The Bay State Games are the premier amateur sports organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Managed through the Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation, the organization was founded in 1982 as the first sanctioned State Games of the Commonwealth. Various medalists in the BSG advance to the State Games of America, which is a part of the National Congress of State Games, and spans over 35 states across the United States. Participants in the Games range from over 300 cities as the Summer Games attract more than 7,000 athletes.
Every winter, the Bay State Winter Games are held in Berkshire County and consist of figure skating, skiing and ice hockey. The six competitions run from late January until the beginning of March. The events will feature participants from Massachusetts as well as New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island as ages range from 8-70. More information on the Winter Games can be found here.
The Summer Games are the MASF’s biggest operation and will last for about six weeks, starting in early June and running through the end of July. Over 27 sports take place during this time period, divided between High School Showcases, Individual Sports and Team Sports. In a High School Showcase, players are divided into six regions based on where they live in the state. They will then try out for the team, and if they are selected they will participate in the finals, where many college scouts regularly attend. Individual Sports involve registering individually for a competition while Team Sports are when a full team will register for a competition.
The Bay State Games has an incredible amount of distinguished alumni who participated in the Games at some point of their athletic careers. Former Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis, Olympic silver-medalist Nancy Kerrigan, Basketball Hall of Famer Rebecca Lobo and Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau are among the most recognizable names from the Bay State Games. In 2011, alum Carlos Pena was inducted into the Bay State Games Hall of Fame at Fenway Park before a game in which he played for the Tampa Bay Rays. Every summer, the Bay States Games elects former participants and contributors to be elected into their Hall of Fame, announced before a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
The Bay State Games also has created and sponsored many other programs to benefit and help the community. The organization gives out multiple scholarships, which are given to various students through Massachusetts. The Future Leaders Scholarship is given to rising high school juniors who display excellence in the classroom and in the community and are Bay State Games participants. The Kristian Rose Memorial Scholarship honors a former Bay State Games intern who passed away in an auto accident in 2011. It is given to a UMass-Amherst sport management student every year, where Kristian was a student, with a preference given to those associated with the Bay State Games. The Bay State Games recently launched an Athlete of the Year program to recognize students that excel on the field as well as in the classroom and the community. Winners will be submitted as representatives for the National Congress of State Games Athlete of the Year Award.
The commitment of everybody involved in the Bay State Games allows for them to run smoothly. The staff, interns, board of directors and volunteers all contribute to ensure a successful year-long organization. The Executive Director of the organization is Kevin Cummings, who has been on staff for basically his entire adult life, starting in 1984 and being promoted to the top gig in 1999. He has seen the Games from their humble beginnings to the incredible amount of participation that there is today. Kevin has also served as the President of the State Games of America, works for the Boston Marathon and Falmouth Road Race, has worked at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and is a statistician for the New England Patriots and Boston College’s (his Alma mater) football and basketball team’s. The Director of Sports & Operations for the organization is none other than Pete Leclerc, who is a commissioner with our good friends at the Western Massachusetts Sports Commission.