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Decatur Games (copy)

Justin Brooks, left, and other finalists participate in the wing-eating contest during the Decatur Games at Pop's Place in September 2017.

DECATUR — With the 2018 Decatur Games scheduled to begin in September, Tony Albertina said it's the spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie that has made the games a city staple for over 20 years. 

"They're kind of a fun way to be involved and play multiple sports for team building," said Albertina, assistant manager of the Decatur Indoor Sports Center. "... It's kind of neat to meet new people, to grow as a team, church or organization."

Starting on Sept. 18, teams of up to 20 people will participate in a variety of activities on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings. The games will conclude with a day-long event at Rotary Park, 2450 U.S. Business 51, on Saturday, Sept. 29. 

This year's slate of events includes mini golf at Overlook Adventure Park, a photo scavenger hunt at Nelson Park, darts, trivia and karaoke. The big finale at Rotary will feature outdoor games like sand volleyball and adult t-ball.

Albertina said the team that earns the most points at the end of the games will have its name engraved on a trophy that is passed to each year's winning team "like the Stanley Cup."

Last year's winning team was from the ESPN 1050 radio station, he said. 

One new event coming to this year's Decatur Games is an ice cream eating contest, Albertina said, but people don't have to worry about gorging themselves on large amounts of the sweet stuff. 

"The winner is whoever gets done eating it the quickest," he said, "We have a pre-portioned amount."

Albertina said the committee that organizes the games meets each year to discuss what activities should be played during the two-week event and also debrief on what did and didn't work the previous year. This year's games will have 18 total activities, he said. 

"We also look to nationwide and popular trends, so we can kind of keep things interesting and new," Albertina said of the event planning process. 

Registration for the Decatur Games has been extended from Sept. 1 to Sept. 10, Albertina said. People who don't have a team to sign up for the games with shouldn't fret, as a "free agent" team comprised of 15 to 20 single participants will also be assembled. 

"We're looking forward to another great event," Albertina said. "You don't have to work for a company, or have a group of friends to sign up with. It's just a great opportunity to compete in some Olympic-style events."

Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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