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State Senior Games: Cycling, Basketball, Track, surprises

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The Indiana State Games
The Indiana State Games include classic sports like cycling. The games begin June 9 and continue through the summer.

New activities include trivia, urban walks and cards; medals for some non-sport activities

The Indiana State Games have been going on since 1986, only stopping once for COVID-19 in 2020. About 500 compete each season drawing another 1,000 who come to watch.

The local organization, a 501(C)3 non-profit, also hosts national qualifying rounds for the National Senior Games Association. But this year, Director Holly Schneider said they’ve added some non-competition activities.

“New this year is a trivia night, card playing —including clavier Euchre, dominoes, and chess," Schneider said. "And then we have an urban walk and a recreation day to kind of end that on the 17th of June. And then we have skeet shooting at archery that weekend ending June 19 for the Evansville tri-state area.”

The State Senior Games include competitions like cross country running, track and field activities, swimming and volleyball.

Winners can earn the usual award ribbons for sports like golf and tennis, but what about cornhole? Indeed one can win a gold medal in cornhole. Or shuffleboard. Or power walking.

Schneider said people compete there for lots of reasons.

“Some people compete in the Indiana State Games because they were a college athlete, and they want to just keep living that competition," she said. "Others are new to the sport, and have friends and camaraderie. All levels of competition are in our Indiana State game.” She said competitors can enjoy reduced loneliness and depression.

There are still some open spots left for those 50 and older for pickleball, basketball, volleyball, racquetball and swimming. Learn more at indianastategames.org.

The games begin locally with shuffleboard and a cross country run on Thursday, June 9.

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Indiana State Games
Participants in a 2021 men's basketball competition. Games are set by age bracket and gender.