Below is a list of topics with our most frequently asked questions from past parents. If you have any additional questions that we can answer for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to us!
What are the JCC Maccabi Games®?
The JCC Maccabi Games are an international athletic competition for Jewish teenagers run much like the Olympics. Athletes have the opportunity to compete against Jewish teens from all over the United States as well as delegations from Israel, Great Britain, Mexico, Canada, and more! The games are played with a focus on “rachmanus” or sportsmanship with the intent to foster long-lasting memories and identification with Judaism and Israel. The Games also promote community involvement, teamwork, and pride in being Jewish. The Games are the largest Jewish teen event in the world; each summer over 6,000 Jewish teens participate. Over 100,000 teens have benefited from the JCC Maccabi Games since 1982.
At this Jewish Olympic style event, each athlete participates in sports or an art discipline, social events, and an opportunity to give back to the community during this week-long experience creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Please sign up for our page on Facebook – JCC Maccabi Games – Team Denver to see some highlights from past years.
Who is eligible for the JCC Maccabi Games?
Jewish teens between the ages of 13-16 as of July 31, 2022 (some exceptions for 12 years are possible this year only). All athletes must be Jewish, which is defined as follows: One of the athlete’s parents is Jewish and the athlete is being raised Jewish, or is a Jew by choice and is being raised Jewish. In the spirit of Maccabi, if the parent or child does not believe that they are Jewish on a year-round basis, then the athlete should not participate in the JCC Maccabi Games. In the athlete online registration, there is a declaration that contains the aforementioned eligibility requirements; both the athlete and his/her parent(s) must sign this declaration.
Where are the games this year? What sports are offered?
Fort Lauderdale, FL: August 6-11, 2023
Team sports in Fort Lauderdale include: Baseball,3v3 and 5v5Basketball, Flag Football, Girl’s Volleyball, Ice Hockey, Boys Lacrosse, and Soccer.
Individual sports in Fort Lauderdale include: Dance, Swimming, Tennis, Table Tennis, Star Reporter (Sports Journalism).
What is a mixed team?
A mixed team is comprised of athletes from multiple delegations. This is a common occurrence and happens when a delegation does not have enough athletes to field a full team. Mixed team athletes still practice and identify as Team Denver, but have the opportunity to be on a team with athletes from various cities and countries. Being on a mixed team can be a great experience and foster lasting friendships with Jewish teens around the world.
Is Maccabi just a one-week commitment?
Being part of the JCC Maccabi team gives teens something to be involved in throughout the year. This includes tryouts, practices, team events, community service opportunities, and more. Yearlong activities are designed to enhance the teen’s JCC Maccabi experience. It is highly recommended that teens attend everything that they are available for, however you may remain on the team regardless of how much you participate throughout the year. However, participation the full week of the games is mandatory.
What are the costs associated with participating in the Colorado Delegation for the 2023 Fort Lauderdale games?
What is the fee for an athlete to participate in the 2023 Colorado Delegation?
JCC Maccabi Games is an all-inclusive experience. Program fees include: JCC Maccabi Games and registration fees ($625), travel/transportation to and from the games, uniform and gear, and adult supervision and coaches (coaches travel, hotels and rental cars). Included in the cost before the games are practices, meals, and social events/team activities.
The final cost for each athlete will be around $2500*. Scholarships and fundraising opportunities will be available.
*Scholarship applications, payment options, and other fee information will be available soon. Check back!
How will my child get to the games?
The local Delegation Head will make arrangements for the delegation to fly to the host city and is included in the registration fee.
How will the athletes be transported once at the games?
The host community will offer a bus system for athletes and coaches that allow them to take buses to their athletic venues as well as to the hub. They will be able to use the transportation system to visit venues other than those for their sport to watch their friends and fellow delegation members compete.
Will visiting families (spectators) be able to use athlete transportation?
No. Spectators must provide their own transportation while at the Games.
What happens if an athlete misses his/her bus?
Most buses run every 15 minutes and athletes will be given transportation schedules upon arrival. If an athlete has missed the bus and must be at an athletic venue promptly, the athlete will be instructed to call the local delegation head for assistance.
Who has permission to transport my child during the games?
Host family members and your own delegation’s coaches over 21, as well as your own delegation head, may transport your child. In addition, drivers for the Games transportation bus system will be permitted to transport Games athletes.
What do athletes do between athletic competitions?
If an athlete has time in between athletic competitions, he/she will have the opportunity to visit other venues to eat, visit with friends, go to Hang Time, or observe other athletic competitions.
How do we find out our child’s athletic schedule and the scores?
The best way to get updates is on our Facebook page: – JCC Maccabi Games – Team Denver Please remember we are covering 13 different sports, coaching, making sure kids are getting food, etc and it is an extremely hectic time for the adults.
Why can’t athletes participate in two sports?
Athletes may participate only in one sport because of concerns for the athlete’s health, issues with scheduling and to allow a larger number of athletes to participate in the Games.
What do athletes do once they have been eliminated from competition?
Athletes will have the opportunity to visit other venues, spend time with friends, and to observe other athletic competitions. There are also activities such as Hang Time at the Hub and exhibition sports which athletes may participate in during their remaining time at the Games. Many athletes enjoy watching the finals of various sports and cheering on their own delegations with new friends.
How many games will my child be able to play?
The amount will vary from sport to sport, but the host city strives to ensure that each athlete will compete on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the week of the Games. Sports such as tennis may offer doubles competition to ensure that the athletes have a significant amount of playing time.
Is my child guaranteed playing time the entire week of the games?
Each JCC has its own policy with regard to playing time. However, all coaches are encouraged by the host city and the local delegation head to give each athlete a significant amount of playing time. The host’s sport chairs work with the JCC Maccabi Games Continental Governing Body to make sure competition formats promote the greatest amount of playing time for each athlete.
What are credentials and why are they needed?
Credentials are visible identification badges for athletes and coaches to help the host’s security team determine who should be admitted into Games venues and keep venues secure. The athlete’s medical information is provided on the back of the credential for emergency purposes. If credentials are lost, replacement credentials are available at the hub. Spectators are also required to obtain a spectator pass which permits them entry into Games venues and Opening Ceremonies only. Details on Spectator passes will be available in summer 2023
Who is responsible and involved in providing security for the games?
The host community works closely with a wide variety of local, state and federal agencies to determine the security needs for the Games.
Who is authorized to give my child clearance to play after he/She is injured?
Clearance may be given only by the hub medical personnel after they have examined the athlete and are confident they are well enough to participate and would not risk further injury. Athletes, delegation heads, coaches and parents are not authorized to give clearance.
Are there trainers at each venue and will they do taping?
Although medical personnel will be available at most venues, they will not be available for taping. Athletes and coaches will be responsible for all taping.
How do I communicate health issues about my child?
Parents will be asked to fill out a medical information form as part of their registration process. In addition, parents should communicate any medical conditions or issues directly to their delegation heads. Any documented information will be kept confidential and parents are encouraged to be honest on their forms so that the delegation head is prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.
Why do I need to provide a medical form filled out by my doctor within the past six months?
It is important for the Games medical staff to have the most up-to-date medical information on each athlete to ensure the athlete receives the best care in the event of an injury or emergency.
What happens if my child gets injured?
Medical personnel are available at most athletic venues and the hub. If an athlete is injured, the on-site staff will evaluate the situation and determine the next course of action. If there is no medical personnel on site, which may be the case for some non-contact sports, the athlete would be taken to the hub, or in an emergency, to the local hospital or urgent care center. In the event of an injury, the athlete’s delegation head will be notified immediately. The delegation head will then contact the parents.
Should athletes bring gifts for their host families?
Athletes are encouraged to bring gifts for their host families. Hosts are extending themselves for an entire week and will appreciate an inexpensive thank you. Suggested gifts include gift certificates to places such as Starbucks or a unique gift from your city.
What meals and assistance, such as laundry, can the athletes expect from their hosts?
Breakfast and some dinners will be provided by the host family. Laundry facilities will be provided, but athletes are expected to do their own laundry when needed. Host families will also provide transportation when needed.
What are the sleeping accommodations that we can expect for athletes?
Each host family is asked to provide athletes with separate and reasonable sleeping accommodations, an air mattress is an acceptable sleeping accommodation.
When will we be contacted by our host families?
Host families will contact athletes and their families to introduce themselves several days before the Games. If you are not contacted by your host family, please inform your delegation head. Do not contact the host community.
Are athletes guaranteed to be housed with their friends?
No. The housing of athletes is very complex and, although the host city will make every effort to accommodate requests, they may not be able to do so. Therefore, requests are not guaranteed. When requesting a roommate, make sure that person requests you and that you are compatible, including allergies, keeping kosher, etc.
What if an athlete is not happy with his/her host family?
Changes in host families will not be made unless the safety or security of an athlete is of concern, or there is a medical condition such as an allergy or dietary issue.
How are host families selected?
Each host city has developed a screening process they use for selecting appropriate host families. Most families recruited from the local JCC, local synagogues/temples and Jewish groups/organizations. In addition, each local athlete MUST house at least two athletes in order to participate in the Games. Although the process may be somewhat different from city to city, all host families are researched to ensure the athlete’s safety and wellbeing.
Are meals included in our registration fee?
Yes. All meals and lodging are included in the athlete’s registration fee.
What meals do host families provide?
Most host families will provide dinner to athletes before they attend Opening Ceremonies and on Host Family Night. They also provide breakfast.
Do the host families serve kosher food?
Kosher homes are available upon request. However, you must specify a kosher home when registering online. In some communities, there is a limited supply of strictly kosher homes, so please register for a kosher home only if the athlete eats only strictly kosher food. Various levels of kashrut may be requested via the online registration process.
Is there a variety of food served each day?
All host cities work with their food and teen committees to create an appealing and varied menu for the week. Meals are healthy and promote a well-balanced diet.
Are there drinks and snacks provided for the athletes during the day?
Yes. Snacks and drinks are provided for athletes and coaches at most venues throughout the day. Athletes are encouraged to carry and keep the Coca Cola water bottle that they receive at orientation with them at all times and to make sure that it is filled with water. Spectators are responsible for their own food and drinks.
Is there food available for vegetarians and vegans?
Yes. All host cities provide both vegetarian and vegan options at each meal.
Is the food at the games kosher?
All Games are required to provide kosher meals, snacks and drinks. The level of kashrut may vary from community to community. Please discuss any concerns with your local delegation head.
Is transportation provided for visitors from the visitor’s hotel to opening ceremonies?
No. Spectators will be responsible for their own transportation during the Games.
Is there a special seating section for each delegation during the opening ceremonies?
Spectators are not permitted to sit with the local delegations. However, most host cities provide a map upon arrival at the venue, which will give spectators an idea of where to sit in order to see or be near their local delegation.
Do we need passes for opening ceremonies?
Yes. All visitors require spectator passes for admittance into Opening Ceremonies. You may register online for your pass at http://www.jccmaccabigames.org/registration. There is a fee for spectator passes that will need to be paid during the registration process on-line. All major credit cards will be accepted. If you have any question, please speak with your local delegation head.
Should I call the host city to get information about the games?
No. Your local delegation head should be able to provide you with all the information you will need to have a positive Games experience for you and your child. Please do not call the host city as they have much to do to prepare for an event of this magnitude.
In addition to the games hotel, where else can I find information about the games?
The host JCC will also have this information available to you. Make sure you have a spectator pass when you arrive that will allow you into selected Games venues. If you do not have a pass, please contact your local delegation head upon arrival. Information regarding the Games is also available on the Games and host community websites.
Where should I stay if I attend the games?
Visiting families are encouraged to stay at the designated JCC Maccabi Games hotels for parents. These hotels will have schedules and directions to athletic venues and Opening Ceremonies available.
What activities can visitors/spectators participate in?
Visitors must wear their spectator passes in order to receive admittance into Games venues. The spectator pass will allow visitors to attend athletic events as well as Opening Ceremonies. Visitors will not be permitted to use Games transportation, dine with the athletes at the Games hub, attend evening activities or consume food or drinks that have been provided for coaches and athletes.
When can visitors/spectators spend time with athletes?
Parents are encouraged to attend Opening Ceremonies and athletic competitions. However, parents cannot take their athlete out of Games activities. By taking athletes out of Games activities athletes miss out on social opportunities, risk missing important time with their team and delegation, and can cause security issues if they cannot be accounted for during the Games.
Who determines if an athlete should be sent home?
Each host city has a Court of Honor. If an athlete or coach has a complaint made against him/her, the Court of Honor will review the complaint and determine if the actions of the person warrant a punishment. The punishments can range from a warning, being asked to sit out a game, to being sent home at their parents’ expense. The Court of Honor’s decision is final. Should local law enforcement intervene then decisions may be out of the committee’s hands.
What behavior could cause athletes to be sent home early?
This is covered in the Code of Conduct. Please review it in the athlete confirmation kit provided by your local delegation head.