"Strong legs run
that weak legs
may walk"






The Iowa Shrine All-Star Football Game was established by a group of sports minded Iowa Shriners after having seen the success of Shrine sponsored Football Games in other states.  After much planning, the first All-Star Football and Basketball games were played in 1973 in Iowa City.  These games were financially unsuccessful; thus the Basketball game was dropped. 

In 1974, after much dedicated work, the indebtedness was paid off.  The contributions from this annual event now total over $2.6 million dollars in support of The Shriner's Hospitals for Children programs.  All profits from the game are distributed to The Shriner's Hospitals for Children making any sponsorship a charitable contribution.    

The efforts of our players, cheerleaders, dance team members, their parents, coaches and the generosity of their sponsors and communities has generated the following amounts : 2003 - $72,000, 2004 - $101,000, 2005 - $80,000, 2006 - $80,000 2007 - $76,000, 2008 - $72,000, 2009 - $50,000 , 2010 - $70,000.  2011 - $60,000,  2012 - $68,000, 2013 - $80,000, 2014 - $90,000, 2015 - $80,000, 2016 - $90,000 and 2017 - $70,000.  .  

Our goal this year is $100,000.  

"With Your Help It Will Happen"

The Board of Directors for the Iowa Shrine Bowl Games, Inc. is structured to have 3 Shriners from each of Iowa’s four Shrine Centers: Abu Bekr, Sioux City; El Kahir, Cedar Rapids; Kaaba, Davenport; and Za-Ga-Zig, Altoona.  Each member is appointed to a three-year term with a new member appointed from each Shrine Center annually.  Each Shrine Center appoints a Coordinator to assist his Shrine Center in soliciting sponsors for inclusion in the game program, player sponsorships, and ticket sales.  The Board represents members of the business and professional community, active and retired, throughout the State.  The Board appoints a General Manager each year, which is responsible to the Board for the administration of the annual All-Star game.

There are 46 graduating High School Seniors selected for each Squad by the coaching staffs.  The division line for the North and South basically is Highway 30 as it crosses the State, East to West, with the western extension from Denison to Onawa.  All schools bordering Highway 30 have players on the South Squad, except for the Cedar Rapids schools where the players are on the North Squad.  The exception is Cedar Rapids Prairie, which represents the South Squad.  In 1986 the number of players was increased from 40 to 44 to permit participation of more small schools on the All-Star squads. In the 2002 game an additional kicker was added and in 2006 a punter was added for a total of 46.

Each fall the Iowa High School coaches are requested to recommend a defensive and offensive player whom he feels will be a good representative of his school and community.  He is not only a good athlete, but also one who is also academically successful, and active in school and community activities.  In July the Iowa High School Coaches Association selects a Head Coach for each Squad.  They in turn select five assistants so as to have one from Class 4-A, 3-A, 2-A, and 1A/A. and 8 person.   The coaches select the players from the nominations submitted earlier by their coaches.  Every effort is made to select players from across the State, with a representative balance in the number of players from each Shrine Center jurisdiction.

Several years ago, we added an All-Star Cheerleader program which has been very successful.  They are nominated by their schools and must attend a tryout, which is held in January.  Professional trainers, who are judges, assist in the selection of who will be invited to attend camp.  We try to select 60 cheerleaders for this program.

This year we will hold a "Mini-Camp" on campus at UNI for the hospital children.  All children will work with the football players and cheerleaders to learn skills of football and cheerleading.  The player and cheerleader’s enthusiasm for the day of this annual game is heightened, when they see how the profits from this game are helping hundreds of Iowa’s physically handicapped children.  The operating budget is
$ 826 million, which is over $2.2 million dollars per day to run our hospitals.

The Iowa Shrine All-Star game is an event which extends the maximum visibility to the Shiner’s great philanthropy – 18 orthopedic hospitals, 3 burn centers, and 1 which treats all types of needs in North America.  This exposure is not limited to the 92 players, 60 cheerleaders, 15 coaches, and 4 managers, but also their families, friends, game sponsors, and others who learn of our game through the media.

Names of the players and cheerleaders selected, and who accept, are released to the news media in late February.  Soon thereafter, a Shriner who is familiar with the community and volunteers to provide his support contacts the participant, their coach, and parents.  At this meeting the ramifications of putting on the game are discussed, especially developing steps in securing sponsors for the participant for inclusion in the game program.


Cedar Falls
Cedar Valley
University of Northern Iowa