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Fall Sports

Esports

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.

Competition

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
When: June
Where: Penn State University

All sports begin in July unless otherwise noted.

Culminating event – Fall Festival
When: November
Where: Villanova University

Fall Sports Offered

Bocce

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Bocce is one of Special Olympics’ newer sports, having been introduced at the World Games level for the first time in 1995. Bocce is a Fall sport and training season is usually from July to November.

Bocce Resources

Find an Bocce Training Site

Flag Football

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At the 2010 National Games in Nebraska, Flag Football was held as a demonstration sport. In 2014 USA Games Flag Football was one of the 12 sports offered. Athlete training takes place in late spring and throughout the summer.

Flag Football Resources

Find a Flag Football Training Site

Long Distance Running/Walking

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LDR and LDW Training Season is usually year round with a culminating event at Fall Festival in November at Villanova University.

Long Distance Running/Walking Resources

Find a Long Distance Running/Walking Training Site

Powerlifting

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Powerlifting was introduced to Special Olympics in 1983. The training season is usually year round with a culminating event in November at Fall Festival – Villanova University.

Powerlifting Resources

Find a Powerlifting Training Site

Soccer

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Soccer (Football) was introduced to Special Olympics in 1979. Soccer events combine both team and individual skills competitions. Soccer is a fall sport and the training season is usually from August to November.

Soccer Resources

Find a Soccer Training Site

Volleyball

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Volleyball was introduced to Special Olympics in 1983 and is a Fall Sport for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Volleyball events combine both team and individual skills competitions. Training Season is usually from August to November.

Volleyball Resources

Find a Volleyball Training Site