TALLAHASSEE – The 2019 Sunshine State Games calendar debuted on Wednesday, highlighting 31 events from February to November. Now in its 40th year of providing Floridians amateur sports opportunities, the Sunshine State Games is the longest continuously-running State Games in the United States.
“Hosting these types of Olympic-style sporting events and multiple championships throughout the Sunshine State gives amateur athletes a variety of ways to compete, advocates for an active lifestyle, and opens the doors to some of the best venues Florida has available,” said Marvin E. Green, Jr., VP of Amateur Sports and Events. “Whether it’s on the court, on the field, or in the pool, Florida has your opportunity to Bring Your Game in a magnitude of avenues. We look forward to seeing the Sunshine State’s competitors in action.”
The Dominoes Championships kicked off the 2019 slate in record style on February 2 as the Tamarac Community Center played host to 116 participants, crowning Howard Richardson, of Tamarac, as its overall champion.
First on the calendar of Florida’s Olympic-style Sports Festival was the Karate/Katsu Championships in Gainesville at the Exactech Arena on March 3. The championships, in partnerships with USA Karate and the Katsu Challenge, were an official qualifier for the USA Karate National Championship in July. Ninety-seven competitors from throughout the Southeast competed as 42 individual champions were crowned. Of the 19 Kata divisions and 23 Kumite divisions contested, six individuals doubled as champions in their respective classes. Among those two-time champions were Mark Duarte, of Cape Coral; Gustavo Quinones, of Orlando; Fernando Chirinos, of Orlando; Lucas Ross, of Spring Hill; Trey Regar, of Lake City; and Alison Post, of Gaston.
Making its debut to the SSG slate is the SSG Soccer Championships on March 30-31 in Tallahassee. The two-day tournament partners with the Florida Elite Soccer Academy to host the Florida State Invitational being held at the FSU Rec SportsPlex.
The AAU Volleyball Tournament kicks off the month of May as the Orlando Sports Center will host competitors on May 4. After not appearing on the SSG schedule in 2018, Artistic Roller Skating makes its return in 2019 as the floors of Semoran Skateway in Casselberry welcome skaters on May 12.
The 33rd Annual Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships will be held at AdventHealth Center Ice in Wesley Chapel on May 17-19. The 2019 Figure Skating Championships marks the second time the event will be held in the Pasco County facility after hosting its first such event in 2018. The AdventHealth Center Ice began operations in Wesley Chapel in February 2017 and is the largest ice rink sports complex in the Southeast United States. The state-of-the-art ice arena is a 150,000 square foot, four-rink complex with three National Hockey League (NHL) rinks and one Olympic rink, with the option to convert any NHL rink to dry floor to accommodate basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, and events such as corporate meetings and parties. The facility also includes a wide range of amenities and services including a mini-rink. The Figure Skating event annually draws more than 300 skaters from around the state and has grown from its original 58 skaters in 1986, according to Betty Stark, who has served as the sport director for its duration in the Sunshine State Games.
Also being held the weekend of May 17-19 is the Spring Lacrosse Championships, sponsored by the Orange Bowl, in Parkland, and the Taekwondo Championships (May 18-19) in Spring Hill.
In traditional fashion, Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer as the SSG Basketball Championships in Alachua County welcomes athletes ranging from third grade and running through high school level teams during the two days of competition on May 25-26. Shortly after, the Manatee-Sarasota County Festival, which runs from May 31 to June 2, features rowing, canoeing, and kayaking race events as well as an Ultimate tournament and feats of strength at the Olympic Weightlifting competition (June 1) at Robarts Arena in Sarasota. The water sports are contested at the world-class Nathan Benderson Park and Fort Hamer Park in Southwest Florida.
June is the busiest month of the year for the Sunshine State Games calendar with 12 sports being contested each weekend in June in nine different communities. A complete listing of these events are as follows:
Sunshine State Games – Wrestling Championships
June 1, 2019 – Keiser University Flagship Campus – West Palm Beach, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Ice Hockey Championships
June 6-9, 2019 – AdventHealth Center Ice – Wesley Chapel, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Alachua County Festival
June 7-9, 2019
Swimming: Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool – Gainesville, Florida
June 8-9, 2019
Archery: Gator Bowmen Range & Easton Newberry Archery Center – Gainesville, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Polk County Festival
June 14-16, 2019
Table Tennis: Simpson Recreation Center – Lakeland, Florida
Synchronized Swimming: Gandy Pool at Kelly Recreation Center – Lakeland, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Judo Championships
June 15, 2019 – Congress Middle School – Boynton Beach, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Track & Field Championships
June 15-16, 2019 – Sebastian River High School – Sebastian, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Fencing Championships
June 15-16, 2019 – Legacy Park Multipurpose Center – Gainesville, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Water Polo Championships
June 21-23, 2019 – Coral Springs Aquatic Center – Coral Springs, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Powerlifting Championships
June 29, 2019 – Morningside Recreation Complex, Clearwater, Florida
Sunshine State Games – Badminton Championships
June 29-30, 2019 – Shula’s Athletic Club – Miami Lakes, Florida
June’s Table Tennis Championships in Lakeland will also serve as a qualifier for the 2019 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana.
The summer portion of the Sunshine State Games will conclude with the Baton Twirling Championships in Winter Haven (July 13) and the Flag Football Championships in Land O’ Lakes (July 13-14).
Visit www.sunshinestategames.com for additional events after the month of July including the SSG International Beach Games, to be held at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort on Clearwater Beach in September, a variety of SSG Sport Shooting events statewide, held during October and November, and SSG Fall Lacrosse Championships in November.
The Sunshine State Games are presented annually by the Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s lead sports promotion and development organization, and a division of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The FSF works in conjunction with a variety of local sports industry partners to present the different competitions. The Sunshine State Games, an annual amateur sports tradition in Florida, is part of the state’s $57.4 billion sports industry that accounts for 580,000 jobs statewide.
To access a complete calendar of events for the 2019 Sunshine State Games, click here.