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 37 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 2022, more than 6,000 athletes participated in 44 sports with the help of 500 volunteers.


Where and when are the games held?

The State Games of Mississippi are held from throughout the year at locations across Mississippi, with the majority set in May and June. Opening Ceremonies are usually held the first Friday in June in downtown Meridian. Check specific sports pages for details.


What are the Opening Ceremonies?

In the tradition of the Olympic Games, a gala Opening Ceremonies is held at Meridian City Hall in downtown Meridian. The 2024 ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 31. Pre-ceremony events begin at 5:00 p.m. The evening features the parade of athletes, exciting live entertainment, the lighting of the torch, and a fantastic fireworks show.


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 (at the discretion of our Sports Committee). 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?

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded to the top three athletes in each division of all sports.


What sports are offered?

Individual Sports

  • 2-Gun Competition
  • 22 Rifle Competition
  • 5K Road Race & Walk
  • Archery 3D Archery and Field Archery
  • Archery Youth AIMS  
  • Axe Throwing
  • Bowling
  • Cornhole
  • Cycling/Time Trial
  • Disc Golf
  • Equestrian Events – Barrels & Poles
  • Fencing
  • Junior Golf
  • Pickleball
  • Paddle Race
  • PCC/Pistol Competition
  • Sporting Clays
  • Swimming — Masters & Youth
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis Junior
  • Trail Run
  • Ultimate Flying Disc


  • Baseball — All Star, High School Team and Jr. High Team and Youth/Grand Slam
  • Soccer — High School Team 7v7 and Youth
  • Softball – Rec Teams and High School Fast Pitch
  • Stickball
  • Volleyball — 2 Person and 4 Person

Special Events

  • Pumpkin Run
  • Netfest – 3v3 Soccer and Volleyball and Pickleball


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.