The 2017 Empire State Senior Games are slated to take place starting June 10th in Cortland, NY.  This will mark the 36th year of the Senior Games, with a full schedule of events taking place from June 10th through June 18th.

The Cortland Regional Sports Council has been running and managing the Games since 2011 with help from local partners.  “When the State of New York disbanded the department responsible for putting on the games in 2011, we were approached about taking them over.” explained Machell Phelps, Executive Director of the Cortland Regional Sports Council.  “The CRSC agreed to continue running the games, even though there was no financial or logistical support forthcoming”.  Since then, the Games have been run solely on registration fees and a handful of sponsors.

There have been a few changes to the overall set up of the Games, but for the most part, they remain as they were when the State of New York ran them.  Events in the Senior Games division are open to anyone 50 years of age or older.  There are over 18 different sports that make up the Games.  Some of those sports include Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Track & Field, Basketball, Bowling, Pickleball, Archery, Badminton, Cycling and Ping Pong.  Many events have both a men’s and women’s division along with singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Local venues such as Cort-Lanes Bowling Center, Elm Tree Golf Course, Lime Hollow Nature Center, Tompkins Cortland Community College along with several sites on SUNY Cortland’s campus comprise the event locations.  A complete schedule of events is posted on the Senior Games website 

Qualifying via the Empire State Senior Games can lead to competing in the National Senior Games, held every two years in various cities around the United States.  The Games in Cortland are the only avenue to qualifying in New York State for Nationals.  

This year, a Masters division will be added for specific events – Swimming, Track & Field, Bowling and Archery.  This new segment was added in hopes of drawing a larger field but also in hopes of creating additional interest in the competition

“We look forward to having any interested athletes come out and give the Games a try.” says Phelps.  “New friends and memories are waiting to be had in Cortland!”. 

We look forward to having any interested athletes come out and give the Games a try. New friends and memories are waiting to be had in Cortland!

Machell Phelps

Executive Director, Cortland Regional Sports Council

Registration and additional information on the Games can be found at or by calling 800-859-2227.