The 28-year-old Bolt, who has copped the honour five times in the last six years, spent most of the international athletics season sidelined with injury.
His major showing came when he anchored Jamaica’s sprint relay team to gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last August.
Bolt is Jamaica’s most recognised sportsman and the most dominant sprinter in the history of the sport, having won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the London 2012 Olympics.
He also holds multiple World titles and currently boasts the World and Olympic 100 and 200 metres records.
In his absence, boxer Nicholas Walters will go up against sprinters Kemar Bailey-Cole and Rasheed Dwyer, sprint hurdler Andrew Riley and shot-putter O’Dayne Richards.
All four athletes captured gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Walters, meanwhile, successfully defended his WBA World Featherweight title against Armenian Vic Darchinyan here last May.
Swimmer Alia Atkinson tops the list of nominees for the Sportswoman-of-the-Year title and will be joined by track and field stars Kaliese Spencer, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, Stephanie McPherson Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kimberly Williams and world rated West Indies batsman Stafanie Taylor.
The 26-year-old Atkinson last week became the first black women to hold a global swimming title when she won the 100 metres breaststroke at the World Short Course Championships in Qatar.
She also equaled the World record. Organisers have also added a new Mind Games category this year, which will embrace chess and bridge. The awards are scheduled for January 16 next year.