18 Sports Events to Watch in 2018

By Matt Swenson, January 11, 2018

Between the Winter Olympics and World Cup, there will be no shortage of great sports events in 2018. To make it easier for you, we’ve pared the list down to 18— for obvious reasons. And while there are many more events than these to keep an eye on, our annual list of must-watch sports events is a great place to start.

1. NGBA Gods of the Seas Tournament
Jan. 18-22

National Gay Basketball Association Director Mark Chambers, a 2017 Game Changer, isn’t going overboard in 2018. Rather, he and the participants of the Gods of the Seas tournament will be aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship—an idea Chambers says was sparked during Connect Sports in Pittsburgh in 2015. Talk about an incredible experience to start the new year.

2. The Winter Olympics
Feb. 9-25

Four years of work from NGBs culminates Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Among the stories to watch will be whether U.S. Biathlon can cap off some record-breaking performances with gold, silver or bronze medals. Also of note will be new marketing techniques and technology uses you can find inspiration from.

3. Hoyt Archery Pro/Am
Feb. 22-26

Foley Sports Tourism Complex will enjoy its first full year of operation in 2018. Among the early highlights will be this Archery Shooters Association event that will draw thousands of athletes within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico.

4. NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship
March 15-17

The National Junior College Athletic Association is going to get to know Rockford, Illinois, quite a bit over the next few years. The destination, in conjunction with Rock Valley College, landed the organization’s D-III women’s hoops championship in 2018 and 2020. Rockford will host the NJCAA D-III women’s soccer tournament.

5. USA Badminton Adult National Championships
April 13-15

Harbour Pointe Badminton Club in Mukilteo, Washington, was built to host national events like this April 13-15 championship. The adult nationals has drawn nearly 100 of the best players in the United States, each of the last five years, including 2016 Rio Olympians Howard Shu, Eva Lee, Paula Obanana, Jamie Subandhi and Sattawat Pongnairat. We know the event is in good hands with the Snohomish County Sports Commission.

18 events to watch: Quidditch Cup6. Quidditch Cup XI
April 14-15

It will be brooms up at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, which debuted last year. The event will be a great showcase for the 10-field complex that’s 30 minutes north of Austin. The region is already a hotbed for quidditch. The Austin area is home to two national championship teams: Texas Quidditch (2013, 2014 and 2015) and Texas Cavalry (2017).

Holly Anderson, a key player in the sports tourism industry for more than a decade, has been promoted to lead Connect Sports.

Connect Sports and SportsPittsburgh and proud to announced the 2019 Game Changers—event professionals who continue to drive sports tourism forward.

U.S. Figure Skating is currently seeking proposals to host its 2021 Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships. RFPs are due Sept. 30.

Legendary triathlete and coach Siri Lindley will discuss her experiences and insight at Connect Sports as part of the speaker showcase.

Interim Director Craig Campbell says St. Pete/Clearwater Sports & Events is turning its focus to the community’s No. 1 resource: the beach.