TALLAHASSEE - It will be more than just a trip to the sands of the Gulf of Mexico for those who happen to be visiting Pier Park in Panama City Beach, the weekend of August 13-15.

Not only will the 1,500 foot Russell-Fields City Pier, one of the area's most popular attractions, beckon visitors out over the water, but it will be a perfect vantage point for spectators to watch Sunshine State Games Beach Volleyball.

The 2021 Sunshine State Games International Beach Games features three sports, Beach Soccer, Beach Volleyball and Highland Games, the weekend of August 13-15.  Athletes have one week remaining to register for the sports of the 2021 Beach Games and be a part of the first Sunshine State Games event in Northwest Florida in the 42-year history of the Games.

The registration deadline is Saturday, August 7 and entry fees vary by sport. Visit to register.

The three days of Beach Volleyball features competition for Boy’s and Girl’s Junior Divisions, beginning at 14 and Under through Men’s and Women’s Open Divisions.  Two-person and four-person coed teams will be competing on the 10 regulation beach volleyball courts, on the East side of the City Pier, with a backdrop of the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The sand courts have been the home to several Extreme Volleyball Professionals (EVP) tournaments, including the June, 2020 AVPNext Panama Jack Summer Slam Tournament, with current Olympian Nick Lucena among the athletes.

“There have been some great people who have played on Panama City Beach,” said Sport Director Craig Lenninger, of Marineland, who has directed EVP Tournaments over the years at Pier Park. “It will also be a good for players who want to enjoy the beach and have a good time.”

The schedule for Sunday, August 15, also features King and Queen of the Beach competition for the Junior and Open Divisions.  Players sign up as individuals and are paired with different players throughout the afternoon.  The individual player with the most wins and points among the paired teams are declared the King and Queen of the Beach.

“It’s a great way to meet new people and possibly find a new teammate for those who don’t have a regular doubles teammate,” Lenninger said. “During the course of play with four or five different teammates, players also have a chance to pick up new skills.”

Besides the Beach Volleyball at Pier Park, Highland Games events will be held across the street at Aaron Bessant Park on Saturday, August 14.

A few miles down the beach to the east, Beach Soccer will be played at the M.B. Miller County Pier on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15. Prospective Beach Soccer players can learn more about the sport at a Free Clinic, on Friday evening, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

2021 Sunshine State Games International Beach Games Schedule of Events
Friday, August 13
5:00 p.m. – Free Beach Soccer Player and Officials Clinic, M.B. Miller County Pier
TBD – Beach Volleyball. Juniors Division competition, Pier Park

Saturday, August 14
8:00 a.m. – Beach Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Open Doubles competition, Pier Park
9:00 a.m. – Beach Soccer, M.B. Miller County Pier
9:00 a.m. – Highland Games, Aaron Bessant Park

Sunday, August 15
9:00 a.m. – Beach Volleyball, Coed and King of the Beach competition, Pier Park
9:00 a.m. – Beach Soccer, M.B. Miller County Pier

For more information about the 2021 Sunshine State Games International Beach Games, presented in conjunction with Visit Panama City Beach, please visit,

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