By Zack Huffman
Every summer amateur athletes from all over the state come to the metro-Atlanta area seeking competition in a plethora of different sporting events, such as tennis, baseball, BMX biking and even wheelchair fencing.
Collectively known as the Georgia State Games, these events, which number close to 50, require no previous qualifiers and are open to all challengers provided they are able to pay the entrance fee.
Although it varies from event to event, entrance fees are typically within the range of $10-$40 for individuals.
The Georgia State Games, which has no affiliation with AAU sports, has been around 18 summers, including the 2008 games.
Most of events take place in June or July with a few events in May.
There was single event indoor volleyball, which took place as far back as March 21.
Aside from indoor volleyball, the first official contest, the Tae Kwon Do championships came Mar. 2
Local competitors from the TMA Olympic Tae Kwon Do School in Fayette County brought home seven gold and 15 silver medals.
The only other event that has already taken place was the BB gun shooting championships, which were held May 16 at the Rockdale County Soccer Complex.
Several events will be coming to the Southern Crescent, with two in Clayton County followed by a third event in Henry.
The first will take place June 13 when the soccer championships come to the Lovejoy Soccer Complex.
The soccer championships with feature seven-person teams with five separate brackets for players 19 or younger, a division for ages 20-35 and a final division for those over 35.
Participants must register as a team, paying a $225 entrance fee for all seven players combined before the event online, and $250 for a paper registration which can be processed through the mail or onsite on the day of the event.
On July 10 and 11, the adult softball championships will take place at the Lovejoy Regional Park.
Teams of 20 players can register online at the Georgia State Games website.
The BMX championship will be held at the Sandy Ridge BMX track in McDonough, Aug. 1.
The entrance fee is just $12. Riders are expected to adhere to safety requirements, which are all listed on the BMX cycling section of the Georgia State Games website.
Earning a medal for a top-three placement is enough to qualify athletes to represent Georgia in the State Games of America, which are held every other year.
This year, the State Games of America will be held in Colorado Spring, Co.
Medalists this year's Georgia State Games will be eligible for the 2011 State Games of America.
More information can be found at http://www.gagames.kennesaw.edu