The Cornhusker State Games is conducted by the Nebraska Sports Council. The Nebraska Sports Council is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission of providing quality competition for amateur athletes of all ages and abilities and promoting healthy and active lifestyle choices.
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The Nebraska Sports Council was founded in 1985 by Dr. Richard Hammer, Jerry McGinn and O.W. “Bill” Smith and is governed by a 25-member statewide board of directors.
The Cornhusker State Games is a statewide amateur sports festival for all Nebraskans. The purpose of the Games is to provide top-quality amateur competition in a wide range of activities. The 2016 Games are scheduled for July 15-24 at more than 70 sites in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities.
The first Cornhusker State Games in 1985 offered 19 sports and attracted 4,000 participants. In 2014, the Cornhusker State Games attracted 13,460 participants in more than 60 competitive and participation sports. Participants came from 78 counties; the oldest official participant was 87 years, the youngest was 9 months. The 2015 State Games of America, which replaced the Cornhusker State Games last summer, attracted 15,244 participants from 47 different states, plus Washington D.C. The oldest official participant was 89 years and the youngest was 9 months.
Besides offering a wide range of competitions (from traditional Olympic sports such as Track & Field, Gymnastics and Swimming) Nebraskans' competitive interests are served by less demanding events such as Horseshoe Pitching, Mallwalk and Chess.
The National Congress of State Games, the membership organization of the Cornhusker State Games, has recently amended its residency requirement to allow non-resident participation in State Games events by residents of states that have no State Games program and residents of states whose State Games program does not offer their sport of choice. The Nebraska Sports Council, in order to foster State Games interest in non-member states, has agreed to allow non-resident participation in a limited number of sports on this basis.
Programs of the Nebraska Sports Council are made possible because of the financial support of more than 60 corporate sponsors, in-kind and cash donations from more than 350 business and organizations and the efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers.
Standards of Sportsmanship
It is the philosophy of the Cornhusker State Games that all who take part should do so in the spirit of fair competition and good sportsmanship. It is expected that all participants -- athletes, coaches and fans -- adhere to the principles of good sportsmanship. The Nebraska Sports Council Board of Directors reserves the right to deny participation to anyone whom it determines to have violated the principles of good sportsmanship, or for any reason it deems to be in the best interest of the Games.