The Universe Championships are an annual bodybuilding event organised by the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA). It features four competitions:
- NABBA Amateur Mr. Universe,
- Professional Mr. Universe,
- Miss Figure,
- and Miss Toned Figure.
First held in 1948, the contest was initially only for amateur male bodybuilders — but a separate contest for professionals was added in 1952. The NABBA defines amateur as someone who has “never entered and accepted prize money in an advertised professional event”. Miss Physique, a women’s contest, was added in 1968 and Miss Figure was introduced in 1986.
A separate competition called IFBB Mr. Universe was organized by the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness). This changed its name to the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in 1976.
The athletes are judged on their symmetry, proportions and the size and clarity of each muscle group. Most of the judging occurs during the day (this is called the pre-judging) before the distractions of the evening show, the finals.