About Us & FAQs
The State Games of Mississippi began in 1991 with 1.200 athletes competing in 12 sports. The 2016 State Games consisted of 38 sports with more than 5,000 athletes competing. This year, 40 sports will again attract amateur athletes from across the state for top competition.
The State Games of Mississippi is a privately-sponsored, non-profit organization that promotes amateur athletics and healthy lifestyles for Mississippians of all ages and abilities.
The State Games of Mississippi is a member of the National Congress of State Games and is affiliated with the U.S. Olympic Committee. Mississippi is one of 35 states that hold State Games competitions each year.
Competitors in the State Games of Mississippi are eligible to compete in the bi-annual Southeast Sports Festival. Medalists in the State Games of Mississippi are eligible to compete in the bi-annual State Games of America.
The State Games of Mississippi is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors. A statewide Advisory Board provides input to the organization. A four-person staff conducts the day-to-day activities of the organization.
The State Games of Mississippi is a non-profit organization funded by sponsorships, donations and entry fees. It is our many sponsors who help us keep entry fees affordable.
What is the State Games of Mississippi?
The State Games of Mississippi is an annual multi-sport event, modeled after the Olympic Games, designed and held solely for the residents of Mississippi. The State Games concept was developed in New York in 1978 with the Empire State Games, and today 35 states currently conduct State Games. The State Games of Mississippi is a member of the National Congress of State Games, which is affiliated with the U. S. Olympic Committee.
Since the inaugural State Games of Mississippi in 1991, more than 70,000 athletes from more than 350 Mississippi communities have participated in the Games. In 2012, more than 5,000 athletes participated in 34 sports with the help of 500 volunteers.
When and where are the Games held?
The State Games of Mississippi are held in May and June at locations across Mississippi. Opening Ceremonies are always the 3rd Friday of June in downtown Meridian. The majority of the sporting events are held in the Meridian area; however several sports are hosted in other parts of the state. Check specific sports pages for details.
What is Opening Ceremonies?
In the tradition of the Olympic Games, a gala Opening Ceremonies is held at Meridian City Hall in downtown Meridian. The 2017 ceremonies will be held June 16. Pre-ceremony events begin at 5:30 p.m. The evening features the parade of athletes, exciting live entertainment, the lighting of the torch, and a fantastic fireworks show.
What is the purpose of the State Games of Mississippi?
The State Games of Mississippi is a privately-sponsored, non-profit organization that promotes amateur athletics and healthy lifestyles for Mississippians of all ages and abilities
Who is Eligible?
Anyone who has been a resident of Mississippi for at least 30 days is qualified to participate in the State Games of Mississippi. In addition, students registered in Mississippi colleges and universities and military personnel assigned to facilities in Mississippi are eligible. Participants from other states are eligible if that state has no State Games organization or if their organization does not offer the sport in which the participant wishes to compete. Permission may be granted from other states for an athlete to participate out of state if they participate in their own State Games in a particular sport.
What awards are given at the State Games of Mississippi?
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded to the top three athletes in each division of all sports.
What sports are offered?
- 3-Gun Competition
- 5K Road Race & 5K Walk
- 22 Rifle Competition
- Archery — AIMS-MS Individual Youth Championship, 3D Archery and Field Archery
- Barrel Racing
- Canoe/Kayak/Standup Paddleboard
- Cycling/Time Trial
- Disc Golf
- Fencing — Fencing and Wheelchair Fencing
- Junior Golf
- Martial Arts
- Mountain Bike
- Pistol Competition
- RX Fitness Challenge
- Sporting Clays
- Swimming — Masters & Youth
- Table Tennis
- Tennis (Junior)
- Track & Field
- Trail Run (4.6 M)
- Baseball — All Star, High School Team and Jr. High Team and Youth
- Flag Football
- Soccer — High School Team 7v7 and Youth
- Softball — Fastpitch (Youth and High School) and Slowpitch – three
- Volleyball — 2 Person and 4 Person
- Boo Run
- Netfest – 3v3 Soccer and Volleyball
How do I register?
Registration may be done online or by mailing in a registration form downloaded from our web site. Many sports also allow day-of-event registration. See specific sports pages for details.
May I participate in more than one sport?
Athletes may compete in any number of sports. Conflicts in scheduling are the responsibility of the athlete.
Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
Refunds are allowed in the following circumstances only:
- Entries received after the maximum number has been accepted
- Entries received in a division that is cancelled due to minimal entries
- Entries of non-qualified participants
- Entries received after the deadline
A $5 processing fee will be assessed to all refunds.
What happens in case of inclement weather?
Sports using outdoor sites are weather dependent. Competitions will be conducted unless the commissioners and State Games staff determine that the weather conditions are dangerous or life threatening. There are no rain dates; no refunds will be given. Softball players refer to Softball sport information.
Does the State Games of Mississippi provide insurance?
It is expressly understood that the State Games of Mississippi does not insure against, and accepts no responsibility for, personal injury, property loss or damage to the participants as a result of his or her participation. Each participant is responsible for his or her own medical insurance and must sign a release of liability waiver.
What are the rules of conduct?
Athletes and coaches are responsible for knowing, understanding and following the rules, policies, and code of conduct for their sport. Games organizers reserve the right to disqualify any participant from competition in the State Games of Mississippi, for any the following reasons: false representation, improper use of alcohol and/or drugs, destruction of property, unsportsmanlike or disorderly behavior, or rules infraction.
Can I advance to other competitions?
Yes, depending on the sport. All medalists are eligible to compete in the State Games of America held each odd numbered year. Go to stategamesofamerica.org to see the sports that are included and the location of the next event.