In an effort to be helpful to parents and athletes, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions from parents of past JCC Maccabi Games’. We hope you will take the time to read through all the questions and answers. We hope that this section provides you with valuable information and a better understanding of the Games.
Who has permission to transport my child during the Games?
Host family members and your own delegation’s coaches over 21, as well as your own delegation head, may transport your child. In addition, drivers for the Games transportation bus system will be permitted to transport Games athletes.
What happens if an athlete misses his/her bus?
Most buses run every 15 minutes and athletes will be given transportation schedules upon arrival. If an athlete has missed the bus and must be at an athletic venue promptly, the athlete will be instructed to call the local delegation head for assistance.
Will visiting families (spectators) be able to use athlete transportation?
No. Spectators must provide their own transportation while at the Games.
How will the athletes be transported once at the Games?
The host community will offer a bus system for athletes and coaches which will allow them to take buses to their athletic venues as well as to the hub. They will be able to use the transportation system to visit venues other than those for their sport to watch their friends and fellow delegation members compete.
How will my child get to the Games?
We will make arrangements for the delegation to fly or drive to the host city.
Who is responsible and involved in providing security for the Games?
The host community works closely with a wide variety of local, state and federal agencies to determine the security needs for the Games.
What are credentials and why are they needed?
Credentials are visible identification badges for athletes and coaches to help the host’s security team determine who should be admitted into Games venues and keep venues secure. The athlete’s medical information is provided on the back of the credential for emergency purposes. If credentials are lost, replacement credentials are available at the hub. Spectators are also required to obtain a spectator pass which permits them entry into Games venues and Opening Ceremonies only.
How are host families selected?
Each host city has developed a screening process they use for selecting appropriate host families. Most families are sought out from the local JCC, local synagogues/temples and Jewish groups/organizations. In addition, each local athlete MUST house at least two athletes in order to participate in the Games. Although the process may be somewhat different from city to city, all host families are researched to ensure the athlete’s safety and well being.
What if an athlete is not happy with his/her host family?
Changes in host families will not be made unless the safety or security of an athlete is of concern, or there is a medical condition such as an allergy or dietary issue.
Are athletes guaranteed to be housed with their friends?
No. The housing of athletes is very complex and, although the host city will make every effort to accommodate requests, they may not be able to do so. Therefore, requests are not guaranteed. When requesting a roommate, make sure that person requests you and that you are compatible, including allergies, keeping kosher, etc.
When will we be contacted by our host families?
Host families will contact athletes and their families to introduce themselves several days before the Games. If you are not contacted by your host family, please inform your delegation head. Do not contact the host community.
What are the sleeping accommodations that we can expect for athletes?
Each host family is asked to provide athletes with separate and reasonable sleeping accommodations.
What meals and assistance, such as laundry, can the athletes expect from their hosts?
Breakfast and some dinners will be provided by the host family. Laundry facilities will be provided, but athletes are expected to do their own laundry when needed. Host families will also provide transportation when needed.
Should athletes bring gifts for their host families?
Athletes are encouraged to bring gifts for their host families. Hosts are extending themselves for an entire week and will appreciate an inexpensive thank you. Suggested gifts include gift certificates to places such as Starbucks or a unique gift from your city.
What behavior could cause athletes to be sent home early?
This is covered in the Code of Conduct. Please review it in the athlete confirmation kit provided by your local delegation head.
Who determines if an athlete should be sent home?
Each host city has a Court of Honor. If an athlete or coach has a complaint made against him/her, the Court of Honor will review the complaint and determine if the actions of the person warrant a punishment. The punishments can range from a warning, being asked to sit out a game, to being sent home at their parents’ expense. The Court of Honor’s decision is final. Should local law enforcement intervene then decisions may be out of the committee’s hands.
When can visitors/spectators spend time with athletes?
Parents are encouraged to attend Opening Ceremonies and athletic competitions. However, parents are strongly discouraged from taking their child out of Games activities. By taking athletes out of Games activities, athletes miss out on social opportunities, risk missing important time with their team and delegation, and can cause security issues if they cannot be accounted for.
What activities can visitors/spectators participate in?
Visitors must wear their spectator passes in order to receive admittance into Games venues. The spectator pass will allow visitors to attend athletic events as well as Opening Ceremonies. Visitors will not be permitted to use Games transportation, dine with the athletes at the Games hub, attend evening activities or consume food or drinks that have been provided for coaches and athletes.
Where should I stay if I attend the Games?
Visiting families are encouraged to stay at the designated JCC Maccabi Games hotels for parents. These hotels will have schedules and directions to athletic venues and Opening Ceremonies available.
In addition to the Games hotel, where else can I find information about the Games?
The host JCC will also have this information available to you. Make sure you have a spectator pass when you arrive that will allow you into selected Games venues. If you do not have a pass, please contact your local delegation head upon arrival. Information regarding the Games is also available on the Games and host community websites.
Should I call the host city to get information about the Games?
No. Your local delegation head should be able to provide you with all the information you will need to have a positive Games experience for you and your child. Please do not call the host city as they have much to do to prepare for an event of this magnitude.
What are the North American requirements for an athlete to qualify?
Each athlete must be Jewish and have at least one Jewish parent and must be between the ages of 13 and 16 as of July 31 of the year of the Games for which the athlete is registering.
Is my child guaranteed playing time the entire week of the Games?
Each JCC has its own policy with regard to playing time. However, all coaches are encouraged by the host city and the local delegation head to give each athlete playing time. The host’s sport chairs work with the JCC Maccabi Games Continental Governing Body to make sure competition formats promote the greatest amount of playing time for each athlete.
How many games will my child be able to play?
The amount will vary from sport to sport, but the host city strives to ensure that each athlete will compete on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the week of the Games. Sports such as tennis may offer doubles competition to ensure that the athletes have a significant amount of playing time.
What do athletes do once they have been eliminated from competition?
Athletes will have the opportunity to visit other venues, spend time with friends, and to observe other athletic competitions. There are also activities such as Hang Time at the Hub and exhibition sports such as NFL Flag Football, which athletes may participate in during their remaining time at the Games. Many athletes enjoy watching the finals of various sports and cheering on their own delegations and new friends.
Why can’t athletes participate in two sports?
Athletes may participate only in one sport because of concerns for the athlete’s health, issues with scheduling, and to allow a larger number of athletes to participate in the Games.
How do we find out our child’s athletic schedule and the scores?
Host cities will make their best effort to post scores in a timely manner. Scores will be posted on the host city’s website as well as at the host city’s hub.
What do athletes do between athletic competitions?
If an athlete has time in between athletic competitions, he/she will have the opportunity to visit other venues to eat, visit with friends, go to Hang Time, or observe other athletic competitions.
What happens if my child gets injured?
Medical personnel are available at most athletic venues and the hub. If an athlete is injured, the on-site staff will evaluate the situation and determine the next course of action. If there is no medical personnel on site, which may be the case for some non-contact sports, the athlete would be taken to the hub, or in an emergency, to the local hospital or urgent care center. In the event of an injury, the athlete’s delegation head will be notified immediately. The delegation head will then contact the parents.
Why do I need to provide a medical form filled out by my doctor within the past six months?
It is important for the Games medical staff to have the most up-to-date medical information on each athlete to ensure the athlete receives the best care in the event of an injury or emergency.
How do I communicate health issues about my child?
Parents will be asked to fill out a medical information form as part of their registration process. In addition, parents should communicate any medical conditions or issues directly to their delegation heads. Any documented information will be kept confidential and parents are encouraged to be honest on their forms so that the delegation head is prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.
Are there trainers at each venue and will they do taping?
Although medical personnel will be available at most venues, they will not be available for taping. Athletes and coaches will be responsible for all taping.
Who is authorized to give my child clearance to play after he/she is injured?
Clearance may be given only by the hub medical personal after they have examined the athlete and are confident they are well enough to participate and would not risk further injury. Athletes, delegation heads, coaches and parents are not authorized to give clearance.
Is the food at the Games kosher?
All Games are required to provide kosher meals, snacks and drinks. The level of kashrut may vary from community to community. Please discuss any concerns with your local delegation head.
Is there food available for vegetarians and vegans?
Yes. All host cities provide both vegetarian and vegan options at each meal.
Are there drinks and snacks provided for the athletes during the day?
Yes. Snacks and drinks are provided for athletes and coaches at most venues throughout the day. Athletes are encouraged to carry and keep the water bottle that they receive at orientation with them at all times and to make sure that it is filled with water. Spectators are responsible for their own food and drinks.
Is there a variety of food served each day?
All host cities work with their food and teen committees to create an appealing and varied menu for the week. Meals are healthy and promote a well-balanced diet.
Do the host families serve kosher food?
Kosher homes are available upon request. However, you must specify a kosher home when registering online. In some communities, there is a limited supply of strictly kosher homes, so please register for a kosher home only if the athlete eats only strictly kosher food. Various levels of kashrut may be requested via the online registration process.
What meals do host families provide?
Most host families will provide dinner to athletes before they attend Opening Ceremonies and on Host Family Night. They also provide breakfast.
Are meals included in our registration fee?
Yes. All meals and lodging are included in the athlete’s registration fee.
Do we need passes for Opening Ceremonies?
Yes. All visitors require spectator passes for admittance into Opening Ceremonies. There is a fee for spectator passes that will need to be paid during the registration process on-line. All major credit cards will be accepted. If you have any question, please speak with your local delegation head.
Is there a special seating section for each delegation?
Spectators are not permitted to sit with the local delegations. However, most host cities provide a map upon arrival at the venue, which will give spectators an idea of where to sit in order to see or be near their local delegation.
Is transportation provided for visitors from the visitor’s hotel to Opening Ceremonies?
No. Spectators will be responsible for their own transportation during the Games.
What is the schedule for Opening Ceremonies?
We will be able to provide you with information regarding Opening Ceremonies, once we receive it from the Host City.