"...to use the common language of sports to bridge the continents."
George O’Scanlon, President
International Sports Specialists, Inc. (ISSI) was founded in February 1989 based upon the dream of a New Zealander by the name of George O'Scanlon. George fell in love with athletics, especially American football (gridiron) as a young man growing up in his native country of New Zealand. His desire over the years has been to promote gridiron, not only to the people of New Zealand, but also to Australia where he lived for many years. For over twenty years, ISSI has had the opportunity to share the land Down Under with tens of thousands of individuals from across the United States. The overwhelming success of the Down Under Bowl was a springboard for ISSI’s establishment of the Down Under Hoops Classic and eventually the Down Under International Games. From its first Down Under Bowl in 1989, when four states produced a handful of teams, to 2008 when ISSI sent athletes from almost all 50 states to compete in the Down Under Bowl, Hoops Classic and International Games, the goal has been the same; to use the common language of sports to bridge the continents.
The number of athletes desiring to participate in these events has continued to grow each year and ISSI anticipates further expansion. Some prior standouts of the Down Under Bowl include Jake "The Snake" Plummer past quarterback for the Denver Broncos and Ahman Green, running back for the Houston Texans. Many top universities also have Down Under Bowl Alumni.
ISSI hosts the annual Down Under Sports Tournaments which provide a forum for athletes from other countries to compete head to head in the sport they love. The Down Under Sports Tournaments have included competition in football, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, golf, cross-country, track and field, free style wrestling, and swimming. ISSI's goal is to continue to provide athletes who excel in their sport the opportunity to experience the culture, beauty and grandeur of the land Down Under all within the framework of spirited and intense competition in many different sports.