Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) offers year-round sports training. Training is the essential element of Special Olympics. Our athletes are well-prepared physically and psychologically before they enter competitions by completing the mandatory eight weeks of training prior to competing.
- Cross-training has become increasingly popular among our athletes and coaches. Many of our athletes compete in a different sport every season -- an athlete who plays soccer in the fall often competes in speed skating in the winter and plays basketball in the summer.
- All training is offered free of charge to our athletes and their families.
Special Olympics competitions use a unique divisioning system based on age, gender, and ability. By assigning athletes to divisions commensurate with their ability, every athlete is given a reasonable chance to win.
- Athletes compete in competitions at the local level and also have the opportunity to go on to sectional and state-level competitions. World Games take place every two years alternating between Summer and Winter Games.
- SOPA offers Unified Sports®, which combines approximately equal numbers of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to form sports teams for training and competition. The Motor Activities Training Program (MATP) provides comprehensive motor activity and recreational training for people with severe intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities.
- Sports Guides, Rules and Information – provided by Special Olympics International
All sports begin in January unless otherwise noted.
Culminating event - Summer Games
Where: Penn State University
All sports begin in July unless otherwise noted.
Culminating event – Fall Festival
Where: Villanova University