 2020

A little over two weeks after the Olympic athletes depart Tokyo, it will be the turn of the Paralympians to shine in Japan.

Summer sports

Aquatics (Artistic swimming, Diving, Swimming, and Water polo)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Artistic swimming: 3–8 August 2020

Diving: 26 July–8 August 2020

Swimming: 25 July–2 August 2020

Water polo: 25 July–9 August 2020

Other key events

FINA Men's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 22–29 March 2020

FINA Women's Water Polo Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, Italy. Dates to be announced

FINA Artistic Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, Tokyo, Japan. 30 April–3 May 2020

FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier, Fukuoka, Japan. 30–31 May 2020

FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 15–20 December 2020

Archery

Tokyo 2020 dates

24 July–1 August 2020

Other key events

World Archery Final Qualification Tournament (World Cup stage 3), Berlin, Germany. 21–28 June 2020

Continental Olympic qualifiers will also take place throughout April and May.

Athletics

Tokyo 2020 dates

Track and field: 31 July–8 August 2020

Marathons and race walks (Sapporo): 6–9 August 2020

Other key events

World Athletics Indoor Championships, Nanjing, China. 13–15 March 2020

United States Olympic Trials, Eugene, Oregon, USA. 19–28 June 2020

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is partially through the World Athletics Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 29 June 2020

Usain Bolt on the Tokyo 2020 track where he says his World Records could fall

Usain Bolt on the Tokyo 2020 track where he says his World Records could fall

Badminton

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–3 August 2020

Other key events

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is through the World Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 26 April 2020 (rankings published 30 April 2020)

BWF World Tour Finals, Guangzhou, China. 9–13 December 2020

Baseball/softball

Tokyo 2020 dates

Baseball: 29 July–8 August 2020

Softball: 22–28 July 2020

Other key events

WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier, Arizona, USA. 22–26 March 2020

WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier, Taichung, Chinese Taipei. 1–5 April 2020

Basketball (including Basketball 3×3)

Tokyo 2020 dates

3×3: 25–29 July 2020

Basketball: 26 July–9 August 2020

Other key events

FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, Ostend, Belgium; Foshan, China; Bourges, France; Belgrade, Serbia. 6–9 February 2020

FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, India. 18–22 March 2020

FIBA 3×3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Budapest, Hungary. 24–26 April 2020

FIBA Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Split, Croatia; Kaunas, Lithuania; Belgrade, Serbia. 23–28 June 2020

Boxing

The International Olympic Committee suspended its recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in 2019. The IOC says: "Due to the suspension of the IOC recognition of AIBA, all aspects of all boxing competitions, including but not limited to any and all qualifying competitions or events for or at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 shall be organised and operated under the authority of the IOC Executive Board. The Executive Board has created a special taskforce with the mandate to organise and ensure the delivery of the qualification events for boxing and the boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and also develop a Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing. The enforcement of the regulations and the qualification criteria will be the responsibility of the Boxing Task Force, the respective national federations of the sport and the NOCs in the fields of their respective responsibilities."

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–9 August 2020

Other key events

Boxing Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event, Wuhan, China. 3–14 February 2020

Boxing African Olympic Qualification Event, Dakar, Senegal. 20–29 February 2020

Boxing European Olympic Qualification Event, London, Great Britain. 13–23 March 2020

Boxing American Olympic Qualification Event, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 26 March–3 April 2020

Boxing World Olympic Qualification Event, Paris, France. 13–24 May 2020

All five events will be streamed live in Olympic Channel. You can visit the Olympic Channel's event page for the qualification events, or read our preview and explainer.

Canoe/kayak (slalom and sprint)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Slalom: 26–30 July 2020

Sprint: 3–8 August 2020

Other key events

Continental Olympic qualifiers will take place from February through May.

Cycling – BMX (freestyle and racing)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Freestyle: 1–2 August 2020

Racing: 30–31 July 2020

Other key events

UCI BMX World Championships, Houston, Texas, USA. 26–31 May 2020

The BMX World Championships cover BMX racing only, and will also serve as the final Olympic qualifier in the discipline.

Additionally, qualification for Tokyo 2020 is partially through the UCI Olympic BMX Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 12 May 2020 (freestyle), 2 June 2020 (racing)

A BMX park in his own backyard! Logan Martin gets ready for Tokyo 2020

A BMX park in his own backyard! Logan Martin gets ready for Tokyo 2020

Cycling – Mountain bike

Tokyo 2020 dates

27–28 July 2020

Other key events

UCI Mountain Bike World Championships (Cross-country), Albstadt, Germany. 25–28 June 2020

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is through the UCI Olympic Mountainbike Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 28 May 2020

Cycling – Road

Tokyo 2020 dates

25–29 July 2020

Other key events

UCI Road Cycling World Championships, Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland. 20–27 September 2020

It will be the 11th time Switzerland has hosted the UCI Road World Championships, but the first time in the country's French-speaking region.

Cycling – Track

Tokyo 2020 dates

3–9 August 2020

Other key events

UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Berlin, Germany. 26 February–1 March 2020

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is through the UCI Olympic Track Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 2 March 2020

Equestrian (dressage, eventing, and jumping)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Dressage: 25–29 July 2020

Eventing: 31 July–3 August 2020

Jumping: 4–8 August 2020

Fencing

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–2 August 2020

Other key events

FIE Olympic Zone Qualifying Events, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Cairo, Egypt; Panama City, Panama; Madrid, Spain. 15–19 April 2020

Additionally, qualification for Tokyo 2020 is partially through the FIE Official Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 4 April 2020

At Tokyo 2020, all twelve events on the fencing programme (individual and team, men's and women's, in all three weapons) will be held for the first time at an Olympic Games. Previously, only two team events would be held for both men and women, with one weapon missing out on rotation every Games.

Football

Tokyo 2020 dates

22 July–8 August 2020

Other key events

Various Olympic qualifying tournaments will be held in both men's and women's football from January through April 2020.

UEFA European Championships 2020, various countries. 12 June–12 July 2020

CONMEBOL Copa América 2020, Argentina and Colombia. 12 June–12 July 2020

Golf

Tokyo 2020 dates

Men's: 30 July–2 August 2020

Women's: 5–8 August 2020

Other key events

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is through the Official World Golf Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 22 June 2020 (men), 29 June 2020 (women)

Justin Rose gives Olympic history first hole in one

Justin Rose gives Olympic history first hole in one

Gymnastics (Artistic, Rhythmic, and Trampoline)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Artistic: 25 July–4 August 2020

Rhythmic: 7–9 August 2020

Trampoline: 31 July–1 August 2020

Other key events

Continental championships in 2020 will double as Olympic qualification events.

Handball

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–9 August 2020

Other key events

IHF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournaments, Spain; Hungary; Montenegro. 20–22 March 2020

IHF Men's Olympic Qualification Tournaments, Norway; France; Germany. 17–19 April 2020

Hockey

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–7 August 2020

Other key events

FIH Pro League. 10 January–28 June 2020

Olympic qualification has already been finalised in field hockey. Read our preview guide to hockey at the Tokyo Olympics.

Judo

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–1 August 2020

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is through the IJF World Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 25 May 2020

Karate

Tokyo 2020 dates

6–8 August 2020

Other key events

WKF Karate Tokyo 2020 Qualification Tournament, Paris, France. 8–10 May 2020

WKF Karate World Championships, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 17–22 November 2020

There is also qualification for Tokyo 2020 through the WKF Olympic Standing List. Ranking cutoff date: 6 April 2020

Modern pentathlon

Tokyo 2020 dates

6–8 August 2020

Other key events

UIPM Pentathlon World Championships, Xiamen, China. 25–31 May 2020

The World Championships will also serve as the final Olympic qualifier in the sport.

Tokyo 2020 qualification will partially happen through the UIPM Pentathlon World Ranking. Ranking cutoff date: 1 June 2020

Rowing

Tokyo 2020 dates

24–31 July 2020

Other key events

FISA Final Olympic Qualification Regatta, Lucerne, Switzerland. 17–19 May 2020

Continental Olympic qualifiers will also take place in April.

Rugby Sevens

Tokyo 2020 dates

27 July–1 August 2020

Other key events

World Rugby Olympic Repechage Tournament (final qualification tournament), location to be announced. 20–21 June 2020

Sailing

Tokyo 2020 dates

26 July–5 August 2020

Other key events

Various continental championships will act as Olympic qualifiers from February through April.

Additionally, for Oceanian sailors, individual World Championships in the various classes held in February will serve as qualifying events.

Shooting

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–3 August 2020

Other key events

Most places at the Olympic Games have already been filled, although there is one final European Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Plzen, Czech Republic, from 18–25 May 2020.

One spot in each individual event will be allocated to an NOC through the ISSF's World Olympic Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 31 May 2020

Skateboarding (Park and Street)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Park: 5–6 August 2020

Street: 26–27 July 2020

Other key events

World Skate/SLS World Skateboarding Championships, London, Great Britain. 19–24 May 2020

World Skate Park World Championships, Nanjing, China. 26–31 May 2020

This year's two world championships act as direct Olympic qualification events for Tokyo 2020.

The remaining spots will be allocated through the World Skate Olympic Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 1 June 2020

Sport climbing

Tokyo 2020 dates

4–7 August 2020

Other key events

Continental championships in April and May will determine the final qualifiers for the Olympic Games.

Surfing

Tokyo 2020 dates

26–29 July 2020, with a window until 2 August 2020 in case of poor weather or surf conditions

Other key events

The last major Olympic qualifier is the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, although its location and dates are yet to be confirmed.

Table tennis

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–7 August 2020

Other key events

ITTF World Olympic Team Qualification Event, Gondomar, Portugal. 22–26 January 2020

ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships, Busan, South Korea. 22–29 March 2020

ITTF World Olympic Singles Qualification Event, Doha, Qatar. 28–31 May 2020

Continental qualification events will also be held in singles and mixed doubles from February through April.

Taekwondo

Tokyo 2020 dates

25–28 July 2020

Other key events

Continental Olympic qualifiers will be held from February to April.

Tennis

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–2 August 2020

Other key events

ATP and WTA World Rankings Olympic qualification cutoff date: 8 June 2020

ITF Fed Cup Finals, Budapest, Hungary. 14–19 April 2020

ITF Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain. 23–29 November 2020

Players must make themselves available for Fed Cup or Davis Cup selection (including in qualifiers or zonal events) at least twice between 2016 and 2020 to be eligible to play at Tokyo 2020.

WTA Finals, Shenzhen, China. 26 October–2 November 2020

ATP Finals, London, Great Britain. 15–22 November 2020

Triathlon

Tokyo 2020 dates

27 July–1 August 2020

Other key events

ITU Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Rankings cutoff date: 31 March 2020

ITU Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Event, Chengdu, China. 9 May 2020

ITU Individual Olympic Qualification Rankings cutoff date: 11 May 2020

ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships, Hamburg, Germany. 12 July 2020

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 20–23 August 2020

Volleyball (beach and indoor)

Tokyo 2020 dates

Beach: 25 July–8 August 2020

Volleyball: 25 July–9 August 2020

Other key events

Continental Olympic qualifiers in volleyball (indoor) take place in January.

Final beach volleyball qualifiers will be decided through each continent's regular two-year Continental Cup.

FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League Finals, Nanjing, China. 1–5 July 2020

FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League Finals, Turin, Italy. 1–5 July 2020

Weightlifting

Tokyo 2020 dates

25 July–5 August 2020

Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is through the IWF World Rankings. Ranking cutoff date: 30 April 2020

Wrestling

Tokyo 2020 dates

2–8 August 2020

Other key events

UWW World Olympic Games Qualifier, Sofia, Bulgaria. 30 April–3 May 2020

Continental qualification events will also be held in March.

Winter sports

Alpine skiing

Lausanne 2020 dates

10–15 January 2020 (read our Lausanne alpine skiing explainer)

Other key events

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. 16–22 March 2020

Biathlon

Lausanne 2020 dates

11–15 January 2020 (read our Lausanne biathlon explainer)

Other key events

IBU Biathlon World Championships, Antholz-Anterselva, Italy. 12–23 February 2020

Bobsleigh (including Skeleton)

Lausanne 2020 dates

19–20 January 2020 (read our Lausanne skeleton explainer)

Other key events

IBSF World Championships, Altenberg, Germany. 21 February–1 March 2020

Nordic skiing (Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and Ski jumping)

Lausanne 2020 dates

Cross-country skiing: 18–22 January 2020 (read our Lausanne cross-country skiing explainer)

Nordic combined: 18–22 January 2020 (watch our Lausanne Nordic combined explainer)

Ski jumping: 19–22 January 2020 (read our Lausanne ski jumping explainer)

Other key events

FIS Cross-Country World Cup Season Finale, Canmore, Alberta, Canada. 21–22 March 2020

FIS Ski Flying World Championships, Planica, Slovenia. 19–22 March 2020

Curling

Lausanne 2020 dates

10–22 January 2020 (read our Lausanne curling explainer)

Other key events

World Women's Curling Championship, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. 14–22 March 2020

World Men's Curling Championship, Glasgow, Scotland. 28 March–5 April 2020

World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. 18–25 April 2020

Figure skating

Lausanne 2020 dates

10–15 January 2020 (read our Lausanne figure skating explainer)

Other key events

ISU World Figure Skating Championships, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 16–22 March 2020

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2020/21, Beijing, China. 10–13 December 2020

Freestyle skiing and Snowboarding

Lausanne 2020 dates

18–22 January 2020 (read our Lausanne snowboarding explainer)

Ice hockey

Lausanne 2020 dates

3-on-3 Mixed NOCs tournament: 10–15 January 2020

Team tournament: 17–22 January 2020 (read our Lausanne ice hockey explainer)

Other key events

IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship, Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. 31 March–10 April 2020

IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland. 8–24 May 2020

This year's men's world championship will be jointly-hosted by Lausanne in the Vaudoise Arena, which will also hold the Winter Youth Olympic Games ice hockey events.

Luge

Lausanne 2020 dates

17–20 January 2020 (read our YOG luge explainer)

Other key events

FIL World Championships, Sochi, Russia. 15–16 February 2020

Chris Mazdzer shows how unique St. Moritz track is being built

Chris Mazdzer shows how unique St. Moritz track is being built

Short track speed skating

Lausanne 2020 dates

18–22 January 2020 (watch our Lausanne sport explainer for short track)

Other key events

ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, Seoul, South Korea. 13–15 March 2020

Speed skating

Lausanne 2020 dates

12–16 January 2020 (read our YOG speed skating explainer)

Other key events

ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. 13–16 February 2020

Combined ISU World Sprint & World Allround Speed Skating Championships, Hamar, Norway. 28 February–1 March 2020

Don't forget to follow the Olympic Channel throughout the year for the latest news and highlights from your favourite sports, as well as extensive coverage from both Lausanne 2020 and Tokyo 2020.

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