As the largest amateur multi-sport event in Connecticut, the Nutmeg State Games have promoted camaraderie, healthy competition, and the Olympic spirit among student athletes for over thirty years. On July 17, 1986, the first Nutmeg State Games took place as 300 amateur athletes gathered in Canton, Connecticut to compete against each other in a number of sports tournaments. Even though the event sustained a financial loss during the first year, the tournament was so well-received by the community that event leaders decided to formally incorporate the Nutmeg Games into a non-profit organization and seek official accreditation from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
After taking a one-year hiatus in order to stabilize finances and add more officially-recognized Olympic sports to the event roster, the Nutmeg State Games resumed in 1988 and have been held annually ever since. Today, over 7,500 amateur athletes between the ages of 6 and 18 compete in over two dozen individual and team sports at the Games, which operate under the official sanction of both the United States Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).