Athletes to Take to the Court, Arena at Fall Games


NORMAL, Ill. – More than 700 Special Olympics athletes from all over the state will compete at the Special Olympics Illinois Fall Games, which includes volleyball and equestrian competition, Oct. 24 and 25 in Machesney Park and Poplar Grove. View list of athletes:

Volleyball competition will take place at Harlem High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25. Equestrian competition will take place at BraveHearts at the Bergmann Centre in Poplar Grove from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25.

More than 550 volleyball athletes will be competing in traditional team, modified team or Unified team play, with 66 athletes competing in the individual skills competition. The individual skills competition involves different skill tests that the athletes participate in including forearm pass, overhead set and serve. Unified teams include players with and without intellectual disabilities that compete against other Unified teams.

More than 150 athletes will compete in equestrian competition, including dressage, English equitation, showmanship, stock seat equitation and working trails.

Athlete participation per event are:

  • 3 athletes competing in Equestrian Dressage
  • 58 athletes competing in Equestrian English Equitation
  • 14 athletes competing in Equestrian Showmanship
  • 87 athletes competing in Equestrian Stock Seat Equitation
  • 101 athletes competing in Equestrian Working Trails
  • 66 athletes competing in Volleyball Individual Skills Competition
  • 170 athletes on 16 teams competing in Volleyball Modified Team Competition
  • 259 athletes on 27 teams competing in Volleyball Traditional Team Competition
  • 104 athletes on 7 teams competing in Volleyball Unified Team Competition

The Opening Ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Harlem High School. A victory dance follows and will feature a Halloween costume contest.


The State Fall Games Presenting Sponsor is the Illinois Knights of Columbus and Gold Medal Sponsors are the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 21,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.  If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at


Michele Evans, Special Olympics Illinois, 309-660-8497