Star of the North Games
The Star of the North Games is Minnesota’s own Olympic-style amateur sports event. Each summer a different Minnesota community hosts the Games, usually the last two weekends in June. The 2016 Games are being held in St. Cloud during the weekends of June 17-19 and 24-26.
The number of sports varies from year to year, but is usually between 18 and 24. The number of athletes also varies from 4,000 to 6,000 due to the location and the number of courts and fields available.
Some of the largest Star of the North Games events are team sports, such as volleyball, soccer, lacrosse and basketball. Individual sports like track and field, road racing and figure skating also draw several hundred athletes each. The Games also take pride in offering growing and developing sports such as BMX cycling, adventure racing and pickleball.
The emphasis is on friendly competition. While the Star of the North Games do draw some elite athletes, the emphasis is on participation and sportsmanship. Most athletes like the Games because they say it’s fun and they enjoy competing against people from across the state.
The Star of the North Games is a member of the National Congress of State Games, a national organization of 33 State Games organizations around the country. Medalists in the Star of the North Games qualify for the State Games of America, a national championship event that is held every two years. The next event is in 2017 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission has organized the Star of the North Games each summer since 1988 as part of its mission to provide sports opportunities for Minnesota residents.