KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Teams of women and girls from around the world are to meet for adrenaline-packed sporting events and activities Monday through Monday, Jan. 22-29, during the 27th annual Kelly McGillis Classic International Women’s & Girls’ Flag Football Championship.
Named for and endorsed by the critically acclaimed actress and former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness,” the championship includes pre- and post-tournament activities and three days of competition.
Diane Beruldsen, president and founder of the International Women’s Flag Football Association that presents the tournament, said more than two dozen teams from across the United States, Mexico, Central America, Sweden, India and Egypt are expected to participate.
“We are very excited that this year's event will include our first International Women’s Flag Football Conference with guest speakers and international board on Wednesday, Jan. 24,” said Beruldsen.
Designed for female players and organizers, the conference is to include discussions on the sport featuring representatives from eight countries.
The tournament brings together players ranging from 9 years old to seniors who compete in multiple divisions, develop their skills during flag football clinics and enjoy camaraderie during watersports excursions and social events.
Following three days of clinics and Key West activities for players, opening ceremonies are slated for 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25.
Kelly’s Players Parade, planned just after the ceremonies, is to feature tournament teams proceeding down Key West’s famed Duval Street. Players typically dress in team uniforms or costumes and carry their country or state flags or team banners in the lively procession, which also includes floats and marching bands.
The official registration party is scheduled at 8 p.m. at Aqua's Side Bar, 504 Angela St.
Games are to begin at 9 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Wicker Field Sports Complex on Kennedy Drive. The competition is to culminate Sunday in playoffs and the World Challenge Game.
Awards are to be presented Sunday night at the Turtle Kraals Restaurant & Bar, 231 Margaret St.
Viewing of all games and activities, including clinics on how to play and officiate flag football, is open to the public free of charge.