The National Sports Festival (NSF), an annual intra-prefectural sporting competition in Japan, is recently intended to be the most competitive domestic sport event and a platform for athlete identification and development. In most prefectures, overall ranking at the NSF is placed on their sport policy agenda. In this study, the determinants of prefectural success at the NSF are empirically analysed and the theoretical values were calculated with the econometric model, using panel data of the forty-seven prefectures. By means of a panel data analysis, the authors find that macro-level factor (population and the number of head offices) and meso-level factors (being the host; being the future host in three, two years, and next year; being the former host one to six years before; and having speciality sports) are positively related to the total points. Overall, our results confirmed that policy effort for the success in the NSF can surpass the advantage in economic and human resources.