Registration opens March 2 for National Veterans Golden Age Games

Competition in Madison, Wis., marks 34th year serving Veterans


Registration to compete in the 2020 National Veterans Golden Age Games opens March 2, 2020, at 12 p.m. ET. Eligible Veterans must be age 55 and older and receive VA health care.

Applications will be online at Registration closes once it reaches the maximum number of applicants. The Games run from June 22-27 in Madison, Wis.

“For 34 years, VA has been hosting the National Veterans Golden Age Games as a rehabilitation event dedicated to the health and well-being of our nation’s Veterans 55 and older,” said Carla Ruff, director of the National Veterans Golden Age Games. “In keeping with the Games’ motto – ‘Fitness for Life’ – we want to encourage every Veteran to apply and make activity and fitness an integral part of their lives.”

Hosted by the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, the National Veterans Golden Age Games offer competition in: air pistol, air rifle, badminton, basketball, boccia, bowling, cycling, disc golf, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, pickleball, power walk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, and track and field.

veteran riding bike

Cycling is one of 17 competitive events at the National Veterans Golden Age Games. Registration for the Games opens March 2. (Reynaldo Leal/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

The National Veterans Golden Age Games is the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and the only national multi-event sports competition designed specifically to improve the quality of life for military Veterans age 55 and older.

The Games encourage participants to continue in local events in their home communities. This year’s National Veterans Golden Age Games are a qualifying event for the 2021 National Senior Games, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

VA expects more than 1,000 local volunteers to donate their time and efforts. Multiple volunteer opportunities will be available to help with everything from sporting events to hospitality services. Events will take place at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center, the Madison Marriott West hotel, the Dane County Regional Airport, Madison and Middleton hotels, and other surrounding community venues.

Volunteer registration will open in April. Interested volunteers can email to receive more information and updates.

For more information about the National Veterans Golden Age Games, visit and follow VA Adaptive Sports Programs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @Sports4Vets.

Read more:

Once `broken,’ former pro football player feels rejuvenated competing in Golden Age Games
Competing on behalf of Native American tribe, Marine Veteran earns gold medals at Golden Age Games
Competing in pain, Navy Veteran captures medals in wheelchair division of Golden Age Games

By VA’s Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events


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  1. Amelia Johnson    

    Wow. 2 and a half hours. Why cant we have regional games? This kinda sucks. Engage local volunteers by regional VA centers.

  2. Tom Heckenkamp    

    What kind of farce are you running here? A national contest that closes registration in 2 1/2 hours on the day it opens? No qualifications or elimination entrance requirements? So no wonder someone that is in the 70-75 age group can win 10th place by running the 100 meter race in 53 seconds! What a joke. I am 70 and could run the race backwards in less than 53 seconds, yet I am not able to register a day after the application process opens, and am eliminated because no qualifications as to who enters.

    What a joke!!

    1. Jim VH    

      It was First come First Registered. I missed out too. Better luck next year?

  3. Tom Will    

    any chance to add the high jump to the field events

  4. Terry Shanahan    

    A lot of questions use the link in the article The rules, schedule, etc. will clarify many of your questions. As for registration it starts 2 March at 1200 hours eastern standard time. Central Time is 1100 hours. Take a look at events offered for your age group. Look at possible conflicts on times for an event and select according. I have participated for the last 8 years. I am at my computer on the hour to start registration. VA provides per diem $25 Monday and $50 a day Tuesday through Saturday (on a debit card). Pay attention to the requirements to receive the entire rate (most participant in events on at least 3 days). You are responsible for hotel and air fare. Hotel are listed after you complete registration. This year hotel cost is $133 + tax per night. Hope this helps.

  5. SanJuana Mendez    

    Would like to compete. Biggest concern is hw cost covered. Am recent widow whose bank acct has been seized to recover overpayment of benefits V.A. failed to stop when husband died.

  6. Jimmy Riddle    

    My experience with registration; it’s already close the day it’s suppose to open on March 2. No chance for individual veterans not already on a team or have sponsors. I’ll try on March 2 just to make my point and document.

    1. Tom Heckenkamp    

      Exactly! Makes no sense.

  7. Rickey lee Petersen    

    Where can we get information/rules for the events?? Thanks

  8. Donald Taylor    

    Donad Taylor
    I live in Indianapolis, IN and I would love to participate in the Golder Age Games. I used to play table tennis while stationed at FT. Bragg, NC in the 80’s. Does anybody know who is the POC in the Indianapolis area since this is new to me? Please contact me.

  9. Elizabeth    

    Registration starts Monday March 2nd…

  10. ron baese    

    You missed one that may fool you, Karate. Many Vets over 65 and 70 are still active in Karate, training and 4 and 5 days a week, especially if they are Black Belt Rank. Having trained for 30, 40 and 50 years 65 and 70 are just numbers. I’m 72 and won’t hang up my Gi until the bury me.

  11. Gary Music    

    I don’t see a link to sign up??

  12. Phil    

    What are the bicycling events?

  13. Chip Ridky    

    The Rec therapy folks at the Togus VA in Maine are terrific. They provide all types of in-house and information about outside -Togus programs of all types at many locations around the state.
    In fact, my experience with Togus as a whole is five stars on a five star scale.
    Seems everyone there works together to provide excellent veteran health and wellness.

    I’m looking forward to again attending the Golden Age Games . Anchorage was my first and was a great time. Looking forward to Wisconsin.

  14. Jim Buckley    

    Are there no regional or state qualifiers? I get my treatment from Raymond G Murphy VA in Albuquerque.

  15. Jerry Pujol    

    How can I register for track and field age 88.

  16. Wayne Martin    

    Why don’t you have Tennis in the golden age games? A lot of Veterans play tennis all the way to their nineties.

  17. Denise Singleton    

    Could you supply more information about the power walking?

  18. Lou Richards    

    What are the swimming and track and field events?

  19. Mark Cosby    

    This is great… How can we volunteer to go help!!!???

  20. Mark Cosby    

    How can we volunteer to go help!!!???

  21. Lyle David Arnold    

    Would love to compete in the Veteran Games and would be proud to represent the V.A.

  22. Allen Jackson    

    I would love to participate; are there fees and discounts for airfare and hotel? Will be traveling from California.

  23. John P. Romeo jr    

    I once played in the golden age games. I won a gold medal for 9 ball one year in Virginia. Had fun another year but did not win any medals. I would love to join the golden age games again but I have no money for travel.

    1. aLLAN hOLLMANN    

      is it pickleball singles or doubles? If so do I need to bring a partner?

  24. charles Lightwalker    

    I am in Spokane, WA, and am a disable Veteran, member of Vietnam Veterans of America, and serve on the Spokane County Veterans Advisory Board, and would love to participate in the Golden Age Games, we are a very supportive community here and have lots of active Veterans, hope i can learn more and participate

  25. jena    

    This is so great. I wish I could participate in it.

  26. Susan D Young    

    That is too bad. I use OKC VA. We have many activities through Therapeutic Recreation. Adaptive sports, strength training, arthritis exercise class, plus pottery, Leisure Skills, stick making, quilting, Book club, an alliance with Fred Jones Museum on OU campus. Our local vocational school lets any veteran take their classes free one just has to buy supplies and textbooks. Tai chi is offered, self defense for we omen ( instructor does individual modification due to any mobility or physical issue. I could even list more. Best of all we have a Women’s Group.

  27. Deborah C Freeman    

    I. Live in San Antonio TX. The Audie L. Murphy as noting for Veterans. I came from George Walden VA in Salt Lake City UT. I would love to come to the Golen Age Games and the Sport camps and the National Veterans Sport Camp. We don’t get any information about Veteran Activities. The only thing they do here is Paint Rocks, and play games. It is very sad here for Vets.

    1. Terry Shanahan    

      I live in San Antonio also. I have participated in the Veterans Games for 8 years now. Agree Audie Murphy does a poor job on distributing VA games information to the community. We have a POC (coach) from the VA. If interested contact me. Registration starts on Monday and from past experience the events fill up in 2-3 hours.

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