The World Fair Play Trophies and Diplomas of Honour are presented to the laureates in a spectacular ceremony hosted by different countries each year.
The inaugural World Fair Play Awards Ceremony was held on 29 January 1965, and the first Pierre de Coubertin Fair Play Trophy was awarded to an Italian bobsleigh competitor, Eugenio Monti, for his remarkable act at the Innsbruck Olympic Winter Games in 1964.
At the very beginning nominations for the World Fair Play Trophies were mostly submitted by the AIPS. In 1968 the CIFP was pleased to receive the first proposals put forward by a number of National Olympic Committees.
In June 1977 it was decided by the CIFP to award "Letters of Congratulations" to individuals who have distinguished themselves by certain humanitarian acts even though such actions did not fully meet the criteria for those gestures of fair play that the CIFP intended to commend.
It also happened in September of the same year that Willi Daume, who acted as Vice-President of the CIFP at that time, offered a medal to the CIFP, designed by a French sculptor, Jean Ipoustéguy, which since that point has served as the Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Trophy. The fair play symbol was actually inaugurated and handed over to Jean Borotra on a festive occasion more than ten years later only. The sculpture was transported to and set up in the birthplace of Borotra in Pouy, France.
In 1988, the Board of Directors of the International Fair Play Committee decided awards could also be conferred on athletes after the completion of their careers. Thus, a general attitude of fair play throughout an entire career could be rewarded.
In 1994, the CIFP celebrated its 30th anniversary and the award ceremony was staged for the second time at a venue other than the UNESCO House in Paris. Remarkably, UNESCO supported and hosted the events during a thirty-year period, but the CIFP decided in addition to organise the celebrations in other countries in order to bring the idea of fair play home to different nations.
In the past few years, the CIFP World Fair Play Prizes award ceremonies have taken place in the following countries:
- 2002 (March) - Frankfurt (World Fair Play Awards 1998/1999/2000)
- 2003 (January) - Paris, France, Palais UNESCO (World Fair Play Awards 2001)
- 2003 (November) - Lausanne, Switzerland, Olympic Museum (World Fair Play Awards 2002)
- 2004 (December) - Athens, Greece, UNESCO – MINEPS Conference (Conference of Ministersof Sport and Physical Education) (World Fair Play Awards 2003)
- 2005 (November) – Warsaw, Poland (World Fair Play Awards 2004)
- 2006 (December) – Budapest, Hungary (World Fair Play Awards 2005)
- 2007 (December) - Paris, France, Palais UNESCO (World Fair Play Awards 2006)
- 2009 (January) – Istanbul, Turkey (World Fair Play Awards 2007/2008)
- 2010 (March) – Pécs, Hungary (World Fair Play Awards 2009)
- 2011 (January) – Lausanne, Switzerland (World Fair Play Awards 2010)
- 2012 (April) – Gödöllő, Hungary (World Fair Play Awards 2011)
- 2013 (September) – Paris, Palais UNESCO (World Fair Play Awards 2012)
- 2014 (July) – Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia (World Fair Play Awards 2013)
Traditionally the prizes were awarded to the laureates by the General Director of UNESCO. Occasionally, a number of renowned personalities of the sports world have also been invited to participate in the handover ceremony in recent years. The ceremony is generally attended by the President of the International Olympic Committee, traditionally by the French Minister of Sport as well as numerous leading representatives of international sports organisations and National Olympic Committees.