The Palm Beach County Convention Center will be the center for the state of Florida’s amateur sports universe as over 3,000 athletes and coaches will compete in seven sports at the Sunshine State Games. The Florida Sports Foundation is partnering with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to bring the Sunshine State Games (SSG) to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on June 13 -14. Now entering its 36th year, the Sunshine State Games is an amateur sports tradition in Florida and nationwide. The mission of the Games is to provide quality competition for Florida’s amateur athletes of all ages.
The Sunshine State Games is an Olympic-Style competition featuring a variety of sports. The Palm Beach County Convention Center will be transformed into a sports palace by hosting the collection of indoor sports that makes up the Sunshine State Games, which includes: wrestling, taekwondo, judo, karate, weightlifting, powerlifting and fencing. The participating athletes will travel from all parts of Florida to compete in a variety of skill levels and age groups (youth to adult). Each sport features both men and women competitors.
No other venue among those on the 2015 Sunshine State Games calendar of events will host as many sports, with as many athletes as the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Nearly the entire building will be utilized to host this prestigious event. Wrestling, taekwondo, judo, karate and weightlifting will take place in the exhibit hall (100,000 square feet). Fencing and powerlifting will take place in the ballroom (25,000 square feet).
In addition to the seven sports taking place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, the Sunshine State Games will also bring its BMX Festival to Palm Beach County. The BMX competition will take place at the Okeeheelee BMX Track. Approximately 200 youth and adult BMX riders from across Florida will compete in a variety of skill divisions that range from novice to professional.
In 1980, the State of Florida created the Sunshine State Games to provide Florida’s citizens an Olympic-style sports festival they can call their own. The Sunshine State Games, now in its fourth decade, is the nation’s oldest State Games and is Florida’s largest and longest standing multi-sport festival. The Sunshine State Games are conducted under the auspices of the Florida Sports Foundation, a direct-support organization of the State of Florida. Most competitions are sanctioned or recognized by the Olympic Governing Body for that sport and some serve as Governing Body State Championships or national qualifiers.
The Sunshine State Games and its visitors will create a significant tourism impact during Palm Beach County’s shoulder season. The amateur athletes and their families will produce a high volume of hotel room nights and considerable economic impact for Palm Beach County’s economy.
“Through our partnership with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, we have the opportunity to transform one of the County’s finest facilities into an outstanding venue for a multitude of sports,” said Stephen Rodriguez, Sr. Vice President of the Florida Sports Foundation. “As always, the focus of the Sunshine State Games is to provide athletes with a first-class stage on which to perform. For 2015-2016, that stage is the Palm Beach County Convention Center.”
“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is overwhelmed with enthusiasm to partner with the Palm Beach County Convention Center and the Florida Sports Foundation to host the Sunshine State Games”, said George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. “The Sunshine State Games is the most prestigious multisport event that takes place annually in Florida. We are looking forward to converting the Palm Beach County Convention Center into a sports paradise.”
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with the Jupiter Tequesta Athletic Association (JTAA) to bring the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Boys Basketball State Championships to Palm Beach County on June 12-14, 2015. The USSSA Boys Basketball State Championships is one of the largest youth basketball tournaments in Florida. Over 100 teams are expected to compete in a variety of age divisions that range from 3rd grade to 8th grade.
Over 15 different venues, primarily located in North County, will be used to accommodate this colossal statewide tournament. Teams qualified from all parts of Florida to vie for a state championship. USSSA Florida conducts 120 qualifying tournaments from March to May with the season culminating at the state finals.
This event will represent Palm Beach County’s debut as a host to the USSSA Boys State Championships. Palm Beach County has been a long time host to the Jupiter Jam, which is an event produced by the JTAA and sanctioned by USSSA that takes place during the spring. In 2015, this event featured over 100 boys and girls teams in a variety of age groups. The Jupiter Jam is widely regarded as one of the most respected and well produced youth basketball tournaments that takes place in Florida. This reputation of the JTAA and its Jupiter Jam combined with the large number of USSSA teams that are registered in south Florida bodes well for Palm Beach County’s ability to attract a hefty number of traveling teams.
This tournament will create a significant impact for the local economy. The athletes and their families will dine in local restaurants, shop at local retail outlets, visit local attractions, and stay in Palm Beach County hotels.
The USA Track & Field (USATF) Region 16 (Florida) Junior Olympic Championships are racing into Palm Beach County. USA Track & Field is partnering with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and Behind the Athlete (Palm Beach County based running organization) to host the USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships on July 9-12, 2015. The meet will take place at William T. Dwyer High School and its Blum Stadium along with The Benjamin School and Florida Atlantic University.
USA Track & Field is expected to bring Palm Beach County one of its largest track and field meets. Over 1,500 athletes from across Florida will compete in a variety of age groups that range from 8U to 18U. The meet features both boys and girls divisions.
A track & field meet is comprised of many events, and the average track and field athlete will compete in three events during middle school ages and four events during their high school years. The USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships will consist of running events, field events, and combined or multi-events.
Two occurrences have aligned to make the USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships the largest state track & field meet in 2015. First, the USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships will be the gateway for track & field athletes from Florida to compete in the 49th USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which will take place in Jacksonville, Florida. Therefore, Florida track & field athletes will have a strong presence at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which has not occurred in Florida since 2003. The USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships will serve as the qualifier for the National Championships. Secondly, the USATF Regional Junior Olympic Championships in Palm Beach County will be the only opportunity for Florida athletes to qualify for the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. In previous years, Florida athletes could qualify for the National Championships by competing in the Florida Association State Meet or district meets.
In 2015, the USATF Regional Junior Olympic Championships will encompass the Florida Association State Meet and is the only option to qualify for the National Championships. These occurrences have created a high demand for participation.
USATF Region 16 Junior Olympic Championships will provide exhilaration on the track for the athletes and fans as well as off the track for the local economy. The meet is expected to generate over 1,200 hotel room nights and more than $750,000 in visitor spending.
Track & Field is a foundational sport for athletes and continues to lead in sports participation within the United States. More high school athletes participate in track & field than any other sport (over 1.1 million) when combining boys and girls. The state of Florida and Palm Beach County will be the focal point of the track and field universe this summer.
See below for a breakdown of events that will take place at the USATF Regional Junior Olympic Qualifier.
Running events includes the following races: 3,000 Meter, 1,500 Meter, 800 Meter, 400 Meter, 200 Meter, 100 Meter, 3,000 Meter Relay, 4 X 800 Meter Relay, 4 X 400 Meter Relay, 4 X 100 Meter Relay, 400 Meter Hurdles, 200 Meter Hurdles, 110 Meter Hurdles, 100 Meter Hurdles, 80 Meter Hurdles, and Steeplechase.
Field Events include: High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Discus Throw, Hammer Throw, and Javelin.
Combined or multi-events include: Decathlon, Heptathlon, Pentathlon, and the Triathlon.
Wednesday, July 8: Opening Ceremonies
Thursday, July 9: Combined or multi-events start at 8 a.m.
Running events start at 1 p.m.
Friday, July 10: Running events and field events start at 8 a.m.
Combined or multi-events start at 9 a.m.
Saturday, July 11: Running and field events will start at 8 a.m.
Sunday, July 12: Running and field events will start at 8 a.m.
The South Florida Select Football Clinic will take place at the Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach on June 5-7, 2015. This event will attract over 200 high school football players from across the nation. The South Florida Select Football Clinic is unique because it brings coaches from the country’s top academic institutions to Palm Beach County to provide instruction and guidance on playing football at the collegiate level. The clinic targets student athletes who are academically eligible to compete at a premier academic college or university. Participating athletes will introduced to coaching techniques and coaches from the Ivy League and the New England Small College Athletic Association (NESCAC). The South Florida Select Football Clinic will adapt a rigorous schedule over 3 days -- Friday, June 5th, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, June 6th, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, June 7th, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event will generate a tourism impact. Players from 15 different states have registered to participate. Over 250 room nights are expected from the visiting athletes and coaches.
Palm Beach County will be home to one of the largest statewide Girls’ Fastpitch Softball tournaments taking place in Florida this Fourth of July weekend. Softball will create excitement on diamonds across the County and off the field for the local economy. More than 140 teams and over 1,700 athletes will play softball during the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Florida Girls’ Fastpitch Softball Championships, which will take place on July 3-5 at multiple venues located countywide.
Considered to be one of the most prestigious and coveted softball tournaments in Florida, the USSSA Florida Girls’ Fastpitch Softball Championships will bring all three skill divisions (A,B,& C) to Palm Beach County, resulting in the incredibly high number of participating teams. In order to accommodate this unprecedented tournament, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission partnered with Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation to secure seven different facilities offering a total of 26 diamonds. These venues include John Prince Park in Lake Worth (three diamonds), Lake Charleston Park in Lake Worth (four diamonds), Caloosa Park in Boynton Beach (four diamonds), Lake Lytal Park in West Palm Beach (four diamonds), Okeeheelee Park in Royal Palm Beach (four diamonds), Seminole Palms Park in Royal Palm Beach (five diamonds), and South County Regional Park in Boca Raton (two diamonds). The tournament includes a variety of age groups that range from 8U to 18U competing in the various skill divisions. The A division will feature the top softball players in the state.
These prestigious softball championships and their massive collection of teams will create an enormous economic benefit for Palm Beach County. The event is expected to generate over $1.5 million of economic impact and nearly 2,000 hotel room nights. Hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and attractions countywide will be filled with the ladies of softball and their families.
Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 different sports across the United States and Puerto Rico. USSSA is a prominent organization for the sport of softball in Florida. USSSA has 900 registered teams in Florida, the most of any softball organization
Palm Beach County has a rich history with the sport of softball, hosting some of the game’s leading organizations and events. USSSA is very familiar with Palm Beach County, its State A division took place in Palm Beach County in 2010 while the B division visited from 2011 to 2013. The 2015 event will represent the first year that Palm Beach County has hosted all three divisions of this USSSA softball championships.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has developed strong relationships within the softball community and has supported a robust portfolio of softball tournaments. Softball continues to experience one of the fastest growing participation levels for sports in the United States and is a major contributor to the sports tourism industry that flourishes in Palm Beach County.