About the Games
The Show-Me State Games is a non-profit program of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health and is hosted by the University of Missouri. The mission of the Show-Me State Games is simple: to provide all Missourians the opportunity to participate in activities of health, fitness, family and fun.
On May 4, 1982, Governor Kit Bond named 19 Missourians to become the first Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health.
Dr. William C. Allen, chief of arthroscopic surgery at the University of Missouri Medical Center, was named chairman of the group, which Gov. Bond charged “with the responsibility of encouraging and promoting physical fitness and health for Missourians of all ages.”
Two years later, the Council, searching for an impact project, came up with the plan to join other states in the state games program.
The Show-Me State Games is a statewide amateur sports festival that welcomes all Missourians regardless of age or ability. The purpose of the Games is to provide top-quality amateur competition in a wide range of activities. The 2024 Games are scheduled for June 6-9, July 19-21 and July 26-28.
The Show-Me State Games may have started small in 1984 with about 600 participants. However, has now grown to be the largest state games in the nation! The 2023 Summer competition offered more than 40 sports and had more than 20,000 participants. Many of the participants come throughout the state of Missouri making the GAMES a truly state wide event.
As the Games have continued to grow, it is now a year-round event. In addition to the summer games, the Show-Me State Games schedule includes two Hoopin’ It Up Basketball events, a MoNASP event, Shelter Insurance Torch Run, 3v3 soccer tournaments in both the fall and summer, the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital Pumpkin Fun Run, the Audrey Walton Youth Leadership Conference and several other events with the goal of promoting health, fitness, family and fun for all Missourians.
The Show-Me State Games funding is provided from four different avenues, with the largest being corporate sponsorships and entry fees. The SMSG relies on fundraisers and merchandising for the remainder of the funding. The Games are also made possible because of more than 600 volunteers.
In the Olympic tradition, gold, silver and bronze meals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each event.
Participants in the July weekends of the Show-Me State Games must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Reside in Missouri for at least 30 days prior to the date of the competition
- Attend college in the state of Missouri
- Be stationed on a military base in Missouri
- Athlete/Parents must earn a living in Missouri
Participation may also be accepted if the participant’s state of residence does not have a Games or does not have a particular sport.
Participation may also be accepted if approved by both states.
Participation in the SMSG as a player, coach or spectator is a privilege to be attained by meeting the accepted standards of good sportsmanship and appropriate conduct. The Show-Me STATE GAMES Steering Committee, upon recommendation of the Executive Staff, reserves the right to disqualify any player, coach, or spectator from further participation in the Show-Me STATE GAMES for inappropriate conduct including but not limited to the following: unsportsmanlike or disorderly behavior; improper use of alcohol and/or drugs; destruction of property; false representation of age, residency, or eligibility.
Athletes and coaches are responsible for knowing, understanding, and following the rules, policies, and code of conduct for their sport. Any player or coach who is ejected from a contest shall, as minimum penalty, be ineligible to participate or attend the next contest for that team. Violent acts shall result in charges being brought against the individual(s). A copy of the appeal procedure will be given to anyone who has been excluded from further participation.
There will be NO refunds of entry fees with the following exceptions:
- Entries received after entry deadline.
- Entries received after maximum number of teams are bracketed or if there are not enough teams or individuals to form a division.
- NO refunds will be permitted simply because an entrant fails to participate.
- NO refunds will be given due to cancellation because of inclement weather.
Sports using outdoor sites are weather dependent. Competitions will be conducted unless Show-Me STATE GAMES officials determine weather conditions to be potentially dangerous or life threatening, or if the playing fields would incur significant damage. NO refunds due to weather.
Past professional athletes (NBA) are eligible to participate in the sport of their profession if they are not currently under contract prior to the date of competition
It is expressly understood The Curators of the University of Missouri do not insure against, and accept no responsibility for, personal injury, property loss or damage to the participant which might be sustained by the participant as a result of his or her participation. Each participant is responsible for his or her own medical insurance.
Housing and Food
Athletes are responsible for their own housing and food. The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide INFORMATION ONLY concerning room availability for Columbia area hotels and motels. Call the Columbia CVB Monday -Friday 8am-5pm at 573-875-CITY (toll free). Please visit our list of Hotel Partners and Dining Partners; we encourage you to support those who support the Games!
The Show-Me STATE GAMES has been organized in accordance with Missouri State High School Activities Association rules and regulations and NCAA guidelines. Athletes who have eligibility questions should check with their school athletic administrator or coach. Any athlete with scholastic or collegiate eligibility remaining must comply with the rules governing his or her scholastic or collegiate eligibility.