Desert Challenge Regional Games began in the early 1980’s with a small group of track athletes from AzDScompeting against track athletes from Tucson, AZ. In 1990, Desert Challenge Regional Games grew to include swimming and weightlifting. In 1991, Desert Challenge was held at Arizona State University and was the Far West Regional qualifying event. Desert Challenge competition grew again to include Archery, Table Tennis and Rifle Shoot. In 1997, 2004 and 2012, the Desert Challenge organizing committee hosted Junior Nationals.  The Desert Challenge organizing committee also hosted the 2008 Paralympic Track and Field Trials. 

The host organization of the Desert Challenge Games is Arizona Disabled Sports (AzDS). AzDS is the leading organization in Arizona that provides athletic opportunities for individuals with all types of disability. There are approximately 1,200 athletes as young as six years old living throughout Arizona participating in 30 adaptive programs hosted by AzDS. Visit the organization web site for further details -

The Desert Challenge Games was awarded the Outstanding Adaptive Program by the Arizona Parks & Recreation Association in 2013.

The annual Desert Challenge Games in Mesa, Arizona was awarded the Outstanding Program - Adaptive by the Arizona Parks & Recreation Association in 2013.