The JCC Maccabi Games are coming to Rockland for the first time.
The games run from Aug. 12 to 17 and will see more than 1,250 athletes come to Rockland from 40 delegations from across the United States and Canada, Israel, Latin America and the United Kingdom. The athletes will stay with about 430 host families located primarily in Rockland County, with a few in northern Bergen County and Orange County.
Rockland teams will have about 225 athletes of their own to compete against the other delegations. The games feature 12 sports for boys and girls, although only the girls compete in lacrosse, volleyball and softball, whereas only the boys compete in baseball and inline hockey.
Rockland Community College in Suffern is the main hub for the games, also serving lunch for the athletes and hosting some of the events. Other locations for the games are Suffern High School, Suffern Middle School, Torne Valley Sports Complex, Clarkstown South High School and Germonds Park in West Nyack and West Rock Indoor Sports in Nanuet. There will also be events at a few golf courses and inline roller hockey will take place in Newburgh.
The games will also see more than 500 people volunteer in various capacities, from serving food to scorekeeping to helping out with transportation and more.
Most of the athletes are arriving Sunday, though t.
The JCC Maccabi Games start on Sunday, Aug. 12, with Opening Ceremonies that evening, but the actual events begin on Monday. The Opening Ceremonies Sunday night are expected to draw a crowd of 5,000.
The opening ceremonies will include a the 11 memers of the Israeli team who were killed by terrorists druing the 1972 Munich Olympics. The moment of siclence will be streamed live for a worldwide audience and led by Ankie Spitzer, the widow of murdered Israeli fencing coach Andrei Spitzer.
On Monday and Tuesday, the athletes will play a game in the morning and a game in the afternoon. To read more about the organization of the actual games and the venues at which they will compete, read this story on Patch.
Each night, the athletes will participate in a different planned activity. On Monday they will have a beach bash at Germonds Pool and on Tuesday they will have an arcade party at Dave & Buster’s in the Palisades Center Mall.
On Wednesday, the athletes will play a single-elimination tournament in the afternoon. Before that, they will take part in the JCC Cares, a community service project all athletes must partake in to give back to the community. For more on that program, read this story on Patch.
Wednesday night is Host Family Night, when there are no activities, so the athletes and host families can spend time together either going out for the evening, or getting together with other host families, typically for a pool party or barbecue.
The tournament play will finish up on Thursday, and teams already eliminated will have the option of playing another sport. The evening activity on Thursday is a carnival and closing ceremony.
On Friday, most of the teams make their journey home, although a few are staying a bit longer so they don’t end up traveling during the Sabbath.
Follow the Maccabi Games next week on Patch and on the Maccabi Games website, maccabi.jccrockland.org.