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July 28 - August 2, 2026 in State College, Pennsylvania

The Home of Penn State University

 

More information will be posted the summer of 2024 in regards to sports offered, schedule of events, facilities, lodging, entertainment, special events, and so much more, but for now the most common question is: WHO CAN COMPETE?

Keystone Games Eligible Athletes: YOU CAN COMPETE!

 

Since the 2026 State Games of America (SGA) are hosted in State College by the Keystone State Games, ALL PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS CAN REGISTER for the SGA just like they would for traditional Keystone Games Events. 

In addition, due to the NCSG Neighboring State Policy, athletes from DELAWARE, MARYLAND, NEW JERSEY (Except for Figure skating which is hosted by the Garden State Games), NEW YORK (Except for Figure skating which is hosted by the Empire State Winter Games), and OHIO, CAN REGISTER for the 2026 SGA.

Non-Keystone Games Eligible Athletes: YOU MUST QUALIFY!

 

If you’re an athlete coming from one of the other 30+ National Congress of State Games (NCSG) Member State programs, qualification is more extensive. Here’s how you may have qualified depending on the year you competed in an NCSG Member State program:

  • 2024: All gold, silver, and bronze medalists qualify from NCSG Member State programs, both Winter and Summer.

  • 2025: All gold, silver, and bronze medalists qualify from NCSG Member State programs, both Winter and Summer.

  • 2026: (before July 1): All gold, silver, and bronze medalists qualify from NCSG Member State programs, both Winter and Summer.

  • Any medalist from the 2022 and/or 2024 SGA qualifies to compete at the State Games of America in State College 2026.

 

Note: Any athlete who has qualified in any event within a particular sport will be eligible to participate in all applicable events within said sport. i.e. A Track & Field athlete who only qualifies in one event in Track & Field, would be eligible to enter as many events within Track & Field allowed by the sport, or Gymnastics that qualifies in one event is eligible to participate in the all-around competition, etc. at the SGA 2026.

Additional Eligibility Notes

*Gymnastics and *Figure Skating Special Eligibility:  Due to the volume of participants competing and limited number of competition slots at the SGA in both Gymnastics and Figure Skating; Pennsylvania participants & NCSG Neighboring State Policy Athletes must at least participate (and are not required to medal) in one of the 2024, 2025, and/or 2026 respective sporting events to qualify to compete at the 2026 SGA.  If divisions are not filled by April 1, 2026, then the tournament director has the opportunity to open registration to all PA Residents & NCSG Neighboring State Policy Athletes.

Team Sports/Relays

All teams/relays that have qualified for SGA 2026 must register into the age category of the current age of the players on the roster. In addition, the SGA 2026 roster must be made up of at least 50% of the qualifying team/relay.

Exceptions

The National Congress of State Games reserves the right to grant exceptions to participate in SGA 2026 “Participation” sports.  These sports include: 5K Run / Walk, Basketball Shooting, Basketball 3v3, Bocce, Cheer Camp, Cornhole, Darts, Disc Golf, Esports, Football Combine, Keystone Classic Captain and Crew Golf Tournament, Slow Pitch Softball, Squash, and Wrestling Duals.

Sport Qualification

Lastly, review the offered sports as the final step to check for qualification. Even if you meet the qualification criteria as a Keystone Games Eligible Athlete or non-Keystone Games Eligible Athletes, your sport must be offered in the 2026 State Games of America to participate. Each host state determines the sport lineup, so even if your sport was offered in 2024 or 2025 in your home state, it may not be offered in the 2026 State Games of America. This may be influenced by regional or geographic location, facilities, sport directors, and more.

The State Games of America is organized in accordance with the National Congress of State Games SGA Executive Committee guidelines. For sport-specific formats, guidelines and rules, see the sport information page. High School and Collegiate 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 rules governing his or her scholastic or collegiate eligibility.  The State Games of America reserves the right to refuse entry.

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