KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Twenty-five teams of women and girls from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom are to converge on Key West in February for the 19th annual Kelly McGillis Classic International Women’s & Girls’ Flag Football Championship. The championship, named for and endorsed by the critically acclaimed actress and former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness,” is scheduled Sunday, Feb. 7, through Monday, Feb. 15.
According to Diane Beruldsen, president and founder of the International Women’s Flag Football Association, players ranging from 8 years old to seniors are to compete in the sporting challenge.
The tournament incorporates social events, parties and daily activities for participants as well as four days of hard-fought competition.
Teams compete in divisions based on age and skill level. Divisions include those for girls ages 8-14, juniors ages 14-17 and beginners, middle and higher divisions for women 18 and over.
Following three days of Key West activities, the tournament’s opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Guy Harvey’s Grill, 511 Greene St.
Following the ceremonies, competing teams are to proceed down Key West’s renowned Duval Street in the annual players parade. Team members are asked to carry their country or state flags or team banners in the procession, which also typically includes floats and marching bands.
Games are to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, and take place at Wicker Field Sports Complex, located on Kennedy Drive off Flagler Avenue. The action continues daily through Sunday’s playoffs, with the championships — to be followed by the World Challenge Game that pits top U.S. women’s all-stars against international all-stars.
The tournament lineup also features daily half-time games for players and spectators, as well as Sunday awards events for girls’, juniors’ and women’s teams.
For more information and a full schedule of events for the Kelly McGillis Classic, and for information about the International Women’s Flag Football Association, visit www.iwffa.com, call Diane Beruldsen toll-free at 888-464-9332 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For lodging information in Key West, contact the Key West Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539), or visit the Keys Web site at www.fla-keys.com.