Key West, Florida Keys,
15:35 PM

Key West to Host Annual Kelly McGillis Classic International Flag Football Championship

Women and girls from around the United States and the world are to gather in Key West for hard-fought sporting action during the 2024 Kelly McGillis Classic International Women’s & Girls’ Flag Football Championship. Scheduled Monday through Monday, Jan. 22-29, the adrenaline-packed event features pre- and post-tournament activities and three days of competition.

The sporting challenge is named for and endorsed by the critically acclaimed actress and former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness” among other films.

Teams from the U.S. as well as Morocco, Spain, Sweden, Pakistan, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador are expected to join McGillis in the island city for the 32nd annual championship.

The tournament brings together players ranging from 8 years old to seniors who compete in multiple divisions, develop their skills during flag football clinics and enjoy camaraderie during social activities. 

The week also features free acting workshops, a women’s speaker series, an arm wrestling contest, wacky “toilet relay races” and parties every night. Flag football team members and the public can take part.

Following three days of clinics and Key West activities for players, opening ceremonies are slated for 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Half Shell Raw Bar at 231 Margaret St.

Kelly’s Players Parade, planned just after the ceremonies with actresses McGillis and Terri White as grand marshalls, is to feature tournament teams proceeding through Key West’s Historic Seaport area and famed Duval Street. Players typically dress in team uniforms or costumes and carry their country or state flags or team banners.

The official registration party is to begin at 8 p.m. at the Bourbon St. Pub, 724 Duval St.

Games are to kick off at 9 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Wicker Field Sports Complex on Kennedy Drive off Flagler Avenue. The competition is to culminate Sunday in playoffs and the World Challenge Game.

Awards are to be presented Sunday night at El Siboney, 5501 5th Ave. on Stock Island.

Viewing of all games and activities throughout the week — including clinics on how to play and officiate flag football — is open to the public free of charge.             

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