KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Women and girls from around the United States and the world are to gather in Key West for hard-fought sporting action during the 20th annual Kelly McGillis Classic International Women’s & Girls’ Flag Football Championship and Hyatt World Challenge Game, scheduled Sunday, Feb. 6, through Monday, Feb. 14.
According to Diane Beruldsen, president and founder of the International Women’s Flag Football Association, more than 60 teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, India and Europe have been invited to participate. The championship is named for and endorsed by actress McGillis, a former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness,” among other films.
Sanctioned teams compete in divisions based on age and skill level — three for women 18 and over, one for girls ages 8-12 and one for girls ages 13-17.
After three days of introductory Key West activities, the tournament’s opening ceremonies are set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the Rum Barrel, 528 Front St. Scheduled guests include Key West city officials, comedian and professional women’s football player Jennie McNulty and indie music group Mama’s Black Sheep.
At 5 p.m., McNulty is to lead participating teams, VIPs and revelers in the ceremonial Hyatt Players’ Parade along Key West’s renowned Duval Street.
Games are to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, and continue through Sunday’s final Hyatt World Challenge Game that pits an all-star U.S. team against an all-star international team. All games take place at Wicker Field Sports Complex on Kennedy Drive.
Spectators can participate in daily half-time games and nightly parties. Highlights include a comedy performance by McNulty, a competition to crown Ms. IWFFA Key West and an awards presentation following the final game.